Photo of the Day

I have shot many Purdue Basketball games over the years. Thousands of pictures have been posted from inside of the building. Last night though was my first time shooting from the baseline. All of my other shots have come from the stands including many from what was once called section 101. I have shot enough football from the sidelines to know that it is no big deal. When I started shooting Purdue Football it really came easy to me. I have shot virtually no basketball from somewhere other than the stands. I actually had some nerves heading into Mackey Arena last night. The first half was really spent getting into the groove of shooting basketball again. It is an exhibition game for the team, but photographers also need to get into the flow as well. Once the second half started I found myself in a position that I wanted with two cameras running. I had my 60D with the 24-70mm on it in my hand, and my old Rebel with my 10-20mm lens on it on the floor. I had my Pocket Wizard system running allowing me to shoot both cameras at once. Early in the second half Rapheal Davis stole the ball, and came right at me. Actually I think he stole the ball as I was chimping my screen from an earlier picture. I heard the crowd and looked up to see him getting ready to dunk. I threw up my camera and pointed it at him. Luckily I had him in my sights as I hit the focus button. Both cameras fired giving me a unique angle of the dunk. It was a shot that got me going, and I had a great second half shooting. I still have a long way to go with my sports photography, but I feel as if I have already come a long way as well.

Here is a link to a few more pictures that I liked from the night. It was a blast shooting from the floor, and I hope that I can do it again soon.

Technical Data

Most of the technical data was above. The system that made it all possible was my Pocket Wizards. I like the shot from my 60D much more than the shot from the Rebel. I do love some of the remote shots though. It seems funny calling it a remote since it was at my feet, but this is the technical section after all. I did some minor touch ups in Lightroom before posting both of these pictures here. I had a blast shooting tonight in Mackey, and both of these images will make it a night to remember.

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Photo of the Day

Fall might just be my favorite time of year. You have football season, the changing leaves, and the start of a more pleasant light. The fall sunsets really seem to be much more golden than the other times of year. This might all be in my imagination though. This picture was made at the Indianapolis Zoo during their Zoo Boo. The light was amazing as we walked by some fall decorations so I decided to make a picture. I loved the scarecrow and the welcome sign together.

Technical Data

I really barely touched this photo. I think that sometimes you nail it in camera. To be fair aperture priority mode nailed this in camera. Either way this was a very easy photo to edit. Anything I tried to do to it seemed to take away from the feel of the photo.

Photo of the Day

A couple of weeks ago while at The Country Market I had some fun making pictures of the animals that they had. I once heard the great photographer Joel Sartore say that you can’t make a bad picture of a pig, and after making a few I think that he was right. He has a great project called the Photo Ark where he is trying to make a picture of every creature in captivity around the world. Some of the species that he started with have already gone extinct so it is a very worthy cause. You can see more about the Photo Ark here.

Technical Data

For this photo I really did not do much to it. I just moved a couple of the sliders in Lightroom to get the look that I wanted. I did add a bit of clarity to give the pig a little grittier feel. This was a quick and dirty edit though.

Photo of the Day

Yesterday I shot my last Purdue Soccer game of the season. It does not seem that long ago that I saw the friendly against Louisville on the schedule and decided to shoot it. I have not shot all of the home games this season, but I have shot many. The end of this season did not turn out as the Boilers hoped that it would. A narrow loss on senior day hurts as well. Hadley Stuart (23) was one of the first players that I made a good picture of this season. For some reason when she had the ball good things would usually happen. It is only fitting that on her senior day that she was part of my take as well. Here she is seen fighting for the ball with Elle Dykema (10) of Minnesota. I love pictures with the feet off of the ground, and here a couple of toes are all that are on the ground. My favorite shots during a match are the ones where the players are hand fighting for position. If I can get the players in the air while doing that it is a plus for sure. I learned a lot this soccer season going from a novice who knew nothing about the game to actually enjoying watching the sport. I hope that my interest in it helps me make some nice pictures next season.

Some of the other pictures that I liked from the day can be found on my Facebook page here.

Technical Data

The first piece of data here is that I was shooting into the sun. Normally I shoot sports in aperture priority mode. Today with a clear sky I switched over to manual to keep the shadows down on the faces of the players. I find that when the subject is backlit I really need to expose for the face and then bring in the highlights later in Lightroom. I set up my camera a bit overexposed knowing that the highlight slider in Lightroom is pretty powerful. I love shooting backlit because every stray hair and stray piece of grass shows up. If I have a choice during a match like this I will always take the light at the players back. For some reason the pictures seem to pop that much more to me.

Photo of the Day

Last night I went to Kankakee, Illinois to photograph the Purdue Ice Hockey team. I have not attended a hockey game since the last time that I saw Purdue play in 2010. Three years is a long time to go without seeing hockey. For some reason I thought that I would be able to just get back into the swing of things and make some interesting hockey photos. I was right, but it took a while to get back into the flow. I thought I was doing okay during the first period, but looking at my photos I can see that I really was still getting into the game. By the third period though I think that I hit my stride, and I was following the action much better. They say that hockey is a hard sport to watch because it is hard to follow the puck. Imagine doing that through a viewfinder. I enjoyed my time at the rink tonight, and I hope to get back soon.

You can see more of the images from the game here if you like. I used my 24-70mm for the first two periods on my 60D, and my 70-200mm for the third period on that body. I also had my fisheye lens on my old Rebel to capture the action on the boards right in front of me. I feel that the setup worked fairly well.

Technical Data

I shoot in RAW, and sometimes that is a good thing. With dead spots on the ice I had to adjust the exposure on several images. This was one of them. For some reason it was much darker near this goal. I was shooting in manual so it was a compromise as to what I could do. I just shot with the good ice in mind knowing that I could fix the dead spot pictures in post.

Game Video

I had my Go Pro mounted on the glass behind the Robert Morris goal the entire game. I was shooting video with the intention of maybe grabbing some stills from it. I ended up getting some good goal videos though. I have only processed one so far, but it is of my nephew Brandt scoring in the second period. It was a hard fought goal, and I am glad that I have the video of it. You can view it below.

Photo of the Day

Back at the end of July we were to fly out of Maryland back to Indiana. The trip did not go as planned, but we ended up making it back home. Sometimes when you spend a lot of time in an airport you start to notice things. One of those is the fact that almost fifteen minutes after our flight was supposed to leave the gate it was still listed as being on time on this board. Pennsylvania was the fourteenth state that I had visited this year. I set a goal of making a picture in thirteen states. I was able to go a little above and beyond that with a little luck and a couple of unexpected trips. Most of my goals for the year did not make this blog. They were personal, but I really have done much better than even I expected to do. My photography has really done well this year, and I hope that the following year sees it grow just as much.

Technical Data

This photo was taken with my Nikon point and shoot. I really just tweaked a couple of settings in Lightroom to get this to where I wanted it to be. I also cropped it a bit to get rid of the distracting backgrounds on either side.

Photo of the Day

One of my favorite parts of Chicago can be found above. There are two statues near an older hotel that just look great to me. The statues are called The Bowman and The Spearman. As the title would suggest The Spearman is above. I have always liked the statues themselves, but when you place them near the historic Congress Hotel sign with the Sears (I know it’s Willis) Tower in the background you make me a very happy boy.

Technical Data

I took this photo in March of 2012 when I was into my heavy HDR phase. I would use the HDR technique on everything making very surreal images. Most of those I have since decided to never show again, but some have stood the test of time. There is something about this image (which consists of three images fused in Photomatix) that I have always liked. The HDR processing gives it a look that I can’t stop looking at.

Photo of the Day

While on campus last Sunday I made a point to see the new John Purdue statue. John Purdue was the man behind the name for the college that I attended. It was his last minute intervention that put Purdue University into motion. I liked the idea of a picture of Purdue looking out onto the campus that bears his name. I found a couple of other shots while on location, but I might wait until the area has a little better color before trying those.

Technical Data

For this photo I had an idea for using HDR here. When I saw the bracketed images in Lightroom I decided that I could just get what I wanted using the metered exposure. A couple of slider adjustments were all that I thought the photo needed.

Photo of the Day

Last night I was at the Purdue Volleyball game as they took on rival Indiana. They match was never really in doubt as Purdue took it easily in three sets. Sometimes it is nice to have your way with a rival. I started the match off in the student section with my fisheye lens. I liked the idea of getting some dynamic shots there. I thought that I was done with it until the end of the match. The Purdue women were singing the fight song so I put it back on to try something out. I love the crazy view it gives you, and I feel like the dynamic look is pretty nice. I have an idea with my monopod using this same technique during the next football game here. We will see if it is worth lugging the monopod for the shot.

Technical Data

I really wanted to have a quick edit of the RAW file here with a little punch to it. I used one of Matt Kloskowski’s HDR in Lightroom presets to give this photo a look that I really like.