Photo of the Day

Today I will be in Bloomington, Indiana to shoot the Old Oaken Bucket Game between Purdue University and Indiana University. Since 1925 the winner of this in state rivalry game has been awarded this oaken bucket. For each win that a school tallies they either place a P or an I onto the chain. It seems silly until you see the faces up close of the young men who have just won the bucket. It really means something to hoist it your senior year. If all goes according to plan for Purdue senior defensive tackle Bruce Gaston who is holding the bucket above will be holding it once again this year. Vegas sees it differently though with the Boilers on the board as 21 point underdogs.

Technical Data

This photo was edited using the sports game day desaturated preset by Matt Kloskowski. For some reason I liked how it made the photos look at the time. I still liked it enough to keep it that way for this post. After the preset was applied I just adjusted the highlights and the temperature a bit before exporting the image.

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Photo of the Day

Over a year ago I was fortunate enough to get a tour around the Samara House here in West Lafayette. It is a beautiful home that was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. The sky was not the best for outdoor shots, but as we were leaving the sun gave me one great final look at the home. I had to stop and make this picture.

Technical Data

For this photo I had a very wide range of light. I started out by running three photos two stops apart through Photomatix. I then tried to bring everything out using the tools in Lightroom. I used the HDR Look preset by Matt Kloskowski to get started. I then worked the sliders to get everything to look as good as it does to the eye. Someday they will make a camera that can detect all of the dynamic range that our eyes can. Until then we have to use tools such as Lightroom.

Photo of the Day

Friday night I tested out the Sigma 300mm f/2.8 lens at the Purdue swim meet against Miami, OH. I went into the meet very unsure about how this off brand lens would perform. It did not take long before I was impressed by the glass. Swimming is a lot of wait until they come above water, focus, and then make the picture. A lens that focuses slow would mean a lot of missed shots. This lens really did a great job of grabbing focus quickly even with water flying all around. I have now shot the Canon and the Sigma versions of this lens, and I have to say that for the money the Sigma wins easily.

Technical Data

I already talked about the lens a bit. The only post processing done here was a small crop. The great thing about shooting indoors is that you can have your settings dialed in before you even get to the event.

Photo of the Day

After talking about John F. Kennedy a bit on this blog I thought that I would talk about the program that he is given credit for. The race in space started off during the Eisenhower administration, but Kennedy is usually given credit for moving it along. His proclamation of going to the moon by the end of the decade really captured the attention of the country, and put an impossible goal in front of the men and women at NASA. Somehow even with setbacks they accomplished the goal. I have always loved the movie ‘The Right Stuff.’ It chronicles the Mercury 7. They were the first seven men chosen to go into space. They were brave men to ride on top of a missile into space. Those early flights provided the knowledge that built the space program. I took the tour when I went to NASA that took you to the pads that those historic flights started on. This monument honors the original seven men whose bravery made the rest of the flights possible.

Technical Data

This photo was taken in 2006 when my first dSLR was still very new to me. I barely knew how to use it at the time, and auto mode was my best friend. Auto had trouble with a scene like this. I used the HDR in Lightroom preset to help me get this picture close to what I saw on that day. I would love to visit Cape Canaveral again with my current gear to give some of these images another shot.

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Inspiring Image

Over the past few weeks I have seen many programs and articles based on the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Growing up Catholic I have always been drawn to his story. There are many images that were taken on November 22, 1963 that you would call iconic. For some reason though I didn’t want to get into that day. I thought that I would pick this image that was taken by Stan Stearns 50 years ago today. He was part of a pool of 75 photographers crammed together to cover the casket at St. Matthew’s Church. He said that he was one of the only photographers with a long lens. He focused his 200mm lens on Jackie. When he saw Jackie bend down and whisper to John Jr. he was ready. He captured the young man saluting his fathers casket, and made the image of the day. It was frame one of a 36 image roll of film. He would not make another image that day. He ran to his office with one frame to develop it himself. You can’t trust history to someone else. His editor was not happy with him as he was supposed to follow the casket all the way to Arlington National Cemetery. Once his editor saw the photo he knew that it was a winner. Out of the 75 photographers Stan was the only one to capture this moment.

I picked this photo for today for many reasons, but the most important is the fact that at a major event this photographer waited until the right moment to make his picture. Even in the days of film with 36 images per roll he did not use up the rest of the roll. He made the picture that tells the story of the day. I think that in the digital age it is far too easy to just motor drive through an event. Sometimes while motor driving you actually miss the moment. This is a great example of sitting on a picture and waiting for it to come to you.

Terone Johnson scores his 1000th point for Purdue against Siena

Photo of the Day

Yesterday I shot the Purdue men’s basketball game against Siena. The last couple of games I have been thinking about how to capture Terone Johnson scoring his 1,000th point. Down on the baseline you have many factors that can prevent you from getting the shot. Most shots look much better the lower you get, but the odds go down as well. I nearly went up into the stands as he got within two points. I decided to just stay down low and go for it. Luckily the ref or another player was not in my way, and I had an unobstructed view of the shot.

Bonus Pictures

As has become the norm with a sporting event here are some bonus pictures from the day. These are the more Purdue centric pictures. I shot with Siena in mind for about 8 minutes of the first half. Those pictures can be found on their website here.

Purdue Boilermakers vs. Siena Saints A.J. Hammons
Purdue Boilermakers vs. Siena Saints
Purdue Boilermakers vs. Siena Saints Terone Johnson
A.J. Hammons dunks for the Purdue Boilermakers vs. Siena Saints
Purdue Boilermakers vs. Siena Saints
Purdue Boilermakers vs. Siena Saints
Purdue Boilermakers vs. Siena Saints Bryson Scott
Purdue Boilermakers vs. Siena Saints
Purdue Boilermakers vs. Siena Saints
Purdue Boilermakers vs. Siena Saints
Purdue Boilermakers vs. Siena Saints
Purdue Boilermakers vs. Siena Saints
Purdue Boilermakers vs. Siena Saints
Purdue Boilermakers vs. Siena Saints

Photo of the Day

Early in the Purdue game yesterday Akeem Hunt finally broke the big run. He is one of my favorite players to photograph in the open field because of the angles he runs with. He always seems to be in a great position to make a picture. Yesterday he took off on a 62 yard touchdown run. As Hunt ran closer to me the 300mm I was shooting with became too much. Earlier in the day I purposely shot a basketball game with just the 300mm to try and break my bad habit of needing the entire body in the frame. Here it seemed to work out. By not tilting to get the whole body in I captured a Purdue coach in the bokeh cheering Hunt on. This is one of my favorite images of the year.

Bonus Pictures

Here are some pictures from the game yesterday that I liked. I was trying out a 300mm f/2.8 lens that Sigma makes so I was trying some new things. I ended up with a lot of pictures that I really liked. I think that some big plays combined with a big lens led to what I think was my best football shoot of the year. The sad thing is that it was probably my last football shoot of the year.
Cameron Posey makes a catch early in the first quarter against Illinois
Akeem Hunt runs for 62 yards and a score against Illinois while Danny Antrhop blocks for himAkeem Hunt runs for 62 yards and a score against Illinois
Teammates celebrate with Akkem Hunt (1) after his 62 yard touchdown run in the first quarter
Antoine Lewis upends Steve Hull of Illinois after Hull made a catch.
Wil Lucas (45) and Frankie Williams (24) of Purdue tackle Illini running back Josh Ferguson (6)
Brandon Cottom of Purdue tries to dive over the pile as Mike Svetina (34) and Jonathon Brown (45) defend
Cameron Posey is congratulated by teammates after scoring a touchdown in the first quarter against Illinois.
Nathan Schellhaase (2) throws over Ruben Ibarra (6) of Purdue
Akeem Hunt (1) looks for running room as Robert Gregory (7) of Purdue jumps over Jevaris Little (15) of Illinois
Justin Sinz (84) applies a stiff arm to an Illini defensive back
Joe Gilliam (39) looks in on Illinois quarterback Nathan Schellhaase (2)
Greg Latta (91) sacks Nathan Schellhaase (2) as Ra Zahn Howard (93) and Ryan Russell (99) watch
Danny Etling (5) tries to escape from Houston Bates (55) of Illinois
Ricardo Allen (21) strips the ball from Illini reciever Spencer Harris (80) while freshman defensive back Austin Logan (5) looks on
Bruce Gaston (90) then recovers the fumble for Purdue
Danny Etling (5) under center Robert Kugler (57)
Jack Replogle (54) puts pressure on Illini quarterback Nathan Schellhaase (2)
Jesse Schmitt (50) recovers a Illini fumble for Purdue as Patrick Bade (89) makes the tackle
Clear sailing ahead for Frankie Williams (24) on this huge punt return in the third quarter. It was called back for a block in the back
Dan Monteroso (9) attempts to pass late in the fourth quarter, but has to pull the ball down
Danny Etling (5) throws an pass on the Boilers last drive
A studet takes a picture with Drew Brees in the student section during the fourth quarter of the Purdue game

Photo of the Day

Today I covered the final home game for the Purdue Boilermakers. This has been a weird season in which I have not seen them win a game yet. Today was no different, but it was a game that went down to the wire. One of the exciting aspects of the game was the return of Boilermaker legend Drew Brees. Every step of the way Drew has been doubted, and every step of the way he has proven his doubters wrong. He will end up being one of the best quarterbacks to ever play in the NFL statistically before it is all said and done. I was not able to photograph him as a player, but I was lucky enough to photograph him a couple of times today. The time that you see above was while Drew was leading the crowd in singing ‘Shout’ between the third and fourth quarters.

I will have more pictures from the game tomorrow with my game post.

Technical Data

This photo required a little bit of work in Lightroom to make right in my eye. The shade that Drew was in combined with the bright sky makes for a tough time to get everything to look right. I exposed for the people, but thought that maybe I could bring the sky back in using highlights in Lightroom. It ended up looking too fake so I just tried to get a good balance.