My Favorite Sixteen Photos From 2016

Each year I get another year older, but I get to add a photo to my year end countdowns. It is hard enough to cut photos down to sixteen for my break out categories. To get a list of the sixteen photos that I like the most from 2016 overall is nearly impossible. I decided to go with the photos that I remembered the most, and had a special meaning for me. You can view more of my favorites from the year by clicking here to see my Exposure page. Below are sixteen photos that I believe tell a story about what a fun year this past year was.

16. The countdown starts with a photo before the LaPorte Slicers took on Michigan City for the Duneland Athletic Conference title. Many years ago I played for the Slicers, and it was fun to get back and photograph one of their games. It was even more fun to see them win the conference up close and personal.

Fireworks over Lafayette

15. This year on the Fourth of July I tried to get as high as I could over Lafayette to shoot the fireworks over the city. I set up my camera and listened to some good music as I waited for the fireworks to start. One thing that I like about this photo is the large amount of fireworks from other towns and people in the background. Next year I would like to take my drone up to see what I can do on the 4th.

14. One city that I have seen many pictures of is Austin, Texas. This year I was able to visit the city, but I spent most of my time at the Austin City Limits Music Festival. I did not have time to do the normal sightseeing. One photo that I was able to make that I think sums up the city right now is the one above. The city is growing rapidly. There are new buildings going up everywhere. Here was a view from the building I was staying in downtown.

13. Our trip to Boston this fall was one that let me cross a couple of items off of my long standing travel list. I have been wanting to visit the John F. Kennedy Presidential Museum for quite some time. I know that by reading this blog you know that I am obsessed with sports and photography. I also love learning about the Presidents of the United States. They all have a unique story, and they all end up holding the highest office in the land. Kennedy was one President that I heard a lot about growing up, and it was great to get to visit his library.

12. Speaking of crossing some items off of the bucket list this was a great moment for me. After photographing my first NASCAR race at the track where I watched my first race I was getting in position to photograph victory lane. I looked up and saw my two favorite drivers running side by side coming right at me. Both racers were competing in their last race at the Brickyard, and I was very lucky to get a chance to see them race. It is not the most technically brilliant photo that I made last year, but it was one of those moments that you are thankful for.

11. Each year I make portraits of the Lafayette Brawlin’ Dolls for their program. My job is very simple that day. I point the camera at them, and let their personalities come out. It is a highlight of the year for me as I can make some great photos. This was one of those moments that you would consider an outtake, but it becomes one of my favorites. 

10. Each year I spend at least one morning of my trip to Ocean City, Maryland down at the pier waiting for the sun to come up. I love feeling the surf and sand between my toes, and it always leaves me with some good photos. This year I tried something new, and I really liked how it came out. Looking at a photo like this one makes me want to head back to the warm weather and the beach right now.

9. As with the Kennedy photo above I was able to cross an item off of my bucket list in Boston when I visited Fenway Park this past fall. I have always wanted to visit Fenway, and doing so on the 41st anniversary of my favorite player smacking a big home run there was a fun bit of trivia. The park is so old that it makes it a great subject to photograph. For some reason this has been one of my favorites from the day since I made it.

8. One of the fun weekends of the year was photographing the NCAA Baseball Tournament in Nashville this past spring. There was some great baseball to see during my four days there. It ended up being four days because of a line of storms that came through one night. With no baseball to photograph I made my way downtown to see what kind of photos I could make there. The combination of a great skyline with storm clouds made for some very interesting pictures.

7. Another fun weekend was the one that I spent in St. Louis photographing the MVC Basketball Tournament for Indiana State. I had my mornings to roam free, and I did just that. One morning I stumbled upon Pharaohs Donuts. I loved this scene that unfolding in front of me. I put my bag of donuts down to make this photo. It is my favorite people photo of the year.

6. One great accomplishment was shooting the women’s Final Four that was in Indy this past year. I set a goal to shoot it before the season, and as luck would have it I was hired to do so. It was a fun couple of days in Indy shooting the games. I like the way that you get everything you need to know about in this tip photo. This will be in my portfolio for a while I would guess.

5. I say it a lot that I live on a beautiful college campus, but I don’t get out to photograph it as much as I should. Whenever I do something really great comes of it. Here in the fall the light and the trees were just right. I was able to make a photo of the campus that I really liked. Once again I will say that I need to get out and see the campus much more than I do.

4. When the year started I saw a great photo by Charles Jischke of the VOSS Model on campus. I did not even know what it was, but I knew when I saw that photo that I wanted to see it and make a photo of it. I checked it out one day, and decided that I would go there after the next snowfall. I thought the light would reflect nicely off of it. One night during a women’s basketball game the snow was really coming down. I made my way to the sculpture after the game to make this photo. I knew right then that it would be on a list at the end of the year. There is something about it that I really like. I have a few more ideas to try with the sculpture, but I have yet to try them.

3. Three straight photos in the top 5 from the Purdue campus just proves that I should photograph there more often. I made this photo one day when the low golden light of the sun was painting Mackey Arena. Like the photo above something has just always stuck out to me here. I really love this photo.

2. The night before my 40th birthday I was on the road coming home from shooting a volleyball tournament at Illinois when the sun started to go down. It was a great sunset, but I had nothing for my foreground. I made a long detour trying to find something to put in the foreground. I finally settled on this narrow gravel road. I put my headlights on the road, and put the road on the right side of the frame. I like how the photo looks, and the symbolism that it represented to me at the time.

  1. The photo at the top of the countdown was a very lucky capture. I set up my GoPro to capture the storm that made its way into Ocean City one night. I did not have much time in town as I had to fly out early to photograph a wedding. A storm was the last thing that I wanted when it rolled through. It looked to be a good one though so I set up the GoPro to make a time lapse. I captured this lightning strike over the Atlantic Ocean, and I knew that I had something good here. A strike in interesting light made for an interesting scene.

I really had a good year. A lot of people have been saying that 2016 was a bad year. Every year has things that are not the best. What really matters though are the things that directly effect you, and in that respect 2016 was a good one for me. My business had the best year ever by far, and I made some connections that will help make 2017 good as well. Without a crystal ball I cannot predict how 2017 will go, but with the current momentum I can only imagine that it will be a good year for me.

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About Pinola Photo

I am a sports and lifestyle photographer based in West Lafayette, IN home of Purdue University. I cover sports for Big Ten teams as well as other colleges. You can follow me on twitter @pinolaphoto. You can also view my website at www.davewegielphoto.net

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