My Favorite Seventeen Photos of the 2016-2017 Basketball Season

This year was an interesting one as far as basketball goes for me. I shot more games away from home than I did at home. I shot very little women’s basketball inside of Mackey Arena, and when I did I had a 50/50 chance of it being for the other team.

17. I love the new Purdue intros. I made this photo early in the season when there were not a lot of photographers at the game. The Purdue photographer that day was not too interested in the intros so I went in a little closer to get this shot.

16. For the second photo in we stay in the pregame phase again. One player that is fun to photograph at Indiana State is Wendi Bibbins. She plays with an intensity that looks great on camera. Here she is firing up her team prior to the game at Butler.

15. Speaking of the game at Butler here is a shot that is not easily made at most places. The raised court at Butler allowed me to get right into the huddle here. It was a great way to show off the fire in the huddle and the beauty of Hinkle Fieldhouse.

14. This year I was able to shoot a game for the Eastern Michigan Eagles. For a few years now I have been friends with one of their student photographers. A sports group on Google+ provided me with some great people to follow through their careers. It was great to get out and photograph Eastern Michigan myself. When you see so many pictures of a team you start to root for them.

13. Here is one of the photos from my first overhead remote setup. To get to the catwalks at Indiana State you have to traverse many steps. Without an assistant it was not fun trying to make sure that everything was set up correctly. I went up and down many times to make sure that I had what I was looking for. Thankfully it was a doubleheader for the men’s and women’s teams so I got twice as much for my efforts that day. This was my favorite shot from that first game. I have always hesitated in setting up a remote, but with the way that Indiana State was using my images I knew I needed to give them something extra for their money.

12. This year I was able to shoot in Hinkle Fieldhouse twice. I love shooting in that old barn. After a while you get used to some things where you normally shoot so the thrill of an old place like Hinkle is pretty cool. I really like the way I can move around there. For the women’s games I am usually the only photographer on the entire court so I can pretty much pick wherever I want to sit. No elbow to elbow shooting here.

11. Ashely Morrissette was a fun player to watch play basketball. She was a role player early in her career. An injury forced her to be something more, and we got our first glimpse into just what she could do. She was a fun leader to watch play this past season. Here she is shown forcing her way to the basket. Her ability to make her own shots from behind the arc to at the hoop was helped create chances for others. She will be hard to replace at Purdue.

10. This was a shot that I didn’t know I was going to make that day. I was just shooting the intros at my first Indiana State women’s game when this moment occurred. Rhagen Smith is a player that loves to smile. You can tell that she loves playing the game. All of that combined into one photo makes it easy to include on this countdown.

9. Ashley Taia is a player that can do it all. She usually ends up in my photo galleries driving to the basket. Here she battles for a rebound against Butler. Some players just play in such a way that looks good on camera most of the time. I call this the Akeem Hunt theory because he was the first one that I had like that. I could never make a bad picture of Akeem. Ashley is a similar player. Some players just photograph better than others.

8. Here is another shot that I love because of the way that it shows off the Hinkle Fieldhouse. It is early in the game against Butler, and I made a photo that I knew would be in the gallery. It is these photos that take the burden off a little and let me relax and shoot looser.

7. I love it when one sport looks like another sport. Here I think this drive looks a little like a running back making first contact. There is something about it that reminds me of a football photo, and that makes it a little unique to me.

6. As I said above Wendi Bibbins plays the game with a lot of emotion. Right after a win this season she is shown here letting out a scream of joy. She really likes to win, and I can relate to that. She is a player that I look forward to photographing again next season.

5. Wendi shows up yet again on the countdown. Here she makes a nice basket again Butler. I love the way that the background goes to black on these wide shots at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Wendi elevated just enough to set herself apart from her defenders as well. That all comes together for a photo that I really like.

4. Here the gesture is everything. Ashley Taia is once again doing her thing driving to the hoop. A while back I heard the great Peter Read Miller talk about having feet off of the ground being a good thing. Here three of the four feet shown are off the ground, and it is a good photo. Feet off of the ground does not always mean it is a good photo, but it does show the motion of the situation. Here the feet and the face help convey the emotion of the situation.

3. Wendi Bibbins makes her final appearance on the countdown. This has to be a record for appearances by one player in the countdown. Here I love the basketball moment just as the ball is leaving her fingertips. What makes the photo though is her hair looking like a mohawk as she goes up. This is one of those times where a lot of things are happening in your favor, and you just have to hit the shutter button to make something very cool.

2. This photo came from the first sporting event that I shot in 2017. Near the end of the game I started to get a little bored. When you know that nobody will see the photos from the game then it takes away some of the rush you get making them. I decided to just make something for me. In fact I had this idea early in the second half, and when I got what I wanted I was going to leave. Of course I kept trying to get it better and better until I finally made this shot of Ashley Morrissette driving. A lot has to work in your favor to make this work at such a low shutter speed so that is part of the reason why I like it so much.

  1. The top photo in the countdown is from my lone shoot with the Xavier basketball team this season. During the pregame introductions I did my normal over the top huddle shot. I realized that the team was spread far enough apart that I might be able to get my camera in between a couple of players. It was then that I was rewarded with a great gesture by the player in the middle. It was a photo that was meant to be, and I will take all of the luck that it took to make this one.

 

This year I was not sure about doing these recap posts. I like the idea of going back through my work to see what I was able to accomplish for the season. Some of them have gone over very well. Both of the Indiana State recaps were seen by many people making them well worth the time and effort to make it. The Purdue women’s basketball post kind of went like most of my women’s basketball posts. Nobody clicked on it. I don’t know what to make of that. I spent over an hour working on the post itself, and it was seen by four people the day that it posted. The old manager in me that still tries to use SPC always wants to know why. Is it just my audience? Is it interest in the program? For whatever reason those posts don’t do well. The lack of interest in the women’s basketball program on here has had some good results though. I started my photos of the week post because I wanted to get some of those photos out. Right now I plan on putting my favorite men’s basketball photos together and releasing them next week. Next week is looking pretty busy though so who knows when it will come out.

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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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