A Look At My 19 Favorite Photos From 2019
This will have been the sixth year where I have done a few of these countdowns at the end of the year. They are a little more work, but I really enjoy putting them together. Putting this one together was really an eye opener. I couldn’t believe all of the fun that I had in 2019. You realize what you are doing it while it is happening, but by stepping back and looking at a body of work like this reminds me that I am a lucky man. I really don’t know what I did to get so lucky. I am doing what I want exactly where I want to do it.
19. The countdown starts off with some good light. You could not beat the combination of great light and dust at Loeb Stadium. I was so sad to see that stadium go. Here I was able to capture a great dusty moment during one of the final games at the stadium.
18. This is a weird photo that keeps popping up on these lists. As I have said in the other countdowns I was not there to photograph Purdue. I was there for Northwestern. When Karissa McLaughlin hit the game winner though I had nothing to photograph so I photographed the winning jube. I love the emotion here. Sometimes you are in the right spot for a photo and even if you are not supposed to make it you do.
17. I love the way that The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is set up. It really is just like stepping into the books. The dragon on top of Gringott’s that would breath fire every 15 minutes was amazing. It took the kids (including me) a few times to get used to how awesome it was.
16. This photo is here as part of our weekend trip to Pittsburgh. I saw a lot of cool stuff there including a baseball stadium that I have been wanting to visit for a while. It was this photo from inside of the children’s museum though that was my favorite. I was not sure what to expect there, but this was not on the list. As my daughter was working on a craft I looked up. I realized that I had a great photo just waiting for me. I always joke to other photographers to always look up when walking in somewhere new. Here I was glad that I did.
15. This summer we had two different groups of war planes visit campus. These planes are amazing, and I am always in awe of the men that went up in them. I really liked this photo from one of those visits. They are called the greatest generation for a reason.
14. If you read this blog then you know that I talk about the baseball field in my neighborhood all of the time. It is a great place to get out and make some photos for just a little while. When the light is this good though I make sure that I am out there making photos. The seeds floating through the air give some amazing bokeh as well.
13. I just talked about this photo yesterday. A bad situation quickly turned into a great one when this Northern Parula flew into some great light. This moment only lasted for…well a moment before the bird flew away. I was glad that I was able to capture this scene.
12. I had not been to a White Sox game since 2015 before finally getting back this summer. Of course it was against the Cubs so emotions were high. The young White Sox team pulled out the win though and I made this photo as the fans and the team celebrated the win. I love the way that this photo turned out.
11. At #11 we get a two for one. Two different birds grabbing meals in different ways. The top photo is of a bald eagle coming back out of the water after grabbing a turtle. The bottom photo shows a heron flipping a fish before swallowing it. Both of these are great moments that are hard to see. I was glad to be able to capture them both.
10. This photo is on the countdown for two reasons. The first is that I was hired by the great team at the South Bend Tribune to cover the game. I grew up reading the paper, and it was super cool that their team thought of me to cover the event. The second was the story behind this photo. Jon and Rylee Hershberger had a tough road to get to this moment. Jon is battling cancer and he had simple goals. The first was to see Rylee graduate high school which she had just done. The second was to hug her after winning the state title game. Rylee knocked in the winning run that gave Bremen the state title, and after the game they shared a very emotional hug. My eyes became a little dusty after making this photo.
9. I spend a lot of time chasing owls. I never see them. I have a folder on my website called ‘things I thought were owls’ because nature is a funny thing that makes many objects look like owls. This photo of a short-eared owl is from the one encounter that I had with owls this past year.
8. This past fall I took my drone up to campus to see what I could capture. The leaves were not changing on most of the campus, but around Ross Ade Stadium they really were. This panoramic image for Ross Ade and Mackey Arena with the leaves is a favorite drone photo from the year. The fact that the football field is freshly painted really adds to the photo for me.
7. The next two images are my favorite sports photos from the year. Either one of them could be above the other one. It is a good year when you have a hard time deciding between the two. This photo of Indiana State just before their first NCAA tournament game in Nashville was a great moment. I had no idea it was going to happen, but I lucked out in where I was so that I could make this photo.
6. My favorite sports photo of the year was this photo of the Purdue volleyball team celebrating their win over #6 Nebraska. This was going to be a huddle photo with the victory sign in the background. A hug then happened right in front of my lens, and suddenly my photo became much better. Luck always plays a big part in sports photography.
5. The blood moon was an event that I nearly gave up on. The clouds were just too much to make a good photo. When they finally cleared I made a photo that was okay, but not great. I went to bed thinking that I just wasn’t going to make a good photo. I laid there for a while before getting back up and taking my gear outside again. I then made a photo that I was proud to show off. The clouds cleared for me long enough to take my time this time to make the photo.
4. More fun in Diagon Alley at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. As a family we had a great time exploring all of what they had to offer. During certain portions of the day though I would stop and make a photo. Here at blue hour was one of those times. When we go back this year maybe the dragon will spit fire at the right time when the building at the end of the scene is lit up.
3. We had a couple of nights of light shows in Ocean City this year. Two nights in a row we went back to our condo because of storms moving in. Of course my tripod went on the balcony to make some photos when we went back. This composite photo of the lightning was my favorite of those.
2. This photo and one other from the Metallica concert in March is why I ended up switching to Sony. My little Sony point and shoot was so good that I knew that the full frame cameras had to be great. Metallica is my favorite band, and everything came together for a nice photo here. This one will end up on the wall in my office.
1. Of course Lanie at the new Purdue arch takes number one on the countdown. I was there to make a photo of the arch at sunset. I was set up for sunset, and right after making my test photos Lanie walked into the frame. Instead of yelling at her to get out of the frame I made this photo. She then cleared out of my way so that I could make the photo I was there to make, but I had one that I liked much better personally. I have said it before, but every photo is better when the kids are there with me when I make it.
This has been an interesting year for sure. As the summer was winding down I finally pulled the trigger and switched camera brands. For a while I had two complete systems sitting at my house. Switching brands is never easy. At the end of the day though I feel that it was worth it. We also travelled a lot this summer. Something from all of those trips was included on this list. This is the sixth year that I have put these year end lists together. Every year I wonder how I will top the last year. This year is no different. If I can somehow put together a better list then I will really be doing something amazing.
If you want to catch up on any of my lists from this year you can click here to see all of them. As always you can just scroll to the bottom of the page to the category section as well to see some of the topics that I write about. There you will find links to my best of galleries from 2014-2019.