My 20 Favorite Photos From The 2019-2020 Men’s Basketball Season
Sports seem like something so far away don’t they? Just before the men’s basketball season was about to get really interesting it went away. This was a fun basketball season though, and mine was probably over anyway when the season was cancelled. I thought that I would look back at my favorite images from this last season with a little commentary on each photo. Here are my favorite men’s basketball images from the 2019-2020 season.
20. This was the first photo that I made this college basketball season. I was not at the game for anyone so when I saw this happening I did not pursue it too much. I never showed the photo to anyone because it looked like nobody noticed that it happened. At the next game I was going to be in position to really make this photo the way that I thought it should be. Of course it never happened again. It was a one time deal.
19. I think that this photo shows just how hard Big Ten basketball really is. You have to fight for everything. No basket is free especially at the rim.
18. I love this moment during intros. Charles Jischke the head of Purdue photography (seen in the lower part of the frame) gave me this location for intros to try out. I was up there for another player, but this little moment ended up being my favorite frame of the intros.
17. As a kid I spent way too much time practicing playing basketball with my tongue out like Michael Jordan. I was convinced that it would make me a better basketball player. Of course it probably just made it more likely that my tongue would get bitten off the way that I played the game. I instantly thought of MJ when I saw this young player for West Side. Of course I bet that this younger generation only has a little knowledge of MJ, and that is too bad. Maybe this ESPN documentary will change a little bit of that.
16. Some players are just ball magnets. I think that this young mans whole family is one. They just play hard, and do what it takes to win. They are all fun to watch play. I doubt that I get to see him play basketball again, but it was fun while it lasted.
15. At a game I liked to make the action photos, and I also love the emotional photos. This one has both in it. You have the action of the dunk, and the players in the background going crazy. I love how this one turned out.
14. Nojel is a fun player to cover. He seems to always look good no matter when you catch him. Here a simple pass looks pretty cool the way that he does it.
13. I don’t capture many dunks in high school basketball. In fact before the last couple of seasons I always seemed to be facing the wrong way for most college dunks. Here I was lucky in the way that this dunk unfolded. I would have been head on for it, but cheerleaders kept getting in my way on the other side of the hoop. I think that the photo from there would have been amazing. Luckily for me it worked from this spot as well.
12. Mackey on game day is a great place. I made this photo with the idea of a panoramic image in mind, but I liked the frame so much by itself that I never made that pano.
11. Over the course of a season I make photos for a few of the visiting teams. It is always weird being on the opposite side of Purdue. At some point my team has to have some success or my photos will not be as good. It pays the bills though so I have to keep doing it.
10. Sometimes when making photos for the opponent I end up capturing something really cool for Purdue. During the season opener I made this nice sequence of Matt Haarms making the block, and then celebrating later in the game. I love the emotion that Haarms displays, and I can’t wait until his senior year.
EDIT: I wrote this a week or so ago. Of course now we all know that Matt will not be returning for his senior year.
9. Man I would have loved to have played for Coach Wood. He really cares about his players, and I think that everyone who comes through the West Side program comes out a better person for having played for Coach Wood. He just does it the right way. Here he fights back getting a little emotional during the senior night festivities.
8. I was once again making photos for the opponent when Texas came to town. I loved this image during intros when most of the lights in Mackey were off. They give the opponent a small spotlight so they can huddle while Purdue is being introduced.
7. The t-shirt game is always a fun game. The design looks great, and it makes Mackey Arena look even better. It has been great lately because the fans are actually wearing the shirts. This was my image from the tip of that game.
6. During that game where I made photos for Penn State I made this series of Matt Haarms. The first is from a camera under the basket showing just how much he changes the game. He is a force under the rim. The second looks like a celebration photo, but it is actually Matt fired up about a call he didn’t think was right. Happy or sad Matt makes for good photos.
Edit: Once again this was written a week ago and Matt will not be coming back for his senior year. Some other photographers are going to get the opportunity to make some great Matt Haarms photos.
5. I finally was able to make this photo without someone in my way. Any time that I had tried it in the past I had another photographer get into the frame. I first made the photo in 2015 and saw a couple of ways that I could improve it. Of course I then rarely made photos in Mackey so there was no chance to do it. This year against Indiana I made the decision to try it again, and it worked out.
4. One of the more athletic plays this year was this attempted dunk by Ron Harper Jr. He nearly went up and over Matt Haarms for the slam. It would have been an amazing moment. I love the confidence to think that he could do it. For this game I was there for fun so I claimed a spot for the second half during the first half. It doesn’t make for the best photos of Purdue that half, but by doing that I have a good spot for what should be the crunch time of the game.
3. My last action photos on the countdown show that sportsmanship is not dead. As Trevion Williams makes a shot that will result in more points against Indiana his defender gives him a high five. Even as they were getting beat once again by Purdue they still show that they can be graceful in defeat. This set was captured with my handheld camera firing a remote camera at my feet. This gives me two looks at the play. Most of the time I prefer the wider view, but for this one I like the close up view of the high five.
2. The last game for the King of Mackey. I made this photo during intros on senior day. This is one time when I know that I can improve upon the photo. I like the idea here, but I have an idea for next season that hopefully will make it better. I still like the moment enough for it to be #2 on the countdown.
- These are the moments that I love to capture. The quiet times before the game. With a silent shutter I could make this image without it being too obvious as well. My job as a photographer is to bring the fans closer to the game. These moments prior to the game when the fans have no access gives them a little backstage feel I guess. It also gives me a great start to a gallery.
There are my favorite photos from this past men’s basketball season. I feel like I did not cover as many games as I normally do, but it was still a fun season. I have really come to love making basketball photos the last couple of years. I used to dread basketball season. Now though with a little freedom and not being stuck in a spot on the baseline I really have come to enjoy it.
I have one more best of post coming for this school year. The year was over much too quick, but it was still full of great moments. I will publish that post of my favorite moments of the school year next week.