Top 20 Purdue Photos Of 2020

My Twenty Favorite Purdue Photos Of 2020

This was an interesting year making photos of the Purdue campus. At some level it might have been my best year. I always say that I need to get up to campus more, and this year I actually did that. Before March I made many photos of snow falling on campus. After March and the virus I spent more time up there making photos just to get out and do something. Even with the campus being empty this might be my strongest photo set of campus yet. Any of the photos can be purchased by clicking on it to go to my SmugMug site and by hitting the by link there. Enjoy my twenty favorite images of 2020.

20. This year campus lost a legend when Morgan Burke passed. If you look at how athletics grew during his tenor as Athletic Director it is pretty amazing. Every venue saw a significant upgrade during his time. He was a Boiler through and through and he left his mark on campus. I really wanted to show some of how they were honoring him so I made a couple of photos of the memorial in Ross Ade Stadium.

19. Lightning strikes are always fun to capture. Normally I am at home trying these things, but this time I decided to try a couple of views of campus. These are two of my favorites from a stormy night on campus.

18. One tradition every summer is a fountain run or two. Normally these are fun times where the kids make new friends for the day at the fountain. This year it was different as we all staked out our little part of the fountain and we didn’t stray from that to avoid contact. It was nice to get some in though as they were turned off for most of the summer.


17. Masks have been a thing for a while now. When they were still a fairly new concept I went up to campus to make some photos of the mask on the John Purdue statue. The first photo was the one that I went up to make that day. I had an idea and saw it through. The second photo I thought of on the spot to show how he was also isolating himself. I am not the historian of campus, but I like to play one from time to time and capture the things that make each year different on campus.

16. One theme that was prevalent in my photography this year is passing time. I used slow shutter speeds and layering to show time passing. Here are two examples of that at Alexander Field. The first photo was made using a 10 stop filter to allow me to have the clouds blur through the photo. It gives a good sense of time passing. The second is one of many star trail photos that I made this year. It shows about an hour and a half of movement of the Earth. I didn’t get to photograph any baseball games this year, but I still made quite a few photos at Alexander Field. Hopefully I can actually go inside the stadium in 2021.

15. This is another example of a photo that shows a moment in time on campus. I will admit that I did not think that Purdue would make it through the semester because of the virus. It would be a noble effort, but one that nature would thwart. They did a good job of doing it though. Signs like the one above would constantly remind everyone what the goal was this year.

14. I had a few photos of this statue that could have been on this countdown this year. One will show up a little later on. When the pandemic hit I saw it as a good subject quite a bit. It was a cool symbol that just kept showing up in my photos. This was a different take on it that I really liked.

13. I love capturing little moments on campus. With the snow just coming down one day I was trying to get one person on this walkway with the heavy snow all around them. Here it all worked out well for me in one image that I really liked.


12. It was interesting to see how masks started popping up on various statues on campus this summer. This was by far my favorite of those as it was huge. I don’t give these large heads enough attention anyway so it was a good excuse to get up there to make a photo.

11. With some fast moving clouds after a storm I went up to campus to make some slow shutter speed photos one night. I ended up stuck on reflection photos once I saw the puddles. Using my lens cap as a tripod I had some fun reflecting the campus. Here is one of my favorites from that night.

10. Being the new feature on campus this new gate has gotten a lot of attention from me over the course of the last couple of years. Photos from this location sell a lot too so that also gets me there more often. This is a large panorama that I stitched together to show how it looks at sunset. I love how the colors play well together here.

9. I have been making snokeh photos for over ten years now. In December I wrote about how I accidentally found this technique when my pop up flash “ruined” my photo in 2010. When I looked at the wrecked photo I realized that it was actually awesome. I have been having fun with this ever since. It really works best at night when the dark sky lets the snow really pop. You can read more about how I make these photos here.

8. This was not the photo that I went to campus to make that night. This is a common theme on this countdown. It was my second camera angle that I came up with on the spot. As long as you will be spending over an hour waiting for the Earth to spin around you might as well set up an extra camera. Here the angle just worked better than the photo that I had planned.

7. This is a great example of how quickly something can come together. I was at the Union and the new entrance gate to capture the comet and the space station overhead. When the lights at the Union came on the foreground was way too bright to do what I wanted to do. They lights came on late about 15 minutes or so before the space station would fly over. I quickly ran to my car and came up with another location on the way to make the photo that I had in mind. Here you can see the space station and the comet over Bittinger Stadium. It is not the best photo on the countdown, but I loved how everything came together quickly to make this photo happen.

6. The practice of snow polishing has been a Purdue tradition for years now. Here I captured it in action on a very snowy night on campus. This is not the photo that I went up there to make, but it became my favorite from the night.

5. This summer we had the pleasure to watch the comet Neowise in our sky. I had the idea for this photo for quite a while, but every time I went down to make it clouds rolled in and ruined it for me. On this night things worked out so that I could capture the comet over the union through the new entrance gate on campus.

4. This was a night when a lot came together to help me make a good image. I knew that the moon would rise up near the clock tower from my position, but I didn’t know the exact spot. As it started to rise I quickly moved over a bit to have the tip of the spire touch the moon. It was a fun night when everything went according to plan.

3. The skies really lit up for me on this night. I was hoping for a good sunset, but I had no idea that it would be this good. I made a bunch of photos thinking that it was amazing, and then it kept getting better and better. I finally made a photo that I had in my mind for quite some time.

2. This was a fun night hanging out at the Purdue Memorial Union making this photo. I spent over an hour on the lawn with my camera making many photos so that I could stitch the all into this one photo. I love how it makes it look like Purdue is at the center of it all.

  1. This has to be my favorite photo of the year from campus. I took my drone up several times at sunset over the course of a week and the sunsets kept getting better and better. This was the final night and the best sunset that I had seen. The cotton candy skies were enough that I decided that I had my photo.

This was a fun year making photos on campus. I had more free time and a lot of things to work out so heading to campus allowed me to do that. As always these images are available to purchase. You can click on any image to go directly to it or you can see my full gallery of images from this year here.

4 Replies to “Top 20 Purdue Photos Of 2020”

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