My 21 Favorite Photos From The 2020-2021 Purdue Athletics Year

A Look Back At My Favorite Photos From This Past School Year

I don’t have to tell you what a weird year that was. In March when the virus first hit I remember thinking that maybe by mid summer we could have summer ball. If we all did our part we could have fall sports back to normal. That did not happen. I was lucky to be able to photograph three of the four football games on campus. Photographing for Indiana State let me attend one of two basketball games in Mackey that I was able to see last year. In 2021 things started to change a little I was able to get my feet wet a couple of times before spring sports let me get back out there and make photos again. This was not the normal school year, but I did have fun making photos when I was able to get out there and do it.

21. I did not get many opportunities to make sunset or blue hour photos this year. Just after the sunset at Purdue softball I was able to make this blue hour photo.

20. I love the dirt kicking up behind the player here. You can really see the effort that is being exerted along with the outfielder throwing the ball back in.

19. The sky was amazing at this point of the soccer game, and you always want the team to be on your end. Here a play going towards the goal allowed me to put a few elements together that I liked.

18. This was the reality of sports in 2020. You had the cardboard cutouts taking the place of the fans. I can’t wait to be back in Mackey with 14,000 screaming fans again. It might feel a little weird at first, but it will be amazing.

17. I can’t explain why I like this photo so much. From the day that I made the photo I liked the gesture. The motion P in the background always helps too.

16. Every year when I make this countdown it always seems like a photo that I made while working for another school creeps into the countdown. This was the one job for another school from this past year. I still like the defensive action happening here. Some game I will just focus on the opponent knowing that I will get some good defensive photos.

15. I think what makes this photo stand out to me the most is the fact that there are fans in the background. After over a year without any fans it was great to see them back. A big hit in a game is always good. Hearing the roar of the fans along with the hit is just music to my ears.

14. This is another photo that I can’t really explain why I like it so much, but I just do. You have the player running home with both feet off of the ground with the team cheering behind her in the dugout.

13. This is how I felt walking into any venue for a sports event after the virus hit.  This was my only volleyball match of the year. It was a good one though, and Purdue kept the Monon Spike for another year.

12. In my baseball wrap up post a couple of days ago I talked about how this photo shows why baseball is such a great sport. You have the effort along with the player and ball arriving at the same time.

11. Sometimes a player wants to dominate a gallery. That was the case on this day. I had some good photos of her, and then she hits the walk off winner making sure that I get a few more.

10. This photo shows football during the pandemic. A few fans in the stands with many more cardboard cutouts as well. The new jumbotron looks great though, and I cannot wait to photograph it with a full stadium this fall.

9. I was able to be at one Folk Field sunset this athletic season. When fall came and went without any soccer I was sure that I would be left out. I did get a couple of soccer games in though this spring including this game against Indiana. I hoped the light would be good, and here I lucked out.

8. Years from now I will be telling people how I was able to see Rondale Moore play in person. Actually I already brag about it. The first time that I learned about him was through a viral Twitter video of him lifting a crazy amount of weight. Of course his on field exploits were even more impressive. I cannot wait to see what he can accomplish in the pros.

7. Jaden Ivey is a player that I have known about for a long time. When I first moved back to Indiana I had women’s season basketball tickets for both Notre Dame and Purdue. I would see Jaden and his mother from those seats. It is crazy now to think about how long ago that was, and how fast that time flew. He is a heck of a ballplayer as well, and has big things ahead of him at Purdue.

6. The platform might be the hardest place at Purdue to make a photo. The light is crazy, but the action is pretty good. Here I was able to find an angle that I liked as Brandon Loschiavo dove his way to the Big Ten title.

Edit: Since I wrote this post up Brando went on to dominate the Olympic qualifiers. He is now headed to Tokyo to represent the United States in the Olympics. Purdue has a pretty amazing track record in the Olympics, and hopefully that just improves this year.

5. Have you seen the video that Purdue put out about the road to this spot that Sarah Griffith has had to travel?If you haven’t click here to watch it. It is amazing she is even on the field, but even more amazing is how she controls the play when she is out there. Against Indiana the flag was lowered so I was able to make a photo that I cannot normally make. I like the way that everything came together here. Sometimes you visualize a photo, but the action never comes into your view. Here I was lucky and it did.

4. The hardest part about this past football season was being so far away from the action. It is hard to make a dynamic image from the stands. Trust me I photographed from there for years before I found my way onto the field. Here though I was very lucky and things worked out so that I could make such a photo from my spot up top. I was grateful to be allowed to make my photos from the stands last year, but I hope that I never have to do that again.

3. Here is the Monon spike being raised once again by the Boilermakers. I went to this game to see the Boilers play, but also just to make this one photo. Next year I need to get down to Bloomington to see the Boilers play down there. I photographed many matches in the old dungeon that IU used to play in. It would be cool to make photos in the new arena that they have built.

2. This year was a tough one. Without access you really couldn’t get into the action like I could in previous years. Here with some positioning I was able to do just that. I was not looking for this photo, but just before he blew the bubble I realized what was going on and swung my camera to the steps of the dugout.

1. This photo is here because it was me doing what I love to do. I was making photos of emotion at a sporting event up close again. There was testing that was hard for me to get to every morning, but it was worth it to be able to do what I love again. These are the moments that get me excited about photography, and hopefully this fall more of these moments will happen again.

 

That was an amazing school year. At the beginning of it we wondered if there would be sports at all. In fact for a moment sports were off of the table. This was in every sense of the word a bonus year. Everything that we were able to witness was a bonus. These athletes already have so much going on just to play the sports that they love. This year many more obstacles were put in their way. They overcame those obstacles and still were able to excel. It is always an amazing privilege to be able to capture those moments, and this year hopefully I will be able to do that again. This off season is interesting with a few more doubts thrown into the mix. Hopefully when sports kick off again in the fall I can be there to help document them again.

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