My 21 Favorite Purdue Football Photos From This Past Year
This was the year of returning to normal as far as football goes. I was back on the field, and working with the Purdue photo team. About halfway through the season I realized that things were changing, and my role at Purdue was not really a thing anymore. I started really taking each game in then. I wanted to make the most out of the rest of the season. A huge upset and storming of the field was a great way to do that. Photographing the cannon and the bucket again in the hands of the Boilers was amazing too. If this was truly the end then it was a ride off into the sunset kind of an end. Who could have imagined that back when I was in the student section that I would someday be out there on the field working for Purdue? This has been a heck of a ride, and a dream come true. Here are my favorite 21 photos from this past season.
21. Just before the parachute team jumped out of the plane I found out what was happening. I had an idea for the anthem, but I quickly scrapped that and ran to the other end of the field. I got there just in time to make this frame.
20. While visiting some family at a tailgate before the game I saw these fans getting ready to go inside. I loved the idea that the letters were already sunbaked onto the body. The previous games had been cloudy so this was from early in the season. The team didn’t make photo stories after games anymore, but this was a fun moment and part of the game day story.
19. The sky was perfect before the throwback game, and I wanted to try and get as much of it into my photos as I could. Here I went ultra wide to show Jack Plummer warming up. Jack was fun to cover during his time at Purdue, and I wish him only the best.
18. This blog has had a history with the Anthrops since the first post. Here during the throwback game I made a photo of Jackson that I really liked. For a few years now that number 33 has had a tough Anthrop wearing it. It will be interesting to see who has it on next season.
17. This year I had a couple of really cool moments on the field. One of them was getting ready to cover the coin toss and realizing that I was standing next to Cliff Avril. When Cliff played he was my favorite defensive end since Rosevelt Colvin. Here Rosie acknowledges the crowd during ‘Shout’. Getting to photograph two of my favorites from when I was in the stands helped make this a special season.
16. Just as the light was getting good during the Purdue and Indiana game halftime came. I ran down to the side where the team would be leaving the field to try and use some of that light to my advantage. This was one of my favorite photos from the night.
15. Big George Karlaftis gave us some great memories during his three years at Purdue. Here he reaches out and strips the ball from the Illinois quarterback. He never gave up on the play, and that was fun to photograph.
14. True love. This was a great moment after Purdue won the bucket back. I don’t know if I will ever have this access again so I wanted to stay with the bucket as long as I could. After meeting in the locker room at the stadium the players were headed back across the street to their actual locker room. As they left the room Greg Long gave the bucket a kiss. I was not expecting this, but just by following the bucket I made a photo that I really liked.
13. Sometimes you have moments that are not of the players that you like. Here a member of the reamer club holds the American flag just before displaying it. I loved the backwards hat and the Purdue P on the megatron. I don’t know why this photo speaks to me, but it has since I made it that day.
12. The cannon is a trophy that I have photographed a few times now. Sometimes in the hands of Purdue, and sometimes in the hands of Illinois. Sometimes at Ross Ade, and sometimes at Memorial Stadium. This time I wanted a tighter photo of the cannon in the hands of the players. This was a harder task than I thought it would be as a head seemed to always be in the way. Here I made the photo that I was thinking about pregame.
11. After a great game against Michigan State and the upset of a top five team David Bell was treated to a heroes welcome as he left the stadium. The light was not great, but a phone flash gave me something to work with here.
10. The bucket is finally back home where it belongs. For the past few years after a Purdue bucket win my job was to be a little tighter on the bucket. Here after the win my job was to make a photo up close of the bucket. I love how much the players want to be around it, and it is always fun getting into position for these photos.
9. I loved this moment against Michigan State. Jackson Anthrop had just made a great run across and down the field for a score as the Boilers were starting to pile up the points against the Spartans. He ran right at my camera during his celebration. I love these moments during the games. The big play is fun, but the jube around that play is even better.
8. David Bell was an amazing player to watch play in a Boiler uniform. Here in the first game of the year he struck his Heisman pose. Even though he put up amazing numbers he was never given the credit that he deserved. His big games came against big opponents too. The receiver position has been amazing under Jeff Brohm. Receivers in the future will have a lot to do to live up to what Bell was able to do.
7. Back when Purdue wore these uniforms for real I was in the student section. When Milton Wright hopped in there to celebrate with the students I hoped that I had a photo. When I saw the cowboy hat in the background I knew that I had a pretty cool photo. These are the moments that make sports photography so much fun.
6. I want to start this photo off by saying that I would need surgery to get into this position, and then surgery to get back out of it. Here after making a big play against Oregon State he made this look easy. This was part of a fun first night of the season for me.
5. I still don’t know exactly what was going on here. It looks like the best kung fu move ever, and that is the story that I am sticking with.
4. This was at the clinching touchdown against Illinois to win the cannon. I went a little wider knowing that my teammates would make the tight photo of the play. I wanted the crowd and the celebration to show. I made a frame that I really liked of a fun moment of the season.
3. This photo is why I make my photos in RAW. After TJ Sheffield scored a touchdown against Indiana he celebrated with his teammates in the end zone. After a score at Purdue though they shut the lights off. My frame was dark, but because I was in RAW I was able to make a photo that I really liked.
2. George Karlaftis has been so much fun to watch during his time at West Side and at Purdue. Here he picks up a fumble and runs away from the Wisconsin offense for a score. If he wasn’t so good on defense I think that George could have been a pretty good offensive player as well. This was one of the truly fun moments of the season. George is leaving early for the NFL. As a fan I am sad to see him go. As a realist I know that it is the right move for him. The Den of Defensive Ends just got a little bigger.
- Here David Bell holds the bucket and celebrates with the fans. This was a fun season, and this was a great way to cap it off for me. David Bell is a talent was fun to watch play. He really was a force on offense this season. I hope that I am able to see him play in the NFL for years to come.
There they are. My favorite photos from this past year. As this new year starts I am not sure where I am with sports photography. I have had people ask why I stepped away from it, but in reality it stepped away from me. I am always willing to work, but with shrinking budgets that just hasn’t been happening. At some point during the season I realized this so I started preparing myself and making sure that I was doing what I wanted to do. I was able to see some amazing things working with the Purdue photo team. Some lows, but far more highs over these last few years. I didn’t want things to end being up the stands during the virus year. I am glad that I was able to get back onto the field for one last season.