My 21 Favorite Football Photos Of 2021
This was a quick football season for me. Only six home Purdue games and a couple of high school games before it was over. After a year away from the sidelines though it was good to be back down there. I say this every year, but next year I need to get to more football games.
21. This was the year of some Purdue greats coming back to campus. I was lucky enough to get to photograph some players that I used to watch from the stands, and some from the student section. Moments like these ground me a little bit. You remember where you used to be, and that makes you appreciate where you are that much more.
20. Late in the season I was at a local high school game with a great sky and some beautiful light. I tried to use both of them to make some interesting images. Here I found number 85 on the team and made a photo of him practicing his punting pregame.
19. This is an example of why you stick with the play. From the moment #80 picked the ball off I was blocked by refs and players. His entire run to the end zone I was not pleased as I had no photo. As soon as he scored he turned to his teammates and yelled which mercifully was not blocked. I had at least part of this play.
18. After being the hero against #3 Michigan State Dave Bell was greeted by a swarm of fans as he left Ross Ade Stadium. There was no light out there, but some lucky cell phone light made for an image that I really liked.
17. The rivalry between Lafayette Jeff and West Side has produced some memorable games since it came back a few years ago. This was the last game of the agreement so I wanted a good heads up photo from it. Here you see the battle lines. I hope that they figure out a way to keep playing each other.
16. Here Jackson Anthrop scores after an amazing play against Michigan State. I spent the entire morning telling anyone who would listen that Purdue was going to win. It was at this point when I started really thinking about what I was going to do when we did win. The way that the play unfolded just made it seem like everything was working for Purdue that day.
15. On opening night I made this photo. I pulled a hamstring just watching him do this which still has not healed. These athletes are so strong. We all know that. To be this flexible with all of that muscle is something else.
14. I have loved this photo since I made it. Milton Wright celebrating with the fans after beating Illinois was one of my highlights of the season. This is what college athletics is all about.
13. Just before the second half kickoff against Michigan State I made this photo of Jackson Anthrop. The sun was streaming into the stadium, and I wanted to use that to my advantage.
12. Here big George Karlaftis strips the ball from the Illinois quarterback. I have said it a bunch on this blog, but man I really enjoyed watching him play for the last few years. From his time at West Side through his Purdue career. He has a fan no matter where he goes in the draft (please don’t be the Bears).
11. I made this photo early in the first game of the year for West Side. I was behind the play hoping for something when I realized where the ball was going. I got there just in time for this photo. I really wanted to make more photos from behind the play this year, but for some reason I always end up in game action mode. I am glad that I was able to make this image though.
10. What a way to end my football season. Watching Purdue easily win the bucket was an amazing treat. I followed the bucket from the moment that it came out of the case until it entered the locker room. I didn’t want the night to end. I don’t know if I will ever be on the Purdue crew again so I wanted to milk every last moment out of that game.
9. When TJ Sheffield scored against Indiana I was very lucky. He came right to my pylon where I was ready with my 135mm lens to capture him crossing the goal line. Then I switched to my wide for the celebration after the score. It was a cool couple of moments that helped make my gallery from the game much better.
8. On opening night I really thought that I made an image of David Bell that was going to be used for his Heisman campaign. The award is a popularity contest as we all know though. At one point in the season David was putting up monster numbers against highly ranked teams. His name should have been mentioned at least. This is still one of my favorite images of the season.
7. At one point during this game I forgot all about game action. An approaching storm was just too cool not to include in my photos. I ditched the rest of my gear and just focused on this for a while. The rain never made it to us, but it did make for some fun images right before the half.
6. I never did make it to as many high school games as I wanted to this year. I started off strong, and then started getting booked on Friday nights. That is how it always seems to be. I can never photograph enough football though. When it all works out like in the photo above it is such a beautiful sport.
5. Here George Karlaftis celebrates after a scoop and score against Wisconsin. It was such a cool moment during the game, and if you were around me when it was happening you remember how great it was.
4. I still don’t know how this play happened, but I am just going to pretend that Mackey knows some kung fu like in the Matrix and that is how he does his job so well. Here in the rain he upends the defender with some style.
3. The game sealing touchdown against Illinois was a great one. TJ Sheffield flipped into the end zone, and the fans flipped out. I went a little wider for the moment, and I was rewarded with this photo.
2. As I said above I stuck with the bucket for its run around the stadium until it left the stadium and went into the locker room. Here David Bell enjoys a moment with the fans. There are a lot of P’s on that chain, and it was so cool to watch them put another P on that trophy.
- This is by far my favorite photo of the year. It just goes to show you that you don’t need to be at college or pro games to make good photos. Here you have everything you need, and it is just down the road from my house. Everything about this photo just screams Friday night lights to me.
So there are my favorite football images from 2021. Overall I thought that I had a good year. I never feel like I cover enough football though. I usually end up at soccer or volleyball once the college season starts up. This year though the way that it looks I will have more free time to cover whatever I want. I will have to make sure to make my way to more high school games. I would love to see a game at every high school in our area next year.