My 21 Favorite Stadium Photos Of 2021
I love to make wide stadium photos because it combines my love of landscape photography and sports. This was a weird year in that for the first half of it fans were not allowed into games. For the most part neither was I. I had to improvise and make photos of the stadiums from the outside. I still felt like I put together a good group of photos for this post though. For the second year in a row all of these photos were made in town. I have not travelled for sports in quite a while. I had really hoped to have a couple of photos from Wrigley from the Purdue game on here, but that was not in the cards. This year I need to make this list even better. With my role in sports photography changing a bit I can see it being more like the old days where I just show up at games with my wide angle lens. It will be interesting to see what this list looks like next year.
21. The year started off with cardboard cutouts in the stands instead of fans. That really is no way to play sports. The best part about a game in Mackey is the band and the fans. With neither of them in there it was just not any fun. It seemed like a glorified practice. I was so happy to see fans finally back in Mackey this past fall.
20. Holloway Gymnasium is always a great place to watch a game. This year it was even better. With a great team on the court the fans knew that they were in for a special season, and they seemed to really bring it this year. This is a special place, and I was happy to get one more year in there to make some photos.
19. The sunset during the Purdue football game against Michigan State was not what I had hoped for, but it was still pretty good. I went up into the stands to make this wide angle. I had planned to stay up there for a while, but I figured that I will probably have be back up in the stands next season so I can make my wide angle images then. This was a special night though, and I wanted a nice pano from it.
18. Nothing beats a beautiful day for a ballgame. Here was my favorite Bittinger Stadium image with fans from this past year. Bittinger may get more love than any other stadium in the off season because it is so easy to get to and make photos of. You can just walk on the hill in the outfield and make a pretty cool image. One of those will show up later in the countdown.
17. This was the year that I found Gordon Leming Field. I had seen it from afar before, but I finally made it there to make some images this past spring. Here during a regional contest I went up to the top of the football stadium to make a nice image of it as the last sunlight was starting to fade.
16. This was a lucky photo if there ever was one. Just as I finished making dinner I saw an amazing rainbow out of the kitchen window. Of course I grabbed my bag and sprinted to the car. I knew that I had to get somewhere. Rainbows usually don’t last for long, but this one lasted long enough for me to get to the football stadium to make this image. I have no idea what level of football was on the field, but I knew that it made for an interesting foreground.
15. I made this image during the first ever game at Loeb Stadium this past spring. I had no idea how much fun I would have at this park at the time. It would provide some great memories this past year. I loved the old stadium very much, but this new one grew on me very quickly.
14. Towards the end of year I started to wonder just what I was doing at some of the games. I was off to the side with the other has beens without much room to work. I decided to come to the season opener and just make a wide angle of the intros and then leave. Because of the new parking method though a lot of the fans had not made it into the stadium before the tip allowing me to make this image as I was leaving the stadium.
13. I love games at Alexander Field. It is a park that I have photographed more baseball in than anywhere else. This year we did not get the great sunset photo. The wide swept sky here was pretty great though.
12. While at Alexander Field one night I made this image of Bittinger Stadium during blue hour. The stadium really looked great, and it was worth a few minutes of missed baseball time to make this image.
11. Ross Ade Stadium was full of fans again this season. How great does that sound? During the season opener I sprinted up into the stands to make this image. I have made it before, but never with the new megatron in the south end zone. I have lapsed on my John Purdue club membership so this is probably where my seats will be next fall.
10. A beautiful sunset at Loeb Stadium. This summer working with the Aviators was just what I needed. After over a year of being away from the athletes at games I was finally able to get in there and make some impactful images again. As I write this the home opener for the Aviators is the next sporting event on my schedule. Summer cannot come fast enough.
9. This year for some reason after being schedule to photograph the home opener for Purdue soccer the game was pulled in favor of someone less expensive. I still went to the game anyway. During the first half I had some fun making action images, and then during the second half I had fun making some overall stadium photos. The place was packed more than I have ever seen it before. I wanted some images of that stadium full of fans.
8. Loeb Stadium has the chance to be the baseball stadium with the best skies. Things never really lit up during any game when I was there, but man one of these games it will. I turned this blue hour photos into a black and white, and I really like how it turned out. This will be a fun year coming up with new ways to show off this stadium.
7. Ross Ade Stadium is another stadium that is fun and easy to capture in the off season. I can drive right up to it and make photos. When the sky is looking great like it was on this night this was an easy call to head down here. I love how this image turned out, and someone did me a real favor by turning the lights on.
6. This was the regular season opener for Purdue basketball this fall. I knew that I wanted to make an overall image of the first game with fans in a while. The exhibition game sold out, but this was the first real game in a while with fans. I am glad that I went down to make this image.
5. As Purdue knocked off the #3 Wisconsin Badgers I made this overall of the fun. This was an amazing season for Purdue, and this image shows some of that excitement. Purdue beat Wisconsin twice this year both at home and on the road. As we all know Wisconsin won the National title so that shows you just how good this Purdue squad really was.
4. This is a great example of knowing that the sunset could be cool, but needing a place to make an image. I know that I can get out here to Bittinger Stadium fairly quickly. I knew that I can make a good image as well from this vantage point. There is something about this image that I always liked. My little one was there with me to make it as well which always makes it just a little better.
3. When you get a great sky during the game it is great. When the action comes to a point where you can make a photo it is even better. This was my only Harrison girls soccer match of the year. They played at the football stadium, and that allowed me to make this image. It is one of my favorite images of the year. I was not sure that I was going to go until the last minute, and I am glad that I did.
2. When it has looked like a rainbow could occur the first place that I have driven to is Mackey Arena. Because of the science of rainbows it is most likely to have a rainbow over it with access during the year. For a couple of years now I have been shut out though as the conditions fade away. This year the rain came down in buckets with the sun out to the west allowing me to make this image. I really thought that I was going to kill my camera on this day, but it was worth it for this image. It doesn’t look like it here, but I was getting soaked even with an umbrella with an amazing scene happening right in front of me. After a few years of hoping for this photo I was finally able to make it. Now I need another target when the conditions look good.
- Some images you just do not want to make. This is one of those. I only met Leroy Keyes a few times, but man he was easy to like. He was an amazing man that always made me feel special. When we lost him I knew that I wanted to make a special photo of Ross Ade lit up in his honor. The summer before I had made an image honoring Morgan Burke. As much as I like how this image turned out I hope that I don’t have to make another image like this during this year.
So there are my favorite stadium images of 2021. This is always one of my favorite countdowns to make because it combines the types of photography that I love. It also reminds me of my days in the seats. This coming year my goal is to make this list even better. With less on field action to focus on I can just have some fun making the images from up top that I like.