My Favorite Photos From The 2021-2022 Purdue Men’s Basketball Season
This was a crazy year for me covering sports. I have felt like I am making photos better than I ever have before, but demand for my work has gone the other way. This is the first year in a long time when I did not make any photos for the team in any capacity. After photographing the first couple of home games a bout of Covid took me out for most of the rest of the non-conference season. When I did make it back though the team was firing and ranked in the top 5 for most of the season. This was a special team that still has big things ahead of them. They have a long season left ahead of them, but my time making photos of them is over. Here are my favorite photos from this past season.
15. This season started off the same way that my first one on the baseline did. Purdue was playing an exhibition against Indianapolis. I have spent this entire school year treating it like it is the last one. If this was the last one with me on the baseline it was a cool way to rhyme the first and last seasons for me. I love these little battles under the basket.
14. Brandon Newman has big things ahead of him. He is a great player that just needs his chance to shine. Here he watches the pregame video with the cell phone lights all around the arena.
13. I had some fun with this tip off photo. It is not my typical photo, but it was different for me. Also Edey can really out jump his competition as you can see.
12. At some point this year I realized that this countdown was heading towards being all about Trevion Williams. For the most part I was making photos the most pre and post game. Trevion is that player that just makes photos happen. Here he poses with some fans well after the game was over.
11. The Trevion countdown continues. In the Big Ten every loose ball is important. Here you can see the battle for one ball during the game. With seating being limited I made a lot of photos on the defensive side of the ball in the first half in order to secure my seat to make photos during the second half. Sometimes I think that the best photos are made on the defensive end of the court.
10. Hey what do you know another Trevion photo! Here he flexes after making a big bucket against Iowa. This was a game that I was not planning on being at, but a lucky stroke got me up on campus to make photos. It ended up working out very well for me.
9. Eric Hunter Jr. was a steady presence for the Boilers during his time with the team. Here he cuts to the basket during the season opener.
8. My spot on the baseline is not always the best for the fight under the basket. You rely on a lot more luck over there. You do however end up with a really nice reflection to work with. Here things worked out for a photo that I liked.
7. Sasha Stefanovic scores at the basket. Throughout his career he was known for his work behind the arc, but my favorite photos of him always came when he drove to the hoop.
6. If you have read this blog then you know that I love how this story played out. When I moved back from Iowa I had season tickets to the Notre Dame women’s games. Not long after I bought those seats Niele Ivey became a coach for Notre Dame. She would have this little guy sitting behind the bench with her. That little guy turned into one of the more exciting players that I have seen at Purdue. Jaden Ivey really is something else, and the sky is the limit for him.
5. The t-shirt game is my favorite game to make stadium photos at during the year. This year was the first in a while where I was just making them for me. I still went up top to make a few photos to add to the collection that started many years ago now.
4. I made this during my last game on the floor at Mackey. At the time I thought I had one more left, but that did not happen. I did not have long so I came long enough to make photos during the intros and then I left. I love the way that the light show gives you some options to make interesting photos. This photo probably could be higher up on this countdown.
3. I wanted to make a photo of Jaden that showed just how much faster he was than the competition. By slowing my shutter speed down I was able to do just that. If you blink he is gone. I have a feeling that is how his Purdue career will feel as well.
2. When I moved back from Iowa I bought season tickets to Purdue men’s and women’s basketball. The stars on the court at that time were Carl Landry and Katie Gearlds. In this bookend year it was cool to photograph Katie as she starts her Purdue career and a bonus was being able to photograph Carl as he spoke during halftime of one of the games. It really puts it into perspective just how cool this little run of photography was for me. I went from photographing up in the stands to being the only one on the court as Carl spoke.
- This was my favorite photo of the year for a couple of reasons. One of them is that it shows how to work a photo over the course of the season. I saw a video of Trevion and his jump rope and came up with an idea for a photo. I tried a few angles of it before deciding that the other side was where I wanted to be. When I decided to make the photo the Purdue photographer was already there. I decided to move off to the side, and there it was. This is what I was looking for the whole time. A lot of elements in this photo that tell the story for me. This is the kind of behind the scenes stuff that I love to make.
There are my favorite photos from this past year. Basketball has always been a tough sport for me. I always feel like I am stuck in one spot. In 2019-2020 I was free to roam the stadium and make photos because of my all access pass. That let me feel that I could make photos instead of just taking them. This year though I would get sent right back down to my spot on the side of the court. Most of my photos during the game would start looking the same so I decided to empty my idea book out. I had some ideas jotted down from back then that I never got around to making. If this was the final year on the court then I did my best to empty that book out. I didn’t make it to as many games as usual, but I feel that when I did I came away with a photo that I really liked. Now that basketball season is over for me it really starts to sink in that the end is near. The spring sports await. This has been a great ride, and to think that I can end it with the sports that I am best at makes me feel really good. I have been holding off on selling some of my gear for just that reason. Nothing beats a game day in Mackey though and it was cool to be able to experience that on the floor again.