Indiana State Wins A Great Game At Alexander Field
This is a series where the visiting team always seems to have the edge. I was not able to be at the game in Terre Haute Tuesday night, but I was able to make this game in West Lafayette. With the recent trend it seemed like the best opportunity to make winning game photos. The Sycamores did not disappoint, and I was able to get my winning photos.
More In Game Portraits
I have been having some fun making these portraits during the games. I have people tell me all of the time that baseball is boring. I don’t see it. Something is happening all of the time somewhere on the field. These little moments on the bench are fun to capture.
Back At Alexander Field
This was my first time at Alexander Field this year, and it is nearly the end of April. That is hard for me to believe. This is the sixth season of baseball at the field, and I probably had shot more games there than anyone until recently. Things just have not worked out this year. Take Sunday for example. I have a little time and the Boilers have a home game. Of course the weather steps in to get the game cancelled. I know for sure that I will be at one more game at Alexander this season.
Finding Another Angle
I moved around more last night than I normally do. Part of that you might say is to find another angle, but most of it was to stay warm. It was so cold out there at the end of the game that I was moving a lot just to get the blood flowing. I think that I ended up at most of my shooting spots at Alexander before the night was over. My favorite is low on the first base side. There is a spot where you can get right down at almost field level that I love. The spot is killer on the knees, but the photos are totally worth it.
Putting It All Together
Maybe I listen to too many audiobooks on my car trips, but I liked to tie things together. These last couple of days have done that for me. The four teams involved in my games have all meant something to me at one time or another. I grew up a huge Notre Dame fan so it was fun to shoot for them Tuesday night. I went to Indiana for a year followed by too many years at Purdue. Finally we come to where I am now at Indiana State. The four schools that I have been a part of all come together in two days. Whoever planned that deserves an award.
By Any Means Necessary
Yup I did it. I made Jake Means last name into a title here. I will go on record though and say that his play on a ball during a stolen base attempt in the 9th inning saved this game for Indiana State. Had he not gotten that ball a run would have scored to tie the game, and the momentum was on the side of the Boilers. It was a big time play for sure. These things happen so quickly that I hoped that I had captured the moment. It was a snap throw to the bag, and my guy tried to jump out of the frame. Luckily for me I captured the moment.
Notre Dame and Indiana Face Off At Victory Field
This is the fourth year in a row that I have covered this game, and the third time for Notre Dame. I love the backdrop of Victory Field for a college game. In a couple of weeks I will be back there again as Indiana State takes on Butler inside the confines on Victory Field. Hopefully I will be back inside sooner though as I would love to shoot a couple of the minor league games there this weekend. My schedule is pretty full though so it would take some doing to get there.
A Little History With The Two Schools
I have some history with these two schools. As I said a couple of days ago I was a huge Notre Dame fan growing up. In fact ten years ago I had Notre Dame baseball season tickets. Things have really changed since then, but it is nice to shoot for the school. A much lesser known fact is that I actually went to Indiana for a year. I wanted to be a writer so I planned on going through their journalism program. As you can tell by this blog I was not meant to be a writer so I ended up at Purdue. The rest is history, but for a short time I was a Hoosier. It is always pretty cool to see both of these teams play.
Setting The Scene
Games like this are fun to shoot because the action is nearly secondary. You want to show the setting of the game of a bit. A place like Victory Field allows you to do that very well. I carried more gear than I am used to with that in mind. The field is part of the story on a day like today. Sometimes you need to keep that in mind in this age where everyone wants everything cropped tighter.
The Gear In The Field
For the past couple of games I have just carried my 400mm on a full frame body and my 24-105 on a full frame body. With the venue being part of the show last night I changed things up a little. For most of the game my 400mm lens was attached to my Canon 1DX camera body. Then I had my 70-200mm lens attached to my Canon 7D Mark II body. What that does is effectively give me a lens that is 112mm-320mm. On my third body I had my trusty Canon 24-105mm v2 with my Canon 5D Mark IV. In my pouch on my belt system I had the 11-24mm lens ready to go for most of the game as well. Basically I had from 11-400mm covered, and if I wanted to I could have switched up the 7DII onto the 400mm lens to get something around 640mm. For some action in good light that is an option. If I carried all of this around every day it would probably put me in the hospital with all of the stairs that you do at a stadium like this. For a few games here and there though I like to bring it all out.
A Fun Filled Week
This game was the start of a very packed week for me. Tomorrow night I shoot Indiana State baseball again, but this time in my town. It will be nice to make a short trip over to Alexander Field to cover the Sycamores. From there the rest of the week is already a blur and it hasn’t even started yet. It will all be fun though as I try and fit as much as I can into a few days.
What A Difference A Year Makes
Last year I shot this game as part of a bad deal that I made just to get some money flowing in. This whole photography thing was really on the ropes. It was part of the reason I was coming up with my exit plan. It is hard to believe that I was thinking that a year ago. I love what I do, but nobody was calling for me to do it. Since then things have gone in a vastly different direction. At this time last year I had nothing on the schedule in the fall. This year I am already turning down jobs because I am already booked. That is a good problem to have, and just another reason to keep your head down and to keep going.
Illinois State Wins A Back And Forth Game Against Indiana State
For much of the game yesterday it looked like Indiana State had things in control. Triston Polley was pitching a great game, and the bats were doing their job. Things unraveled in the 8th inning though. Illinois State erupted for five runs to take a 5-4 lead. Indiana State showed some grit by answering with two of their own to retake the lead. Illinois State scored three in the top of the ninth to take the 8-6 lead. Indiana State scored one, and had a good opportunity going before finally going down 8-7. There was definitely some drama in the last couple of innings.
Watching Triston Polley Pitch
One of the highlights of this season so far has been watching Triston Polley pitch for Indiana State. Last year he was a mid week starter. I photographed him as the Sycamores took on Purdue. This year he is in the weekend rotation. He has good stuff, and the best part about him is that he photographs well too. I have a feeling that this will be the last year that I photograph Triston as the scouts are on him as he pitches. I think professional baseball is his next stop.
The Clouds Part In Time For Indiana State and Illinois State To Play Baseball
Yesterday it seems like the window to play baseball at Bob Warn Field was about perfect. It rained in Terre Haute all morning, but cleared up in time for baseball. On my way home just outside of town it started raining again. I would say that the baseball gods allowed that one to be played. This spring has been the most interesting so far as far as weather has been concerned. Snow and rain have dominated instead of the games.
I can’t write a post today without mentioning Jackie Robinson. Seventy one years ago he played his first major league game and broke the color barrier. It is hard for me to believe that it took that long to happen. I have always said that it was this action by Jackie that paved the way for what would happen in the 60’s.
The Sycamore Baseball Team Travels To Bloomington To Take On Indiana
Last night I was back at Bart Kaufman Field again to photograph another baseball game. I finally made it there a few years ago photographing for the Cincinnati Bearcats. Last year I was lucky enough to photograph some games there for Purdue as they returned to the Big Ten Tournament. Last night my team the Sycamores came to town. It seems like no matter where I shoot it is two hours away. Bloomington is just that for me.
One of the fun things about the ballpark at Indiana is the heat lights in the dugouts. They give off a beautiful orange glow that is fun to work with. On a day like yesterday the players were hanging out near them all of the time so they were the places to be for sure. Here is one of my favorites from pregame.
One of the cool things about baseball is all of the quirks that come with it. One of those quirks is the knuckleball. It is the great equalizer. When it is working it is tough to hit. It can make good teams look bad. It was fun to try and capture the knuckleball from a few different angles last night.
More Indiana State Athletics
Today Indiana State comes to me! I will start my commute exactly the same as I always do, but it ends about ten minutes into my trip. It will be nice to shoot close to home tonight. I have not gotten many chances to photograph the Indiana State softball team this year so two in my hometown sounds good to me.
Up Next For Indiana State Baseball
This weekend the Sycamores are back home with Illinois State coming to town. Of course that also means that rain is in the forecast. With warmer temperatures finally here hopefully the rain stays away.
Indiana State Beats Missouri State To Win Their First MVC Game of 2018
At long last my recaps from the weekend are now complete. It is only Tuesday, but as I said yesterday this is not a news site so I can take my time as I feel that I need to. Yesterday I also promised better news, and this is it. After a couple of close losses Indiana State got the bats going. As I always say baseball is a funny sport. After winning nine in a row the team lost three in a row by a total of four runs. One hit in any game could have changed the outcome. The hits kept coming Saturday afternoon on a day when the bats were hotter than the air temperature.
Photographing Jeremy Eirman
One of the top prospects of the 2018 MLB Draft will more than likely be Jeremy Eirman. He is a shortstop that from what I saw covers a lot of ground with a lively bat. Part of the fun of covering college baseball is seeing these elite prospects come through town. I will be watching the draft this summer to see where he ends up.
Keeping It Simple
After having remotes and multiple cameras going Friday during the doubleheader I kept it very simple Saturday. With rain coming and going I just had my Canon 1DX mounted on my Canon 400mm lens. That was freeing in a way as it forced me to work with that to make my photos.
The Week In Photos
Last week was fun with a lot of baseball. Early on it was great weather that quickly turned into a snowstorm by Sunday night. Hopefully the weather changes a bit, and as I write this it seems as if it will. We had snow on the ground yesterday morning, and expect severe thunderstorms today. This time of year anything can happen, and my weekly look at my favorite photos could have anything in it. Take a look at my favorite photos from last week here.
Indiana State Drops Game Two Of A Doubleheader in 11 Innings
Thankfully this is not a news site as this game happened on Friday afternoon. After a game one where Indiana State only lost by a run they did so again in the 11th inning of game two. This was a great game that quite honestly I was not ready for to end. After 20 innings of baseball Friday I was still ready for more. As I drove home that night I really hoped that Saturday would not get rained out, and that Indiana State would have a chance to get that first MVC win of the season. (Spoiler Alert: I am in the future and they did play, and get the win.)
Setting Up The Remote
With two games being played and good weather in the forecast I set up a remote for action at the plate. The thought behind this was that with so many plays at the plate early in the season that I would make it so I could be in two places at the same time. I set up my remote on top of the first base dugout pointed right back at the plate. Then by positioning myself away from the remote I could get two angles of any play at the plate. Wouldn’t you know it that not one close play happened at the plate in 20 innings? That is how it goes sometimes. I did get some nice batting angles though during the game. This is a concept that I plan on trying out a bit more as the season goes on.
Getting The Fielding Shots
Over the course of the 20 innings I seemed to be doing pretty well getting shots of the players making plays in the field. With the Missouri State left handed heavy lineup it seemed like a good bet to just point my camera at the second baseman. I ended up with plenty of shots of him by the end of the day making a play in the field. One of these days I will nail the line drive shot, but that is just luck to some extent. For now the routine grounders will do.
The Week In Photos
Last week was a week filled with baseball, and that is always a good thing. Four games in five days is what I wish every week would have. You can see some of my favorite photos from last week on my Exposure page here. It starts with warm, sunny baseball and ends with a snowstorm. What an April this could turn out to be. This week will be a bit of a change up with some track thrown in, but just as much fun to cover.
Having Fun With A Frozen Ball
During both games I was having some fun ‘freezing’ the ball as it made its way to the plate. This seems like a hard task, but it actually quite easy to do. The hard part is getting the writing on the ball to show. That is in some way luck as well as it really depends on the pitch. Will the ball rotate the right way through the zone of focus that you have set up. The way that I do this is to find a spot where the ball and player will intersect. At Bob Warn Field I can only do this from an elevated position so I must move over a bit from where I would do it from near ground level. I then pick my spot that will be in focus, and fire away as the ball comes through that zone. This can take some patience as I think it looks better with the NCAA logo in this case showing. In game one I thought that I had my shot. By game two I tried it again and thought that I had nailed it. That shot is the first photo above this section. The photo below that one is one that I did much later in the game. I am glad that I did as I love the way that it looks. The slight smile on the pitcher’s face makes the photo for me.
Indiana State Falls To Missouri State To Open The MVC Season
Yesterday Indiana State had plenty of chances, but dropped their home MVC opener to Missouri State. Baseball is a game of inches, and it seemed like most of those breaks went to Missouri State to start the conference season. Balls like the one above that just went past the outstretched mitt of the second baseman. Baseball is a funny game, and it proved it again yesterday.
Having Some Fun During a Doubleheader
During a doubleheader you need to keep yourself interested. I started early having a little fun during the game to do just that. Here I played a little game to see if I could freeze the baseball and nothing else in the frame. Once you freeze the ball then you try and get the rotation just right so that you can see the logo. This was a lucky frame here as I accomplished my goal fairly early on.
Focusing In On The Fun
I love these moments with the team celebrating. There are many different ways to capture these moments, and without a photo well I end up being fairly far away for the. The fun and challenge during the season is to capture this moment a little different each time. I really liked how this one turned out.
Off To Catch Another One
Yesterday they played two at Bob Warn Field. The game two recap will be posted tomorrow. As I write this I have another game coming up today as well. It really says something about how crazy I am for baseball that while driving home after photographing 20 innings of it that day I was hoping that today would not get rained out. This is such a fun sport to photograph that I can’t get enough of it.
The Indiana Hoosiers Visit Terre Haute
This year I will photograph the Indiana baseball team a few times. As of right now never for the team, but I have a few times where my teams will play them. Right now they are the #11 team in the country so they will have a target on their back each time that I shoot against them. This was a game that either team could win. The 5-3 score does not tell just how many times that ISU threatened, but could not get the big hit. Baseball is a funny game. During their nine game winning streak the big hit just seemed inevitable. Last night it was just not meant to be.
Breaking Out The 400mm f/2.8
During the winter the only time that I break out my 400mm lens is for wildlife. With the edition of the 150-600mm lens I didn’t even get it out much this past winter. Last night I used it for the first time in game action since Purdue won the Old Oaken Bucket. I have been having fun playing around with the Tamron 150-600mm lens, but I really wanted the beautiful bokeh that the 400mm lens gives me. I still had the 150-600 with me, but after seeing the bokeh I really did not use it much. I like the extra reach of the 600mm end of that Tamron, but the bokeh and fast focusing is too much to pass up most of the time. I have a plan to still carry the Tamron for occasional shots, but the 400 is probably here to stay when I am on the clock.
Trying A New Strap
I have used Black Rapid straps for a while now. I just like the way that they allow me a little more freedom than just having the strap that comes with the camera on my shoulder. I started with the single strap, and then invested in a double strap when I saw the photographer and graphic designer at Purdue with it a few years ago. I have been looking for a way to carry two cameras with me without having to always have two to balance it out if you know what I mean. The new breathe hybrid strap allows me to do just that. In the old days when I had my two camera strap and I took one off it would not sit well on my body. Last night when I took off the 150-600mm lens it did not even matter. Just having an unbalanced load on each side did not matter last night. It was the first time out with the strap, but it really seemed to work well for me. If the weather cooperates I should have some more time this weekend to really see how well that strap works for me. From what I have seen so far it works well.
If you read this blog then you know that my parents moved out of my childhood home. Part of that move was me coming to get old stuff that I had not looked at in years. One of those things were my old baseball cards. As I was packing stuff up I couldn’t help but notice some of the cards. It is amazing just how much of my photography thought process was informed by the cards of the late 80’s and early 90’s. My insane love of multi-exposure is probably due to the early Upper Deck cards. Last night I played around with some multi-exposure a little more after looking through some old Upper Deck cards during the day. Maybe I should flip through those binders a little more.
Striving For More
I don’t know why, but I still haven’t felt like I have put together a solid game yet this baseball season. Maybe I have been looking at too many cards and expecting too much out of myself. I am now a few games into the season so rust should not be an excuse. I have made some fine images, but overall I am not happy with my gallery. Part of the reason may be that my home park really does not allow for much low shooting. Most of my positions are raised. That works well for some stuff, but not everything. Over the course of the next couple of weeks I will get to branch out a bit and shoot in some other parks where I can get that low angle. That angle really helps when trying to get down into the action.
Indiana State Walks It Off To Finish Off A Doubleheader Sweep
I want to start with game two yesterday first because it was the most fun to shoot. Both teams had success, and moments that seemed to seal the game. In the end Indiana State scored three in the bottom of the ninth to win their ninth straight game. This team is hot right now, and the temperatures dropping at the end of the game were not enough to cool them off. There were great moments on both sides here, and that is important when covering both teams.
Indiana State Wins Game One Of The Doubleheader
In game one of the doubleheader Indiana State was down two early before punching four runs across to take a lead that it would not relinquish. Baseball is a funny game, and sometimes being on a roll is the thing that keeps you on a roll. That little extra confidence is all that you need in a sport decided by inches at times.
A Beautiful Day At Bob Warn Field
With the weather that everyone said was coming down on us I would have expected to be colder yesterday. As it turned out it was nearly a perfect day for baseball. The weather was great especially early on. The blue skies always look good against the Sycamore blue.
A Great Matchup
When I saw this game on the schedule I was instantly excited. These are the two schools that have kept this experiment alive. Without their support over the last two years this whole thing would be over by now. If you don’t know the story it is that I used to make soup cans, but I thought that there had to be more out there. I fell in love with photography, and realized that I could do some cool things with it. With no opportunities where I live both Indiana State and Xavier have stepped up to help keep this dream alive. Besides the monetary standpoint it is also great to have a purpose for my photos. You can make the best photos in the world, but without a purpose they are sort of pointless when it comes to sports. Just the fact that the photos have an audience gives you the little extra kick to do a little more. Okay instead of rambling on even more let me just say that I owe both of these schools an awful lot. They have kept this dream alive.