Seeing The Future Of The White Sox Play For Charlotte

Last year one of the highlights of my baseball season was watching the young players that would join the White Sox later in the year up close and personal. This year I don’t know as many names on the team, but the farm system is stacked. It will be interesting who makes an impact from this roster.

Michael Kopech Brings The Heat

The real draw on the day was to watch Michael Kopech pitch for Charlotte. He came over to the White Sox in the Chris Sale trade. The kid has an arm, and had ten strikeouts in the game. It seems that he is destined to be on the Sox by the end of the year so I was glad that I was able to get the chance to photograph him before that happens.

Playing The Slow Shutter Game

While the Knights were at bat mid game I started playing the slow shutter speed game. I was having fun making motion blur images while constantly taking the shutter speed down. I made the image above at 1/15th of a second. I kept going lower, but nothing other than some cool abstract images came of it.

A Crop Sensor Camera Or A Tele Converter?

I knew that I wanted to get up close with something more than my 400mm lens would give me. I basically had two options. I could have thrown my 1.4x teleconverter on the lens, or I could swap bodies to my Canon 7D Mark II to get just about the same effect. I opted for the body swap, and put my 7D Mark II to good use. I still don’t know about the image quality from the 7D II, but it is fun to get a little closer to your subject.

More Faces of Baseball

I really have been having fun making these in game portraits of the athletes. It is just a way to get your audience a little closer to the game. I need to figure out a way to put all of these together at the end of the season.

Pregame Fun

Before the game I was looking for some images. I really thought that I had a couple of visual things going, but then I had a cool moment develop right in front of me. Charlotte pitcher Thyago Vieira was signing autographs for some fans. One fan just wanted a selfie. As they started to make their picture I moved in quickly to make mine. The whole thing happened very quickly, but I was happy with what I was able to capture. I love having a fun image in the can so early in the shoot. It takes the pressure off of the rest of the game.

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My 17 Favorite Sports Photos of 2017

Today I shoot my first sporting event of 2018. After shooting 106 sporting events last year I have a lot to live up to this year. Last year I shot practices, regular season games, conference championships, NCAA Regional events, and NCAA Championships. It was an amazing year, and I don’t list those things off to brag. I list them off because a part of me still cannot believe that I am doing this for a living. This year I was paid to travel to nine states to make sports photos. Being paid to travel is cool, but when you are being paid to shoot a sporting event somewhere new it is even cooler. I love being on the road with the team. You get to know everyone much better, and you get to meet some great photographers along the way. Over the last two years I have met some great people who have helped me out a lot on these road trips. The is a hard list to put together. As I said before I shot 106 sporting events last year. Even making a top 106 would be tough as there would be multiple photos from one event that I would like. To boil that down to a top 17 is nearly impossible. I tried to go with the 17 moments or places that stuck out to me. I know that I am missing some for sure. The ISU track meet that they won after coach had just passed is one that seems like a glaring omission. Covering the Purdue baseball team on their return to the Big Ten Tournament is another. It is just hard to whittle it all down to seventeen moments. Here is my attempt at my favorite seventeen photos from last season.

17. I can’t think of many ways that a National Anthem shot would make this countdown. I see so many of them in a year that they start to all blend together for me. While photographing the Indiana State women’s basketball team at Illinois I noticed that the light was amazing. I went from the boring anthem shot that I had planned to this shot. It was not only an anthem shot that I liked, but it was one of my favorite sports shots of the year. This will be hard to top this year. I will scour every anthem during the year though to try and do just that.

16. I really did not cover much softball this season. During one game I knew that I was not shooting for anyone and the photos were just for me. It was then that I started playing around a little. I switched my camera to double exposure mode and started playing. Here I made the first exposure of the dark background and the Purdue P. I then would place a Boilermaker in the empty part of the frame. Maya Hughes seemed to know what I was doing and lean into the photo a bit for me here.

15. This year I covered two teams for Purdue that I had not since 2014. The first was Purdue baseball during a home game in April. I had not shot for the Boilers at home for a long time. I was glad that they won that night, and my gallery could include this shot of two of the players celebrating. This was an amazing year for the team as they exceeded expectations and made it to the Big Ten Tournament. Luckily it was close in Bloomington although I would have driven much farther than that to cover it. On these dark, cold winter days you can’t help but wish for a warm night shooting baseball. This season cannot get here fast enough.

14. Another year has gone by as the photographer for the Lafayette Brawlin’ Dolls. This is truly the thing that is the most fun to photograph. I was only able to make three of their four games this year as I had other events get in the way. The players are great to me, and you can’t beat the photos. Here two former teammates hug during warmups while skating around the track. What other sport can you make this shot in? Continue reading “Top 17 Sports Photographs of 2017”

I Have Been Nominated For a MiLBY Again

Heading out to Austin last week I was pretty much out of the loop on many things. I of course was wasting my phone battery Saturday trying to keep up with the rain soaked action at Purdue, but other than that I tried to get off the grid. Imagine my surprise when I received a note from a reader telling me that I was nominated for a MiLBY. I loved this photo when I made it, but there are so many great baseball photographers out there that I never imagined that I would be on the list again. I only shot two games during the minor league season after all. My summer trip to go out and photograph some baseball was rudely interrupted by some paying work. That is a good problem to have though so I will take it as long as it continues to be a problem. If you want to vote for my photo you can do so here on the MiLB site. If you click on the photo of the year drop down menu and then click vote next to my photo. You can vote as many times as you like so if you want to stuff the ballot box I won’t stop you.

How Cool Is This?

Sometimes I have to sit back and look at what is in front of me. I am up for this great award for the second time in two years. The photo that will be voted on is of the top prospect for my favorite team. I have been down on sports photography a bit lately. It just seems like everyone just wants me to shoot for free. I do have some great clients though, and on the day that I found out about this award I picked up a couple of cool jobs coming up. It seems like this business can really tear you down at times. It is good at that. At the same time though it can pick you up very quickly. I think that I just need to stand back and look at how far I have come in a short time. The real question to answer though is where I am going next. Enough talking I have to get back to voting for myself.

My 10 Favorite Images From the 2017 Minor League Baseball Season

This year I really did not cover the MiLB season like I thought that I would. I had a long road trip down south planned, but paying jobs got in the way. That is a great thing for me, but bad for my baseball photography. For some reason baseball photos are like a dime a dozen. I still enjoy photographing the sport, and I would love to do it again next year. This list comes from the two games that I shot when the White Sox Triple A team came to town this past May. Normally picking ten images from two games means that I will have a couple iffy shots at nine and ten. I was pretty inspired both games though, and everything seemed to work for me. I seemed to constantly be in the right place at the right time. I had not thought about putting a list like this together, but while putting some images together for a MiLB season in review it seemed like a good idea. Here are my favorite ten images from the 2017 MiLB season.

10. I always will have a soft spot for a good bucket on the player shot. Here Joey Terdoslavich gets the treatment after a good game against the Charlotte Knights. My career took off a bit after my shot of Josh Bell getting an ice bath won the MiLB photo of the year award so I will always make this photo. The key in the future is to do something different with it.

9. I love photographing catchers. They have all of the extra gear, and they just look cool. Here is a tight shot of Indianapolis Indians catcher Elias Diaz in the dugout after an inning. I love the tight nature of the photo, and I really need to do more of this.

8. In the first MiLB game that I shot this season both Jose Vinicio and Austin Meadows kept popping up in my photos. Sometimes one player can really take over a gallery for some reason. Here they both appeared in the same photo during the game. The early afternoon light really helped make the dirt flying pop, and probably is the reason this photo made the countdown. Continue reading “My Ten Favorite Images From the 2017 Minor League Baseball Season”

Baseball in the Morning

For the second straight day I was up early heading down to Indy to photograph some minor league baseball. Victory Field is a place that is always fun to photograph at so it does not take much to get there early in the day. With over 150 bus loads of kids at the stadium the atmosphere was pretty cool too. Indy did not let the home crowd go home unhappy though as they pulled out the win for the series sweep of Charlotte.

Finally Getting To See Yoan Moncada

The main purpose of the two trips to Indy were to see Yoan Moncada and the rest of the Charlotte Knights play. They only come to Indy once, and Moncada may get called up sooner rather than later. Moncada is the top prospect in the minors right now. Add the fact that he is playing for my favorite teams farm club, and I was a little excited to see if he was the real deal. You can’t judge a player by one game, but from what I already know and what I saw Wednesday I would say that he is for real.

Making the Photo In Your Head

I have been wanting to try this angle during the autograph sessions for a while now. You really need to have someone patient with you as you are in their business to get the shot. I saw it somewhere, and thought of a way to make it even better. The light was right to make this work without any speed lights so I was in luck. Like any good photographer I practiced this on another player before Moncada stepped up to sign some autographs. I did not know if he would, but from what I have heard he always signs before a game. I figured out what my angle had to be on the other player so that when Yoan went to hand this ball back to the boy I would know what to do. This was my favorite shot of the game, and I made it about ten minutes after I arrived at the park. It was only downhill from there, but in that crazy good way.

Continue reading “The Indianapolis Indians Take on the Charlotte Knights In Another Morning Start”

Back at Victory Field Again

It was nearly a year ago that I shot my last game for the Indy Indians. The season ended a lot earlier than I thought it would last year, but sometimes you have to do what you think is right. I loved shooting there, but the last game I shot left a bad taste in my mouth. Photographing Ball State at Victory Field last month reminded me how much fun I can have there. I decided to go back and give it a try again, but this time just shooting for Minor League Baseball.

The Top Prospect in Baseball Part One

The main reason I was at the game was to see Yoan Moncada play for Charlotte. The reason was two fold. With Andrew Benintendi with Boston Yoan becomes the top prospect in the minors. I don’t expect him to be there long so I wanted to see him in action before he was called up. The second reason is that as you know if you read this blog I am a huge White Sox fan. It is fun to have a few highly thought of prospects in the minors. I wanted to see some of them up close while I could. Of course when I got to the park I looked at the lineup sheet and Yoan was not on it. I did make this photo of Yoan in the dugout along with a few of him signing autographs prior to the game.

Making the Most Out of a Bad Situation

With Yoan not playing I was kind of wondering what I would shoot during the game. One thing that was clear from the beginning of the game was that his replacement at second base, Jose Vinicio, was going to have a fun game to photograph. He just seemed to constantly be in the right place at the right time to make an interesting image. I ended up with many photos of Jose on the day that I liked so it was all for the best. I hope to see Yoan play on my second visit to the stadium which will have already occurred by the time this post goes live. If you check my social media feeds I am sure you will see photos of him if he does indeed play. Continue reading “The Indianapolis Indianas Defeat the Charlotte Knights on a Tuesday Day Game”

My Sixteen Favorite Stadium Shots of 2016

This was a fun year. I was able to shoot in some pretty cool stadiums, and during some pretty cool times to do it. This countdown consists of my favorite stadium shots of the year. They are the ones that I like the most from this year. I have many photos of stadiums at Purdue that I like, and I could probably fill a countdown with them. For this one I wanted to reach out a little and show some of the cool locations that I shot in this year.

16. Of course the countdown will start with Mackey Arena. I love this arena, and I have made many photos of it during this past year. Some of them you have seen, and some of them have not made their way onto the blog yet. This is a great place to shoot, and putting a flag across the entire court makes for a great photo.

15. This year I was finally able to see a game in the Compton Family Ice Arena. When I lived up north I attended many Notre Dame hockey games at the Joyce ACC, but I had yet to see a game in the new arena. Luckily a chance to shoot for Northeastern gave me the excuse to head up there. It is a very cool arena that is meant for hockey. I would love to see something like this at Purdue someday, but I am not holding my breath for that.

14. One of the highlights of the year by far was photographing the NCAA Women’s Final Four. Banker’s Life Fieldhouse is a great place to shoot basketball, and it also makes a great backdrop. Here I love how the stadium looks as the confetti rains down on the Connecticut Huskies after they won the NCAA title this past April. This was part of a very special three days for me. I was able to check a couple of things off of my list as I shot all of the Final Four games as well as the MLB game at Victory Field.

Victory Field

13. Speaking of Victory Field, here is one of my favorite photos from this past summer. The cotton candy sky with the cotton candy vender in the foreground made this a different image for me. I thought that I would have many more photos from the stadium this past summer, but broken promises got in the way of that. That is too bad as it makes for a good backdrop for photos.

Continue reading “Top 16 Stadium Shots of 2016”

My Favorite Sixteen Baseball Photos of 2016

Now that the World Series is over, and history has been made it is time to take a look back at my favorite baseball photos from this year. It was an interesting year for me. It started with a lot of promise as far as baseball was concerned. Fresh off of winning the MiLB photo of the year in 2015 the Indy Indians wanted me to be on their team. Before I ever shot a baseball game we had a handshake agreement on terms that would lead to a great summer for both of us. Of course we all know how that handshake agreement suddenly turned into a very bad contract for me to sign with none of the terms we agreed about on it. Suddenly my baseball season needed a shot in the arm. That shot came from an unexpected source. I shot the MVC Tournament in Terre Haute, Indiana just after things went south with Indy. That was exactly what I needed as I was able to make some great photos during an emotional tourney run for several teams. The following week I was in Nashville covering a very sad first round of the NCAA Tournament for two teams. That tournament would result in much more work later on down the road for me. Summer league baseball then took over after the college season was done for me. I was very pleased to photograph the events surrounding the Prospect League All Star game in Kokomo. From there I had a blast covering the Colt World Series here in Lafayette. If you ever want to watch some really fun baseball, then the days of the Colt World Series are for you. I really had a good year shooting baseball, and I have a little more in store next year. The one downside to this year was the fact that I did not attend one single Major League game. That is unheard of for me, but it was a good sign for my business as I didn’t really have much time to get out and take in a game. Next year I need to get back to see the White Sox play in person. Below is a compilation of sixteen photos that I liked from this past year. They are not the best that I made, but rather my favorite shots from the year.

16. The list starts off with a shot that would not have happened if not for rain and a lens to test. This sectional title game was supposed to have been played while I was in Terre Haute covering the MVC baseball tournament. Rain pushed the game back. That worked out great for me because while I was in Terre Haute a Canon 200-400mm lens came from Canon for me to test. It would have been nice had I been able to test it on either side of when it came, but it came when it did. I saw this game as an opportunity to test the lens out. The Zionsville dog pile as they took home the sectional crown was a moment that I was glad I was able to capture.

15. The season in Indy started off with the Major League game between the Reds and the Pirates. It was a cool moment being able to shoot some Major League baseball. As far as one game from the year goes it was the highlight of the year for me. Before the game started I was trying to find some things that told the pregame story. The crowd of photographers around the locker of Andrew McCutcheon show what the local media thought of this star returning to Indy. The look on his face here made this photo for me.

Victory Field

14. The one stadium type shot in this countdown is this one from Victory Field. I love this as a show of just what baseball is. The cotton candy being held in the air just kind of mirrors the sky. This was a lucky shot as I was walking back from scouting the parking garage across the street when I saw this developing. I found a spot and waited for this to unfold the way that it did here.

13. During the first games of the MVC Tournament I was learning the ins and outs of each team. You have to adapt to the teams very quickly. One thing that I grabbed onto very quickly was the pregame mosh pit that Missouri State had before they took the field. I made sure that I was out in the middle of it during one of the games to capture it. I may have gotten bumped around a bit, but it was worth it to make this photo.  Continue reading “My Favorite Baseball Photos of 2016”

My Ten Favorite Images From the 2016 Indy Indians Season

I you have read this blog this year you know that I started the summer off working with the Indy Indians. The season was supposed to be a great one, but shortly into the season the arrangement changed and I stepped away from the situation. It was a fun start to the year though, and I made some photos that I liked. Below are ten images from the first month of the season that I really enjoyed.

10. I made the picture above on Opening Day. I think that it made the countdown because of the feeling behind it. I was Opening Day, and even batting practice is exciting on Opening Day. Here Dan Gamache hits one towards the Indianapolis skyline.

Alen Hanson

9. One of my favorite players to photograph during my short time with the Indians was Alen Hansen. He has a dirty jersey from sliding into first base earlier in the game. You can view that photo below. Here he runs up on a chopper to field it. He just did everything with such a flair that it made it easy to make good photographs of him. As with most of the guys on this countdown, Alen made a few appearances with the Pirates during the course of the season.

Jared Hughes

8. Jared Hughes made some rehab appearances with the Indy Indians. At the time I was contributing for MiLB as well so this was a good news story. This photo made the photos of the week for MiLB.com that week I think more on the strength of who it was over the type of photo that it was. I do like the eyes over the shoulder though so it makes the countdown.

Continue reading “Top Ten Indianapolis Indians Photos of 2016”