My Favorite Seventeen Photos of the 2016-2017 Basketball Season

This year was an interesting one as far as basketball goes for me. I shot more games away from home than I did at home. I shot very little women’s basketball inside of Mackey Arena, and when I did I had a 50/50 chance of it being for the other team.

17. I love the new Purdue intros. I made this photo early in the season when there were not a lot of photographers at the game. The Purdue photographer that day was not too interested in the intros so I went in a little closer to get this shot.

16. For the second photo in we stay in the pregame phase again. One player that is fun to photograph at Indiana State is Wendi Bibbins. She plays with an intensity that looks great on camera. Here she is firing up her team prior to the game at Butler.

15. Speaking of the game at Butler here is a shot that is not easily made at most places. The raised court at Butler allowed me to get right into the huddle here. It was a great way to show off the fire in the huddle and the beauty of Hinkle Fieldhouse.

14. This year I was able to shoot a game for the Eastern Michigan Eagles. For a few years now I have been friends with one of their student photographers. A sports group on Google+ provided me with some great people to follow through their careers. It was great to get out and photograph Eastern Michigan myself. When you see so many pictures of a team you start to root for them.

13. Here is one of the photos from my first overhead remote setup. To get to the catwalks at Indiana State you have to traverse many steps. Without an assistant it was not fun trying to make sure that everything was set up correctly. I went up and down many times to make sure that I had what I was looking for. Thankfully it was a doubleheader for the men’s and women’s teams so I got twice as much for my efforts that day. This was my favorite shot from that first game. I have always hesitated in setting up a remote, but with the way that Indiana State was using my images I knew I needed to give them something extra for their money.

12. This year I was able to shoot in Hinkle Fieldhouse twice. I love shooting in that old barn. After a while you get used to some things where you normally shoot so the thrill of an old place like Hinkle is pretty cool. I really like the way I can move around there. For the women’s games I am usually the only photographer on the entire court so I can pretty much pick wherever I want to sit. No elbow to elbow shooting here.

11. Ashely Morrissette was a fun player to watch play basketball. She was a role player early in her career. An injury forced her to be something more, and we got our first glimpse into just what she could do. She was a fun leader to watch play this past season. Here she is shown forcing her way to the basket. Her ability to make her own shots from behind the arc to at the hoop was helped create chances for others. She will be hard to replace at Purdue.

10. This was a shot that I didn’t know I was going to make that day. I was just shooting the intros at my first Indiana State women’s game when this moment occurred. Rhagen Smith is a player that loves to smile. You can tell that she loves playing the game. All of that combined into one photo makes it easy to include on this countdown.

9. Ashley Taia is a player that can do it all. She usually ends up in my photo galleries driving to the basket. Here she battles for a rebound against Butler. Some players just play in such a way that looks good on camera most of the time. I call this the Akeem Hunt theory because he was the first one that I had like that. I could never make a bad picture of Akeem. Ashley is a similar player. Some players just photograph better than others.

8. Here is another shot that I love because of the way that it shows off the Hinkle Fieldhouse. It is early in the game against Butler, and I made a photo that I knew would be in the gallery. It is these photos that take the burden off a little and let me relax and shoot looser.

7. I love it when one sport looks like another sport. Here I think this drive looks a little like a running back making first contact. There is something about it that reminds me of a football photo, and that makes it a little unique to me.

6. As I said above Wendi Bibbins plays the game with a lot of emotion. Right after a win this season she is shown here letting out a scream of joy. She really likes to win, and I can relate to that. She is a player that I look forward to photographing again next season.

5. Wendi shows up yet again on the countdown. Here she makes a nice basket again Butler. I love the way that the background goes to black on these wide shots at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Wendi elevated just enough to set herself apart from her defenders as well. That all comes together for a photo that I really like.

4. Here the gesture is everything. Ashley Taia is once again doing her thing driving to the hoop. A while back I heard the great Peter Read Miller talk about having feet off of the ground being a good thing. Here three of the four feet shown are off the ground, and it is a good photo. Feet off of the ground does not always mean it is a good photo, but it does show the motion of the situation. Here the feet and the face help convey the emotion of the situation.

3. Wendi Bibbins makes her final appearance on the countdown. This has to be a record for appearances by one player in the countdown. Here I love the basketball moment just as the ball is leaving her fingertips. What makes the photo though is her hair looking like a mohawk as she goes up. This is one of those times where a lot of things are happening in your favor, and you just have to hit the shutter button to make something very cool.

2. This photo came from the first sporting event that I shot in 2017. Near the end of the game I started to get a little bored. When you know that nobody will see the photos from the game then it takes away some of the rush you get making them. I decided to just make something for me. In fact I had this idea early in the second half, and when I got what I wanted I was going to leave. Of course I kept trying to get it better and better until I finally made this shot of Ashley Morrissette driving. A lot has to work in your favor to make this work at such a low shutter speed so that is part of the reason why I like it so much.

  1. The top photo in the countdown is from my lone shoot with the Xavier basketball team this season. During the pregame introductions I did my normal over the top huddle shot. I realized that the team was spread far enough apart that I might be able to get my camera in between a couple of players. It was then that I was rewarded with a great gesture by the player in the middle. It was a photo that was meant to be, and I will take all of the luck that it took to make this one.

 

This year I was not sure about doing these recap posts. I like the idea of going back through my work to see what I was able to accomplish for the season. Some of them have gone over very well. Both of the Indiana State recaps were seen by many people making them well worth the time and effort to make it. The Purdue women’s basketball post kind of went like most of my women’s basketball posts. Nobody clicked on it. I don’t know what to make of that. I spent over an hour working on the post itself, and it was seen by four people the day that it posted. The old manager in me that still tries to use SPC always wants to know why. Is it just my audience? Is it interest in the program? For whatever reason those posts don’t do well. The lack of interest in the women’s basketball program on here has had some good results though. I started my photos of the week post because I wanted to get some of those photos out. Right now I plan on putting my favorite men’s basketball photos together and releasing them next week. Next week is looking pretty busy though so who knows when it will come out.

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My Favorite 17 Indiana State Basketball Photos of the 2016-2017

This past season with the Indiana State basketball team was the first one where I was there from start to finish. There were some very big highs and some lows. It was not the season I thought I was going to see in early December. Sometimes things just don’t work out. This was a fun season to photograph though. This was a hard list to put together not because of a lack of content, but because I had too many moments to show from the year. In the end I just picked some of my favorite photos from the year to share.

17. The countdown starts where the season ended, in St. Louis. I followed the team out onto the floor of the Scottrade Center for their MVC Tournament game against Evansville. I liked this view of Brenton Scott taking the floor. It is the kind of hero shot that I try and make for the players during the season.

16. Head coach Greg Lansing is fun to watch on the sidelines. Here he was perfectly framed for me with the flag in the background. I made this during the first game of the season. During the course of the season I realized that I would have some other good pictures of coach, but this was one that stood out to me.

15. The Butler game was full of great moments. I could probably have filled this countdown up with just shots from that game. I tried to limit that though to spread out some love for the entire season. Here Brenton Scott makes an acrobatic shot when ISU really needed it. I also like how the Hulman Center is shown in the background as well. A good size crowd made me want to shoot a bit wider that game.

14. A nice surprise on the season was the play of freshman Jordan Barnes. This past year the team lost a good point guard in Everett Clemons, but the future at that spot looks great with Jordan leading the team. As a true freshman he really showed the ability to lead this team.  Continue reading “Top 17 Indiana State Basketball Photos of 2016-2017”

My Favorite 17 Photos From the 2016-2017 Indiana State Women’s Basketball Season

This year I covered my first basketball games for the Indiana State women’s basketball team. I was able to do some cool things during those games that I don’t normally do. I really had a good time photographing the team because of the way that they played. They really have fun playing, and that makes for some great photos. Here are some of my favorite photos from this past season.

17. I will start the countdown with one of the first shots that I made of the team. During the National Anthem I noticed this great moment that the players were sharing. That photo has been used a few times by Indiana State since then. It was a great moment that I thought would kick off this countdown just fine.

16. One of the highlights of this season was photographing the team as they travelled to Indy to face Butler. I love shooting in Hinkle, and I don’t get many opportunities to do so. I jumped on the chance to photograph the team playing there. Here is one of the photos that I love to make there. You have some good action in the foreground with the welcome sign in the background.

15. There is something about Sycamore blue that I love to photograph. My favorite color is blue, and that shade just looks good to me in my photos. I need to get to more away games to see this jersey in person.

14. This was a shot from my first overhead remote setup. One great thing about Indiana State is that they give me the freedom to try things that I want to try. I try to reward that confidence in me with some good photos. It is a relationship that has really benefitted the both of us. I get to make some cool photos along the way as well.  Continue reading “Top 17 Indiana State Women’s Basketball Photos of 2016-2017”

My Favorite Ten Photos From the 2016-2017 Purdue Women’s Basketball Season

As I said at the end of my Purdue men’s basketball post it is amazing just how few women’s games I attended this season. Life and work just seemed to get in the way this year. I used to make a special effort to get to games, but even when I was home this year it seemed like I was just coming home from a trip. Family was the key word this year. That is too bad as I missed a team that really found itself over the course of the season. This was also the senior class that I started photographing from the sidelines. I remember covering the Big Ten Cross Country Championships here in West Lafayette when one of the photographers had to break away to shoot the exhibition game. One of the young girls had a great game. Her name was Bridget Perry, and she would have a nice career here. At the time I was jealous because the other guy was able to shoot in Mackey. I could only dream of that. By the end of that season I would shoot both of the Boilers NCAA games at home in Mackey. That was a special year for me. This season was full of bad breaks for me with the team. I was out of town for senior day. I was not happy about that, but I was making money, and that is what this is all about. I also tried to get credentialed for the Big Ten tournament as well as the NCAA games in South Bend, but it did not work out. That is too bad as the Boilers played their hearts out at both venues. This team lost a lot with Morrissette and Perry leaving, but they have a young group of players on the team that really came on strong as the season went on. Imagine that squad a year older. As I really did not get to many games I thought that it would do nothing to stretch this list out to 17. I kept it at ten to highlight some key points. Next years goal is to get to more games so that I can do a proper gallery for the team at the end of the year. Here are the images that I liked from the 2016-2017 season.

10. By the time I get to see the teams I have already seen many photos from practices and what makes in onto the poster. This season the motto was “Why Wait” I liked seeing that on a shirt at my first game of the year. When I made this I knew that it would be black and white, and that it would be a great way to lead of this countdown.

9. I love the new introductions for both the men’s and women’s team at Purdue, but usually it is so crowded that I let the people getting paid make the photos. Here I was lucky enough that nobody else was shooting this so I decided to give it a go. It is a fun way to get some different shots in before the game even starts. At the time that I made this Dominique Oden had yet to really assert herself. She would by the time the season ended. She is one of the players that will be fun to watch next year.

8. Andreona Keys plays a hard nosed type of basketball. I love her drives as they remind me more of a running back going through the hole than a player going to the hole. Here you can see a little bit of that. Keys is a player that I love to photograph as she gives you a lot to work with. She has a big role to play next year as a senior.  Continue reading “Top 10 Purdue Women’s Basketball Photos of 2016-2017”

My Favorite Seventeen Photos From the 2016-2017 Purdue Men’s Basketball Season

At this point many may still be stinging from the loss to Kansas in the NCAA Tournament. Stop and look back at the season as a whole though. If you had told me on November 1st when the I first saw the team play that they would have the regular season that they did capping it off with a win over Indiana at home for the Big Ten Title I would have been thrilled. Add to that two big wins close to home in the NCAA Tournament and you have a season to be proud of. Nobody wants their tournament to end early. The truth is that it ends early for 64 of the 65 teams to enter it. This was a great season for sure. The irony of it all is that I was busier than normal, and only got to see a portion of it live. That did not stop me from following the team though on television though. It did make me pause to think about where this photography thing is going though. If I can’t be around for a season like this one what am I doing? It was a season to remember for sure. Here are seventeen of my favorite photos from this Championship season.

17. We will start the countdown with two things that I enjoyed from this season. The nets coming down after a Big Ten Championship is an easy one. I did not photograph everyone cutting down the nets. I did photograph a couple of the players though. Carsen Edwards was one of the surprises of the season. Each year usually in early November I get my first look at the team. One of the things I was looking forward to seeing this year was just how good Carsen was. He did not disappoint, and was one of the big reasons the Boilers were cutting down the nets at the end of February.

16. One thing that will show up a couple of times on here is the team introductions. The addition of the new lights last year allowed for something very cool this year. Purdue has really stepped up their game in the last few years, and basketball is a department that seems to be helping lead the way. The Boilermaker lights app was a huge success this year, and I am sure departments all across the country are trying to figure out how to do something similar. Here I was shooting for the opponent, but still wanted to make this shot.

15. Three photos into the countdown and Carsen Edwards makes his second appearance on here. This is part of why he is such a fun player to watch. He is explosive on the court, and right away in the first game I saw him play I saw that. He got up so quick to make this dunk that I am surprised I kept up with him. I expected a slow layup, but got a thunder jam instead. From that moment on I was prepared for Carsen. He gives the number three a little sauce.

14. I told you the light show prior to the game would show up on this countdown a few times. Here I made sure to show it during the t-shirt game. Each year I try and get to the t-shirt game because it looks so cool. I had a family dinner that night, but I was able to sneak this shoot in before racing to the dinner. I am glad that I did because I made a couple of my favorite photos that night.  Continue reading “Top 17 Purdue Men’s Basketball Photos of 2016-2017”

My Favorite Sixteen Photos From 2016

Each year I get another year older, but I get to add a photo to my year end countdowns. It is hard enough to cut photos down to sixteen for my break out categories. To get a list of the sixteen photos that I like the most from 2016 overall is nearly impossible. I decided to go with the photos that I remembered the most, and had a special meaning for me. You can view more of my favorites from the year by clicking here to see my Exposure page. Below are sixteen photos that I believe tell a story about what a fun year this past year was.

16. The countdown starts with a photo before the LaPorte Slicers took on Michigan City for the Duneland Athletic Conference title. Many years ago I played for the Slicers, and it was fun to get back and photograph one of their games. It was even more fun to see them win the conference up close and personal.

Fireworks over Lafayette

15. This year on the Fourth of July I tried to get as high as I could over Lafayette to shoot the fireworks over the city. I set up my camera and listened to some good music as I waited for the fireworks to start. One thing that I like about this photo is the large amount of fireworks from other towns and people in the background. Next year I would like to take my drone up to see what I can do on the 4th.

14. One city that I have seen many pictures of is Austin, Texas. This year I was able to visit the city, but I spent most of my time at the Austin City Limits Music Festival. I did not have time to do the normal sightseeing. One photo that I was able to make that I think sums up the city right now is the one above. The city is growing rapidly. There are new buildings going up everywhere. Here was a view from the building I was staying in downtown.

13. Our trip to Boston this fall was one that let me cross a couple of items off of my long standing travel list. I have been wanting to visit the John F. Kennedy Presidential Museum for quite some time. I know that by reading this blog you know that I am obsessed with sports and photography. I also love learning about the Presidents of the United States. They all have a unique story, and they all end up holding the highest office in the land. Kennedy was one President that I heard a lot about growing up, and it was great to get to visit his library.

12. Speaking of crossing some items off of the bucket list this was a great moment for me. After photographing my first NASCAR race at the track where I watched my first race I was getting in position to photograph victory lane. I looked up and saw my two favorite drivers running side by side coming right at me. Both racers were competing in their last race at the Brickyard, and I was very lucky to get a chance to see them race. It is not the most technically brilliant photo that I made last year, but it was one of those moments that you are thankful for.

11. Each year I make portraits of the Lafayette Brawlin’ Dolls for their program. My job is very simple that day. I point the camera at them, and let their personalities come out. It is a highlight of the year for me as I can make some great photos. This was one of those moments that you would consider an outtake, but it becomes one of my favorites.  Continue reading “My 16 Top Photos of 2016”

My Favorite Sixteen Sports Photos of 2016

This year was a year where I had quite a few firsts. I shot my first final four and my first MLB game. The thought of going through all of my photos to find my favorite sixteen sports photos from the year made my head spin. I usually just end up with a few action shots with a lot of emotion anyway so I decided to just stick to the emotion on this list. It is really hard to boil down many favorite images to sixteen. I have shot a lot of events this past year, and there have been some cool moments during those. The good news is that every year I get to include one more photo on this countdown. Next year I will have one less cut to worry about. The bad news is that I will probably have more images to worry about cutting.

16. The countdown starts off with from what I have seen is a rare display of emotion in wrestling. The guys just go about their business, and rarely even have their heads up when their hand is raised as the winner. Luke Welch had just scored a huge upset though, and he let everyone know about it. It is one of my favorite wrestling pictures that I have made, and it keeps me going back to the mat to try and do it again.

15. Fun is what keeps me coming back to roller derby. I do not get paid to shoot the sport, but I shoot every game that I can. Here is one of those fun moments just after a game is over. As they pick the stars on offense and defense they usually have cool awards to give out. Here is one such award with a cool moment when it is put on.

14. During the cross country National Championships Michigan senior Erin Finn did not get the win that she thought she would. Her teammates knew that she would be upset so they decided to surround her with love when she came out of the chute. It picked her up, and also displayed what being a good teammate is.

13. This year I covered the Purdue baseball team for the first time since 2014. During the three game stretch that I shot I saw them win a 15 inning game on a walk off bunt. It was a great moment when the team went out to pile on Alec Olund who laid down the bunt that won the game. These are the moments that you live for when shooting baseball, and it was well worth staying to capture this moment. Continue reading “Top 16 Sports Photos of 2016”

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 Sixteen Favorite Football Photos of 2016

This past football season went by far too quickly. Football is the only sport that I cover that I really played at an organized level. This year it seems as if something was always coming in between me and the sport that I love. I was able to photograph a couple of awesome games, and next year I have a road trip to Knoxville planned that I am really looking forward to. There were some great moments this past season though, and I have picked sixteen of them to post here. As I write this I realize that I compiled the list about a week and a half ago, and I have already changed my mind about the placement of some of the photos. In all reality the numbers do not matter here. These are sixteen photos that I really liked from this season, and for the sake of a countdown I have assigned numbers to them. Here are my favorite sixteen photos in numerical, but no particular order.

16. As I compiled this list I realized that many of the images came from the Indiana State game at Minnesota. I think that the access I was given made it a special game for me. It was real fun finding ways to show the gameday experience. When you are with a team your job is to show the audience something that they cannot see. I took my job at that time to show the people looking at the photos a lot of what they could not see behind the scenes. This is what makes photography fun for me. Indiana State gives me a great opportunity to do that.

15. Here in West Lafayette we have a lot of good football teams very close by. The closest to me the West Lafayette Red Devils. I usually try to make my way down the street a few times to see them play during the season, but this year the only game that I could make was half of an early season game. That is too bad as it is fun to watch football under the Friday night lights. This coming season Purdue will have an early game on Friday night under the lights.

14. This year I was able to meet an online friend who like me went from shooting from the stands to shooting on the field. It was cool to catch up with him in person. While we were doing that the team he was covering, Iowa, scored right in front of us. I made this photo of the celebration after the touchdown. I love these types of photos, and even if it was for the wrong team at the time I made it.

13. This was a moment that was a lucky one for me to capture. I was switching ends of the field with my 300mm when a big play happened. I was out of my normal position, but right in position to make this photo. This was a lucky capture, but when the moment happened I made the most of it.

12. This story has a funny ending to it. I made the photo of the coin toss as ISU took on Minnesota. As the team photographer that is my right. Into the first quarter I had someone with a security jacket on tap my shoulder and ask me to walk with them. Play was going on, and my team was driving toward me so I asked them what was going on. They explained that I had to leave for making this photo. I explained that I was the ISU team photographer, and everything was okay. I like this moment though. The day was made better by the blue skies that seemed to match the colors of the Indiana State uniforms.  Continue reading “Top 16 Football Photos of 2016”