Fall Over the Campus of Purdue University

Last week I took the drone up for a few minutes over the campus of Purdue. I posted my photos of the football and basketball stadiums along with a photo that makes up a piece of this one. Time was not on my side though, and I was not able to fully realize this photo until this week. I liked the idea of one large photo that show just how amazing this campus is during the fall. I have always liked this view of campus looking at it from Cary Quad. A lot of my time as a student was spent in this area so it is cool to make a photo like this many years later. As I write this the color is fading from the trees. Campus will look much different until we are blessed with a blanket of snow to give us something else to look at for a while.

Making Another Large Panoramic

On the same day that I made this photo I also made another large panoramic. You can read about that one here. This is another 12 shot panoramic made with the DJI Phantom 4 Pro. In some ways it seems easier to make a pano with a drone than your camera on the ground. Here I just find what I think my edges are, and move out a bit from them. That is to say that I give myself some room on the edges in case the image needs to be cropped. I start off by having my camera just ever so slightly panned down, and I made a few images across. Here I made three images across. Then I moved through the bottom just filling in what I just did. Finally I make three images across the top of the frame. If you put them together then you get the image above. I like the idea of a panoramic more than me just moving the drone further back and up a bit. That would get the same amount of real estate in the frame. The pano gives me many more megapixels, and a lot more detail. My drone claims to be a 20mp drone, but I have always thought that in the digital darkroom it has seemed much less than that. Here I can make a big image while still keeping a lot of the detail in the image.

The Week In Photos

This photo was made too late to be including in my weekly round up of my favorite photos. This past week was a fun week to shoot though, and I am pretty proud of my Exposure page that you can see here. There is a picture from every day of the week represented in the collection which is always a goal. There is also a lot of good emotion which always makes the collection stronger as well. This week there should be some good emotion as well.


A Short Walk Around Campus

After a couple of days spending a lot of time on campus I made my third trip a little shorter. I had a lot to do, but I still wanted to get a quick walk in. I had the idea above the day before, but it was just not working. I still don’t think that it worked too well here, but it is a fun experiment. I think that I can make this better at a different time so it will show up again on this blog.

Staying Up At Night With An Idea

The night before I walked campus I had this idea for a photo. Showing off some of the cool aspects of Purdue Sports along with the fall foliage in the background. You can’t make this with one photo so I had the idea for one large panorama. This is actually twelve photos stitched together to get this view. I bracketed with my drone so I actually made 60 photos to get this one, but in the end I did not need to use any HDR techniques to make this work. I like this idea, and it worked fairly well here.

Fall Over Campus

After making the sports complex panorama I turned the drone around to face campus. The backlit trees made for a great photo looking over the campus of Purdue. I ran the photo through Aurora HDR Pro to bring out more of the scene. I don’t use Aurora often, but here I think that it did just what I wanted it to do.


Another Beautiful Day On The Campus Of Purdue

Tuesday morning I walked the campus of Purdue for a second day in a row with Trevor Mahlmann. You can read about the first walk in yesterday’s post. On this walk I wanted to get a little further in to see what else I could find on campus. One of my first stops on day two was the unfinished P on campus. Of course the second I set my tripod down a member of the lawn staff parked a gator a couple of feet away from the P. I quickly made this photo while he was unloading his leaf blower out of it. All of the leaves in the background were soon blown away by this man.

Breaking Out The Lee 10 Stop Filter

During our walk I had an idea for a photo when the classes got out. Of course I was nowhere near where I wanted to be when it happened and I missed my chance. I did practice a bit to get the settings at least close for when I had my opportunity. This photo was one that I liked from that practice.

The Little Moments

I like these small glimpses into a day at Purdue. I sat on this bench for a while with my camera pointed right at the bell tower. I wanted a moment similar to this, and as luck would have it the students came through spaced out just enough. These are the little snapshots of life on campus that I have been trying to capture this year.

Mackey Arena Looking Amazing

One thing that I always struggle with at the beginning of basketball season is being confined. In football and to some extent baseball you are free to move around and pick your angle. In basketball you are stuck in one spot. Just thinking about that gives me a little bit of a claustrophobic feeling. Then the season starts and the action is great, and the players have no helmets or hats on to hide their faces. You get all of the emotion up close and personal. By the end of the season I am not ready for it to go. This picture represents a little excitement for this season on my part. I will cover a lot of Indiana State games this year, and I think that they could be good. They will get a test right off of the bat when they face Indiana tomorrow night. For the first time since I have been a fan Purdue comes into a season as the reigning Big Ten champ. You can see the banner in the rafters ready to be unveiled at a later date, and it is exciting. This has the feeling of a really good basketball season.

A Great Walk On A Beautiful Fall Day on the Campus of Purdue University

Each weekday morning I get about three hours of time to myself. I usually spend that doing some form of paperwork for the business or setting up new jobs. For the last two days I have spent that time walking the campus of Purdue University. This blog will cover a lot of what I saw on Monday while walking around campus. The colors really are at peak right now so it has been fun walking around trying to find some great scenes. For the photo above I sat on a bench and just waiting for something interesting to come into my frame. I knew that I had a cool photo, but I wanted a student to complete the photo. These little scenes can be an exercise in patience, but sometimes that it what it takes.

The Photo That Started It All

On Sunday I was leaving the basketball game and heading to my car when I noticed that the trees near Ross-Ade Stadium were on fire. The sky was not the best, but I went and tried to make a picture. It was this picture that gave me the idea to try and make some interesting photos with the leaves.

The Start To a Great Walk

The next morning I was just going to sit and catch up on The Walking Dead when my friend Trevor Mahlmann sent me a text. I didn’t need a big push and I was out the door. I started my photowalk at the same place that I tried the day before. The beautiful blue sky was a much better background than the grey one the day before. From that point on I knew that it would be a fun morning.

They Don’t Always Pan Out

My trip started with the shot above. I worked on it for a long time to get a composition that I liked. I was obsessed with the starburst in the sky, and the little starburst right in front of me. Sometimes you can work a photo to death and it still doesn’t work for one reason or another. I was on campus for the fall color, but the color here just didn’t work. Black and white was the only option, and even that couldn’t save it. Looking at the photo at home I came up with a great idea to focus on the starburst in front of me and the trees behind it, but I just didn’t see that on the scene.

Finding the Color

Part of the fun of the photowalk is finding the patches of color. The photo above is an obvious choice, but the little moments that we were able to capture were fun as well. This is a great time of year, but it also means that the trees will be ugly for a few months. I will be rooting for snow to give a little color in no time.

The Fall Colors Reflected in Lilly Lake

Friday before heading to Butler to photograph the Xavier volleyball team I stopped by Eagle Creek Park to check out the fall colors there. For the most part the fall colors had already left most of the trees. A few trees remained with some brilliant color, but they were pretty sparse. I found myself at Lilly Lake making some photos using the trees and the reflections. I found that I started focusing less on everything above the lake and more on the reflections in the lake. By the end I was just pointed right at the water to capture the reflection. On a windy day the water was never really still so I put my Lee Big Stopper on my lens to slow things up a bit. By the end I was shooting thirty second exposures of the water to get a clearer picture. Each photo was different as the natural current would give me a new look to the photo.

Having Fun At Eagle Creek

I have driven by Eagle Creek many times, but for some reason I had never stopped until Friday. This really is a cool place that it seems like there could be some cool photographs all year round. I really need to budget more time than I had Friday to go out and see just what is in the park. I saw a small portion, and I could see where I could have some fun here.

The Week In Photos

Last week was a fun one when you factor in all that is fun about Halloween. It was also a week where I took some time to photograph some things that I want to photograph which is always nice. You can find some of my favorite photos from last week here on my Exposure page. Maybe one more week with some photos with any color in them, and then the trees will be bare and it will be time to go inside and photograph sports for a while.

Taking The DJI Phantom 4 Pro Above The Fall Foliage

One of the things that I was most excited about when I bought my drone was flying above fall foliage. I liked the idea of getting the birds eye view that I had only seen so far from a plane. Here I was able to get out and really pick my spots to try and make images. So far I still think that I am looking for that perfect spot. I have made some photos so far though that really show you what an epic event this is. This is a phenomenal sight to see every year that collectively we treat as something that is not too big of a deal. If I said that it wouldn’t happen for ten more years people would be lined up to follow it across the country from the north to the south.

Twisting and Turning

Part of the fun of the drone has been getting creative with it. This is not totally my creative notion here. I am borrowing a concept that my friend Trevor Mahlmann used for Christmas lights last year. You can see his photo here. I knew that I needed a cloudy day to pull this off, and luckily you get a few of those in the fall. I set my camera up for a two second exposure and flipped the stick to spin the drone. When it was fully spinning I started making some photos. It is definitely different although I am not too sure what my final verdict is yet.

Taking A Drive In The Morning

Yesterday they were working on my road making it impossible to drive back home during the early morning hours. After I dropped my daughter off at school I just went for a drive. I had no real idea of where I was going, but sometimes those are the best rides. I ended up out in the country by the windmills, but there was not much color there. I wound my way back towards town and thought about stopping at the soldiers home. The property is full of all kinds of trees that are in various stages of losing their leaves. There was not enough color to do big landscapes. I decided to focus on little pockets of light with a darker background. The idea was just to do some little studies of light throughout the woods. I don’t think that I will ever sell any of the photos that I made there, but it was fun to go out and just try and find little micro compositions. I had my 100-400 with me to allow me to get in tight. On a day when I needed to waste a little time it was a good way to do just that.

Making Photos In A Cemetery

I am not one to make gravestone photos. Many of the early subjects for photos I seem to have missed. As I was driving by this scene though I had an idea for what it would look like in post so I made the photo.

Follow the Contrails

Yesterday morning the only reason we had any light in the sky was the large amount of contrails present. As I saw this plane flying overhead I wanted to make a photo like this. Yet again this will not win any awards, but on a day of just making some photos it was one that I liked.

End With An Eagle

The morning ended with my just checking out some of my eagle spots. I had the idea of some fall eagle photos which I have not seen much of. As I pulled in to my best spot I saw an eagle flying over head. It was not mature yet, but an eagle already! With all of the leaves on the trees I struggled to find where he went. He finally moved to some dead branches so I could see him. After watching for about twenty minutes I realized that a beautiful mature eagle was in the same tree just under better cover. By the end of the morning I had seen three eagles flying around at different times. For this time of year that is better than I could expect. The light was not right for photos, but if one dove for the river I would have made one anyway. That did not happen though, and I ended up making this photo of the first eagle that I saw sitting in the tree. There is still plenty of time for eagle photos. That season has not even started yet. A couple of early eagle photos is never a bad thing though.

Vote For My Photo In The MiLBY’s!

Once again a photo of mine is up for the photo of the year in the MiLBY’s. Looking through the photos this year it is just cool to be mentioned with some of these photographers. Two years ago thanks to all of you I was able to win. You can vote here this year for my photo of Yoan Moncada signing for the fans in Indy. Yoan was the #1 prospect in baseball at the time, and was on his way from the Charlotte Knights up to the Chicago White Sox. It is cool to be honored, but even cooler to have a photo of someone on your favorite team get honored.

Taking In A Fall Day In The Back Bay Of Boston

On my last day in Boston I went for a long walk to try and see as much as I could of the city. I walked into the old town for a while and then made my way down the Charles to see the crew race going on. During that walk I made this photo along one of the walking paths. I always love a good reflection shot, and there were plenty to choose from here. Boston is a great city I would guess if you are a photographer. In my few days there I saw a lot worth photographing.

Getting Better At Getting Closer

One thing that I need to get better at as a photographer is getting closer to my subject. Here I obviously could not zoom with my feet unless I wanted to get wet. I was at the 24mm end of my 24-105 though. I think a tight shot of just the middle portion of this photo would have been pretty awesome looking at it today. I like to stay at the wide end of my zooms too much sometimes. I have been working on getting in closer at times as well.

Vote For My Photo In The MiLBY’s!

Once again a photo of mine is up for the photo of the year in the MiLBY’s. Looking through the photos this year it is just cool to be mentioned with some of these photographers. Two years ago thanks to all of you I was able to win. You can vote here this year for my photo of Yoan Moncada signing for the fans in Indy. Yoan was the #1 prospect in baseball at the time, and was on his way from the Charlotte Knights up to the Chicago White Sox. It is cool to be honored, but even cooler to have a photo of someone on your favorite team get honored.

Walking the Campus on a Beautiful Fall Day

Last Friday I went for a walk on the campus of Purdue while my daughter was at school. If you want to go for a walk I can think of no place better than the campus of Purdue in the fall. I really love this place, and I have enjoyed living here since I moved back in 2011. The campus is always beautiful, but on a fall morning it seems just so much better. I tried to stay away from the fountain as I always seem to photograph it. In fact I didn’t even walk over to it. I wanted to find some more subjects to try out. The bell tower is always a good choice as well. The addition of the school song in front of it and the changing trees made for a good photo. The rising sun coming through the trees just adds to the beauty here.

Shooting Into the Sun

When you first start to learn about photography you are always told to put the sun at your back. It is a useful tip, but it isn’t always right. Here I was lucky enough to have a very nice scene in front of me with the sun in the frame. I have found myself breaking that rule quite a bit lately. I love seeing the sun in my photos. I will usually stop down so that it spreads out into my frame a little more. Usually when I shoot into the sun I will bracket my images three stops apart. Here the sun was not too bright so this is one exposure of the scene. With the new Canon 5D Mark IV I have found that I don’t need to bracket as much to get the full dynamic range of the photo. Here in this situation I did make three images two stops apart, but I only used the metered exposure. I think that this could have been a cool shots later in the day with the sun at my back. I like how the star shape of the sun looks here though so I would rather be here early in the morning.