Indianapolis Looking Great For the Super Bowl in 2012

Every year as the Super Bowl draws closer I think back to 2012 when Indiana was buzzing over hosting the Super Bowl. I thought that Indy did a great job hosting the event. I am pretty sure that the committee did as well so hopefully we see the Super Bowl back in Indiana sooner rather then later. I went down to Indy the Saturday before the big game to see all of the things that were in place for the big game. I made one of my first big successful photos down there during that time. You can read about that photo here. I was still in the early stages of my photo 365 project so I was looking for anything to help me get through that winter.  A photo rich environment in Indy that day helped out a lot. I thought that I would post one of my images that I have not posted before today with the Super Bowl so close again.

Re-Visiting Old Photos

I don’t like to re-do photos that I have already posted and processed. Sometimes it has to be done as my early HDR attempts were terrible. This photo though was really never touched by me. At the time the HDR process I was doing left too much of a halo for my taste so I left it sitting in a folder on my Drobo. I decided to give it a go again processing to see what I could come up with. I ran three photos through Aurora HDR Pro to see what they would do, and then I processed a single RAW file in Lightroom. The single photo from Lightroom looked much better to meet without as much noise in it. The HDR software seemed to really amp up the noise in a weird way. I liked the look of the photo so you get to see it today.


Shooting at an Iconic Stadium

When I made it to Lambeau Field in 2009 it was part of a great weekend road trip. I saw Purdue play at Wisconsin the day before, and then the Packers play a guy named Favre in Lambeau. Neither of my teams won that weekend, but sometimes it is just about the journey. With football season back I thought that it would be fitting to post a quick picture that I made on my way into the stadium. There are a few stadiums that it would be a dream to shoot from on the field. Lambeau would have to be near the top of that list. The appearance of the stadium has changed a bit, but the history of the field remains. Guys like Lombardi, Bart Starr, Max McGee, Jerry Kramer just to name a few from the old days. Then you have players that I remember wearing the Green and Gold like Lynn Dickey, James Lofton, Brett Favre, Sterling Sharpe, and Leroy Butler. You know the current group is pretty good as well. The game day atmosphere seems like it has not changed much over the years. They have a band and cheerleaders, and a great atmosphere. I would love to get back to Lambeau for another game on the field or not.

Shooting With Your Phone

In the right conditions your phone can be used to make very usable photos. I shot this with my old Blackberry Storm. If you have read this blog for very long you will know that I had a bad relationship with that phone. On a trip like this where I was sneaking in a camera and a long lens, I would use my phone for the wider angles that I wanted to take. Here it worked quite nicely.



Inspiring Image

Watching the Packers game right now I keep thinking about the ice bowl that was played on New Year’s Eve in 1967. On that day in temperatures around -15 degrees a sixteen year old John Biever captured one of the iconic sports images of all time. Bart Starr diving over Jerry Kramer to score what would be the winning touchdown. Could you imagine making such a great image at such a young age? How could you top that one. John has spent the rest of his career doing just that. He has had over 130 covers for Sports Illustrated during his career. He is also one of four photographers to have covered every Super Bowl. He has followed in his father’s footsteps, and then surpassed him. He flourished in the film age as well as the new digital age. I am sure that John was at the game today making pictures like he has for years. His images are very inspiring.

A few weeks ago one of the first posts in this series centered around Vernon Biever who is John’s father. You can read that post here.

Photo of the Day

In 2012 I went to Indy a week before the Super Bowl to make some pictures of the town as it would look on the big day. Indy did a great job of putting on a show for sure. I really wish that my Packers would have won there, but they lost to the eventual champion Giants in the playoffs. I had a spot picked out to make a picture from. I kept going up there to check out the light as the day moved on. Some of those pictures have made the blog. One of my most famous pictures came from this spot. You can see the picture here. That picture now hangs inside of Lucas Oil Stadium. I would say that until last month that was the picture that I was most well known for. It was taken on day 114 of my photo 365 project. That project forced me to find things to photograph, and I was extremely lucky to be out that day.

Technical Data

Most of my photos from that day were made into HDR photographs. I took a single RAW file here, and I used the sliders in Lightroom to give me a realistic effect. I also cropped the image more to look like this was a panoramic file.

Photo of the Day

Today Peyton Manning returns to the city where he really made his name. He was a big name while at the University of Tennessee, but he really took off once he helped the Colts win the Super Bowl. Peyton now comes back as a member of the Broncos to face his replacement who is also very good. Tonight should be a great game with emotions running high. The great thing about Peyton is that you could never really tell how emotional he was. The photo above looks as if I took it during a terrible defeat for the Colts. The truth though was that it was taken as Peyton was walking out onto the field to close out a playoff win over the Ravens. I think it is that demeanor much like Joe Montana’s that make him so great. Tonight it will be interesting to see how he handles the praise that the Indy fans will give him.

Technical Data

I used a Matt Kloskowski preset called desaturated sports game day to get this look. I actually edited this photo long ago when I was really in love with this preset. Something about the photo though has always caught my eye.

hunter smith

Photo of the Day

Saturday night at the Taste of Tippecanoe I had some fun trying some new things. I really don’t shoot concerts very much, but with all of the acts on display that day I had a little time for some practice. As the light was fading a new act went up on the Depot Stage. It was the Hunter Smith Band. When I first heard the name I thought of the former Notre Dame and Indianapolis Colts punter right away. With the last name Smith though it could have been anyone. It turned out to actually be Hunter ‘the punter’ Smith. The light was just right to try a couple of things with. I knelt down on the right side of the stage to get a couple of shots. As I have said before I have not really shot concerts before. I did what I thought would look good, and I immediately noticed something when I put all of the files onto my computer. I will get into that more in the technical section.

Technical Data

The thing that I noticed was that for some reason I fell in love with the wide shot showing the entire artist. I did this all day long. This goes back to my completionist notions where I have to see the entire person. I thought that since I had great access that I should have come away with some good close ups. I did not though, and I decided to crop the image to do what I should have done with my feet and my zoom on the scene. I really want to get to another concert to try a couple of things with some close up compositions. With summer in full swing and festivals everywhere I think that I should be able to get my wish fairly quickly. Other than the crop though I only did some minor adjustments to the sliders. I did add a slight vignette though to darken the edges.

charles woodson

Sports Photo of the Day

I took this picture of Charles Woodson in 2009 when I was in Green Bay to see the Packers play. Charles was definitely one of the stars of the team at the time. Charles is the definition of a star. At Michigan he won the Heisman Trophy playing on both sides of the ball while leading his team to the National Championship. He beat out a player that you might have heard of to win that award, Peyton Manning. He was then drafted early in the NFL Draft by the Oakland Raiders. Since that time he has spent the last seven years with the Packers as a very valuable member of the team. He was cut a couple of days ago in a move that had more to do with salary than anything else. Dwight Freeney was let go for a similar reason. This is the nature of the game with the salary cap now. He is one of the best cornerbacks ever, and he will be missed in Green Bay for sure.

Technical Data

I usually don’t like to do too much to a jpeg, but in this case I used Matt Kloskowski’s light sports preset for Lightroom on it. It is a quick and easy way to get me close to where I want to be with a picture. From there I tweaked the sliders to get the shot where I wanted it. The image still had an element that I did not like. At the top was a bright orange yard marker that seemed to distract. I used the brush in Lightroom to select the marker. I then desaturated it to make it a non factor in the picture. From there I exported the picture to post it here.

super layover

Photo of the Day

Last night we were flying back from Colorado, and we had a layover in Atlanta, Georgia. We were able to catch some of the game while waiting to board our plane back to Indiana. I had this idea for a picture showing the people waiting for the flight watching the game. I liked the idea that it seemed as if everyone had their minds on the same thing while waiting to catch this plane. Most of the time everyone is doing their own thing. This is not my best picture from the trip, but I like the idea behind it.

Technical Data

The major move with this picture was to crop it a bit. I included too much of the ceiling in the shot because I did not think that panning down would have done me any good. When I looked at it in post I did’t like that ceiling either. Once I got rid of that I could then focus on the shot. I adjusted the highlights and the shadows to give it a more realistic look. This would have been an ideal shot for HDR, but my tripod was in my checked baggage. I could only attempt to handhold the shot, and the bright exposure would have been too long for me to hold. I am happy with the image that I made though.

sb village

Sports Photo of the Day

Today is the day that most fans wait for every year. In fact people who are not even sports fans can’t wait for Super Bowl Sunday. It is the one day where football takes center stage over everything else. If you don’t believe me change your channels during the halftime show to see all of the programming that is centered around the game. I will be in the air during the big game so I will miss the commercials. I have a clear favorite today though. I grew up watching the great San Francisco teams of the 80’s with Joe Montana at the helm. Quarterback¬†Colin Kaepernick is much different than Joe, but I still want to see San Francisco win. I did read the Blind Side so I do have a soft spot for Baltimore Ravens tackle Michael Oher. I just think that the Ravens team has some elements that make it hard for me to root for them.

I took this picture last year when the Super Bowl was in Indianapolis. I went the week before to see how the town was celebrating the event. It really was a good day, and I took some pictures that I am proud of. I loved the way that they lined up Indy cars with every team on them three wide as if this was the start of the Indy 500. They did a great job of blending the racing that the city is known for with the big game that invaded the town. I hope that they bring the Super Bowl back again as it was a great time. Maybe my Packers will make the big game the next time.

Technical Data

When I saw this in person I was still in the midst of my HDR craze. I took three shots of every scene that day in order to run them through Photomatix Pro to make HDR images. What I made were some terrible pictures. On my Facebook page those shots are still up. I was so in love with the look that I was overdoing it. For the shot that you see above I took one of the three images into Lightroom to edit it the way that I think makes it look the most like it did in person. I used no preset here. What I did use though was a bunch of sliders in combination with each other in order to get the colors to come out as they did in person. As with the plane shot from earlier today the camera cannot see all of the light that your eye can. Your eye can see 27 stops of light while the camera can only see five. It is up to you to bring out all of the light. On a scene like this the light range is so dynamic that you have to use post processing to bring it out.

SmugMug Site

Here is a link to this picture on my SmugMug site. These trips do not pay for themselves. If you like this picture it is available to own!

Suoer Bowl Village