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”

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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”

Spending Time in Ocean City Again

This has been a whirlwind month. It started with the MVC baseball tournament in Terre Haute, Indiana. Then it was off to Nashville to photograph the NCAA baseball regional. We also went to Ocean City, Maryland for our annual trek to the beach. This year I had limited time there as I had to get back to photograph a wedding. I wanted to make some photos that I had yet to make when I was there before. A thunderstorm was the perfect way to do that. I made some images of the storm with my dSLR, but I also had my GoPro set up on the railing of our condo to document the storm. I could have run video and pulled stills from it, but I set it to make a photo every five seconds for the duration of the battery life. I ended up with a cool set of images that made for a couple of interesting time lapse videos. The blue sky combined with the warm lights makes for an interesting image here.

The GoPro Time Lapse

Here is one of the GoPro videos that I made of the storm the night the photo above was made.

The Indianapolis Indians Begin the Home Portion of their 2016 Season

Last night the Indianapolis Indians started their 2016 home season, and with that I started my summer of shooting for the team. This is an exciting group of players that will be fun to shoot this year. They looked as good as advertised as they beat Columbus 5-1. From what I saw tonight this is a great team of photographers that will really help capture this season as it goes on. Of course being Opening Day we were all in attendance, and I assume that it may not be the case much this year. This was probably the most well covered game of the season. Tomorrow I will be back in Indy to photograph home game two of the season. Being early in the season I will attend a lot of games up front this season. Making images of all of the players is the priority right now. It will be interesting to see how this team changes over the course of the year. Another long playoff run would be a great way to end this first season with the team.

As Time Goes By

One idea that I had prior to the game was to mount a camera up on the roof to create a time lapse of the opening day festivities. Of course the sky had no clouds in it, and a time lapse does not do the fireworks show justice. It was good to get out and see where I could mount the GoPro, and I think that it is still an interesting minute if you want to watch it.

Remembering Jackie Robinson

I don’t think that you can write a post today without mentioning Jackie Robinson. If you follow me on Instagram you will probably see my posts throughout the day celebrating what Jackie means to baseball. In a time when the powers that be in baseball were not too bright, one owner was. Can you imagine not having the best players in the league just because of an arbitrary thing like skin color? At the time the country was full of segregated facilities. Thankfully we had someone with the will that Jackie had to start to break down this barrier. Maybe I put too much faith in baseball, but I really think that Jackie Robinson stepping onto that field on April 15, 1947 really started the movement that has us where we are today. We may not be exactly where we need to be, but we are much closer. Jackie opened the door wide for many players to follow him through. Mickey and the Duke does not sound nearly as good as Willie, Mickey, and the Duke does. Take a look at the record books, and imagine what they would look like had it not been for Jackie. The game that I love is as great as it is today thanks to the strong shoulders of Jackie Robinson. For nearly twenty years no new player will wear the #42 as his number. When Mariano Rivera retired he also became the last to wear the number as his own. Each April we get to see the number again as every player puts the number on his back to honor the sacrifices that Robinson made. Jackie died four years before I was born. We never had the chance to cross paths. If we had though I would have liked to shake his hand for all that he did. His influence was seen off of the baseball field in the many youths that he inspired. If Jackie could play Major League Baseball, then anything was possible.

More Photos From the Game

Because it was Opening Day I made an Exposure page for the game that you can view here. As the season goes on I don’t think that I will have time to make a page for each game. I may really pick and chose what games get a page. Each week though I will still go through my images and post a gallery of my favorites from the week. This should be a fun summer full of baseball.

A Great View of Busch Stadium

While I was in St. Louis to photograph the MVC Tournament I stayed in the Hilton at the Ballpark. When I booked the hotel I asked to have the monument view. That would have been a great view most of the time because of the courthouse and the St. Louis Arch that would have been right below it. When I walked into my room I was surprised to see Busch Stadium below it. After I found out about all of the construction going on around the arch I was thrilled that they screwed up to give me this view. The first thing that I did when I got to my room was to set up my GoPro. I wanted to see what happened over the stadium as the sun set. I would be leaving soon for the stadium so this was my only chance to make a picture of it. This was one of my favorite frames from that time lapse. You can see that video below.

Make the Photo With Any Camera That You Have

The photo above was made with a 12mp GoPro camera. I really get caught up at times in shooting in RAW format with my larger megapixel cameras. I want all of the data that I can get to make an image. Sometimes though you can get the shot that you need with any camera. The GoPro did a great job of capturing the scene here. Sometimes that you have to make the photo with the camera that you have with you. I needed my other cameras at the arena so the GoPro was my option here.

Photos of the Week

As I said yesterday I did not think that I would have much to use in my photos of the week post last week. I had just come off of a great week of shooting, and I did not think that I would be able to top that. Of course with travel and sports photos being my favorite to make traveling to St. Louis and photographing basketball was pretty cool. With tournament season now here my travel may increase for a couple of weeks. This compilation of my favorite photos every week gives me something to shoot for in the downtimes. It has become a great thing for me to keep my eyes open with, and is fun to put together. Here is my Exposure post from last week with my favorite photos in it.

 

Shooting Multiple Ways at Once

Last night as the winning run was on third base I placed my GoPro on top of my 5D Mark III. I knew that the game could end right there, and I thought that a video of the celebration might be cool. I didn’t think that the actual play would be too exciting, but I hoped that the dog pile would be. I was pleasantly surprised that the game winning play turned out quite well. I kept the GoPro rolling as the post game celebration went on around me. I cut the video a bit so it may be a little choppy, but I thought that it was better than having to sit through several minutes of footage. This was a great way to end the season for Kokomo. The fans were coming out, and they were treated to some great baseball for doing so. I cannot wait to see what the team has in store for the city next year when the stadium is complete.

Making a Time Lapse with the GoPro Hero 3+

When I arrived on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean to make a couple of sunrise photos I had two ideas in mind. The first was simple. I would use my camera and tripod to capture the sunrise over the ocean and the Ocean City Pier. I would also make a time lapse of the event. I love the way that these videos look, and I don’t do it as often as I should anymore. I used my Joby Gorillapod to place my GoPro Hero 3+ near the ground just out of reach of the tide…or so I thought. By the end of this video the tide had some up a bit so that my tripod legs got a little wet. The waves did not move the tripod much though so the video was not altered at all. Sometimes while you are shooting a great sunrise you don’t always experience it like you should. Making this video allows me to do that after the fact. This was a slow developing sunrise so I was able to stand back and appreciate what I was doing quite a bit. With the GoPro you can record video and stills at the same time so I actually have the event in real time as well. This winter when I am getting stir crazy I can sit back and watch the sunrise over the ocean.

Creating a Time Lapse of Your Flight

I normally do not get a window seat on an airplane, but on my flight to Ocean City from Philly I found myself in that window seat.  Before I left town I decided to take my window mount for my GoPro after watching some cool videos by another photographer Trevor Mahlmann. He has some amazing photos so go and check his new website out. I thought the flight would be short enough for a cool time-lapse so I put my GoPro in the window of the plane. After I made the photos I realized that I had my camera shooting a new photo every ten seconds. That was probably too much time in between frames. On a short flight like this I should have made more images. You learn with each shoot though so I now know that I need to shorten that length. It still is a great way to condense a flight into 16 seconds.

Being Clear About Your Intentions

As I was placing my GoPro on the window the elderly woman next to me started to look a little alarmed. I explained to her what I was doing, and I even showed her my camera. I missed some of the footage at the gate, and I did not check my settings to see that I was at ten seconds because of this. I did however put her at ease, and that was important to me. I never want my photography to  make someone uneasy.

Creating a Day to Night Time Lapse at Walt Disney World

Ever since I first bought my first GoPro I have been making time lapse videos. Some of them are good, and some of them were just to make a time lapse video. When I knew that I would be staying in a room overlooking the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World I thought that it would be a good place to make a time lapse video. I wanted to try and capture some of what makes that view so great. Instead of watching clouds go by all day I decided to focus on the change from daylight into night. That way you can see some of the color in the sky along with the fireworks that punctuate the night sky. I liked the boat traffic at night as well so I let it run a little longer to capture that. What I ended up with was a video that is just over a minute long.

Making the Time Lapse Video

These things can be very easy to put together or very hard to do. That is up to the person making the video. If you are making a complex moving time lapse such as the one seen at the beginning of the TV show ‘House of Cards’ you have a lot of setup and editing time. For something like the one above though I went with the easy route. I set up my GoPro to record one frame every 5 seconds. I would normally space them a little further apart, but I wanted more during the fireworks. I settled on 5 seconds. I set up the image to record super wide, and to record at 12mp. I used the suction cup mount for the GoPro to mount it to the roof of the deck that I made my images from. I had a cord running back into the room for power, and a large card in the camera. With all of this on my side I could record for a very long time if I chose to. Once I had my set of images I used the GoPro Studio to put them together. With the proprietary program running things it is very easy to do. I put the images together and cut the video to a length that I thought was interesting. Then I found some free music to run in the background. In all this is a fairly easy way to make a time lapse, and when you are on vacation you don’t want a hard way. I have a couple of ideas for my other vacation this summer to make some videos of the things that make Ocean City, Maryland so great. More on that in August.