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”

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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”

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”

Seeing The C-119G Up Close

Last year I made a trip to Grissom Air Force base on my way to a Kokomo Jackrabbits game. One stop that I had been wanting to make for some time was to visit the Grissom Air Base. I was there once probably close to twenty years before, and I knew that it would make for some fabulous photos. I love the way that these older planes look, and the personality that they were given. I don’t know much about what they were used for, but that is part of the fun as well. You learn a little bit about your subjects as you walk around the museum.

A Special Day

It is hard to believe that 33 years ago I was pulled out of school early because my brother was born. Truly one of the best things to happen to me was his birth. We are seven years apart, but we act so much alike that you might think that we are twins. If you know me personally why not take a second to wish him a happy birthday?

Waiting on the Rain

Last week the rain played a huge factor in my photos of the week. Two rain delays during the Prospect League All Star game ultimately led to it being cancelled in the fourth inning. During the last rain delay I stayed in the dugout editing my photos. To me if you are going to be stuck somewhere a baseball dugout is not a bad place. While I was editing I saw the photo above and found a way to make it. I really liked the photo. Not long after I made the photo the game was called, and I packed up my gear. I had already gone through the photos from the game so I assumed that I had everything on my computer. I forgot about the two photos that I made during the delay until the next time that I picked up my camera. I went back and used it for my photos of the week as a kind of bookend of the action. Sometimes rain ruins a pretty good shoot.

More Photos From the Prospect League All Star Game

I put together an Exposure page for the 2016 Prospect League All Star game that you can see here. I had a great time getting back to shooting some baseball over the course of the two days that I spent in Kokomo. This weekend my focus shifts to auto racing, but it won’t be long until I am back photographing baseball.

Kokomo Municipal Stadium Sunset

The Best Sunsets Come After a Storm

The two days in Kokomo this past week were spent photographing baseball, but also with one eye on the weather. We really lucked out Tuesday for the home run derby. The storms that looked to be all around us did not hit. They did however provide some great clouds right at the right time for an amazing sunset. These are the types of sunsets that are usually the most amazing, and this one did not disappoint. I kept walking around the stadium trying to find the perfect angle to photograph it from. I only had my 24-105mm on me, and I wanted something a bit wider to get everything in. Then I came up with the solution.

Using Lightroom To Make a Panoramic Image

I made a series of six images panning across the scene with the intent of merging them all inside of Lightroom. Having a way to merge a pano right inside of Lightroom really makes it easy. I chose the six files, and hit merge. The program did the rest for me. From there I have a nice TIF file to work with. This week at Indy I have an idea for a really cool pano. We will see if I can turn that idea into reality.

More Photos From the All Star Festivities

I put together some of my favorite photos from the Prospect League All Star game and home run derby into on Exposure page here. I really had a good time getting back onto a field photographing sports. A little time off did me good. This coming week I have three races on the list so the blog will be much more race centric towards the end of the week. If things go the way that I think that they can this could be an amazing week.

 

Rain Washes Away the 2016 Prospect League All Star Game

Last night I was back in Kokomo to photograph the 2016 Prospect League All Star game. I was looking forward to the event as I had not photographed a baseball game since I left Nashville in early June. The 80’s retro Padres uniforms made it interesting as well. Mother nature had other plans though as a blown transformer took out the lights for a while, and wasted valuable time. We knew a storm was coming, and any time wasted was time that could not be gotten back. When the rain finally came it was there to stay so the game was called in the fourth inning. It was a fun time even with the rain. The players really seemed to enjoy the all star experience. The game was called just as the subs were getting into the game. The game seemed to be heating up just as it was called. The players really wanted to win it on both sides so it would have been fun to see through to completion. As it was we will just have to enjoy what we saw and move on to the second half of the Prospect League season.

Rain Delay Theater

Yesterday during the first delay the players started coming up with fun ways to pass the time. The used paper cups to bowl across the field to the other team. I heard what I thought was a joke about jousting, but when I turned to see what I saw above I realized that I was not hearing things. The east team had a jousting setup ready to go. When the duo first came out the person jousting did not have any protective gear on. They quickly gave him gear, but the player holding him seemed to be in just as much danger did not have any. The west team failed to produce a knight to joust, but it was probably just as well as someone probably would have gotten hurt here. It was still a fun photo to make though.

Bonus Photos

Here are a few bonus photos from the night that I enjoyed. I have a full Exposure gallery up here with some of my favorite shots from the past two days as well. I had a plan to move around during the second half of the game, but the weather did not cooperate.



Continue reading “2016 Prospect League All Star Game”

Trey Mathis Wins the 2016 Prospect League Home Run Derby

Last night I was back in the saddle shooting sports again. I was also back in a familiar place which was Kokomo Municipal Stadium. I have shot a lot of games there, but last night might have been the most fun that I have had. I moved around quite a bit to try and get a few different takes on the action. I did not take my 400 as I knew that I would be able to get much closer to the action than I normally can. In fact I could get a shot like the one above from just behind the catcher with my 24-105. Watching batting practice I was not sure how the night would go. A steady wind was howling out to left field, but it was not a factor for most of the competition. The athletes really put on a show, and crushed a lot of balls out of the park. In the end though Trey Mathis took home the title. Along the way we were treated to a lot of excitement as players went on streaks to carry them on in the competition. If the All Star game has as much excitement as we did last night we will be in for quite a show tonight.

Back at Kokomo Municipal Stadium

Last night as I said above I was back again at Kokomo Municipal Stadium. This is a beautiful creation right in the middle of downtown Kokomo. Last year it seemed like I would find a few more upgrades each time that I shot at the ballpark. I found a few more when I shot the three game series between Purdue and Ohio there this past spring. When I walked up to the stadium yesterday I was shocked at just how much had been accomplished since March. This stadium really is a beautiful one, and it is no wonder that they have won the Best of the Ballparks competition by Baseball Digest two years in a row now.

Trying Something New

Monday I was thinking of a way to cover the derby a little differently than I have in the past. I thought that putting a GoPro on the catcher’s mask would give a unique angle to the action. I googled it to see if it had been done before, and it has a few times. I went with it anyway just to see what I could get. What I got was a lot of footage to go through yet, but here is one shot that stuck out at me as I went through everything. One thing that you notice going through it is just how close the bat comes to the catcher’s head each and every pitch. Eventually one bat got too close, and knocked my GoPro off of the catcher’s mask. The GoPro came away unscathed, but the case it was in is now gone. I will post a link to some of the better footage later in the week after I have had a chance to go through it a bit more. I think in a normal game it would be easier, but with so many swings on the night it will be a chore to go through.

Bonus Photos

Here are a few extra photos that I liked from the night. I will put an Exposure page up after the All Star game is complete.





Continue reading “The 2016 Prospect League Home Run Derby”

My Favorite 10 Photos From the 2016 Purdue Baseball Season

This year I was finally able to shoot for the Boiler baseball team again for the team. In 2014 I shot nearly all of their games, but did not shoot a single game for them in 2015. It was nice to get out and see the players again. I am sure if you read this blog then are tired of me saying that this senior class was the group that I started shooting with. In 2013 I was given a pass to shoot the team playing in the new stadium. They were the group that were part of many of my first successful baseball photos. I am shooting the first round of the NCAA baseball tournament for a couple of teams this weekend, and those photos in my portfolio help me get those jobs. I tried to get to as many games during their senior season as I could. They were a great group to photograph, and many of them appear in this countdown of my favorite ten images from the season. Here they are:

10. We start the countdown with a blue hour shot of Alexander Field. Alexander is a great field, and it looks even better in good light. Here against Louisville early in the home season the light was just right for an interesting photo.

9. Justin Gubser became a player to watch for me as I watched him interact with the people throwing out the first pitch in Kokomo over the three days I was there with the team. He was great with them, and really made them feel special. That extra attention is something that you don’t see all of the time, and it was appreciated by everyone involved. I was happy to see him get into games and contribute throughout the season. Here he slides hard into second base safely. His hard slide caused the Nebraska fielder to get out of the way too early, and give Purdue a good scoring chance.

8. Cody Strong was one of the seniors that I will miss photographing. He seemed to be the guy that could get dirty on a play no matter what. Even here in Kokomo on field turf he would find a way to get dirty helping his team. He is the kind of hard nosed player that you need on your team.

7. Here Nick Dalesandro makes a diving catch out in left field in Kokomo. Nick played left very fine during that series, but it would be behind the plate that he would make his mark this season. At first I did not like photographing baseball on field turf. At times like this though the toe drag is exaggerated by the pebbles flying up, and I think it adds to the photo.

6. Kyle Johnson is another senior that was fun to photograph. His long stride made him look good in nearly any photo. Here he tries to leg out a hit in Kokomo. He was a smooth ballplayer that was a key contributor for Purdue all four of his years. He will be hard to replace in center field next season.

5. Senior Brett Carlson celebrates a home run against Indiana State during a weeknight game at Alexander Field. Purdue surged out to a 4-0 lead against the Sycamores that night. I had to leave the game to edit photos from another game so I can only assume that Purdue won that game. I guess I will never know what happened.

Jack Picchiotti

4. Over the course of his career I have made some photos that I really like of senior Jack Picchiotti. On senior weekend I was able to make one more. As he was warming up in left field this shaft of sunlight was shining on his upper body. With the dark background I knew that it would be a cool photo. This was the last action photo that I made of Jack.

3. In Kokomo I noticed this concrete wall as senior Gavin Downs was warming up in the bullpen. It looked like a backdrop, and I thought that I could do something cool with it. I knew that I would be converting to black and white to give it the look that I thought it might have. In the end I liked the result of the photo. It looks like I had Gavin in the studio to pose for me.

2. In Kokomo Purdue was battling with the Ohio Bobcats. They took the game on a walk off suicide bunt with two outs in the 15th inning. The bench exploded, and the players mobbed the hero Alec Olund on the field. Here I captured a moment as they dog piled on Alec. I thought that this would be the top photo of the year for much of the year. It was a great moment that was the best that I had seen during the season. A late season announcement would change that though.

  1. The top moment of the season for me had to be this one on the last day of the season. Earlier in the weekend Coach Doug Schreiber announced that he was stepping down as the head coach of Purdue. After he traded lineups at home plate his players past and present were waiting to give him a hug. It was a great moment that showed just how loved Coach Schreiber was. That game was the end of an era for Purdue baseball, and I was glad to be there to witness it.