A Beautiful Day For A Track Meet
A couple of weeks ago I was finally able to photograph track and field again, but the weather did not cooperate. It was not a pleasant day for the racers, and I think that some were held out with that in mind. Saturday was not that kind of a day though. It was a beautiful day for a meet. At the beginning of the meet the sky was beautiful, and that made for some great pictures.
Senior Day Fun
Senior day is always a fun time for a photographer. There is added emotion because of what that means. With a big group like this one it is hard to hone in on all of the emotion. I am pretty much capturing the beginning of the line capturing pretty good moments. It is fun to see all of the personalities that come together to form a track team though.
One More Track Meet To Go
This year I have photographed more outdoor track than I have in a long time. I have one more meet before the season is over. In a couple of weeks the best athletes in the Missouri Valley Conference will gather to crown conference champions. The emotion will be something for those couple of days, and that should be a very fun meet to cover.
The Week In Photos
Last week was a really fun week to make pictures. You can view some of my favorite photos from the past week here. This week is entirely sports related. This coming week I am taking a little break from sports for some much needed family time. Next weeks edition will look much different than this week’s.
Illinois State Wins A Back And Forth Game Against Indiana State
For much of the game yesterday it looked like Indiana State had things in control. Triston Polley was pitching a great game, and the bats were doing their job. Things unraveled in the 8th inning though. Illinois State erupted for five runs to take a 5-4 lead. Indiana State showed some grit by answering with two of their own to retake the lead. Illinois State scored three in the top of the ninth to take the 8-6 lead. Indiana State scored one, and had a good opportunity going before finally going down 8-7. There was definitely some drama in the last couple of innings.
Watching Triston Polley Pitch
One of the highlights of this season so far has been watching Triston Polley pitch for Indiana State. Last year he was a mid week starter. I photographed him as the Sycamores took on Purdue. This year he is in the weekend rotation. He has good stuff, and the best part about him is that he photographs well too. I have a feeling that this will be the last year that I photograph Triston as the scouts are on him as he pitches. I think professional baseball is his next stop.
The Clouds Part In Time For Indiana State and Illinois State To Play Baseball
Yesterday it seems like the window to play baseball at Bob Warn Field was about perfect. It rained in Terre Haute all morning, but cleared up in time for baseball. On my way home just outside of town it started raining again. I would say that the baseball gods allowed that one to be played. This spring has been the most interesting so far as far as weather has been concerned. Snow and rain have dominated instead of the games.
I can’t write a post today without mentioning Jackie Robinson. Seventy one years ago he played his first major league game and broke the color barrier. It is hard for me to believe that it took that long to happen. I have always said that it was this action by Jackie that paved the way for what would happen in the 60’s.
One Last Stop On A Long Day
Part of my long (but fun) day at Indiana State Saturday was my first softball game of 2018. The timing just has not been right to photograph the Sycamore softball team yet in 2018. I was glad that things worked out so that I could photograph nearly an entire game. This week it works out even better as the team comes to me for two games Wednesday. Softball is a fun sport to shoot, and I have not been getting much in this year.
Hitting The Shutter
Over the course of the long Saturday I made many pictures. I would guess that with non contact at bats I made over 3,000 pictures on the day. The only pictures that made it to my computer were the locked in camera photos, and I made 879 of those during the day. Because I don’t look at anything else I am pretty liberal with what I lock so I would guess that 3,000 is a good number. I have been much better with how many images that I make at an event, but when you shoot for eight hours the shutter count is bound to go up.
The 400mm f/2.8 For The Win
I have been mixing in my Tamron 150-600mm lens to give me some flexibility on my shoots. Knowing that I would be running all day the lighter lens was the way to go early on. When I started shooting the softball game I broke out the 400 for a while. I love the look of it, but I feel that it really does not work well for softball. It is too long for most of the infield plays, and it is too short for the outfield. It was still fun to play with, and I need to use it more than I have been lately.
The Week In Photos
Saturday is a big part of my weekly look back at my favorite photos. It was a fun week where I finally got to photograph some sports in 2018. This week we are back to more baseball and softball. In fact by the time this blog posts on Tuesday I already have a game in Bloomington. After the weather cancelled my games last week it will be good to get back out to the other diamond. As I said above I have two games tomorrow at Purdue to get some more softball in. You can see my favorite photos from last week here on my Exposure page.
In softball more than any other sport you have to really anticipate. The action comes so fast that you don’t have much time to react. Here I was focused on third base down low to get her crouch before the pitch. A bunt was popped up, and I panned with her to make the shot. I say that I was lucky for two reasons. One is that I was on the right player at the right time. The second is that the light was on my side here. The ball pops more against the dark background. If the catch happened just a few feet to the side the player and ball would have been in the shadow, and I don’t think that I would have liked this picture as much. I say it a lot, but luck always has to be on your side in sports photography.
Getting The Rust Off Of My Track And Field Photography
I usually shoot a lot more track and field than I have this past year and a half. The jobs have been few and far between though. That is a shame as it is really something to watch these kids doing what they are doing. Each different event shows off an amazing talent. I wish that I had more time to spend with each of them as I feel like I can’t be everywhere at once during a meet.
Getting Into The Pack
When your athletes are in the middle of the pack it can be a difficult situation to get a clean photo of them. You are not going to get any stuff that can be cut out, but you can capture moments. Here my athlete popped into the right spot at the right time so that I could make a cleaner photo of them. It doesn’t always work out this well, but this time it did.
Man there is a lot of blue at Gibson. It makes sense that there would be with the team being blue and all, but it really is everywhere. With the blue skies overhead it seemed like I had blue all over my shots during the day. It does beat the grey skies that were in the forecast for much of the week.
The Week In Photos
Man last week was a weird week for me. Much of my midweek stuff was cancelled, and then the Marathon Saturday finished it off. This was another fun collection of photos to put together. You can see my favorite photos from last week here on my Exposure page.
Getting Down Low
Near the end of the meet I was getting bored with my photography. I was not bored of the event, but rather how I was capturing it. I started to experiment a little to make some ‘pretty pictures’. I use the camera on the ground technique a little too much probably, but I love the results. The photo at the top of this post as well as the one above this paragraph was made that way. It makes the athletes look even better as they are higher in the air. In the photo above I tried to just add the sun in to bring something else cool into the photo.
The 2018 Indiana State Football Campaign Starts Now
Man it was good to be around football again. Football is so unlike any other sport that I cover in the way that it feels. The pads were on for the first time in 2018 yesterday, and the players were loving it. The temperature felt more like a late fall day, but with all of that equipment on it probably was not too bad for the players. Early on things are just about getting into the flow of practice and the plays again. The real fun begins when they go live with full pads on.
I have never been one who is big on photographing a practice. Things are so chaotic that I often cannot predict where I need to be to make the shot. A couple of practices a year though are nice to get some photos that can be used for the entire season for practices. The real fun will start in August a couple of days after my birthday when this team starts hitting against another opponent.
A Busy Day
Yesterday was a fun filled day for me. It started early at football practice on the campus of Rose-Hulman. Then it was off to photograph the Gibson Invitational. Normally photographing an entire track meet solo is enough to get you tired, but as soon as the final race was ran I threw everything into my car and sped off to track. I made it to the game in the first inning, and covered the rest of that. At the end of the day on the drive home I was pretty tired, but it is all worth it when you look at all of the photos that I was able to make. I also covered three sports that I had not yet covered in 2018. Later tonight I will put out my Exposure page with my favorite photos of the week. You can bet that yesterday factors in pretty heavily into that will all of the weather cancellations earlier in the week.
Indiana State Beats Missouri State To Win Their First MVC Game of 2018
At long last my recaps from the weekend are now complete. It is only Tuesday, but as I said yesterday this is not a news site so I can take my time as I feel that I need to. Yesterday I also promised better news, and this is it. After a couple of close losses Indiana State got the bats going. As I always say baseball is a funny sport. After winning nine in a row the team lost three in a row by a total of four runs. One hit in any game could have changed the outcome. The hits kept coming Saturday afternoon on a day when the bats were hotter than the air temperature.
Photographing Jeremy Eirman
One of the top prospects of the 2018 MLB Draft will more than likely be Jeremy Eirman. He is a shortstop that from what I saw covers a lot of ground with a lively bat. Part of the fun of covering college baseball is seeing these elite prospects come through town. I will be watching the draft this summer to see where he ends up.
Keeping It Simple
After having remotes and multiple cameras going Friday during the doubleheader I kept it very simple Saturday. With rain coming and going I just had my Canon 1DX mounted on my Canon 400mm lens. That was freeing in a way as it forced me to work with that to make my photos.
The Week In Photos
Last week was fun with a lot of baseball. Early on it was great weather that quickly turned into a snowstorm by Sunday night. Hopefully the weather changes a bit, and as I write this it seems as if it will. We had snow on the ground yesterday morning, and expect severe thunderstorms today. This time of year anything can happen, and my weekly look at my favorite photos could have anything in it. Take a look at my favorite photos from last week here.
Indiana State Drops Game Two Of A Doubleheader in 11 Innings
Thankfully this is not a news site as this game happened on Friday afternoon. After a game one where Indiana State only lost by a run they did so again in the 11th inning of game two. This was a great game that quite honestly I was not ready for to end. After 20 innings of baseball Friday I was still ready for more. As I drove home that night I really hoped that Saturday would not get rained out, and that Indiana State would have a chance to get that first MVC win of the season. (Spoiler Alert: I am in the future and they did play, and get the win.)
Setting Up The Remote
With two games being played and good weather in the forecast I set up a remote for action at the plate. The thought behind this was that with so many plays at the plate early in the season that I would make it so I could be in two places at the same time. I set up my remote on top of the first base dugout pointed right back at the plate. Then by positioning myself away from the remote I could get two angles of any play at the plate. Wouldn’t you know it that not one close play happened at the plate in 20 innings? That is how it goes sometimes. I did get some nice batting angles though during the game. This is a concept that I plan on trying out a bit more as the season goes on.
Getting The Fielding Shots
Over the course of the 20 innings I seemed to be doing pretty well getting shots of the players making plays in the field. With the Missouri State left handed heavy lineup it seemed like a good bet to just point my camera at the second baseman. I ended up with plenty of shots of him by the end of the day making a play in the field. One of these days I will nail the line drive shot, but that is just luck to some extent. For now the routine grounders will do.
The Week In Photos
Last week was a week filled with baseball, and that is always a good thing. Four games in five days is what I wish every week would have. You can see some of my favorite photos from last week on my Exposure page here. It starts with warm, sunny baseball and ends with a snowstorm. What an April this could turn out to be. This week will be a bit of a change up with some track thrown in, but just as much fun to cover.
Having Fun With A Frozen Ball
During both games I was having some fun ‘freezing’ the ball as it made its way to the plate. This seems like a hard task, but it actually quite easy to do. The hard part is getting the writing on the ball to show. That is in some way luck as well as it really depends on the pitch. Will the ball rotate the right way through the zone of focus that you have set up. The way that I do this is to find a spot where the ball and player will intersect. At Bob Warn Field I can only do this from an elevated position so I must move over a bit from where I would do it from near ground level. I then pick my spot that will be in focus, and fire away as the ball comes through that zone. This can take some patience as I think it looks better with the NCAA logo in this case showing. In game one I thought that I had my shot. By game two I tried it again and thought that I had nailed it. That shot is the first photo above this section. The photo below that one is one that I did much later in the game. I am glad that I did as I love the way that it looks. The slight smile on the pitcher’s face makes the photo for me.
Indiana State Falls To Missouri State To Open The MVC Season
Yesterday Indiana State had plenty of chances, but dropped their home MVC opener to Missouri State. Baseball is a game of inches, and it seemed like most of those breaks went to Missouri State to start the conference season. Balls like the one above that just went past the outstretched mitt of the second baseman. Baseball is a funny game, and it proved it again yesterday.
Having Some Fun During a Doubleheader
During a doubleheader you need to keep yourself interested. I started early having a little fun during the game to do just that. Here I played a little game to see if I could freeze the baseball and nothing else in the frame. Once you freeze the ball then you try and get the rotation just right so that you can see the logo. This was a lucky frame here as I accomplished my goal fairly early on.
Focusing In On The Fun
I love these moments with the team celebrating. There are many different ways to capture these moments, and without a photo well I end up being fairly far away for the. The fun and challenge during the season is to capture this moment a little different each time. I really liked how this one turned out.
Off To Catch Another One
Yesterday they played two at Bob Warn Field. The game two recap will be posted tomorrow. As I write this I have another game coming up today as well. It really says something about how crazy I am for baseball that while driving home after photographing 20 innings of it that day I was hoping that today would not get rained out. This is such a fun sport to photograph that I can’t get enough of it.
The Indiana Hoosiers Visit Terre Haute
This year I will photograph the Indiana baseball team a few times. As of right now never for the team, but I have a few times where my teams will play them. Right now they are the #11 team in the country so they will have a target on their back each time that I shoot against them. This was a game that either team could win. The 5-3 score does not tell just how many times that ISU threatened, but could not get the big hit. Baseball is a funny game. During their nine game winning streak the big hit just seemed inevitable. Last night it was just not meant to be.
Breaking Out The 400mm f/2.8
During the winter the only time that I break out my 400mm lens is for wildlife. With the edition of the 150-600mm lens I didn’t even get it out much this past winter. Last night I used it for the first time in game action since Purdue won the Old Oaken Bucket. I have been having fun playing around with the Tamron 150-600mm lens, but I really wanted the beautiful bokeh that the 400mm lens gives me. I still had the 150-600 with me, but after seeing the bokeh I really did not use it much. I like the extra reach of the 600mm end of that Tamron, but the bokeh and fast focusing is too much to pass up most of the time. I have a plan to still carry the Tamron for occasional shots, but the 400 is probably here to stay when I am on the clock.
Trying A New Strap
I have used Black Rapid straps for a while now. I just like the way that they allow me a little more freedom than just having the strap that comes with the camera on my shoulder. I started with the single strap, and then invested in a double strap when I saw the photographer and graphic designer at Purdue with it a few years ago. I have been looking for a way to carry two cameras with me without having to always have two to balance it out if you know what I mean. The new breathe hybrid strap allows me to do just that. In the old days when I had my two camera strap and I took one off it would not sit well on my body. Last night when I took off the 150-600mm lens it did not even matter. Just having an unbalanced load on each side did not matter last night. It was the first time out with the strap, but it really seemed to work well for me. If the weather cooperates I should have some more time this weekend to really see how well that strap works for me. From what I have seen so far it works well.
If you read this blog then you know that my parents moved out of my childhood home. Part of that move was me coming to get old stuff that I had not looked at in years. One of those things were my old baseball cards. As I was packing stuff up I couldn’t help but notice some of the cards. It is amazing just how much of my photography thought process was informed by the cards of the late 80’s and early 90’s. My insane love of multi-exposure is probably due to the early Upper Deck cards. Last night I played around with some multi-exposure a little more after looking through some old Upper Deck cards during the day. Maybe I should flip through those binders a little more.
Striving For More
I don’t know why, but I still haven’t felt like I have put together a solid game yet this baseball season. Maybe I have been looking at too many cards and expecting too much out of myself. I am now a few games into the season so rust should not be an excuse. I have made some fine images, but overall I am not happy with my gallery. Part of the reason may be that my home park really does not allow for much low shooting. Most of my positions are raised. That works well for some stuff, but not everything. Over the course of the next couple of weeks I will get to branch out a bit and shoot in some other parks where I can get that low angle. That angle really helps when trying to get down into the action.