Back At The Brawl House

I have been photographing roller derby longer than anything else. It really is the thing that got this whole thing moving much quicker than it would have any other way. Roller derby is one of the sports that is the most fun to cover for me. It is so unlike anything else that I cover. I know I say it a lot on here, but this team really does do it all. From the planning of the game to the training to the actual skating. This is their endeavor. It is pretty cool to be a small part of it even for just a couple of hours every now and then. This is the sixth year that I have been shooting for Lafayette, and the seventh year of shooting roller derby. What a ride that seven years has been. I did not get to have as much fun before the game as I normally do as I was coming from another job, but it was once I got there.

Up Close At The Game

A few times during the course of the night I used my 70-200mm lens to get a little closer to the skaters. I am using a shorter lens here than I have been for outdoor sports, but the access is so much better than I have at those sports during the action. I am able to get right in there to make some solid portraits of the team.

The Week In Photos

Last week was a fun sports week for me. My weekly collection of my favorite photos shows that. You can view my Exposure post with my favorite photos here. This is probably my favorite thing to do every week is to sit down and go through my images fro the week prior. It is a good way to see where you have been while you are planning where you are headed.

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Indiana State Wins A Great Game At Alexander Field

This is a series where the visiting team always seems to have the edge. I was not able to be at the game in Terre Haute Tuesday night, but I was able to make this game in West Lafayette. With the recent trend it seemed like the best opportunity to make winning game photos. The Sycamores did not disappoint, and I was able to get my winning photos.

More In Game Portraits

I have been having some fun making these portraits during the games. I have people tell me all of the time that baseball is boring. I don’t see it. Something is happening all of the time somewhere on the field. These little moments on the bench are fun to capture.

Back At Alexander Field

This was my first time at Alexander Field this year, and it is nearly the end of April. That is hard for me to believe. This is the sixth season of baseball at the field, and I probably had shot more games there than anyone until recently. Things just have not worked out this year. Take Sunday for example. I have a little time and the Boilers have a home game. Of course the weather steps in to get the game cancelled. I know for sure that I will be at one more game at Alexander this season.

Finding Another Angle

I moved around more last night than I normally do. Part of that you might say is to find another angle, but most of it was to stay warm. It was so cold out there at the end of the game that I was moving a lot just to get the blood flowing. I think that I ended up at most of my shooting spots at Alexander before the night was over. My favorite is low on the first base side. There is a spot where you can get right down at almost field level that I love. The spot is killer on the knees, but the photos are totally worth it.

Putting It All Together

Maybe I listen to too many audiobooks on my car trips, but I liked to tie things together. These last couple of days have done that for me. The four teams involved in my games have all meant something to me at one time or another. I grew up a huge Notre Dame fan so it was fun to shoot for them Tuesday night. I went to Indiana for a year followed by too many years at Purdue. Finally we come to where I am now at Indiana State. The four schools that I have been a part of all come together in two days. Whoever planned that deserves an award.

By Any Means Necessary

Yup I did it. I made Jake Means last name into a title here. I will go on record though and say that his play on a ball during a stolen base attempt in the 9th inning saved this game for Indiana State. Had he not gotten that ball a run would have scored to tie the game, and the momentum was on the side of the Boilers. It was a big time play for sure. These things happen so quickly that I hoped that I had captured the moment. It was a snap throw to the bag, and my guy tried to jump out of the frame. Luckily for me I captured the moment.

The Moon Rises Over The Neil Armstrong Statue At Purdue University

A couple of weeks ago while waiting for the ISS flyover I made some images of the campus during the blue hour. The last of those places that I visited was the Neil Armstrong statue and the Armstrong Hall of Engineering. The stars had just come out, and the clouds were moving quickly, but it still was a fun little shoot. No matter how you photograph it this is a very cool building.

Finally Getting To The Purdue Campus

In 2017 I set a goal to photograph the campus of Purdue more. For some reason that did not carry over into 2018. This was my first chance to get out and photograph anything on campus, and it was at the end of March. My photography has taken me away from Purdue, and I guess I just haven’t made the time to visit in my spare time.

Photographing College Tennis

When I woke up yesterday I had no intention of shooting tennis. I have nothing against the sport, but I just had no idea anything was going on. It is kind of a forgotten sport on campus. I had to stay close to home during the day so I had thoughts of shooting part of the Purdue baseball game. It was being delayed, and I found out about the tennis matches through the student paper. I decided to head towards baseball, and shoot tennis until they played baseball. The baseball game never happened so I shot tennis for a while. Tennis is a fun sport, but with no real purpose there during the day I did all that I could from the balcony. I normally go down onto the court, but no sense getting in the way for fun.

The Week In Photos

Last week was a fun week filled with a lot of bat and ball sports. This coming week promises more of the same. A lot of baseball early in the week followed by softball and baseball over the weekend. Before we get to next week though we had better review last week. You can view my favorite images of the last week here.

The Ball That Never Came To Be

You can blame a lot of things on Charlie Finley. Late starts in the World Series, the designated hitter are a couple of his ideas that are still in use. One that never took off was the orange baseball. About 45 years ago Charlie Finley came up with this idea that the orange ball would be more visible. The only problem was that the ball was super slick which the pitchers did not like. The red seams did not pop off of orange ball like they do the white ball so the hitters couldn’t pick up the spin. The ball never really took off.

My Orange Ball

About fifteen years after the orange ball idea failed I picked my first one up. Being from Charlie’s hometown of LaPorte we always heard stories about this baseball pioneer. Driving on the highway you could still see the hedge shaped in the A’s logo at his former house. I used to play street hockey on his tennis courts because they were so large. When the orange baseballs showed up at the sports store we bought a couple of them. The one in the photo above is the only one that survived. I bet this ball was part of 100’s of games of catch with my dad. It is scuffed, it is beat up, the writing has long since come off the ball, but it is still pretty distinct. This was one of the items that showed up in a box when I finally picked up my childhood effects from my parents house.

The Red Devils And Raiders Play At Bob Friend Field

Man yesterday was a nice day! The temperature gauge finally hit 70 degrees. I knew that my daughter and I would spend as much time as we could outside to take advantage of the great weather. While on Twitter I saw that two locals schools would be playing at the ball field in our neighborhood. When I first moved here I loved the fact that there is baseball in the middle of the neighborhood. Back then my nephew was on the team so I made many bike rides over there to shoot the Red Devils. Lately though it seems as though my schedule and theirs have not synched up. For a few innings yesterday it finally did. I love the access and great angles that I can get at Bob Friend Field so I try and visit there as much as I can. Yesterday we could only stay a few innings, but I tried to make the most of that time.

Flying Dirt and Baseball

This year so far I have only photographed baseball on turf. You can make some interesting shots on turf, but nothing beats dirt flying through the air. That is baseball to me. I realize that turf fields help get more games in, and they are easy to take care of. For photo purposes though you just cannot beat actual dirt.

More Photos From the Day

I have put the photos from the game on my SmugMug site available to download. You can view that gallery here.

Waiting For The Turn

As I did Wednesday I was making some very tight shots of the players during the game. Here I just needed the catcher to turn in an unconventional manner to get this shot. A yell from the dugout helped me make this picture. I think that I have taken my Faces of Baseball project in a new direction with these shots. The best part about this shot is that I should see Owen play more in the future as he is committed to play at Purdue.

Indiana State Softball Plays Two At Purdue

Last night I was able to photograph Indiana State from my own backyard. I love it when a good plan comes together like that. The short commute means a little more time at home while still getting to see the Sycamores in action. On a day that finally felt like spring that was a good thing.

Getting In Tight

For part of the game I focused on getting some tight shots of the athletes. Two games back to back can lead you as a photographer into thinking that you have already made all of the photos. I decided to try and do something a little different with that time. Here I was extremely lucky as a foul ball behind the plate was hit right as I was making the image. The slight look up made this picture for me.

Breaking Out The Canon 7D Mark II

For some reason I like using my 70-200mm lens on my crop frame body for softball. I know that there is a debate about the ‘extra reach’ that you get, but I like that my frame has been cropped with all 20 some megapixels of this camera. It does a fine job with what I need it to do. I really liked using it along with my 400mm on the full frame body. Some of my favorite photos of the day were made with the 7DII including the home run celebration above.

More Multi-Exposures

Last night as things were winding down I was making some slow shutter speed images along with some multi-exposures. I had two cameras so in case something major happened I would be ready, but with my second body I was having some fun. Usually the softball windup does not lend itself to a multi-exposure, but this one seemed to quite well.

An Interesting Situation

I grew up a huge Notre Dame fan. Growing up an Irish Catholic kid about a half an hour from Notre Dame Stadium it just made sense. Even while attending Purdue I would still wear ‘The Shirt’ when Notre Dame came to town. Purdue would get my fandom every football game of the year but one. I still remember the moment when that all changed. I was in Notre Dame Stadium in 2012 rooting on Robert Marve to be the Irish. It felt weird at the time, but it just happened. I had moved away from the area, and I slowly but surely became a Purdue fan. Without a lot of articles and info to read about Notre Dame I started not knowing players. The teams felt foreign. Purdue on the other hand was a team that I knew well. I bring this up because I feel that it is happening again. I have spent so much time with the Indiana State athletics program this year that I really know the players and the teams well. I found myself during the games yesterday looking at Purdue players and not knowing who they were. I will always root for Purdue because that is where I went to school. Yesterday though I was rooting for another team. That is a weird feeling, but I guess that it makes sense. Next week when the baseball teams match up it will be even weirder.

Having Fun With What You Do

Shooting sports is fun. It should always be fun. Compared to what I used to do this is an amazing way to make a living. Moments like this make things even more fun. Part of the joy of covering this team the last couple of weekends is seeing how much fun they have on the field. I sometimes get caught up in what I am doing, but most of the time I have fun as well. If you can’t have fun doing this then something is wrong.

A New Home In West Lafayette

If you read this blog then you know that my parents recently moved out of my childhood house in northern Indiana. Yesterday they took possession of a new home here in West Lafayette. I made this photo with my phone while we were waiting for them to arrive after getting the keys to the house. It is a simple photo, but I thought that it was a good metaphor for the situation.

A Happy Kid

This kid is happy that he will be able to see his parents more, but the real winner here is my daughter. She is over the moon that her Nana and Dzia Dzia will be closer to her. I am happy when she is happy so we all win.

Getting To Hear From A True Master Of Light

When I started getting serious about photography I looked to a few sources for information. When it came to lighting there was one name that I kept coming back to, and that was Joe McNally. He really is a master of lighting. His videos online really helped me get a basic understanding of what it means to light a subject. My year at the studio was a direct result of him. It was cool to see what he has been up to as well as hear some of the behind the scenes of his photos.

Trapped With Joe McNally

One of the first videos that I saw Joe in was a weather related video on KelbyOne. The promo was a fun one with Joe getting blown around while trying to pitch the class. Who knew that I would finally meet him during a tornado warning? As I made my way to campus late for the presentation the tornado sirens started going off. I got to the Loeb Playhouse in time to join everyone else in the basement. It was an interesting way to meet Joe for sure.