A Short Walk Around Campus

After a couple of days spending a lot of time on campus I made my third trip a little shorter. I had a lot to do, but I still wanted to get a quick walk in. I had the idea above the day before, but it was just not working. I still don’t think that it worked too well here, but it is a fun experiment. I think that I can make this better at a different time so it will show up again on this blog.

Staying Up At Night With An Idea

The night before I walked campus I had this idea for a photo. Showing off some of the cool aspects of Purdue Sports along with the fall foliage in the background. You can’t make this with one photo so I had the idea for one large panorama. This is actually twelve photos stitched together to get this view. I bracketed with my drone so I actually made 60 photos to get this one, but in the end I did not need to use any HDR techniques to make this work. I like this idea, and it worked fairly well here.

Fall Over Campus

After making the sports complex panorama I turned the drone around to face campus. The backlit trees made for a great photo looking over the campus of Purdue. I ran the photo through Aurora HDR Pro to bring out more of the scene. I don’t use Aurora often, but here I think that it did just what I wanted it to do.



Another Beautiful Day On The Campus Of Purdue

Tuesday morning I walked the campus of Purdue for a second day in a row with Trevor Mahlmann. You can read about the first walk in yesterday’s post. On this walk I wanted to get a little further in to see what else I could find on campus. One of my first stops on day two was the unfinished P on campus. Of course the second I set my tripod down a member of the lawn staff parked a gator a couple of feet away from the P. I quickly made this photo while he was unloading his leaf blower out of it. All of the leaves in the background were soon blown away by this man.

Breaking Out The Lee 10 Stop Filter

During our walk I had an idea for a photo when the classes got out. Of course I was nowhere near where I wanted to be when it happened and I missed my chance. I did practice a bit to get the settings at least close for when I had my opportunity. This photo was one that I liked from that practice.

The Little Moments

I like these small glimpses into a day at Purdue. I sat on this bench for a while with my camera pointed right at the bell tower. I wanted a moment similar to this, and as luck would have it the students came through spaced out just enough. These are the little snapshots of life on campus that I have been trying to capture this year.

Mackey Arena Looking Amazing

One thing that I always struggle with at the beginning of basketball season is being confined. In football and to some extent baseball you are free to move around and pick your angle. In basketball you are stuck in one spot. Just thinking about that gives me a little bit of a claustrophobic feeling. Then the season starts and the action is great, and the players have no helmets or hats on to hide their faces. You get all of the emotion up close and personal. By the end of the season I am not ready for it to go. This picture represents a little excitement for this season on my part. I will cover a lot of Indiana State games this year, and I think that they could be good. They will get a test right off of the bat when they face Indiana tomorrow night. For the first time since I have been a fan Purdue comes into a season as the reigning Big Ten champ. You can see the banner in the rafters ready to be unveiled at a later date, and it is exciting. This has the feeling of a really good basketball season.

A Great Walk On A Beautiful Fall Day on the Campus of Purdue University

Each weekday morning I get about three hours of time to myself. I usually spend that doing some form of paperwork for the business or setting up new jobs. For the last two days I have spent that time walking the campus of Purdue University. This blog will cover a lot of what I saw on Monday while walking around campus. The colors really are at peak right now so it has been fun walking around trying to find some great scenes. For the photo above I sat on a bench and just waiting for something interesting to come into my frame. I knew that I had a cool photo, but I wanted a student to complete the photo. These little scenes can be an exercise in patience, but sometimes that it what it takes.

The Photo That Started It All

On Sunday I was leaving the basketball game and heading to my car when I noticed that the trees near Ross-Ade Stadium were on fire. The sky was not the best, but I went and tried to make a picture. It was this picture that gave me the idea to try and make some interesting photos with the leaves.

The Start To a Great Walk

The next morning I was just going to sit and catch up on The Walking Dead when my friend Trevor Mahlmann sent me a text. I didn’t need a big push and I was out the door. I started my photowalk at the same place that I tried the day before. The beautiful blue sky was a much better background than the grey one the day before. From that point on I knew that it would be a fun morning.

They Don’t Always Pan Out

My trip started with the shot above. I worked on it for a long time to get a composition that I liked. I was obsessed with the starburst in the sky, and the little starburst right in front of me. Sometimes you can work a photo to death and it still doesn’t work for one reason or another. I was on campus for the fall color, but the color here just didn’t work. Black and white was the only option, and even that couldn’t save it. Looking at the photo at home I came up with a great idea to focus on the starburst in front of me and the trees behind it, but I just didn’t see that on the scene.

Finding the Color

Part of the fun of the photowalk is finding the patches of color. The photo above is an obvious choice, but the little moments that we were able to capture were fun as well. This is a great time of year, but it also means that the trees will be ugly for a few months. I will be rooting for snow to give a little color in no time.

The Fall Colors Reflected in Lilly Lake

Friday before heading to Butler to photograph the Xavier volleyball team I stopped by Eagle Creek Park to check out the fall colors there. For the most part the fall colors had already left most of the trees. A few trees remained with some brilliant color, but they were pretty sparse. I found myself at Lilly Lake making some photos using the trees and the reflections. I found that I started focusing less on everything above the lake and more on the reflections in the lake. By the end I was just pointed right at the water to capture the reflection. On a windy day the water was never really still so I put my Lee Big Stopper on my lens to slow things up a bit. By the end I was shooting thirty second exposures of the water to get a clearer picture. Each photo was different as the natural current would give me a new look to the photo.

Having Fun At Eagle Creek

I have driven by Eagle Creek many times, but for some reason I had never stopped until Friday. This really is a cool place that it seems like there could be some cool photographs all year round. I really need to budget more time than I had Friday to go out and see just what is in the park. I saw a small portion, and I could see where I could have some fun here.

The Week In Photos

Last week was a fun one when you factor in all that is fun about Halloween. It was also a week where I took some time to photograph some things that I want to photograph which is always nice. You can find some of my favorite photos from last week here on my Exposure page. Maybe one more week with some photos with any color in them, and then the trees will be bare and it will be time to go inside and photograph sports for a while.

Going For a Fountain Run on Campus

One thing that I never really did while on campus was to go on a fountain run. I think I may have run through them a time or two, but it was never an planned event. Now that I live near Purdue again, and I have kids we find ourselves on campus quite a bit having fun in the fountains. The pool is fun, but the fountain is a nice change of pace. It is also nice to get out and walk campus again as well. Right now campus seems to be nearly shut down with construction. If you weave your way around enough of it though you can play in a couple of cool fountains. I hope that someday both kids will bring their kids here as well to enjoy this great campus.

Having Fun While the Kids Play

Part of the fun for me on these fountain runs is going through the fountains with the kids. I also usually spend a few minutes making photos each time. On this particular trip I used both my GoPro and my Canon 5D Mark IV. The photo at the top of the post was made at the engineering fountain with my 5D Mark IV, my Canon 17-40mm lens, and my Lee Big Stopper. I don’t break out the big stopper often, but I usually like the results when I do. The big stopper is a 10 stop neutral density filter that allows me to have a 15 second exposure in the middle of the day. That allowed the fast moving clouds to blur a little more making something a little more interesting than the normal middle of the day shot. At the Loeb Fountain I used the GoPro to make some videos of the kids inside of the fountain, but I also made some photos from inside of the water jets. It is a shot that I would like to get with my dSLR, but the GoPro is waterproof so it gets the job. When I have both kids in the summer I can start to feel like I am not being creative. Trips like this one allow me to get a little creative while still having fun with the kids.

Using the DJI Phantom 4 Pro at the Potholes

One site that I never get to enough is the potholes near Attica, Indiana. This is a unique geographical area where the water has made a very cool path through a ravine. I have seen many photographs of it from different angles, but none from above. I wanted to take my DJI Phantom 4 Pro over the top to get that top down look. I think that you could really get a good view of them that way. The light was not cooperating though as the sun came out ruining my idea. That is okay as it just means that I will have to go back and try again! The best part about photography is that sometimes even a fail is a win. You an make a couple of pictures that you like, but the main photo that you had in mind doesn’t work out. Now I get to go back and give it another try on another day. I think that I will have a better plan this time to fly a little safer through the tree obstacle course.

Using the Lee Big Stopper to Create Ghost Water

One thing that I don’t use enough is my Lee Big Stopper. A few years ago this was a must have for me. I was always out somewhere that I could have used it. Of course when I finally got one I was always shooting sports, and not using the Big Stopper. This year I need to get it out more. It has a permanent place in my quadcopter bag which is always with me so I won’t have any excuses. Here it adds a little to what would have been a rather boring photo.

Taking a Different Path

When I was making the above photo I was thinking about how most of the water takes the same path over the rocks here. In fact it has done it for so long that it has cut that path into the rock. Only a small portion of the water comes down a different way. I thought that this is a perfect metaphor for the last couple of years in photography for me. I spent that time doing the same things over and over and banging my head into a wall trying to make something happen. This year I decided to pull back a bit and go back to photographing everything that is interesting to me. I have really had a great start to the year, and I have had a much easier time writing the blog when it is not constantly game recaps. I needed to get out of the rut to help make myself a more creative photographer. I would like to think that when I do shoot sports know that it shows a bit.

Here We Are Again at the Ocean City Pier

Once again I find myself wanting to post another photo of the Ocean City pier. The beauty about heading to the pier before first light is seeing the complete transformation of the scene. You go from complete darkness, to a very pastel scene, to the sun rising, and then finally the start of the day. The light is different for each portion to the point I make way too many pictures over the course of the morning. I made a few photos at 24mm while the light was at this point, but I decided to zoom into the pier at 105mm to get this photo. I really liked how it turned out. My 10 stop neutral density filter really helped me smooth out the waves here, and that gives it a much more peaceful look than it would have been if I had stopped the waves with a high shutter speed. My Lee Big Stopper allowed me to keep the shutter open for 20 seconds with quite a bit of light in the sky at the time. I don’t use the big stopper enough. It usually comes out in Ocean City, and then a couple of other times a year. When I bought it I was shooting a lot more landscapes. I really need to get back to that.

Finding a Hobby

One strange thing about me is that my hobby is also photography. This whole thing started off with me shooting for fun on the side of my real job. When I made the leap to just making pictures for a living I kept making pictures on the side. I would make the pictures that I am getting paid for, and then go to some events and make pictures just for fun. That works for a while, but there is something that changes when you are shooting for a client. That extra sense of purpose really drives you a little more. I have been dabbling in some other forms of art lately. Yesterday I went to All Fired Up in West Lafayette to try my hand at painting. It was a very easy beginner painting, but it was also a lot of fun. The beauty about painting over photography is that the sunset always does what you want it to. I may have to keep doing this for a while and see where it takes me. It would be nice to have a hobby other than photography to fall back on. I will admit though that in the process of painting today I made many photos of my step daughter, her work, and my work as we were painting. Photography will always be around somewhere. If you follow me on Instagram you probably have seen a shot of my painting at about the midpoint from yesterday.

The Week in Photos

This week I feel kind of awkward posting my week in photos post on Exposure as it really just contains the same photos from my Prospect League All Star game story.  I took a few out from that story to make my photos of the week this week. Next week will have several events in it as the end of this week is really backloaded. Here is a look at my last week in photos.

Having Some Fun in the Summer at Purdue

This year has been much busier than past summers. We usually take advantage of the Purdue campus much more than we have this year. Last week I made a trip to campus to try some things during the harsh light of midday. I normally would not shoot landscapes at that time of day, but it was the time that I had free to do so. I made a wide arc around campus looking for some interesting things to photograph. A lot of the campus is under construction right now so either my subject was being worked on, or it was in the background that I wanted. That is a bad thing for my photography, but it is a good thing for the campus. Some things like the fountain pictured above stay the same while everything around it changes slowly over time. Even the fountain has undergone some changes. This was a scene that still had some construction in the background, but careful positioning would hide it.

Using the Lee Big Stopper

Last year I purchased the Lee Big Stopper after seeing some great results with it. I really have not used it like I thought that I would. It is easy to use, and it makes an interesting scene even more interesting at times. I really need to get out and use it more. This trip to campus was done solely to use the Big Stopper. The clouds were not quite right for it, but it did make them a bit more interesting to me. I was able to make a 30 second exposure with it during the midday light. That is something that you cannot get close to without it.

The View From Ocean City Maryland

This past summer I made my way back to Ocean City, Maryland again. It was my third year in a row of what will hopefully be many. When you have been to the same place a few times the photos start to look alike. I was looking for new ways to show familiar locations. This was a little rock formation that goes out into the ocean. I had never been out on it before, but I thought with the right treatment that it could make a good photo. I am sure that this year when we visit the shore again I will be thinking of a new way to shoot this photo. I can’t wait to get back there to hear the roar of the ocean.

Using the Lee Filters Big Stopper

I bought the Lee Big Stopper last summer with the intent on shooting a lot more landscapes than I actually did. I found a use for it many times in Ocean City though. This is a simple filter that you put in front of your lens that takes away ten stops of light. That allows you to have the shutter open for a long period of time in bright sunlight. Here in the morning it might have been a little overkill, but it did allow me to give the crashing waves a more ghostly look. Had there been some nice clouds in the sky they would have looked much better as well. I don’t make resolutions, but this year I need to use the Big Stopper more.