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.
Seeing The Future Of The White Sox Play For Charlotte
Last year one of the highlights of my baseball season was watching the young players that would join the White Sox later in the year up close and personal. This year I don’t know as many names on the team, but the farm system is stacked. It will be interesting who makes an impact from this roster.
Michael Kopech Brings The Heat
The real draw on the day was to watch Michael Kopech pitch for Charlotte. He came over to the White Sox in the Chris Sale trade. The kid has an arm, and had ten strikeouts in the game. It seems that he is destined to be on the Sox by the end of the year so I was glad that I was able to get the chance to photograph him before that happens.
Playing The Slow Shutter Game
While the Knights were at bat mid game I started playing the slow shutter speed game. I was having fun making motion blur images while constantly taking the shutter speed down. I made the image above at 1/15th of a second. I kept going lower, but nothing other than some cool abstract images came of it.
A Crop Sensor Camera Or A Tele Converter?
I knew that I wanted to get up close with something more than my 400mm lens would give me. I basically had two options. I could have thrown my 1.4x teleconverter on the lens, or I could swap bodies to my Canon 7D Mark II to get just about the same effect. I opted for the body swap, and put my 7D Mark II to good use. I still don’t know about the image quality from the 7D II, but it is fun to get a little closer to your subject.
More Faces of Baseball
I really have been having fun making these in game portraits of the athletes. It is just a way to get your audience a little closer to the game. I need to figure out a way to put all of these together at the end of the season.
Before the game I was looking for some images. I really thought that I had a couple of visual things going, but then I had a cool moment develop right in front of me. Charlotte pitcher Thyago Vieira was signing autographs for some fans. One fan just wanted a selfie. As they started to make their picture I moved in quickly to make mine. The whole thing happened very quickly, but I was happy with what I was able to capture. I love having a fun image in the can so early in the shoot. It takes the pressure off of the rest of the game.
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.
Notre Dame and Indiana Face Off At Victory Field
This is the fourth year in a row that I have covered this game, and the third time for Notre Dame. I love the backdrop of Victory Field for a college game. In a couple of weeks I will be back there again as Indiana State takes on Butler inside the confines on Victory Field. Hopefully I will be back inside sooner though as I would love to shoot a couple of the minor league games there this weekend. My schedule is pretty full though so it would take some doing to get there.
A Little History With The Two Schools
I have some history with these two schools. As I said a couple of days ago I was a huge Notre Dame fan growing up. In fact ten years ago I had Notre Dame baseball season tickets. Things have really changed since then, but it is nice to shoot for the school. A much lesser known fact is that I actually went to Indiana for a year. I wanted to be a writer so I planned on going through their journalism program. As you can tell by this blog I was not meant to be a writer so I ended up at Purdue. The rest is history, but for a short time I was a Hoosier. It is always pretty cool to see both of these teams play.
Setting The Scene
Games like this are fun to shoot because the action is nearly secondary. You want to show the setting of the game of a bit. A place like Victory Field allows you to do that very well. I carried more gear than I am used to with that in mind. The field is part of the story on a day like today. Sometimes you need to keep that in mind in this age where everyone wants everything cropped tighter.
The Gear In The Field
For the past couple of games I have just carried my 400mm on a full frame body and my 24-105 on a full frame body. With the venue being part of the show last night I changed things up a little. For most of the game my 400mm lens was attached to my Canon 1DX camera body. Then I had my 70-200mm lens attached to my Canon 7D Mark II body. What that does is effectively give me a lens that is 112mm-320mm. On my third body I had my trusty Canon 24-105mm v2 with my Canon 5D Mark IV. In my pouch on my belt system I had the 11-24mm lens ready to go for most of the game as well. Basically I had from 11-400mm covered, and if I wanted to I could have switched up the 7DII onto the 400mm lens to get something around 640mm. For some action in good light that is an option. If I carried all of this around every day it would probably put me in the hospital with all of the stairs that you do at a stadium like this. For a few games here and there though I like to bring it all out.
A Fun Filled Week
This game was the start of a very packed week for me. Tomorrow night I shoot Indiana State baseball again, but this time in my town. It will be nice to make a short trip over to Alexander Field to cover the Sycamores. From there the rest of the week is already a blur and it hasn’t even started yet. It will all be fun though as I try and fit as much as I can into a few days.
What A Difference A Year Makes
Last year I shot this game as part of a bad deal that I made just to get some money flowing in. This whole photography thing was really on the ropes. It was part of the reason I was coming up with my exit plan. It is hard to believe that I was thinking that a year ago. I love what I do, but nobody was calling for me to do it. Since then things have gone in a vastly different direction. At this time last year I had nothing on the schedule in the fall. This year I am already turning down jobs because I am already booked. That is a good problem to have, and just another reason to keep your head down and to keep going.
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 Sycamore Baseball Team Travels To Bloomington To Take On Indiana
Last night I was back at Bart Kaufman Field again to photograph another baseball game. I finally made it there a few years ago photographing for the Cincinnati Bearcats. Last year I was lucky enough to photograph some games there for Purdue as they returned to the Big Ten Tournament. Last night my team the Sycamores came to town. It seems like no matter where I shoot it is two hours away. Bloomington is just that for me.
One of the fun things about the ballpark at Indiana is the heat lights in the dugouts. They give off a beautiful orange glow that is fun to work with. On a day like yesterday the players were hanging out near them all of the time so they were the places to be for sure. Here is one of my favorites from pregame.
One of the cool things about baseball is all of the quirks that come with it. One of those quirks is the knuckleball. It is the great equalizer. When it is working it is tough to hit. It can make good teams look bad. It was fun to try and capture the knuckleball from a few different angles last night.
More Indiana State Athletics
Today Indiana State comes to me! I will start my commute exactly the same as I always do, but it ends about ten minutes into my trip. It will be nice to shoot close to home tonight. I have not gotten many chances to photograph the Indiana State softball team this year so two in my hometown sounds good to me.
Up Next For Indiana State Baseball
This weekend the Sycamores are back home with Illinois State coming to town. Of course that also means that rain is in the forecast. With warmer temperatures finally here hopefully the rain stays away.
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.
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.