My Eighteen Favorite Photos From the 2017-2018 Xavier Men’s Basketball Season

This was the first year that I was able to photograph the Xavier men’s basketball season for the team. It started with their Musketeer Madness pre season event, and then ended in the NCAA Tournament. This was a fun team to photograph, and I was lucky enough to be at a couple of very cool moments. Here are my eighteen favorite images from a fun season.

18. We will start the countdown where the season did. Musketeer Madness was a fun event where the team got to meet the fans, and then play an exhibition. It was here where I first learned just how much of a personality Tyrike Jones. had. Here his aviators give me a glimpse at the young man getting his autograph. This was a fun picture from a fun day.

17. During March Madness I was able to photograph Bill Murray. What a cool bucket list item to check off. I had some closer shots of him from pregame, but I liked this one because is just illustrates the fact that he always seems to stand out from the crowd.

16. At the end of 2017 I travelled up to Milwaukee to see Xavier open their Big East season against Marquette. They got the first of what would be many Big East wins on the season on their way to the Big East title. Here was one of the punctuation marks of that game.

15. One player that I wish that I could have photographed more was J.P. Macura. He plays the game hard, but that translates to amazing photographs. He was the kind of guy that would will his team to the win.

14. This is the tip off of the final game of the season. I liked the idea of getting the tip with the logo on the court. Being the second shooter allowed me the freedom to break away to make the picture.  Continue reading “Top 18 Photos From the 2017-2018 Xavier Basketball Season”


Madness Comes To The Music City

Friday night was full of madness. I am talking about the tournament of course and not the hoard of zombie like hoard of intoxicated people leaving Broadway every night. Friday was a fun day full of great games. I left my hotel after watching much of the Purdue game on TV with the thought of shooting some of the 2nd half of the Cincinnati game against Georgia State. I went out for the start of the 2nd half, and stayed for a decent portion of that half. I was only going to shoot a bit of the Nevada and Texas game, but it ended up being so good I stayed for the entire game. That includes the overtime period that you knew would happen. I then shot my game for Xavier, and then went out for a very quick portion of the Missouri and Florida State game. At the end of that day I was actually tired of shooting sports which does not happen very often. Here is a look at some of the fun from the games not including my Xavier game. If you want to read about that game you can click back to yesterday’s post.

Cincinnati vs. Georgia State

For a minute I thought that I might be seeing another epic upset. A #15 over a #2 seed was the highest that had ever been done in the tournament at that time. Of course we all know that fact changed later that night at another site. Cincinnati is from the same town as Xavier, but I don’t think that there is much crossover with the fans. It does make it nice for the Enquirer the local paper as they could send both photographers to the same site to really cover the event. In the end Cincinnati was too much for Georgia State, and moved on.

Nevada vs. Texas

When I went back to the media room at the half of this game I thought that there was no way that Nevada would win this game. They just didn’t look that into it. They of course proved me wrong by winning the game in overtime. It was a great comeback full of the emotion that you would expect during March Madness.

Missouri vs. Florida State

This was a game that I was not too excited to shoot. I knew that it should be a good game, but I was not inspired to shoot it. I shot a little bit during the first half before packing it up and heading back to the hotel. At the end of the day it was not a competitive game anyway so I don’t think that I missed too much.

Seeing Cuonzo Martin Again

Part of the draw of shooting for a while was seeing Cuonzo Martin on the sideline again. He of course was a Boilermaker player and part of Matt Painter’s first coaching staff at Purdue. I have always rooted for him, and I want to see him do well. It is really amazing just what kind of a ride he has been on since leaving Purdue. I hope that he found a place to stay in Missouri.

Another Look At Kendall Stephens

Kendall was always a favorite of mine while at Purdue. He had a smooth style of play that photographed well. It was cool seeing him fill up the nets again. For a while I thought that I might be watching his last game in college, but the comeback made sure that I will see him play again today.

Xavier Advances To Play Florida State On Sunday

Xavier took care of business last night, and beat Texas Southern to advance in the NCAA Tournament. When I booked my hotel for the weekend I did so with the thought that Xavier would win the first game. A number one seed has never lost to a sixteen seed so that was a safe bet. Right? Of course we all now know that it is possible as Virginia became the answer to a future trivia question last night. A win in this tournament is never guaranteed so I will take last night. The game against Florida State on Sunday will not be as easy. It should be a good game though.

Never Take It For Granted

On my way to the stadium it hit me just how lucky that I am. As I was leaving the hotel I ran into a couple that were fans of Texas. They couldn’t believe that someone would pay for photos from the tournament. That really got me thinking about just how far I have come in a short span of time. In 2010 I was sneaking cameras into the tournament to photograph my team. I would get so nervous for Purdue that I would disappear into the camera. It is a weird thing, but making photos calms me down. In 2011 I was allowed to take my camera into the United Center to photograph the Purdue games, but I had to buy a scalped ticket to get into the lower bowl. Now I am being paid to photograph the games from the floor. I am a lucky man. Life is good.

Film For The Win

I have been making my pregame and postgame photos black and white for a while now. Something about the lighting in the rooms makes it almost necessary. This year though I wanted to show the blue off at Indiana State so I started experimenting. Early in the season I came up with a preset for the locker rooms there. I also made a black and white version that I rarely use. I tweaked a fake film preset to get a look that I like. Here it seemed to work perfectly. Maybe I will shoot the entire game in black and white Sunday.

Tournament Emotion

The best part about the tournament is the emotion. I shot parts of all four games yesterday. The emotion was amazing all day long. Even when the Xavier game was out of hand I still managed to find some here. Emotion is what makes this all worthwhile. You can chimp and see a good action shot and get excited. When you do the same and find a sweet emotion shot it really is great. As this tournament goes on the stakes will get higher meaning more emotion to capture.

I Second That

My role here in Nashville is simple. I am the second shooter. My job is to get angles and photos that the University photographer cannot get. Sometimes like in the locker room after the game I found myself heading somewhere and then seeing the other guy headed the same way. When that happens I just find another subject. This is a freeing concept because I don’t have to get all of the action. I am free to take some chances. I could get used to shooting this way.

Obligatory Bill Murray Section

It was fun to hear the buzz about Bill Murray at halftime in the media center. Seasoned pros were just finding out that he was a Xavier fan then. I have watched the sport long enough to know some things. One of them is that this time of year the cameras will find Bill Murray in the stands when they can. Bill was up and active when the game was close, but then with the game in hand he spent some time with his grandkid. As a kid I remember watching the old condensed Saturday Night Live shows. I still sing his words to the Star Wars theme when I hear it. I could name off his great movies, but I don’t have that kind of time. It is fun to get paid to make pictures of him.

My Favorite 18 Indiana State Basketball Photos From the 2017-2018 Season

This was really a tale of two seasons. The first half of the year was an interesting one in which the team really seemed to struggle. At the beginning of 2018 a coaching change was made, and this team really took off. That run at the end of the season was so much fun to cover. This team really started playing well, and that just makes for good photos. Here are my eighteen favorite images from the 2017-2018 season.

18. On senior day all of the seniors started the game. Freja Christensen got the nod on senior day, and seemed to be having some fun out on the floor. Here she dribbles through a screen looking to make a pass. It was fun seeing her get some minutes with her family in the stands.

17. Regan Wentland is a player that you never have to question her effort. She always gives her all, and is going to be a key player returning next season. Here she gets a shot up against Evansville to help give the team their first MVC win of the season.

16. I had to get one photo in here of Ashely O’Neal getting a three up. She was money during the season from behind the arc. When the team needed a big three they could count on Ashley to nail it.

15. This photo of Alexis Delgado was made during the final game that I shot for the team this year at Southern Illinois. It was basically a preview of a matchup that would happen one week later at Hoops In The Heartland. This team really battled back to finish fifth in the conference. From the way that the season started you would never have guess that it could have happened.

14. Ashley O’Neal has the nickname ‘Biggie’. I am sure that it has to do with her size, but you would never guess it to see her on the court. She is fearless in the way that she plays the game. Here the sophomore drives the lane against a much bigger opponent. It seemed like she would need stitches every game after going in the paint, but it never stopped her from doing so. She will be fun to watch grow over the next couple of years.  Continue reading “Top 18 Photos From the 2017-2018 Indiana State Women’s Basketball Season”

The Rogers Hornsby Statue at Busch Stadium

I love the way that the Cardinals have honored their past outside of the stadium. You don’t need to buy a ticket to see the history of the team. The statues outside of the stadium have been on the blog before so I didn’t want to repeat too much of what I shot a couple of years ago. I did like this photo though so I wanted to include it on the blog.

Getting It Right

The Cardinals really have gotten it right when it comes to their past. They have the great museum that is not too much to walk through. Just walking through the museum really brings back memories from my childhood. They have the great statues outside of the park that lets you visit your heroes whenever you want to even if it is the offseason. My White Sox have tried to bring the statue game up to date, but they are all in the park. You have to pay to see them. The old Hall of Fame disappeared in 2006 never to resurface again. Part of getting youth into the game is having their family walk them through the past. My dad did that for me letting me know about names like Minoso, Fox, Appling, Pierce, and others. I want to do the same showing my daughter players like Fisk, Baines, Konerko, and Buehrle. I hope that eventually the Sox get it together and make something like this happen.

My Ten Favorite Images From the 2017-18 Xavier Women’s Basketball Season

This year I started shooting basketball much earlier than ever before in early October. It was fun being there during the Xavier Musketeer Madness. I have not seen a lot of midnight madness events as none of the other schools I am involved in have them. I was worried that I would be bored with basketball season even sooner with the early start, but for some reason this year I have had a blast making basketball images. From the start it has been fun. I saw this team the first time that they took the court this year, and I followed them until the last time that they left the court. Here are ten of my favorite images from this past season.

10. The countdown starts where the season started. That is in Cincinnati with Musketeer Madness. I loved the way that the teams were introduced to the crowd. Here Jada Byrd is introduced to the crowd at the Cintas Center. Those lights in the background were fun to photograph in different ways the entire night.

9. For the second straight year I have photographed the Xavier women’s team at Butler. For the second straight year the team won in Hinkle Fieldhouse. I loved this moment during the game as you can see just how hard fought that win was.

8. Here A’Riana Gray battles for a rebound during the Big East Tournament in Chicago. On the surface it does not look like too much of a battle, but the grabbing hands and flexed muscles really shows you just how much these two were straining.

7. This is the year of the anthem shot. It is hard to constantly get excited about photographing the anthem as I see so many during the year. When you are somewhere as cool as Hinkle Fieldhouse though you work the building into any shot that you can.  Continue reading “Top 10 Photos From the 2017-2018 Xavier Women’s Basketball Season”

My Favorite Eighteen Photos From the 2017-2018 Purdue Women’s Basketball Season

I say this every year, but I need to see more Purdue women’s basketball in person. This year I saw more than last year, but still not nearly as much as I used to. In the past I attend nearly every home game, and a handful of away games. I would also never miss them playing in the Big Ten Tournament. I thought of this as I was driving to a job listening to them play in the tournament on the radio. There are some great pieces on this team that will have it competing past the first day of the tournament in the next couple of years. They will be fun to watch. Here are my favorite images that I made of the team from the 2017-2018 season.

18. One of the highlights of the season for me was season Ukari Figgs recognized with a bobblehead. She was a fun player to watch during her time at Purdue. She is a winner too. Here she shares some information with the current Purdue squad that will help them beat Penn State.

17. The last couple of weeks I have been able to shoot in some cool arenas that have a cool background. Over the last few years Mackey Arena has really become a fun place to photograph inside. You get a lot of great things that you can incorporate into your photos.

16. These moments are so much fun to capture. When one player is just going off the bench usually erupts. I don’t know if these kids are old enough to remember the old Michael Jordan shrug, but Abby Abel to me seemed to be doing a great impression of it.

15. Abby and the bench enjoying another great moment here. Abby is one of those players that every team needs to have. She is a great presence that keeps things fun. She also does some great things off of the court as well. When you think of a student athlete and what that should mean players like Abby should come to mind.  Continue reading “Top 18 Photos From the 2017-2018 Purdue Women’s Basketball Season”

Walking Around St. Louis

One advantage to playing the last game of the night is the fact that I had some time to explore St. Louis a bit. Last year I did not plan any time to do that, and I ended up with no pictures of the city. Part of the fun of traveling to cover sports is walking around the new places that I get to visit. This is a photo that I have wanted to make since 2009. I travelled to St. Louis to watch a couple of games on my birthday weekend that year. I made pretty much this exact photo with my Blackberry at the time, but I have always wanted to re-do the photo with my dSLR. I got that chance this week to do so. One of these years ISU will make a deep run in the tournament, and I will be able to really get to know this town.

Just Get Lower

I walked a few steps away from the photo at the top of the post to make this photo. I wanted just the courthouse and the arch in my frame. The trouble was that there were some annoying cars in the foreground. I used a technique that I used many times over the weekend at my events and I put the camera near the ground. That lower perspective got rid of the cars, and made the image more pleasing to me. It was never an award winner, but it was still fun to make.

The Week In Photos

Last weeks post was mostly my basketball shots from the weekend. I did get some travel shots in there including the two in this post. If you want to see more of my work from last week you can by clicking here.

My Favorite Eighteen Photos From the 2017-2018 Indiana State Basketball Season

It is really hard to believe that this season is over for Indiana State basketball. It really does not seem that long ago that they came to Purdue for the exhibition game. The game at Indiana to start the season also seems like just a couple of weeks ago. College basketball season used to seem like an eternity to me. This team made this season so much fun that I don’t want it to end. At the end of the year we said goodbye to four seniors. They will be hard to replace. The players coming back though have me very excited for next season. Until that can get here though here are my favorite 18 photos from the season that just finished.

18. We will start the countdown at the end of the season in St. Louis. At this point of the year we have good close ups of everyone so I decided to go wider for the game to show the atmosphere of the game. Here I liked how this worked out as Tyreke Key puts up a big three. This true freshman really came in and contributed this past year. It will be fun to watch him grow as a player. As a true frosh he hit many big time shots for the Sycamores.

17. Next year the Sycamores will rely heavily on Emondre Rickman now that Brandon Murphy is gone. Here he battles at Indiana to start the season.

16. Speaking of Big Murph here he is on senior day taking it all in one last time. He was truly fun to shoot for the last couple of years. This might be my favorite picture of him over my time covering the team.

15. This year I played with this tunnel concept quite a bit. I have a few favorites from the season, but here senior Demonte Ojinnaka gave me a pretty good look as he walked through. The lighting is crazy in the tunnel so I created a lightroom preset just for in here. I like the look it gives me.  Continue reading “Top 18 Indiana State Men’s Basketball Photos From 2017-2018”