Photographing The Purdue Women’s Basketball Team Again

It has been nearly four years since the last time that I photographed a game for the Purdue women’s basketball team. The first and last time that I photographed for the team was in the 2014 NCAA Tournament. It was my first paying gig, and I was so excited to do it. After a while you start to question how well you photographed when you don’t get the chance to do it again. In that time a lot has changed in the Purdue athletic department. You really would not believe how much has changed for the better in that time. Everything has gotten amazingly better making it very cool that I was shooting for them.

Purdue Off To A Good Start In The BTI Invitational

This is the start of three games in four days for the Boilers. They play again tonight against UT Martin. The on Wednesday night they play St. Mary’s with thoughts of an early season tournament trophy in mind. It will be a good test for the team over the course of the next couple of days. It is one thing to play at a high level for one night. Three games in four days is a great early season test for Purdue.

A Little Luck

A while back I was watching a Peter Read Miller video where he explained that this great cover to his book was purely an accident. He was shooting the halftime show and had a slow shutter speed still set on his camera when the action started again. At the time I could not believe a pro would make such a mistake. Of course thinking that doomed me. That would eventually happen to me. I was shooting the pre game with my shorter lens yesterday at about 1/1000th of a second slower than I would the game action. I ran to my chair after it was over to shoot the start of the game with my long lens. When I pulled the short lens up to cover a play in front of me it was still set at 1/200th of a second. Luckily for me I was panning well with the action and my athlete is sharp. This is another reason why you should shoot in RAW. Instead of losing the photo I had something a little different for the photo gallery.

A Great Game With a  Cameo By Bill Murray

Late in the game a block was followed by a fast break layup for Purdue. When the layup was being made the new screens were still showing the block graphic of Bill Murray from Scrooged. I love how Bill Murray just shows up everywhere now, and apparently he does in my pictures as well. Just looking in the rafters of this photo you can see everything that has changed lately for Purdue. From the new screens, to the new banners, to the projection of Purdue on the ceiling. All of that gives me a lot more to make an interesting background.

The Week In Photos

This week was a slower week for me as far as things that I can post in my photos of the week. You can see my weekly post with my favorite photos of the past week here. This week promises to be fairly busy so It should be much more jam packed.

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My Favorite Seventeen Photos From the 2016-2017 Purdue Men’s Basketball Season

At this point many may still be stinging from the loss to Kansas in the NCAA Tournament. Stop and look back at the season as a whole though. If you had told me on November 1st when the I first saw the team play that they would have the regular season that they did capping it off with a win over Indiana at home for the Big Ten Title I would have been thrilled. Add to that two big wins close to home in the NCAA Tournament and you have a season to be proud of. Nobody wants their tournament to end early. The truth is that it ends early for 64 of the 65 teams to enter it. This was a great season for sure. The irony of it all is that I was busier than normal, and only got to see a portion of it live. That did not stop me from following the team though on television though. It did make me pause to think about where this photography thing is going though. If I can’t be around for a season like this one what am I doing? It was a season to remember for sure. Here are seventeen of my favorite photos from this Championship season.

17. We will start the countdown with two things that I enjoyed from this season. The nets coming down after a Big Ten Championship is an easy one. I did not photograph everyone cutting down the nets. I did photograph a couple of the players though. Carsen Edwards was one of the surprises of the season. Each year usually in early November I get my first look at the team. One of the things I was looking forward to seeing this year was just how good Carsen was. He did not disappoint, and was one of the big reasons the Boilers were cutting down the nets at the end of February.

16. One thing that will show up a couple of times on here is the team introductions. The addition of the new lights last year allowed for something very cool this year. Purdue has really stepped up their game in the last few years, and basketball is a department that seems to be helping lead the way. The Boilermaker lights app was a huge success this year, and I am sure departments all across the country are trying to figure out how to do something similar. Here I was shooting for the opponent, but still wanted to make this shot.

15. Three photos into the countdown and Carsen Edwards makes his second appearance on here. This is part of why he is such a fun player to watch. He is explosive on the court, and right away in the first game I saw him play I saw that. He got up so quick to make this dunk that I am surprised I kept up with him. I expected a slow layup, but got a thunder jam instead. From that moment on I was prepared for Carsen. He gives the number three a little sauce.

14. I told you the light show prior to the game would show up on this countdown a few times. Here I made sure to show it during the t-shirt game. Each year I try and get to the t-shirt game because it looks so cool. I had a family dinner that night, but I was able to sneak this shoot in before racing to the dinner. I am glad that I did because I made a couple of my favorite photos that night.  Continue reading “Top 17 Purdue Men’s Basketball Photos of 2016-2017”

Rain in Ocean City, Maryland

Last year on our trip to Ocean City, Maryland we ran into a little rain. It rained more than it ever had before on a trip there. For some reason I was okay with it. I would go out as the rain was ending or shortly after it rained to make some photos. You just can’t beat a wet surface reflecting the lights of the businesses on the boardwalk. We didn’t want the rain, but I made the most of it.

Using The Rain To Your Advantage

The rain can be a great thing. Here all I had to do was come down from our condo to make two interesting images. I made the shot at the top of the post, and then turned to my left to make the shot directly above this paragraph. About five minutes or so from when I had the idea for the photos I had two of them. Just a short walk away I made one of my favorite photos from the trip. You can read about that shot here. I also made a shot of a lightning bolt over the boardwalk from the balcony of my condo earlier that night. I really had some success after the storm rolled through. There also is nothing like watching a storm over the ocean.

The Last Ride For the Canon 5D Mark III

This trip last year was the last time that my Canon 5D Mark III went on a vacation with me. In the fall of 2013 with some work coming at Purdue for the indoor sports I bought the 5D3 for the high ISO capability. At the time I only had the Canon 60D, and it had some drawbacks in bad light. The Canon 5D3 was the camera that what I now have was built on. It was my workhorse for a very long time. The Canon 5D Mark IV came out late in 2016 though, and the 5D3 was relegated to back up duties. I still use it a decent amount, but this trip was the last real ride for that camera on a trip. I made many photos with it over the years, and even looking at the photos above I am still really proud of what I was able to do with it. At the end the camera was beat up, taped together, and way past its recommended shutter count. It was still ticking along making great images though.

My Favorite Sixteen Purdue Volleyball Photos of 2016

This was a crazy volleyball year for me. I shot more than I ever have, and I loved every second of it. Volleyball is such an emotional sport that you get a lot of good stuff just by being focused on the players. The volleyball season started for me during the pre season match against a squad of former Purdue volleyball players. It was nice seeing some familiar faces again, and it was also nice seeing some new ones on the squad for Purdue. Over the course of the season I attended many games including two wins against Indiana. The second win was a five set thriller in Bloomington where I followed the team for the day. It was a little revealing seeing the players when the crowds were not around. The same could be said for the NCAA Tournament selection show when they found out where they would be traveling to play in the NCAA Tournament. I concluded my season with the team in Columbia, Missouri. They played a great match against Iowa State, and then fell to a very tough Missouri team to conclude the season. As I said a few times this season, this is a very young team. It was fun watching them grow as the season progressed.

16. The season started with the alumnae game, and so will this countdown. In a more relaxed atmosphere I was able to get a little closer to the court to try something. I put my camera on the grounds that the players would look like they could jump much higher than they actually can. Then Azariah Stahl jumped right in front of me. She can really jump anyway, and the camera on the ground made it look like she was even higher. It was a good way to start the season.

15. One thing that I wanted to capture on my trip to Indiana was a little more of the behind the scenes stuff that you don’t normally get to see as a fan. Here I had a lot working for me. I had a beautiful tree that had not yet dropped its leaves. The sun shining through the tree. The team bus with the motion P on it. I also had senior Faye Adelaja walking to the bus. Over the course of my last few shoots with the team I tried to capture Faye in these situations. Being the lone senior she was on her own so to speak as the season ended. She was the one player with a lot more on the line, and I wanted to capture some of that.

14. This season the early season tournament had a new name. It was named the Stacey Clark Invitational to honor longtime fan and supporter Stacey Clark. The announcement to rename the tournament was made last season with Stacey in attendance, but she lost her battle with cancer during the off season. A special moment early in the season was the Purdue squad posing with the trophy for the tournament. It may have just been me, but the team seemed to be on a mission that weekend to keep that hardware in West Lafayette. They accomplished their mission, and that is why this photo is on the countdown.

13. One way to guarantee a good shot every match is to point your camera at Ashley Evans. She is a very able player to begin with, but the celebration usually starts with her. She is a fiery player that helped me make some great images this season. This moment against Kansas was one of those times. She brings another level of intensity to the court, and she wears that emotion on her sleeve. That is really fun to photograph.

12. The moment that you find out that you will be dancing in Columbia, Missouri. As the NCAA volleyball selection show was coming up I saw many posts on the event that Purdue was having. They opened it to the public. I wondered if they had anyone there to shoot the event. I didn’t want to get in the way if they did, but if not I wanted to shoot it. Other sports on campus have this moment documented so why not volleyball? The moment that Purdue saw their name on the screen they had a great reaction. I love looking at the different faces in the photo seeing how the players chose to react. It is a fun picture, and that is why it is on this countdown.

11. Speaking of fun, here is some more. Normally I would not publish a photo with just the backs of everyone in it. The great thing about this photo is that I don’t need to see a single face to tell me what is going on. The emotion is in the body language of everyone on the court as well as in the stands. The Maryland player laying on the ground also lets you in on what has happened here. This is a fun photo that makes me want to get back to Holloway Gymnasium again.

Continue reading “Top 16 Purdue Volleyball Photos of 2016”

Purdue Sweeps Iowa State to Move on in the NCAA Tournament

Thursday night Purdue started their NCAA journey against Iowa State at the Hearnes Center in Columbia, Missouri. The beginning of the match did not look good for Purdue. They basically were the #3 seed in this pod even if the NCAA wouldn’t put a number on that. Off of the bat Iowa State came out firing and took the lead. They seemed to lead the entire match until it was tied at 24. Purdue ended up taking the set 26-24, and at the time I thought that they stole that one. Iowa State played Purdue tough in set two as well, but Purdue came away with another win. After the break we saw a Purdue team that I hope we see for a couple more weeks. They came out with a mission, and put Iowa State away about as easy as you can in a tournament like this one. This team played great, and gives me hope that I will see them play long into the postseason. Of course I write this before the match against the host school Missouri. A tough opponent awaits, but if they play as well as they did last night I have a lot of faith in this team.

Photographing in the Hearnes Center

On an otherwise great day the one downside was the crazy photo restrictions put into place in the Hearnes Center. They only had a couple of places to shoot, and some of those had a blocked view of the action. What made things even worse was the fact that the shooting locations seemed to be changing by the minute. As the action was about to begin, and the teams were meeting at center court I was told that the spot I was supposed to be in was no longer a shooting position. I asked if the high position was, and was told that it was. No problem then I will move up high. When I got up there I really liked the position. It allowed me to make some nice pictures that made the athletes look like they could really jump much higher. Three plays later I was approached and told that this was not a spot to shoot from. In an empty arena they were worried about photographers being in the stands. Once again the final positions picked were obviously not picked by anyone who knows anything about photography, but what made things worse was the fact that it seemed as if the plan was constantly changing. In an arena that is fairly unique they gave us positions where we really could not show that off. With that said you make the best of what you are given, so I focused more on the emotion from the courtside seats.

The Lights Show at Christmas at Timberlake Woods Begins Again

Each year after we eat Thanksgiving dinner we walk outside at my brother’s house to watch the light show he has produced. It really is a fun show that combines music and dancing lights to provide a good time for all. This year the show is a little longer, and had a new song in it. If you are near Martinsville, Indiana on 37 then you need to stop by and see the show after dark. You can find out a little more info on the show here.

Photographing a Light Show in the Dark

It sounds crazy, but you really do not want to photograph a light show in the dark. The dark background and the lights just don’t seem to play well together. I want some detail in the house so I really always want to photograph this show at dusk. This weekend just didn’t work out for that. We were eating as the sun went down on Thanksgiving, and the next day I was shooting the Big East volleyball tournament as the last light left the sky. I will have to get back down to Martinsville to watch this show in some good light to make some good images. I like what I made, but I know that I can do much more in better light.

The Week in Photos

Last week was a fun week for me. I was able to make some photos of Christmas lights as well as shoot some fun games. You can view some of my favorite photos from last week here. This week is pretty full so it should be another good week. Tonight I will be in Terre Haute photographing a men’s and women’s doubleheader for Indiana State. I will leave from Terre Haute and head to Columbia, Missouri to photograph the Purdue volleyball team in the NCAA Tournament. Hopefully that means two wins in two days. A trip back home Saturday should provide some good photo opportunities before one last game for Colgate Sunday here at Purdue. This should be a fun week of photos with a little time on the road thrown in.

The Purdue Volleyball Team  Learns Their NCAA Tournament Fate

Last night I went down to Mackey Arena to learn where the Purdue volleyball team was headed for the NCAA Tournament along with the team. There was a lot of anticipation in the room as we watched Stanford and Seton Hall play out the fifth place game of the Advocare Tournament on ESPNU. As soon as the game concluded the selection show would start. The show started off with a bang as Purdue was featured twice during the national seed video packages. Playing on ESPN against the top teams puts you in the highlight package. Of course it came down to the final portion of the bracket shown before Purdue learned that they are headed to Columbia, Missouri to take on Iowa State. If they can defeat the Cyclones they would most likely face the host Missouri Tigers for a chance to advance to the Sweet 16. This has been a fun team to watch grow this season, and it will be fun to watch them advance in the NCAA Tournament.

The Week In Photos

This week I was able to shoot a little tournament volleyball as well as some more basketball. My brother has a great Christmas light show that I also made a few photos of. You can find out more about his light show here. You can see my week in photos here on my Exposure page.

Xavier Defeats Marquette in Four Sets to Advance to the Big East Final

Yesterday I was in historic Hinkle Fieldhouse to photograph Xavier volleyball once again this season. It has been a fun season getting familiar with this team. They have a lot of fun playing volleyball, and that makes it easy to make good pictures. Xavier won their match so that sets up a match today against undefeated Creighton for the Big East Tournament Championship, and an automatic bid in the NCAA Tournament. I wish that I could be there to photograph them today, but I have a shoot in West Lafayette. It really is too bad that the schedules could not have worked out better so that I could have photographed both events.  Maybe I will see Xavier again in the NCAA Tournament this year. It has been a fun ride photographing their games in Champaign, West Lafayette, and now Indy. What city will they play in next?

Shooting in Historic Hinkle Fieldhouse

Hinkle Fieldhouse is a very fun place to make photos in. I love shooting in Mackey Arena and that will always be home, but shooting in an old gym like Hinkle is a lot of fun. It has so much character that you have to try and include it in your photos.I look forward to making some images in Hinkle this basketball season as well. Last year I did not shoot one game inside the fieldhouse. At the end of the year that was kind of a bummer. The last event that I had shot inside of Hinkle was the 3 point and slam dunk contests just before the Final Four in 2015. I need to get down to Hinkle a little more, and this year it would be nice to have a couple of shoots down there. We will see as the season goes on. It is a fun venue to shoot in though.

More Photos From the Match

Xavier put together a few of their favorite images into an Exposure gallery that you can find here.

Photographing the National Championships

This year I have been lucky enough to photograph a couple of national championships. It is a great moment for the team or individual that has won. It can be devastating to the team that did not win. Yesterday I was in Terre Haute to photograph the NCAA Cross Country National Championships. I had no specific position rather I was given the green light to roam around and find the photos. That is a blessing and a curse. I did not shoot every finisher, but I did find some moments. I didn’t come away with a lot of photos on the day, but I did find some moments that I really liked. On a day filled with upsets there were a lot of moments to find.

The Emotion of the Day

The women’s championship was delayed quite a bit as they tried to figure out the closest finish in history. In the end the Oregon won the team title over Michigan. Just after the finish of the race I found myself near the Michigan team as they were trying to find out if they had won or not. They were given a bunch of information saying that they won, and that they had finished third. I stuck with them knowing that if they were announced the winner they would explode with happiness. As I said they finished second, but they still gave me a lot of good moments. It is amazing just how close this race was. The moment above was the entire Michigan squad showing some love to senior Erin Finn who finished second. I think that she had her sights set a bit higher, but her team was there to lift her up. Those moments are the ones that restore your faith in people again. Watching the various teams all day really gave me a lot of hope. These young kids get it, and that is very nice to see.

Boilers in the Field

Both the men’s and women’s races had runners from Purdue in them. Both of those runners are freshmen. That is a good sign for a Purdue running program that is on the rise. It was very cool to see the Old Gold and Black run by me, and I made sure that I made a few photos of them as they did. It will be fun to see a few more Boilers in Louisville next year.