The Snow Falls on the Neil Armstrong Statue at Purdue University

A while back I posted some photos from my snowy photowalk around the campus of Purdue University. For some reason I left a few photos out of that post. I was going to go back and re-insert them, but I decided that they could have their own post. This photo of Neil Armstrong was one of the reasons that I decided to break this out into a second post. I really like the way that this turned out. The pose by Neil along with the way the snow is falling really worked for me here. Neil looks as heroic as he should, and the snow does the rest for the photo. I love the campus of Purdue University, and snow just adds to the beauty of it.

Making Good on a Promise

As I was writing up my ‘best of’ posts for last year I realized just how little I explored my own area. When I visit a new town I try and get out and see what makes it worth visiting. The problem with having a place as cool as Purdue in your own backyard is that you take it for granted. You can go out tomorrow and make images of it. This year I decided to really bear down and photograph the place where I live with the same ferocity that I photograph towns that I visit. So far I have kept that promise to myself. It has also been very rewarding as I have made a lot of images that I really liked. This is something that I intend to keep going long after 2017 is over. There is always something new to explore around here. The campus changes so much that you can be sure of that.

The Week In Photos

Last week I had a lot of fun making photos. I think that it shows in my weekly collection of my favorite photos. Near the end of January I decided that I would start making the photos I wanted to make. I have been banging my head into the wall for a couple of years doing the same things over and over hoping for a different result. I decided that I would go back to really enjoying what I am doing, and it has paid off. I have really been enjoying myself, and I think that it shows in my work. Here is a link to my favorite photos from last week.


Photographing the End of Season Purdue Wrestling Banquet

I really had no intention of writing a post about the banquet last night. Going into the weekend I had posts scheduled to go out so that I could take a weekend off of blogging. Of course whenever I do that something happens that makes me scrap the entire plan. That is what happened last night at the Purdue wrestling banquet. I love shooting events, but I usually do not blog about them because they are more personal affairs for those involved. I will not show a bunch of photos off to you today from the night. The photo above was one that I thought I could share. I really wanted to share my experience with you from the banquet.

A True Family

When you hear athletes talk about their teams one of the cliches is to say that they are like family. I heard that phrase a few times last night, and it is anything but a cliche. These guys really are a family. You can see it in the way that they interact with each other, and through the stories that they tell. This was a great group to be around. I really need to get out and see a few more matches next season. The matches that I attended this year were great, and the wrestlers gave me some great photos. It will be interesting to see how the dynamic changes next year with the six seniors leaving. You get to see new leaders step in and take charge and that is always fun to do.

A Great Light

As the banquet was wrapping up the sun was going down. A beautiful golden light filled the room as the group watched the season wrap up video. I had my cameras in silent mode, and I made my way around the room trying to capture the moments that were happening in this great light. Some of my favorite photos of the night came in the final minutes of the dinner.

The Lafayette Brawlin’ Dolls Start the 2016 Season Off Strong

Last night I was back at the Brawl House again to photograph the 2016 Lafayette Brawlin’ Dolls season opener. This will be the fourth season that I have photographed the team in a semi-official capacity. I photographed a couple of bouts in 2012, but those were from my seat. Four the past four years I have been on the list as their photographer. I have really enjoyed watching the new skaters from the 2012 season turn into the leaders of this 2016 team. Last night was a great way to start off the season. We will see what they have in store for the fans on June 4th for their next home bout.

Dreaded Thunder Puts On a Show

Last night original skater Dreaded Thunder scored 103 points for the Brawlin’ Dolls. The MVP jammer for the night was going to get a sweet cape/trophy for the night, and I guess Thunder wanted it bad. She had a great night, and was a huge reason why the team won last night. As with any sport though the blockers were also key in making sure that she could get through the pack time and time again.

More Photos From the Bout

I put together a couple of Exposure pages yesterday. The first was for the Alumni Soccer game at Purdue, and the second was for the bout last night. You can click here to see my take from the bout. I really had a good time shooting the bout, and I think that it shows in the photos. With so many different personalities you really can make some different photos during the course of a night. June seems like a long time away to photograph this team again.

More Than Just the Taco Bar

Yesterday I had a fun day with three events in a row. More to the point three things going on that would each overlap each other. The day started at the Brawl House photographing the morning scrimmage there. When you photograph a football or basketball scrimmage you are really photographing practice. That has never really done it for me. A roller derby scrimmage is a full contact sport that still follows the regular rules. No crazy scoring changes or other gimmicks. I do not get to photograph as much roller derby as I would like to. Getting a chance every now and then to photograph a scrimmage is a fun way to get into roller derby again. The bonus is that at the end of the day after photographing the scrimmage you get to eat at the taco bar. When I am shooting for free I rarely eat the food in the media room. I do not want to be known as the freeloader who comes just for the food. Here is where I make one exception. The taco bar is a good payment for a couple of hours of work.

What is Behind the Second Curtain?

For most of my time at the scrimmage I had my Canon 1DX mounted on my Canon 70-200mm lens. At my feet was my Canon 7D Mark II with my Canon 24-105mm lens with a flash on top of it. The sole purpose of the setup was to get in a few panning shots. I can go a little lower with my shutter speed with the flash on the camera. When it is set to second curtain sync I get a very cool motion effect with a crisp skater at the end of it. It did not use the camera much, but it was a nice way to change things up a bit.

Bonus Photos

You can view my full gallery from the scrimmage here. I ended up staying about an hour and a half when it was all said and done. I tried to make an image of everyone that was there when I was there. You can right click on the image to save it, or I have a download button on the lower right of the image to save it to your computer. I also have included a few photos that I liked from the day below.

Continue reading “Lafayette Brawlin’ Dolls Scrimmage”


Photo of the Day

Saturday night I photographed the Lafayette Brawlin’ Dolls bout. I had an interesting day leading up to the bout so I did not get to implement many of the things that I was going to try. Maybe I can do that during the next bout. During the bout I tried a couple of new things thanks to a fellow photographer who attended the bout. One of them was panning with second curtain flash. I really did not have a lot of success with the method, but when it was close I loved the results. I think that with a little practice this could be a great way to get some special pictures. I have an idea for this during the next bout that I will have to try. For now here is this picture of LBD skater Rampage trying to get around the jammer for Kokomo. I was not really pleased overall with my pictures from Saturday night, but some of the decent ones can be found on my Facebook page here.

Technical Data

I didn’t do much to this picture. I did adjust the exposure, highlights, and temperature though. I don’t use flash much for sports so it was a chore getting the settings dialed in. Once I did though it made sense, and I think that next time I know where to start.

get shorty

Photo of the Day

This past weekend I finished up my photos with the Lafayette Brawlin’ Dolls. Over the past year I have really come to enjoy watching the dedication behind this sport. They train the entire year for a six or seven bout season. Their dedication is very admirable. When I was asked to be the league photographer for the Brawlin’ Dolls I was very excited. I was looking forward to the things that would come of the relationship. It is moments like the one above that really make it worthwhile. This was a shot that we worked a bit to get the final result that you see above. The Dolls open their home season on April 20th at the new Brawl House at the Tippecanoe County Fairgrounds. You can see more about these skaters at their website here.

Technical Data

I really did not do too much to this photo. Normally I start with some kind of a filter, but I did not have the need. The one thing that I did do in Lightroom here was to warm up the look a bit. The light from my speed light is very harsh. I warmed it up quite a bit so that my model did not look pale because of the light. I need to get some warming gels for a situation like this for sure. That has been the fun of this experience though is learning on the fly.

The real technical portion of this photo is how it was taken. I had my 480ex hooked up to a soft box on a stand to my right. I used two Pocket Wizard III’s to trigger the light. I have not used the Pocket Wizard’s too terribly much, but I love what they allow me to do. I am looking forward to picking up another one so that I can fire a second camera remotely. That would look great at a bout.


Photo of the Day

Over the past couple of months I really have just started playing with light. I guess all of photography is playing with light, but I have been experimenting with exterior light sources. In October I bought a Canon 430ex II speedlight to use. I really like some of the shots that I have taken with it, but I really wanted to get it off of my camera. Over the last couple of days I have received a couple of key components to getting my flash off of the camera. For Christmas I received two Pocket Wizard Plus III transceivers. I may or may not have played with one of them a bit in Mackey last week to see just how they worked. The only problem with the Pocket Wizards is that when I got my second on Monday I found out that I needed cable to run them that of course are not included. I picked up a couple of hot shoe adapters so I could use my speedlight for portraits. Of course they came today, and without a model present this afternoon I had to improvise a bit. Goofy seemed to be a willing participant, and agreed to do a small photoshoot with me.

Technical Data

For this shoot I had a few things on hand to start with. I had my 60D with the 50mm f/1.8 on it. I had my 430ex II on the back of a 20 inch soft box. I had one Pocket Wizard attached to the light stand, and one in the hot shoe of my camera. I tried a few shots inside of the house, but I knew the shot that I wanted. This crook of the tree seems perfect for capturing the late afternoon sun as it sets. I knew what I wanted to do, but I had to get set up to do it. I had Goofy sit in the crook of the tree. I placed the soft box just out of the frame on the right hand side. I of course was shooting straight on here creating a triangle between myself, the subject, and the light source. I tried a few shots before I realized at this point what I needed to do to get the darker shot that I wanted. When I went over 1/250th of a second I had the black bar on the frame where the flash did not illuminate. I then realized that I would control the background of this shot with the aperture. I would like to have a high aperture so that the background is soft, but I really wanted the darker look. So I lowered my aperture to f/11 to darken my background and the tree a bit. The biggest hurdle that I think I have ahead of me is keeping the flash awake. I had to keep going over to it and cycling the power to wake it back up. In the future I need to address that, but for now I like what I was able to accomplish. I have already seen some things that could be better, but that will come down the road. For one I think that waiting for the sun to peak out at f/22 would create a very nice starburst effect in the background. That will come on the next shot.