Photographing Fireworks in Tippecanoe County

As the 4th of July holiday approaches many people will go out to watch fireworks. I of course go out with the intent of photographing them. Last year on the 4th we made a trek down to the Wabash to watch the fireworks over the river. We braved the mud and the bugs to see them up close and personal. I was having some fun trying out some techniques to make the smooth lines that I love to see in firework photos. The photo above was one of my favorites from the night. Photographing fireworks is a lot about camera and settings, but luck also plays a part. The right firework needs to be shot without smoke and other fireworks to disrupt your view of it. I love the challenge of photographing fireworks, and tomorrow night I will try and find a spot to make an interesting photo from.

10 Tips For Better Firework Photos

Last year I posted ten tips for making better firework photos. These are not the only ten things that you need to do, but they are a good start. You can find that post here. I will also post the tips below again since they may come in handy tomorrow.  Continue reading “Fireworks on the Fourth of July”


Ranking Some of My Favorite Photos From the Past School Year

This was a very interesting year for me. When the year started I thought that I would be doing one thing. I had to quickly come up with another plan. The plan was easy, but getting people to trust in me was another thing. Once the ball got rolling though I started to build up enough credit that by the second semester I was working large events for schools. For the better part of the last ten years my photography has focused on Purdue. With the change came a new role, and that was shooting for other schools often against Purdue. It was interesting to say the least, but at the end of the day you are making photos of a game. It is amazing what I have accomplished in a short period of time. This year has been amazing building relationships that I hope to keep going strong for many years to come. Being a free agent has allowed me to shoot many post season games that I would not normally have shot. What was once a huge negative has now become a big positive. While I was initially against photographing very often off campus I found out that I like the challenge of shooting in new venues. I was able to cross a few items off of my photography bucket list, and I would like to cross a few more off next year. The off season is short. August comes quickly, and with that comes a lot of new opportunities. I am blessed to already have some dates booked for the coming year. Here are my favorite photos from last season.

15. One of the best moments of the year for me was being in Indy to see the Purdue Hockey team win the season ending tournament. They are a great bunch of guys that I loved photographing. Seeing them win their last two games of the year to win it all was pretty cool. I had a wide shot of the whole team with the trophy, but I zoomed in here to get a tight shot around the trophy. I think that it is a bit more powerful.

Lilly Fecho delivers the final pitch of her no-hitter on April 29, 2015

14. This past school year I saw something for the first time. I have never seen no-hitter in person before. I have seen a lot of baseball and softball without ever seeing one. I have been close before, but never saw the pitcher seal the deal. Lilly Fecho did just that to close out the season. It was a great last game for the Boilers. The senior leader hit the home run that was the difference in the game. This was my favorite shot of the day because it tells the whole story.

Matt Hoy with the ball during the NCAA Lacrosse First Round game between the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and Towson Tigers at Arlotta Stadium on May 9, 2015

13. This was the year that I found lacrosse. I had never even seen the sport played before attending my first Purdue lacrosse game. Fast forward a month and I am covering an NCAA Tournament game to Towson. During that game I made this photo of Notre Dame forward Matt Hoy with the ball. I love the details of the photo. I am still learning the sport, but it is a blast to photograph. Continue reading “Top 15 Photos of the 2014-2015 School Year (College)”

What Today is All About

Today we have fun with cookouts, parties, and days on the lake. What really is important though is why we get to do that. Over the course of this country’s history many men and women have lost their lives defending it. Memorial is not just a Monday off of work. As with most holidays the true meaning starts to fade after a while.

About Today’s Photo

I made this photo in 2014 while in Indianapolis. The trip was about many things, but this was a surprise for me. Near the canal they have a couple of beams from the World Trade Center on display. This is a reminder that you need to appreciate everyday that you are here. Many people lost their lives on September 11th, and this is a great way for one city to honor another one.

The Windmills Near Lafayette, Indiana

Early on in my photographic learning process I spent a lot of time out at the windmills. I called them my mountains as they are the one big feature on the landscape here. My focus has really shifted towards sports lately, but every now and then I get back out to the windmills. I try and frame them a bit differently now though with something in the foreground to grab your attention. I saw this old tractor out in the field, and I thought that it gave wind farming a new look.

What is Landscape Photography?

As I said above I used to make many more landscape photos than anything else. Here we are in May, and I have twelve photos in my landscape folder. That would have been unheard of in 2011 or 2012. As I said before though sports has really taken up my time lately, and the landscapes have taken a backseat. A few trips during the summer should add to the folder, but I need to get out and photograph a few more scenes around me.

Wotan posing on a log during a photowalk at Wolf Park in Battleground, Indiana

Having Fun With the Wolves at Wolf Park

Part of my winter was spent backing away from sports a bit. I wanted to get back to the things that I used to photograph during my photo 365 project. One of those things was my frequent visits to Wolf Park. I think that I have not gone as much lately because I felt that I had done everything that I could do from behind the fence. During the winter I decided to go inside the enclosure to make some photos up close and personal with the wolves. I think that I liked the more candid moments with the wolves as opposed to the posed moments, but some of the posed shots like the one above was very cool as well. The wolves are beautiful so pretty much any photo that you make of wolves looks good.

Help Out Wolf Park By Buying a Print

As with all of my photos from Wolf Park I will donate any profit made from the sale of the photo back to the park. They really do have an amazing things out there so even if you do not buy a photo you can go to to help them out. You can click on either image in the post to go directly to that photo on my site, or you can click here to see my gallery of images from this year.

A Familiar Photo Gets a New Look

This was one of my first successful photos from this blog. It was a simple look down the Chicago River. Recently I received a request to make this black and white so that it could be printed. While I was doing that I decided to run it through Perfect Photo Suite 9’s Perfect B&W to see what I could do there. I made one for the client, but now it was time to make one for myself. I really liked this version using the Palladium preset that I found under the 19th century processes tab. I think that I liked it because it is so different from anything that I do. I normally like everything neat and tidy in my photos, but I like the way that this looked. I don’t go back often to edit older photos. I feel like I had a vision at the time, and I don’t want to ruin that. When I made this photo though I did not really have the tools that I needed to do it right. I know that I sound a bit like George Lucas here, but I never really achieved what I wanted with this photo. I had Lightroom 3 at the time I think, but I did not know how to use it properly. Now I have a handle on Lightroom 5, and how to make my photos pop a bit more.

Lightroom 6 To Be Released Today?

Of course right after I say that I have a handle on the latest version of Lightroom they are set to release the next one. A lot of rumors are swirling around the internet that Adobe will release Lightroom 6 today. I know that I am excited to see what they have put into the program. Lightroom is basically my one and only stop during the editing process. For my landscape work I will sometimes head to Photoshop, but that is a rare occasion. I use some plug ins along the way, but everything is done through Lightroom. I am very interested to see what new tools I will have to use. For my sports editing I still use Lightroom all the way. I have Photo Mechanic, and I have used it before. On a fast computer though Lightroom 5 really was fast enough for me. I don’t need to caption for what I currently do so the advanced help that Photo Mechanic can give me makes not sense. It is just another step. I have a shoot tonight in Indy for Notre Dame baseball so I will have to see what Lightroom 6 will do to my computer before I install it. I want to see what it can do, but not without slowing myself down. I am sure that in the next couple of days I will have a post with some of my thoughts on the newest version of Lightroom if it indeed does come out.

Seeing Some Familiar Faces Again

Saturday before heading over to the softball complex for a doubleheader I walked over to the Purdue Soccer Field to see part of the alumni game. I did not see anything about it posted this year, but heard that it was happening. I got there just in time to see the very end of the game, but it was nice to see some familiar faces with Purdue Soccer gear on again. One of my favorites to photograph was Hadley Stuart. As a photographer you don’t have any favorite players, but some just lend themselves to making good photos. Akeem Hunt was like that on the football field. You had to try to make a bad photo of him playing the game. Hadley was like that in soccer. She just had a way of playing that made for great photos. It was fun to photograph here one more time. This was a small group of alumni, and I was not around when some of them played, but I am starting to recognize them from these alumni games. This is a cool tradition that Purdue has to help show the current team a little of the history of Purdue soccer.

Head Coach Drew Roff

This was my first time seeing the new Purdue Soccer Coach Drew Roff in person. He gave a speech thanking the alumni for coming out after the game. Having that as my only thing to go off of he seems like a good guy who has a plan for Purdue soccer. It would be nice to see him guide the team back to the Big Ten Tournament and beyond. Continue reading “Purdue Soccer Alumni Game | Sports Photography”

Purdue Softball Senior Day

One of my favorite shoots for Purdue last season was the softball senior day. It is such a unique send off for the players with a lot of emotion involved. You can really tell how much being a Boilermaker means to them. Shooting seniors days can be hard because you are saying goodbye to someone that you have seen play for four years as it is. The softball senior day seems to ratchet that up a couple of notches. Yesterday Purdue honored seniors Ashley Burkhardt, Lexi Moore, Alex Whittemore, and Alyssa Koorsen. The ceremony involving the parents came between games one and two of a doubleheader. That one seems like every other ceremony. After the second game the bases ceremony was held, and that one is a little tougher to watch. The seniors stand at home plate with the rest of the team on the bases. The senior then get a victory lap around the bases to say goodbye to their teammates. The freshman are at first, the sophomores at second, and the juniors are at third. The emotion seems to build as the players round the bases leading up to greeting their fellow seniors once again at home plate. It is a ceremony that I never get tired of seeing, and I hope that I can cover it again next season.

Purdue Splits the Doubleheader

On a beautiful day in West Lafayette the Boilermakers split a doubleheader with Iowa. Purdue took game one after Iowa took an early lead on a home run. When Iowa took the lead in game two the same way I thought that maybe we would see a carbon copy of game one. It was not meant to be though for the Boilers.  Continue reading “Purdue Softball Senior Day | Sports Photography”

The Interior of St. Luke’s Church in Indianapolis, Indiana

A few weeks ago I was in Indy for a wedding workshop. I liked the idea of picking up some new ideas, and also to have a couple of models for a few hours. This was a beautiful portion of the church that I would have loved to have tried a few things with. I made this picture during the class though because I could not stop looking at it. The beautiful decorations along with the stained glass were pretty nice. A little late day light coming in to light the scene made it all pop a little more. This is more of a snapshot than anything, but it still looks great to me.