The Indiana Hoosiers Visit Terre Haute

This year I will photograph the Indiana baseball team a few times. As of right now never for the team, but I have a few times where my teams will play them. Right now they are the #11 team in the country so they will have a target on their back each time that I shoot against them. This was a game that either team could win. The 5-3 score does not tell just how many times that ISU threatened, but could not get the big hit. Baseball is a funny game. During their nine game winning streak the big hit just seemed inevitable. Last night it was just not meant to be.

Breaking Out The 400mm f/2.8

During the winter the only time that I break out my 400mm lens is for wildlife. With the edition of the 150-600mm lens I didn’t even get it out much this past winter. Last night I used it for the first time in game action since Purdue won the Old Oaken Bucket. I have been having fun playing around with the Tamron 150-600mm lens, but I really wanted the beautiful bokeh that the 400mm lens gives me. I still had the 150-600 with me, but after seeing the bokeh I really did not use it much. I like the extra reach of the 600mm end of that Tamron, but the bokeh and fast focusing is too much to pass up most of the time. I have a plan to still carry the Tamron for occasional shots, but the 400 is probably here to stay when I am on the clock.

Trying A New Strap

I have used Black Rapid straps for a while now. I just like the way that they allow me a little more freedom than just having the strap that comes with the camera on my shoulder. I started with the single strap, and then invested in a double strap when I saw the photographer and graphic designer at Purdue with it a few years ago. I have been looking for a way to carry two cameras with me without having to always have two to balance it out if you know what I mean. The new breathe hybrid strap allows me to do just that. In the old days when I had my two camera strap and I took one off it would not sit well on my body. Last night when I took off the 150-600mm lens it did not even matter. Just having an unbalanced load on each side did not matter last night. It was the first time out with the strap, but it really seemed to work well for me. If the weather cooperates I should have some more time this weekend to really see how well that strap works for me. From what I have seen so far it works well.

Staying Informed

If you read this blog then you know that my parents moved out of my childhood home. Part of that move was me coming to get old stuff that I had not looked at in years. One of those things were my old baseball cards. As I was packing stuff up I couldn’t help but notice some of the cards. It is amazing just how much of my photography thought process was informed by the cards of the late 80’s and early 90’s. My insane love of multi-exposure is probably due to the early Upper Deck cards. Last night I played around with some multi-exposure a little more after looking through some old Upper Deck cards during the day. Maybe I should flip through those binders a little more.

Striving For More

I don’t know why, but I still haven’t felt like I have put together a solid game yet this baseball season. Maybe I have been looking at too many cards and expecting too much out of myself. I am now a few games into the season so rust should not be an excuse. I have made some fine images, but overall I am not happy with my gallery. Part of the reason may be that my home park really does not allow for much low shooting. Most of my positions are raised. That works well for some stuff, but not everything. Over the course of the next couple of weeks I will get to branch out a bit and shoot in some other parks where I can get that low angle. That angle really helps when trying to get down into the action.

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Indiana State Beats Western Illinois To Start Their 2018 Home Season

Yesterday Indiana State used a hot start to defeat Western Illinois. The final score was 5-4, but several interesting calls by the third base umpire seemed to make the game closer than it should have been. I don’t like to blame officials for losses, and ISU won so I am not doing that here. A couple of calls that in my viewfinder looked like no-brainers were called the other way.

Finally Back Photographing Baseball!

It has been nearly three months since I photographed my last baseball game. Before that game it was another three months since the previous game. Six months and only one game is not nearly enough for me. I love photographing baseball. I think baseball and football would be 1A and 1B for me. It was great to get out and photograph some baseball early this year. The weather seemed to decide it was time for baseball as well as it was a very nice early March day.

Having Some Fun With Multi-Exposures

Usually when I talk about multi-exposures I am using it to show motion in a sport. I try and capture the mechanics of the sport in three or more frames. Yesterday I did something with the multi-exposure function that I don’t do often. I blended a couple of photos together. Before the game started and I had a little time I made some photos of the Indiana State logo behind the plate. Later in the game I layered another photo into that photo to get what you see above. It provides something a little different to the gallery, and is fun to make. I will have to try this a little more to get it down to something that I really like.

My Usual Multi-Exposure

This is usually how I use the multi-exposure feature on my camera. I normally would not have pulled this trick out of the bag so early in the season, but the light and the uniforms were right for it. The dark background with the white jerseys lit up usually works very well so I figured why not try it. I already had photos of this pitcher from the inning before so I could have a little fun.

Using The Tamron 150-600mm Lens

I took my Tamron 150-600mm lens mounted on my Canon 7D Mark II to the game to use during pregame to get some tight action shots. On the crop frame body the lens basically becomes a 240mm-960mm lens. I used it pregame and ran up to the press box to see how it did. I liked the results enough to give it a shot for the first part of the game as well. That went well enough that I just kept using it for the entire game. Obviously it was a nice sunny day so the f/6.3 aperture really did not come into play. My 400mm lens will get a lot of use this baseball season. For now though the Tamron is a way for me to get a little closer to the game.

Shooting at the Schwartz Tennis Center

Shooting indoor tennis is not ideal. The light is not the best. It is not very consistent either. What is fun is capturing the emotion of a tennis match. It is a long dual that takes a lot out of the players. As they fatigue each point seems to mean more, and they really emote more it seems like. I have been wanting to shoot more tennis lately, but it just has not worked out that I could. Yesterday worked perfectly for me to go out and have some fun shooting tennis.

Playing With the Canon 1DX Multi Exposure Function

One thing that I love about my Canon gear is the in camera multi exposure function. You can really have some fun creating some photos that you would spend some time in Photoshop doing. This feature dates back to a time when Photoshop did not exist. You would just expose the same frame multiple times to achieve the desired result. I noticed that at time the players heads stayed in the same spot during a hit. I decided to give it a go to see if I could get a good multi there. It did not work so well, but the serve is much like the delivery of a pitch. With the right serve you could get something really cool. I really liked this photo of the serve. You kind of get a little of everything in one photo. I usually only use the multi exposure function with baseball, but I have been trying to see where it fits in with other sports.

Slowing Down the Shutter

When I started shooting I dreamt of equipment that would allow me to shoot clean, crisp images in bad light. Of course now that I have that equipment I make blurry photos on purpose. I don’t think that I would ever submit these to anyone, but they are a cool way to show the motion of the swing. I think that this was made at 1/25th of a second. As I went through my images I realized that an abstract image with an even slower shutter speed would be even better. Next time out I will have to try that. Continue reading “#51 Purdue Tennis Defeats #43 DePaul”

Looking Back at My Baseball Photography in 2015

One good thing about getting older is that each year I can add one more photo to my year end lists. This makes it easier to include more photos that may not be the most technically pleasing, but have some sort of emotional element that I love. This year there is room for plenty of those. Watching this World Series took me back a bit to my childhood. The first two teams that I really watched win it all were the Kansas City Royals in 1985 and the New York Mets in 1986. That got me thinking back a bit which is always dangerous. Thirty years ago I really found baseball. I went to my first White Sox game, and the love of the sport has only grown from there. This year I kept thinking baseball finally found me. I was very lucky to shoot some events that seemed to just moving up in scale. I love shooting baseball at Alexander Field, and I was lucky enough to get to shoot a few games there this season. I also spent some time in Kokomo as the team photographer for the Kokomo Jackrabbits in their inaugural season. Kokomo is a wood bat summer league that was a blast to shoot. They really appreciated my work, and it made me work that much harder to give them a little more. Next summer Lafayette is getting a team in the same league, and I am very excited to see how that plays out. At the beginning of August I was lucky enough to get to shoot for the Charlotte Knights who are the Triple A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox. At the same time two of the highest prospects in the Pirates organization were making their debuts for Indianapolis. I was able to shoot for both teams to give them what they wanted. This led to some fun working with the Indianapolis Indians at the end of the summer. Photographing their playoff games might have been the highlight of my year. I look forward to working with them a little more next summer. This really was a great year for me looking back at it. Here are fifteen photos that I liked from this baseball season.

15. When I posted this photo back in April I gave it a title in my head of “Upp Congratulates Upp.” This was a great moment in the lone Slicer baseball game that I covered this year where Slicer player Travis Upp hit a home run. It was a big homer for him, and nobody was prouder than his dad Scott Upp. Scott also happens to be the coach of the Slicers so he was the first one to congratulate him as he made his way around the bases. This was a fun game for me to cover. I used to help operate the old manual scoreboard as a kid so it was fun to come back and shoot a game. I will have to try and shoot a few more next season.

Adam Eaton of the Chicago White Sox hits a triple against the Toronto Blue Jays.

14. This year I had great seats for my first White Sox game of the year. I waited way too long to get to a game so I treated myself with seats right next to the camera well. If I can’t be in the camera well then this is the next best thing. One of my favorite players Adam Eaton hit a triple that sparked the club. Here he is seen looking back for the ball after sliding into third. He is a hustler who is always dirty. That is the kind of player that is fun to photograph.

13. Usually when the college baseball season is over that means that I only have a handful of baseball games left. This year it seems like the opposite was true. I shot more after the college season by far. Part of that was due to my work with the Kokomo Jackrabbits. This was their first year playing in the Prospect League, and they were an exciting team to watch. They could not have been nicer to me, and sometimes that is worth more than the paycheck. Here catcher C.J. Price walks off of the field. This was a quick grab, but a photo that I really like.  Continue reading “My 15 Favorite Baseball Photos of 2015”

Trayce Thompson hits a triple in the second inning of the Chicago White Sox game against the Boston Red Sox on August 25, 2015

The Chicago White Sox defeat the Boston Red Sox 5-4

If you have read this blog the past month then you know that I was really excited to see the White Sox play last night. I went to the game with my brother and dad to celebrate the 30th anniversary of my first White Sox game. The first player out on the field to warm up was White Sox right fielder Trayce Thompson. This was my first time seeing Trayce play live so I made a few photos of him warming up. He quickly gave me some more photos to make as he hit an exciting triple in the second inning. He went on to have a great day finishing a home run short of the cycle. His key hits helped the White Sox come from behind to win 5-4. It seems as if whenever I go and see the White Sox and Red Sox play something exciting happens. This game was no different.

Adam Eaton and Alexei Ramirez celebrate the Chicago White Sox win over the Boston Red Sox on August 25, 2015

Waiting For My Photo

I really wanted to make a photo of the cool victory celebration between Alexei Ramirez and Adam Eaton. I have seen a few photos of it, and I thought that it was a good way to celebrate. Luckily the White Sox came back to take the victory so that I could see it. This season they are not very good when behind past the sixth inning. Here they got the hits when they needed them so that I could see the cool victory celebration in person.

White Sox vs. Red Sox Photo Gallery

Here are a few bonus photos that I liked from the game. I did not shoot the game like I normally would have last night. I spent some time just enjoying my time at the park. I would pick up my camera when something interested me or I thought an exciting play was about to happen. In the end I made some photos that I really liked. Here are a few of them.

Trayce Thompson warms up before the Chicago White Sox game against the Boston Red Sox on August 25, 2015
Avisail Garcia basts during the Chicago White Sox game against the Boston Red Sox on August 25, 2015
Trayce Thompson hits a triple in the second inning of the Chicago White Sox game against the Boston Red Sox on August 25, 2015
Alexei Ramirez bats during the Chicago White Sox game against the Boston Red Sox on August 25, 2015
Ryan Hanigan chases down Trayce Thompson during the White Sox vs. Red Sox game on August 25, 2015

Continue reading “Trayce Thompson Puts The White Sox On His Back”

Kokomo Loses a Heartbreaker to Hannibal

A couple of nights ago I was back in Kokomo to photograph the Kokomo Jackrabbits again. With my blue moon post yesterday it put me a bit behind here so I will have already photographed the second game of this series by the time this post comes out. With the playoffs on the line every game is important, and losing 2-1 is hard to take. That itself makes it hard, but if you had seen all of the hard hit balls right at someone in crucial times last night you would know why I wrote heartbreaking loss. With men on the Jackrabbits would smoke the ball only to have it be right at a fielder. Some nights the ball falls your way, and some nights what happened to Kokomo will happen.

Watching Kokomo Municipal Stadium Come Alive

I have been shooting at Kokomo Municipal Stadium for just over a month now. Every time I go back to the park there is something new. Thursday night they premiered a couple of new features. They now have a full bar in left field that does not have a cut off time. In fact the bar was still open for about an hour and a half after the game was over. They also have a very cool new BBQ stand in left field as well. Thursday when the light was not so great on the field I moved around to make some photos of the stadium. It really is a great stadium that will only get better with time.

Bonus Photos

Here are a couple of other photos from the game that I liked. You can find a full gallery of images from the game on my website here.



Continue reading “Kokomo Jackrabbits vs. Hannibal Cavemen Part 1”

My Top 15 College Baseball Photos of 2015

When Mitch Roman squeezed a pop up in his might to record the final out against Notre Dame it also meant the end of my college baseball season as well. I really love college baseball. I did not photograph as much of it as I would have liked this season, but I did have a diverse year. Last year I shot all of it basically in one ballpark. This year I had a bit more freedom, and I shot in many different parks. It was interesting to see different teams and figure out what looks best for each of them. I was going to just do a top ten here, but I was having trouble culling that list down. Even when I decided to go up to 15 I still had some trouble. Some photos are not the most technically challenging, but they have a story that told part of my season. Here are the fifteen photos that I liked from this past season.

Paul DeJong stands on second base after a double during the Purdue baseball game against Illinois State on April 28, 2015

15. The list starts off with Illinois State catcher Paul De Jong. Paul was one of several very good catchers that I was able to watch this season. He was on the Golden Spikes watch list at the time, and just happened to be playing at Purdue. I wanted to make a photo of him, but things were not working for me. It was then that he hit a double in some very good light. I liked his pose here at second base, and I knew that I had my photo. He was drafted by the Pirates last year only to come back to play at Illinois State. It will be fun to see where he ends up in the draft this year.

Cincinnati Bearcat Ian Happ bats against the Toledo Rockets at Marge Schott Stadium

14. Ian Happ was another very good player that I was able to watch this season. Ian is a Golden Spikes finalist, and one of my photos of Ian was used on his bio on the Golden Spikes website. Ian really keeps his head down while he bats which makes it very hard to get a good image of him. I would run into that at the Regionals with Cavan Biggio. Here you see just enough of Ian’s face to make the photo work. I had my photo of Ian. It doesn’t hurt for the countdown that Ian is wearing a uniform that looks like the famous White Sox uniforms that I grew up watching them play in.

Jack Picchiotti catches a fly ball in foul territory during the Purdue baseball game against Maryland on April 26, 2015

13. Here is a shot that was made by chance. I say that for many reasons. The first is that I did not shoot a game for the University this season. The year before I shot nearly all of them for the school, but things had changed. I made the decision though that I would shoot baseball for someone. I love to shoot the sport, and I would shoot it no matter what. That decision led to many of the unique photos that appear on this countdown. I could have dwelled on the negative, but instead I decided to find some positives. For this picture I was lucky in my location on the field as well as the gesture by the player. I also love the glint of sun off of the glasses.

Kyle Johnson makes a diving catch in centerfield during the Purdue baseball game against Penn State on May 14, 2015

12. Late in the season I made a few Purdue games just to shoot for fun. I like watching the team play, and I wanted to photograph some of the seniors one last time. While doing that I was rewarded with some interesting situations to make some images. Here I got Kyle Johnson as he was going all out to catch a fly ball.

Kyle Richardson bats during the Notre Dame baseball game against theIndiana Hoosiers at Victory Field on April 22, 2015

11. The highlight of the regular season for me was photographing Notre Dame at Victory Field. They were playing in front of a big crowd in a beautiful stadium. This shot of Kyle Richardson was one where I was trying to convey some of the scene as well as the action. I could shoot tight shots at their stadium all I wanted. I wanted to try and loosen it up a little to show the location a bit. Continue reading “My Favorite 15 College Baseball Photos of 2015”

My 10 Favorite Photos From the Champaign Regional in the NCAA Baseball Tournament

If you have followed this blog at all then you know that I like to look back at an event after I shoot it. I look at the photos that I made as well as the photos that I may have missed for one reason or another. Part of the process of getting better is looking at your work to see where you can improve. During that process I usually find a few photos that I like from the event. I spent three days making photos of both the Notre Dame Fighting Irish as well as the Ohio Bobcats. They were both great teams to work for, and I wish that they could have had more success. The fact that they were both there though was a great thing for both teams. I was honored to help them preserve those memories. Here are ten photos that I liked from my three days in Champaign, Illinois.

10. Due to the torrential rains I saw Wright State pitcher Jesse Scholtens pitch two days in a row. He pitched the first two innings of the elimination game against Ohio before pitching six more the next day when the game was resumed. That was an amazing pitching performance saving his teams bullpen. For some reason this look kept reminding me of the Oakland A’s of the early 1970’s. Even though I was shooting for Ohio I made a couple of photos of Jesse as he was warming up.

9. The Notre Dame player that I may have focused on more than any other was Cavan Biggio. I was a huge fan of his dad’s when he played for the Astros. When I went to Houston to see the Boiler basketball team play a few years ago I made it a point to go to Minute Maid Park to see the Biggio statue there. I made a lot of photos of Cavan that I liked, but this one I liked a little more for some reason. I like the son of a Hall of Famer in front of the sign for another Hall of Famer.

Ryan Bull is hit by a pitch during the NCAA Champaign Regional Game between Notre Dame and Illinois on May 31, 2015

8. Ryan Bull had a big series. He had a big home run in game one that set the tone for the game, and allowed the Irish to advance to the winner’s bracket. Here he is hit by a pitch during the Illinois game on Sunday. I like the anticipation on his face as he knows what is coming. I love these moments during a game.

7. I really enjoyed shooting some of the games from the position in right-center field. You get a cool look into the play that made for some different photos for me. I normally don’t get this view so I used it a lot during the first couple of days. Here Ryan Lidge makes contact against Wright State on Friday. Continue reading “Top Ten Photos of the 2015 NCAA Baseball Tournament Champaign Regional”

The Top Ten Baseball Photos of 2014

It is that time of the year where the top 10 lists start to come out. I usually have trouble getting the list down to just ten so I find ways to make it a little larger. 2014 was a great baseball season for me. I covered almost every Purdue home game for the school, and one away contest. It was a season filled with extra inning games and walk offs. As a photographer the joy of a walk off is a blessing. With the changes over the summer at Purdue I don’t think that I will be covering the team this season. They were very fun to cover though, and I think that better times are coming quickly for the black and gold. The good news though is that there is plenty of baseball to cover in this area in the spring. This coming season I will also add some minor league baseball to the list as I will be covering some Midwest League games. I am very excited for that opportunity. I also watched the Colt League World Series for the first time ever. I have always wanted to catch a game, but I usually go on vacation around that time. This year I was in town, and I made it to the championship game. It was a great experience that I will never forget. The emotion displayed by these players made it hard not to feel chills. I also made it to a couple of White Sox games. This was an interesting season as the Sox had a tremendous new first baseman, but they were also saying goodbye to their old first baseman. Okay enough talking. Here are my top ten photos from 2014. You can find some of my other ‘best of’ posts here.

10. The first photo had a little luck to it. I knew that the outfielders would celebrate the win this way, but where they would do it is always up in the air. It depends on where they were playing the previous batter as to where they would all meet. I tried to guess where they would jump so that I could put the hammer in the background. I was close, but I had to run a few steps to the side at the last second to make the photo that I had in mind.

9. Purdue second baseman Cody Strong is a player that you love to photograph. He is an all out kind of player that will do anything for the team. That makes for great photographs. This one was an example of a couple of things. One of them was the fact that I was traveling light at the time, and I only had my 300mm lens on me. That is a little close for third base from the well. The second was the all out nature of the player. He was safe here, but he went all out so that he was safe. Cody is one of the guys to watch on this years team.

8. The next two photos are on here for more sentimental reasons than anything. During his tenure with the White Sox no player was more loved by me than Mark Buehrle. He just seems to play the game the right way. When I found out that he was pitching in Chicago a few days before my birthday I used that as an excuse to go to Chicago to see him pitch one more time. Since I am not a pool photographer I was a few rows up in the stands with a smaller lens, but I did my best to capture one more photo of Mark.

Continue reading “My Top Ten Baseball Photos of 2014”