The Moon Rises Over The Neil Armstrong Statue At Purdue University

A couple of weeks ago while waiting for the ISS flyover I made some images of the campus during the blue hour. The last of those places that I visited was the Neil Armstrong statue and the Armstrong Hall of Engineering. The stars had just come out, and the clouds were moving quickly, but it still was a fun little shoot. No matter how you photograph it this is a very cool building.

Finally Getting To The Purdue Campus

In 2017 I set a goal to photograph the campus of Purdue more. For some reason that did not carry over into 2018. This was my first chance to get out and photograph anything on campus, and it was at the end of March. My photography has taken me away from Purdue, and I guess I just haven’t made the time to visit in my spare time.

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Watching The Space Station With Neil Armstrong

Last night I went up to the Purdue campus with my friend Trevor Mahlmann to photograph the International Space Station as it flew over campus. I will be the first to admit that I don’t know what the heck I am doing when it comes to planning these events. Trevor just invites me and tells me where to point my camera. Check out his website here to see more of his photos of the space station. No matter how many times that I watch the space station fly over it never gets old. This was a cool opportunity to watch it again.

The Week In Photos

Last week was a week that was supposed to be action packed, but the rain and snow cut it short. This week looks like it could be the same way. I still had a fun week though, and you can check out my favorite photos from the week here.

Blue Hour At Mackey Arena

There are certain times of the day when the Purdue sports facilities just shine. I love being at Folk Field as the sun is going down. The basketball arena here looks best at blue hour usually. Here just after the sunset Mackey Arena looks pretty good. I think it is the hue of the lights and the way that they play with the blue sky that make it great for me. I made this on one of my Purdue photo walks a couple of years ago. We are nearly two months into the year, and I have yet to do that this year. That might have to change soon.

Big Game For the Boilers Tonight

Tonight is a big game for the Purdue basketball team. They have had a great season, but lately things have not been going their way. The good news is that the we are not into March yet. When this team is firing on all cylinders they can do anything that they want to do. Tonight will be the first step in what should be an amazing finish to this season.

My 17 Favorite Photos of 2017

It is really hard to narrow down all of the thousands of photos that I made in 2017 to just 17. The number is arbitrary because of the year. The good news is that with each year that passes I get to add another photo to my year end countdowns. This list is not a list of my best technical achievements. I would rather pick seventeen moments that I really liked from the year. Even doing that it is a hard list to put together.

17. Oh boy he is going to talk about his kids again! Of course this countdown starts with my little one. She is probably the person that is most photographed in my life. Here she has a great time trick or treating in downtown Lafayette. I love the smile and the sense of place of this photo. It is probably my favorite photo of her from last year.

16. On August 21st everyone turned their eyes to the sky. The sun would be eclipsed by the moon. With the sky looking cloudy in our area I made the quick decision to head north to where I saw clear skies. We found a country road that we could park on, and we watched the eclipse. Here my step daughter enjoys the moment. I could have set up gear and shot the actual eclipse, but this seemed more important to me at the time.

15. On our way home from Ocean City, Maryland this year my wife budgeted some time into our schedule to spend in Philadelphia near the Liberty Bell. If you know me then you know that I love American History. This is basically where American history started if you think about it. That is what I love about my wife. She knew I would love this, and she made sure that it happened.

14. The night before our Ocean City, Maryland trip I headed in the other direction to see Metallica play at Soldier Field. I love Metallica, and I had not seen them play live in quite some time. This was a great night listening to my favorite band. This photo also shows just how fluid these top 17 lists have been. This photo wasn’t even included in the Top 17 concert photos post, but it appears here. As I was making this post I realized how much I loved the colors. When viewed larger I think that it looks much better than it did in the thumbnail that I used to choose the concert posts.

13. This photo was made on the way to Indiana State. Here I saw a familiar barn that would allow me to create a starburst through. It was a no-brainer to pull off of the road to make this photo. When you can make colorful photos in the winter you do it.

12. Here is another photo made on the way to Indiana State. This was an early morning drive to cover one of the first football practices of the year. I left a little early on purpose so that I could make a sunrise photo somewhere along the way. I looked fruitlessly for a while. The mist in the air would have made for a good photo, but I couldn’t find anything interesting to put around it. Here I found a scene that looked okay, and then the deer showed up. It ran through the frame and made the photo. This is another photo that looks best larger. Click on the image to see it that way.  Continue reading “Top 17 Photos of 2017”

My 17 Favorite Stadium Shots of 2017

2017 was a fun year for me traveling around making sports photos in different venues. I travelled to nine states this year to make sports pictures. Many of those trips make their way into this list as they were memorable venues. This list has moments of action in it, but a lot of it represents my first few moments in a new stadium. I like to get there early and then find a way to show the venue that I am shooting in.

17. This year the Purdue softball stadium finally received a name. It was christened Bittinger Stadium. That seemed to coincide with me getting some time to fly my drone around. I went out to the stadium one day to make a photo of the stadium at sunset. I liked how this turned out. I was really looking forward to making many pictures in this stadium this year, but it just didn’t work out that way. Maybe the new year will bring a few more games here.

16. For the second straight year I helped cover the Big Ten Swimming and Diving Championships. This time it was the women who made their way to West Lafayette. At the start of a race I had an idea to show off the aquatic center. I used my 8-15mm to get ultra wide to show off quite a bit of the venue.

15. I had a similar thought during the 2017 MVC Track and Field Championships in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Thirteen years prior I saw a spring football game in this venue when I lived in Iowa. It was cool to come back and shoot there for Indiana State. I wanted to show just how cool this building was so I broke out the 8-15mm lens again. It was a long distance race so I had plenty of time to change lenses and find my composition.

14. I like this photo for what it means in many ways. It is a blue hour photo of an Indiana State pitcher throwing to a Purdue batter. The top of the photo is blue and the bottom has the yellowish tint from the lights. I used to shoot for the gold team (Purdue), but now I shoot much more for the blue team (Indiana State). My past and my present all in one very cool looking picture.

13. Speaking of the past Purdue did a fantastic job of celebrating the 50th anniversary of Mackey Arena last year. They took the traditional opening and amped it up quite a bit. When the floor came to life and dropped away I was immediately blown away. Without any knowledge prior to the event I was caught off guard. I raced up to a higher position to make a few photos of the show. This one just at the end of introductions was my favorite. The basketball experience at Purdue has grown by leaps and bounds since I last sat in the stands. It is amazing just how far things have come in such a short time. Mackey will show up again on this countdown. Continue reading “Top 17 Stadium Shots of 2017”

My 17 Favorite Sports Photos of 2017

Today I shoot my first sporting event of 2018. After shooting 106 sporting events last year I have a lot to live up to this year. Last year I shot practices, regular season games, conference championships, NCAA Regional events, and NCAA Championships. It was an amazing year, and I don’t list those things off to brag. I list them off because a part of me still cannot believe that I am doing this for a living. This year I was paid to travel to nine states to make sports photos. Being paid to travel is cool, but when you are being paid to shoot a sporting event somewhere new it is even cooler. I love being on the road with the team. You get to know everyone much better, and you get to meet some great photographers along the way. Over the last two years I have met some great people who have helped me out a lot on these road trips. The is a hard list to put together. As I said before I shot 106 sporting events last year. Even making a top 106 would be tough as there would be multiple photos from one event that I would like. To boil that down to a top 17 is nearly impossible. I tried to go with the 17 moments or places that stuck out to me. I know that I am missing some for sure. The ISU track meet that they won after coach had just passed is one that seems like a glaring omission. Covering the Purdue baseball team on their return to the Big Ten Tournament is another. It is just hard to whittle it all down to seventeen moments. Here is my attempt at my favorite seventeen photos from last season.

17. I can’t think of many ways that a National Anthem shot would make this countdown. I see so many of them in a year that they start to all blend together for me. While photographing the Indiana State women’s basketball team at Illinois I noticed that the light was amazing. I went from the boring anthem shot that I had planned to this shot. It was not only an anthem shot that I liked, but it was one of my favorite sports shots of the year. This will be hard to top this year. I will scour every anthem during the year though to try and do just that.

16. I really did not cover much softball this season. During one game I knew that I was not shooting for anyone and the photos were just for me. It was then that I started playing around a little. I switched my camera to double exposure mode and started playing. Here I made the first exposure of the dark background and the Purdue P. I then would place a Boilermaker in the empty part of the frame. Maya Hughes seemed to know what I was doing and lean into the photo a bit for me here.

15. This year I covered two teams for Purdue that I had not since 2014. The first was Purdue baseball during a home game in April. I had not shot for the Boilers at home for a long time. I was glad that they won that night, and my gallery could include this shot of two of the players celebrating. This was an amazing year for the team as they exceeded expectations and made it to the Big Ten Tournament. Luckily it was close in Bloomington although I would have driven much farther than that to cover it. On these dark, cold winter days you can’t help but wish for a warm night shooting baseball. This season cannot get here fast enough.

14. Another year has gone by as the photographer for the Lafayette Brawlin’ Dolls. This is truly the thing that is the most fun to photograph. I was only able to make three of their four games this year as I had other events get in the way. The players are great to me, and you can’t beat the photos. Here two former teammates hug during warmups while skating around the track. What other sport can you make this shot in? Continue reading “Top 17 Sports Photographs of 2017”

My Favorite Seventeen Images of the Campus of Purdue Made in 2017

This year I made a point to get out and make more images of the campus that is just down the road from me. In the past it was something that was so close that I could just do it tomorrow. When you think like that then you never make it out to make photos. This past year I made many trips to campus to see what was going on. They didn’t always pan out, but over the course of the year I built a set of photos that I was proud of. Here are seventeen images from campus this year that I really liked.

17. I have enjoyed making photos of the John Wooden sculpture at Mackey Arena since the first time that I saw it. The trouble at some point though is that you have kind of tried everything when it comes to it. Here I was able to get a different look with the use of flash.

16. I really had some fun on snowy mornings on campus. Last winter I had more time in the morning to mess around so I could sit and wait for a picture. Here I was waiting for something interesting to come towards me. The umbrella was what I was looking for.

15. This was a shot that was in no way planned. I walked up to the Boilermaker statue to make a photo of it. As I was walking back down I saw this student up against the outer wall of Ross Ade Stadium. That incline combined with the snow was fairly interesting to me. It was something different that I was able to make by just being there on campus.

14. Campus is really an amazing place when it snows. You can probably tell that in the fact that every photo on this countdown so far was made on a snowy day. Here is a familiar scene on campus with the engineering fountain along with the bell tower. The snow really makes it magical though. As I look at this photo I realize that it was one of my favorites from the year. Why did I rank it so low when I made this list up?

13. The Boilermaker comes to work every day no matter what the weather is. Here he does his thing as the snow falls down all around him. When I made this against the grey sky I knew that I would treat it this way taking the sky to white. I love this look, and it fits the Boilermaker well I think.  Continue reading “Top 17 Purdue Campus Photos of 2017”

My Seventeen Favorite Drone Shots of 2017

If you had to pick one thing about my photography that changed in 2017 it had to be my usage of a drone. I got my drone shortly after the new year, and I knew that I would overuse it at the beginning. I made a special folder on my website with that in mind. When I started HDR photography I would HDR everything. I used HDR on dogs, beer bottles, and even a pizza. When you have a new toy you tend to play with it too much. That was the case of me with my drone this year. I made some good photos with it during the course of the year. I also made some terrible photos with it just to get out and fly. As the year calmed down a bit so did my usage of the drone. It has now become a tool in my bag to use. I have some ideas that I have been sitting on for a while now with the drone so maybe it needs to come out of my bag a little more this year than it did at the end of last year. Here are my seventeen favorite drone shots from 2017.

Bonus

This is the first shot that I made with my drone after I purchased it. It was a cold day and I wanted to go somewhere with few people in case I did something wrong. We went to the local park where I was able to fly my drone with nobody around me. This was the result of that trip. It will never win any awards, but it was the start of me finding what I liked to do with a drone.

17. One thing that the drone allowed me to do was to be somewhere else. I live in an area surrounded by houses and trees. When something amazing happens in the sky I have a very narrow view to look for it. With the drone I was able to go up and above everything else to find moments like the one above. The double rainbow photo is made by stitching together six separate shots. This taught me that I can use a lot of the techniques that I use on the ground in the air.

16. This is the home that I grew up in. At the end of the month the house will change hands to someone else, and they can bring up their family there. I love this house because it has so many memories in it. At some point though you have to let things go and let others make memories there too. I like that I was able to make a shot of it with my drone to get the lay of the land so to speak. As I put up my countdowns this week you will see more from here I would bet.

15. One of the fun things with the drone is to go overhead and find patterns. Here as I covered a yoga group on the Myers bridge I was able to go above everyone to make a cool shot. I wanted to see all of the colors of the mats. The straight down look was one that I really like. It is just a new way to look at life. You will see it much more before this countdown is over.

14. Here at the Indianapolis Museum of Art you can really see how the straight down view makes a huge difference. Those people running by the benches probably didn’t realize that they formed a skeleton. From overhead it is obvious. This year was all about experimenting with the drone to find what I liked about it, and what seemed to work. This was one of those days where I was just experimenting.  Continue reading “Top 17 Drone Shots of 2017”

My 17 Favorite Images From the 2017 Purdue Football Season

Today Purdue is going to do something that not many gave them a chance to do when the season started. They are going to play in their bowl game at the home of the San Francisco 49ers. I will even admit that after the last few years I have been conditioned to fear the worst when the season started. I was just hoping to see progress and a fun team to watch. From the get go at Lucas Oil Stadium this team showed that it would be an exciting team, and that they have a bright future ahead. This year more than ever I felt distanced from the team. I was out of town many times when they were playing. That doesn’t mean that I still don’t enjoy photographing a game in Ross Ade Stadium. I remember one game day waking up to the sound of a train in Virginia. My first thought was that it was game day. Next year hopefully the schedule works out so that I can photograph the Boilers a few more times. Before I can do that here are my seventeen favorite photos from this season.

17. Back during the spring game you knew that the season would rest on these two arms. You didn’t know who the starter would be, but you knew it would be a good player. Back during that spring game you just hoped to see some signs that things could turn around. It is really hard to come away with anything though as the games are usually very vanilla and against players everyone knows so well by that point. I like to look at those photos now though through the filter of knowing how the season played out. It is fun to see the people that stepped up to make the season the success that it was.

16. I have shot the run out of the team many ways in the past. So have many other photographers. I think that it is hard to shoot from a new angle anymore. Here I played around with using my wide angle to make the smoke look cool, and I kind of like how it turned out. In the process of using the wide angle though I saw great potential if only I had used a telephoto lens. I have one more thing to try next season.

15. DJ. Knox is fun to photograph. When he was just coming in to the program I had a lot of fun photographing him during the media day. He was cutting everyone up and making my job easy. Here he flexes during warm ups before the IU game. This was just a fleeting moment, but for some reason I was there to capture it.

14. Richard Worship will make a couple more appearances on this countdown. Here he makes his first as he scores in Lucas Oil Stadium to start the season. I love the expression and the gestures all around here. Shooting that game in Lucas Oil was great fun.  Continue reading “Top 17 Photos of the 2017 Purdue Football Season”