Taking A Moment To Appreciate Where You Are

It is a lot of fun to travel with a team. You get to see who they are, and you also get to go to a new place. The problem with that at times is that you are with the team and often staying far away from anything interesting. When you can find a place that looks cool and interesting it is a bonus. We got to the stadium way before the game would start so I had some time to walk around and see what was going on. Looking off the second deck you had a great view into the distance. This stadium is in the middle of some great scenery, and it was fun to make some images of that.

Taking The Color Out Of The Scene

This photo was a good photo in color. The clouds though were amazing in the way that they were all different. I thought that the dark clouds would look great as more of a black. I never was much of a fan of black and white photography early on. I like color. Bright vibrant color. A photo like this one though just seems to need to have the color taken away from it. I don’t know why I feel that way, but I do. This just has a dreamy quality this way. What do you think?

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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 Photos From the Indiana State Football 2017 Season

This was a fun year with the Indiana State football squad. It was the beginning of the Curt Mallory era, and with a coaching change always comes a renewed enthusiasm across the board. Early on in the season I knew that I would be traveling with the team on a few trips. I was really looking forward to the Tennessee trip. I had booked that one for over a year so it was really something that I was looking forward to. The season did not turn out like anyone thought that it would. With that said it still was a fun one to cover. This was a great group of young men that really were great to me. I am already looking forward to the 2018 season. Here are my favorite photos from the last year.

17. I thought that I would start off with a photo from warm ups. I am a huge proponent of shooting warm ups. You can get warmed up along with the players. You can make great photos of players who do not currently see time on the field as well. I love these up close shots that you really can’t get during the game.

16. This season started for me technically in the spring. I went out to the first practice of the Coach Mallory era. There were some cool moments that day, but I have always wanted to photograph the players tackling the donut. When I played I was the tackling dummy. I was glad to see players like me replaced with something else.

15. Here is a photo that I never thought that I would make. It is the kick holder and the tight end celebrating their touchdown connection. Late in the game at Liberty Jeremy Patterson took the snap in the field goal formation and rolled out to his right. He found Jacquet McClendon in the back of the end zone for a touchdown. It was a moment that I was not expecting, but I had my grab camera ready to capture this moment between the two after the play.

14. On senior day I wanted a good photo of Katrell Moss at his linebacker position. I love the eye black and the intense look that he gets on his face. Here with Western Illinois backed up against their own goal line I was able to get right in there.

13. One player that has been fun to cover these last few years is Lemonte Booker. It was a photo of Lemonte that was my first football photo in the local newspaper. I have made some interesting photos of him over the years. This is one of my favorites from this year. He really would do whatever it took to get yards for his team, and that translates into great photos.

12. I really loved the idea of the all white uniforms against the orange background at Tennessee. Here after a big fumble recovery the defense celebrates. This defense gave me some great photos this year as they were a very expressive group.

11. Here is another photo to illustrate my point. Against Illinois State Norvell McGlaun celebrates a big play for the defense. Norvell was a player that always gave me some great emotion. When I photographed his family on senior day I saw where that emotion came from. He is another player that I will miss photographing.  Continue reading “Top 17 Indiana State Football Photos Of 2017”

The Court Street Baptist Church

While in Lynchburg I did not have a lot of time to walk around. I did manage to get out a bit Saturday morning before everything started to crank up to make some photos. One landmark that I saw from the hotel the night before was the Court Street Baptist Church. I walked up the long hill to the church. Everything in Lynchburg is on the hill. I only walked 1.5 miles during my short walk, but I climbed 15 flights of stairs according to my phone. The walk up the hill was steep, but worth it for this shot of the old church. I am a sucker for old church photos, and this one had a cool setting allowing me to really put it up against the sky.

Walking Around With the Canon 24-105mm Lens

Ever since I bought this lens a couple of years ago it has been a staple in my travel photography. It is great to have while walking around a city. You can be wide at 24mm or zoomed in at 105mm. Here I was at 28mm to get just the interesting aspects of this photo in. It is the perfect walk around lens that will stay in my bag for quite some time. The only way that I might take it out is for the version II of the lens.

Shooting a Few Landscapes on Gameday

One thing about going out on a business trip with a team is that you don’t have control on the schedule. I was in a state that I have only been in while touring Arlington National Cemetery in 8th grade, but with no time to explore. Imagine my excitement when I looked out over the Liberty soccer field and saw this scene. I had just gotten to the stadium, but it was over four hours until the kickoff of the game. I had some time to try a couple of things. I put my 70-200mm on my Canon 5D Mark IV and started trying to find some interesting little scenes. It was a cool way to get some shots in that I normally would have missed. Between my morning walk and this short shoot before the game I made some photos of Lynchburg that I was happy with. That makes a good trip great for me.

The Week In Photos

When I first put my week in photos post together I had completely forgotten to place these pregame shots in it. The first group of people to see the post overnight did not get the entire week in photos. You can view the complete week in photos here on my Exposure site. We are coming up on two years of putting these together now, and they are still fun to do. It is nice to put your favorite stuff from the week out there. It is even better when people come to look at it. Thank you to all of those who do that.

 

Taking A Walk Around Downtown Lynchburg, Virginia

I don’t think that I could fairly judge the downtown section of Lynchburg, Virginia right now. They are in the middle of a massive construction project that looks like it is rejuvenating the city. Sadly as I was there I mostly saw unpaved roads and construction as we just came at the wrong time. There were some very interesting aspects to the town though that I was able to see.

Just Up The Hill

The section of Lynchburg where we stayed was on a massive hill. I just made a 1.5 mile walk around town, and I climbed 15 flights of stairs according to my phone. Everything that you did was based on walking up or down a hill. It was a great workout to start my morning, but it was tiring as well.

The Week In Photos

Last week was a slower week for me. Maybe it was the fact that I was in between two massive road trips. I was trying to save space as the week was going on. Less to transfer over to my Drobo before I go or something like that. Most of this weeks favorite photos were made in Lynchburg. You can see my collection of favorite photos from last week here.

Indiana State Football Takes On Liberty

For the second straight week I was out on the road with the Indiana State Football team. This time the trip took us to Lynchburg, Virginia and the campus of Liberty University. I will be honest and say that before my planning for this trip I was not very familiar with Liberty University. It is amazing to see what they have built up in a short time. For an FCS school they really have some amazing facilities. Most of them would stack up at the level of or above the Big Ten facilities that I have seen around the league. It is really impressive. This was a game that I was not sure about when the schedule came out, but I was glad that I made the trip.

The Luck Of The Draw

This was the fourth college game that I have shot this season. In the previous three I really felt that luck was on my side. I was picking the right place to be quite often. When I went behind the play I was rewarded, and when I went in front of the play I was rewarded too. Saturday night I seemed to make up for all of that good luck. I seemed to just keep guessing wrong. Some of that was a much more wide open Indiana State playbook. When your team is running the ball or throwing short passes behind behind the line can work out very well for you. Every time that I tried that Saturday night I missed a great deep ball. I still made some good photos, but watching the recap I knew that I left a lot on the table as well. Games like this help motivate me to do better next time. I still have a long way to go as a photographer, and sometimes you have to get knocked down a little for that to sink in.

The Liberty Fans

This really is an amazing fan base. They were out in force and painted up early on. I don’t know how you build a football program out of nothing, but if you want to know the people at Liberty are a good group to ask. They have really excited the fanbase, and they are doubling the size of the stadium to accommodate new fans that want to hop on the band wagon. They were tough on the players, but they were also good fans. I chatted with several groups of them about what they were wearing, and they were very nice to me. You can’t ask for much more than that on the road.

Have A Game Bob

Indiana State receiver Bob Pugh had a game Saturday night. He caught eight balls for 260 yards and two touchdowns. He was the guy running the wrong way on many of those deep ball shots that I missed. Now that I know what you are up to Bob I will prepare better when you play Illinois State. Continue reading “Indiana State Football At Liberty”

Blue Hour at Williams Stadium

Williams Stadium at Blue Hour

During the game against Indiana State I had a couple of chances to make an interesting photo of the stadium. Just before I made the photo above a nice color was tipping each of the clouds. I had the idea to run up and make this photo, but Indiana State was on the opposite end of the stadium driving. My job of course is it capture that action. A few minutes later when Liberty had the ball and the odds were in my favor to not miss anything I ran up into the stands to make this photo. This is a unique stadium that is always changing. It was cool to capture it at this moment in time. I moved quickly back down to the field to watch ISU kneel down to end the first half. It was the perfect time to make this image. This will be the only image from the game that I post today. Tomorrow I will have my full recap post up with images from the game.

The Bill Before the Game

If you follow this blog then you know that I always make a few stadium shots before shooting a game. I am there before the fans are so I always get an empty stadium shot. The goal of course is to make a full stadium shot later, but in case that does not pan out I have this to fall back on. When shooting for a team it is a cool way to get some content out early as well. Here the team was still a couple of hours from arriving at the stadium so it may have been their first look at Williams Stadium as well. I did a little something different here. I was using my 24-105mm lens to make the photo. I could have brought out the 11-24mm lens that I had with me, but I decided to try a panoramic. I held my camera vertical and made seven three shot exposures moving from right to left. My camera was set in manual so all of the exposures would be the same. Once in Lightroom I combined all of the three shot images into HDR photos and edited one with the field and sky to get it how I wanted it. I then copied those settings to the other six photos. From there it was just a matter of letting Lightroom stitch the photos together. I like how this turned out. It only took 21 images to make, but it was worth it. One thing that I like about the pano is the detail you can keep in the photo. You can zoom into the top of the mountains and see the LU for Liberty University at the top of one, and a ski hill with skiers on it on another.

The Week In Photos

Each week I put together an Exposure page with some of my favorite photos from the previous week. Here is the post for last week. This is a fun exercise for me, and a great way to put some of my photos out there that normally would not be out.

Hitting the Road Again With Indiana State Football

Last weekend I photographed the Indiana State football team in Knoxville. I travelled separately than the team so I really didn’t see them until they arrived at the stadium. This week I am traveling with them the entire way. It would have been cool to have the photo story last week at the SEC stadium, but this week I will be able to document a road trip with the team. Yesterday was mainly getting to Lynchburg for the game. Today the real work begins as the team prepares to face Liberty. Because of the late start for the game I will have my game post on Monday.