Time For Some Baseball

Pitchers and Catchers Report Today

I am a huge White Sox fan, and excited to see that spring training is starting today. It will most likely be a while before I shoot any baseball, ¬†but it is nice to know that someone is. This is the first year in a long time when I don’t know what I will be doing during baseball season. I have some games on the schedule, but for the most part I am on my own to start the year. Looking back at some of my Major League stuff I realized that I did not attend a Major League game last year. Many things got in the way of that, but with a schedule in June that looks a little better right now I need to make a few Sox games. As the winter moves on I find myself watching more and more old baseball or the MLB Network just to get a fix until the season starts. Until the season does start though I will just have to go through my older photos for a while.

Tim Lincecum Pitches Under the Full Moon

It is at this time of year that I really want baseball to come back as soon as possible. I like the winter and making photos in the snow. I like that I get to photograph bald eagles in the winter. I also really like photographing baseball on a warm summer night. In the photo above it is not quite summer yet, but it was a beautiful night to watch a baseball game. I only had a few hours to spend in San Francisco thanks to a problem with our flight out there. I had my ticket to the game purchased already, and the pitcher that I would have liked to photograph was on the mound. Tim Lincecum has a great motion that looks amazing from a few angles. Everything was working in my favor. With no clouds the sunset was a bust, but a full moon rising over the stadium made up for that. As the moon came up I was in the upper deck making some blue hour photos of the stadium. I came back down to my seat just in time for the moon to rise up over the action down there. It was a night when everything seemed to be working in my favor. I had a blast photographing at AT&T Park. I would really like to do it again sometime.

Back in 2013

Life was so much simpler in 2013 as far as photography goes for me. I only had the one camera. The Canon 60D. Had I gone on this trip this year I would have agonized over what camera to take. I probably would have found a way to take two. In 2013 the choice was easy. I only had the 60D so that is what I took. As far as lenses go that was an easy choice too. I had the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 with a 1.4x extender that I could put on it. I had a Tamron 10-20mm lens that I would use for my wide angle photos. I had also just picked up the Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 lens from my friend Andy who now lives in the bay area. At the time I really wanted the Canon 24-105mm f/4 for trips. On my crop frame body I don’t know how good that 24-105 would have been. I of course own it now, and it is a great travel lens. You get a wide range in one lens. It is fun going through these older photos because you can put yourself back in that time. Everything was new and fresh. I was really doing it! The good news is that I still get that feeling today. I love what I do, and it amazes me all of the time that people pay me to do it.

Wildlife on the Wabash

Still Having A Blast Photographing the Bald Eagles in Lafayette

No matter how many times I see them I still enjoy watching the bald eagles over Lafayette. They really are beautiful creatures, and they can put on quite a show when they want to. Today I just had bad timing. They all seemed to be stuffed when I showed up to the pond, and they were more intent on soaring in the high winds than fishing. No matter what it is still cool to see them flying around the Wabash. The bluebird sky made for a great backdrop. This unseasonably warm weather has some advantages to it.

The Eagle Butt Photo Nobody Wants to See

It is basketball season, and no matter how hard you try not to you still end up with ref butt photos when you are on the baseline. I would think that the wildlife equivalent of that is the photo above. The lone strike in range for me yesterday was performed with the eagle flying in the exact opposite direction. With the wind at the time coming straight at me I suspected that this would happen. I would rather have had the light, and I was gambling on the eagle turning my way to escape with their lunch. Of course the eagle went the opposite way with no other eagles in the pond area to force it back my way. Sometimes you gamble for the great photo and you lose.

More Than Just Eagles

I really photograph anything that looks interesting to me while down by the pond. Yesterday in addition to the eagles I photographed ducks, geese, and seagulls. The photo above has an interesting story to it. While sitting quietly on the shore waiting for the eagles to feed I heard a boat zipping down the Wabash. It slowed near the entrance to the pond I was at, and I was hoping that it would just look around before heading back to wherever it was going. It did not though, and seemed to move all through the pond scaring every living thing out of there. The only thing really close to me was this flock of ducks. When they took flight I let my shutter rip. They are really beautiful in flight, and this photo has a little bit of every part of their technique. This was not the photo that I went down there to make, but it was one that I liked.

The Week in Photos

Each week I compile some of my favorite photos into one Exposure post. This week I have no sports action again, but still some interesting photos. This was another good week for me. The eagles photos yesterday were just the icing on the cake. You can view my favorites from the week here. This might be my favorite posts yet. A lot of photos that I really like this week.

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Lucky Table 13

Photographing the Bowl For Kids Sake

I don’t always post about every shoot that I do, but this one was kind of special. It was for the Bowl For Kids Sake event by the Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Lafayette. The photos are for them, and I don’t plan on posting any of them here. One photo that I really did like was this one that I made early on before we got going. I love the way the light plays together here. The only place you can find light like this anymore is a bowling alley or a roller rink. I knew that I had a photo so I made this one with the thought of posting it here. I wanted to be able to use this little platform that I have here to talk about the many good things that Big Brothers and Big Sisters do for both the bigs and the littles in the relationship. It is a great organization that deserves your attention. Give them a look through the links that I have provided.

Expecting the Unexpected

In the middle of our shoot yesterday the entire bowling alley lost power. Of course our strobes need power too so at first I thought that we were done. I went out into the alley to make some photos of the bowlers having fun with the lights out. iPhone lights are very powerful, and really helped make some of my favorite images of the day. We decided to try and move on with the portraits using the natural window light. My friend Trevor Mahlmann. came up with the bright idea of bouncing my strobe off of the ceiling to add to the ambient light. It worked great, and got us through the shoot. The only reason that the speed light was in the bag in the first place was an emergency of some sort, and it came in handy for us yesterday. Big or small something can go wrong on nearly every shoot that you have. Over preparing can help make big things like losing power become insignificant.

Another Aerial Sunset Over West Lafayette, Indiana

Flying High to Capture a Great Sunset

Before I bought my DJI Phantom 4 Pro I would often see a great sunset about to happen, but I knew that I wouldn’t have any time to get somewhere with an interesting foreground. Now that I have the drone I can quickly get it up in the air and over to something to see the sunset. I have really settled a lot on the water tower and Cumberland Avenue. I love the way that Cumberland bends into the sunset, and the water tower provides something of interest at least in the foreground. I am still learning this thing so every flight is another one to figure out just how to get what I want. Here things worked out to make an interesting photo for me.

Missing the Snow Moon

The real story of the night was the eclipse of the snow moon. Of course clouds moved in right at moonrise to kind of put the damper on any thoughts of shooting that. I was at home anyway with my daughter so unless the conditions were perfect we were not going out. I did turn the drone around though to see the moon rise a few times. I love the sky over the river with the moon coming up. This is my only photo of the snow moon, but I had a beautiful sunset to occupy my time.

More on Facebook Live

When I made it up and realized that the sky was going to light up I decided to go live on Facebook Live. This is a cool feature that allows me to share exactly what I am seeing from my quadcopter. The audio feed comes from my phone which is right in front of me. Here you get to hear my boring commentary, and as a bonus my daughter chips in a bit at the end. I just need to let her narrate my videos as they would probably be more interesting.

What Do You Want to Do Next Dzia Dzia?

The Little Things in Life

One of my favorite shoots that I do is one at my daughter’s school. I don’t have set goals of numbers or shot lists, but rather just a task of making interesting images of the kids. I don’t publish most of them, but every now and then I make one of my daughter that I want to show off a little. Here Lanie is talking to her Dzia Dzia (Grandpa) and showing him some of her favorite works in the classroom. This was a cute moment that I was there to capture. Normally I am running around trying to do this for twenty-two kids, but this was later when the class had thinned out a bit. It was easier to just focus on Lanie, and the moment. If I could I would fill up the photos of the week most weeks with the images that I make at the school. The photos are not for me though so I keep them right where they should be.

What is Your Hobby?

The fun thing about photography for me is that it is my hobby, but I also get paid for it. When I am not shooting for money I go out and photograph things for fun. At some point I would think that I would burn out, but I have been shooting non stop for nearly six years straight now. I rarely go through a day without making some sort of image. This is what I love, and I think that the love shows up in my work. Is it weird to have a hobby that is the same as my job?

The Snow Falls at Purdue University

Another Snow Day on the Campus of Purdue University

Yesterday morning I was trying to think of something to photograph. I packed up my bags for a couple of ideas. I was going to check the river to see if I could spot any eagles, and if that didn’t work out I was trying to think of a quadcopter¬†location to photograph. That all changed as I pulled my car out of the garage. A heavy snow started falling, and I decided to head quickly to campus. My new Think Tank quadcopter bag has a spot for my dSLR so I was already packed for the trip. As luck would have it I found a friend on campus, and made the walk with him. I love the campus of Purdue. It was beautiful when I was going to school here, and it is still just as beautiful. It was one of the reasons that moving back to the Purdue area was such an attractive idea. When it is snowing the campus just looks even better. I knew that by basically just pointing my camera in any direction I would end up with some images that I liked.

Photographing With a Friend

As luck would have it as I was just starting my photowalk today I stumbled upon another photographer doing the same thing. We made the quick trip around campus together. The snow was coming down like crazy, and it is always interesting to me how another photographer takes in a scene. My walk with Tom Crockett was awesome because I realize how many things I will just walk by. Sometimes you just pick something else as your focal point in a scene. Immediately upon walking down this path Tom spotted the trees and went for them. You can see his photo here. I had a wider view in mind, and so I made us both wait for someone to walk through. Luckily that happened fairly quickly, and you can see the result of my photo. I think we are all still learning so it is interesting for me to see what others do. I had a lot more fun on my photowalk because I had someone to bounce some ideas off of.

Photographing the Snow

When I had my first dSLR I couldn’t figure out why my snow photos didn’t look as cool as I thought that they should. By sheer chance I was in auto mode one day and the pop up flash went off. Those photos in my driveway looked so much cooler than any of the others that I took. Ten years later I am still using flash, but in a slightly different way. I put my speed light on my camera in TTL mode. The camera is smarter than me most of the time, and TTL mode lets the camera decide the power to use.

More Photos From the Walk

Below are a few of my other favorite photos from my walk around campus. I did not have much time to get around, but I tried to make the most of it. I stubbornly waited for a few scenes to develop the way that I thought they should, and it paid off a couple of times. As I said before this is a beautiful campus, and this year I have decided that I need to show that off a little more.

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One Night in Morocco

Visiting the World Through Epcot

I have only left the country once in my life, and that was a quick trip to Canada when I was so young I barely remember anything about the trip. My two biggest memories are playing Mad Libs, and getting a deformed cup that said “I got smashed in Canada.” One great thing about visiting Epcot is that you can visit many countries in one day. Looking through travel photos after the trip I find myself saying things like “I’ve been there” only to realize that I saw the copy at Disney and not the real thing. It is neat to get the chance to explore a bit while just traveling to Florida. With that said I would love to see many of the copied items in person.

Waiting in Line

I made the photo above while waiting in line. The girls were getting henna tattoos, and in order to get to see Aladdin and Jasmine someone had to wait in line. I spent over an hour with this as my view. In all reality this is not a bad view, but I am not a person that likes lines. When you see how much fun your kids have with the characters though a little line time never hurt anyone. In that line I was also able to take in this scene, and make a photo of it. Had I not been in line I probably would have been fascinated with the fake camel with the fez on its head, and just walked right by this scene.

Dining Out With Lori

A Great Meeting

Five years ago today I was walking into the Lafayette Brewing Company, and I saw a woman walking in as well. I held the door for her to go inside, and things have never been the same since. That woman would become my wife, and the best thing that ever happened to me. Since that time they have really changed the look of the Brew Pub. A lot has changed in these past five years, but I still hold the door for her every time that we go there. Sometimes I even use the cheesy line I did that night again. Not every meal can change your life, but this one did.

Lori’s Diner

When I visited San Francisco in 2013 I did not have much time to walk around. I stayed close to the hotel because I had to leave soon to get to a game. I did find this diner with my wife’s name on it, and as a bonus the name was even spelled right! At the time I was very into HDR photography so I didn’t think much of the photo. It was nice for me personally, but I didn’t know what to do with it. With a little time on my side I found a way to display this photo in a way that I was comfortable showing it to the world.


Snow at the Purdue Bell Tower

A Great Day to Walk the Campus of Purdue

One day while photographing eagles the forecast looked great for a nice snowy walk on campus. We packed up our gear and made our way down to campus to see what we could capture. At one point some big beautiful flakes started coming down. We made our pictures, but also tried to keep moving to capture as much of the campus as we could with the snow coming down. In a squall like that you don’t always know how long the snow will last. I made this photo of the clock tower as we were walking by it. I framed it just so, but then kept moving on. I liked the idea of the photo, but in the back of my camera it did not seem to work.

Using a Preset to Make the Photo Come to Life

The problem with the photo was that cloudy background blended in perfectly with the snow coming down. On the scene I saw that and kept moving on. The next day when I was going through my photos I saw some potential here, and decided to try a few presets on it to see what would work. I have been using this preset that I call Warmth From the Side a lot lately so I didn’t apply it right away. It has some normal editing in the basic panel of Lightroom going on, but the real magic of the preset is the two graduated filters coming in from each side. One is blue coming in from the right, and the orange coming in from the left is the other. That creates a little blending in the middle that I liked. It helped the snow to pop here more than it did before. In fact with the dreamy quality of the photo the snow could also become anything. I really like how this photo turned out this way, and a throw away then became a photo that I really liked.

The Week In Photos

This week was another week with barely any sports photos to be seen. Since the inception of the week in photos post on Exposure it has usually been filled with sporting events. This week I have a few photos from the Xavier game at Butler, but most of them are of eagles or made from my quadcopter. You can see my weekly look at my favorite photos here. With no sports involved the posts are not as long, but I love what I have been making lately.

Photographing Xavier Basketball at Hinkle Fieldhouse

Back in Hinkle Fieldhouse Again

One very cool thing about living here I do is that I get to photograph a couple of games in Hinkle Fieldhouse every year. Luckily two of the teams that I cover played in Hinkle this basketball season. In December Indiana State made the trip, and yesterday the Xavier women’s team played in historic Hinkle Fieldhouse. I have been looking forward to this game for a while as I love shooting in Hinkle. Early on it did not look good for Xavier, but they had a monster second quarter to take the lead. It was a lead that they built on, and they went home with the win. It is always good working with Xavier as they treat me very good each time. It was good to see them get the W yesterday.

What is This Sports Photography Thing?

It really has been a while since I shot an entire basketball game. In fact I had not shot an entire game this year yet. Over the last three weeks I have only shot two sporting events, and they were both for Xavier. Early on this year at a Purdue game I had someone ask if I was quitting the business as they hadn’t seen me in a while. The rumor apparently was that it was my gear on Craigslist. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. Lately though it just seems like the opportunities have been elsewhere. This week I have a couple of sports related shoots coming up. Sports photography is my passion so I will never leave it completely. This time of year though it is nice to take a break from basketball a bit so I can be fresh when the tournaments start in less than a month. This year should be a fun one that will start in St. Louis again.