The Sycamores Visit Rocky Top

Indiana State Football Takes On Tennessee In Neyland Stadium

One of the longest jobs that I have ever had on my calendar was also the one I have looked forward to for the longest time. I have watched Tennessee from afar for the last couple of decades so it was nice to finally make the trip to see the team up close and personal. Sadly the day that I was able to see them at home I was rooting against them. The task for Indiana State was not going to be an easy one. Any time a MVC school faces a SEC school the talent gap is wide. It was great fun though watching the Sycamores compete in that arena. They came out to play, and they made many great plays on the day.

Another Look At Neyland Stadium

Neyland Stadium really is a great place to watch a game. When we arrived at the stadium we took the scenic route to the press box. It was neat to see how the old stadium walls were expanded when they upped the capacity. It was done much the same way that Notre Dame did it when they expanded. The old windows and stadium walls have seen so much history it was hard not to think about it as you walked around the stadium. Just when we nearly reached the press box I saw this statue of General Neyland and stopped to make a quick photo. I loved the gates leading up to the statue. It was my first photo at the stadium, and still one of my favorites from the day.

The Volunteer Atmosphere

Early on before the teams came out of their tunnels the band started up Rocky Top. With nothing to shoot at that minute I took the time to take it all in. It is not often you are standing in front of nearly 100,000 people singing in unison. It was an amazing thing to see and be a part of. Shortly after that I had to focus again, but part of the fun of what I do is taking it all in. The crowd sounded amazing for this game. I can only imagine how loud they get when a team like Florida makes an appearance.

Whatever You Do Don’t Trip

The day before I made the joke about not tripping when I went out to photograph the coin toss. It is embarrassing enough to trip in front of a couple of people let alone 100,000. When the time came to photograph the toss I was so into what the team was doing that I didn’t even think about it. That was a good thing as my shoelace had come untied. Thankfully it didn’t do me in, and I was able to get the shoe tied before the kickoff. Next week it will be a smaller crowd for my game, but I still don’t want to trip. Continue reading

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Photographing a Game In Neyland Stadium

Photographing a Football Game In Front of 100,000 People

Yesterday was a fun day for me. I was able to follow Indiana State down to Knoxville, Tennessee and check something off of the bucket list. I have always wanted to watch a game in Neyland Stadium, and yesterday I was able to do that from field level. Before the game I spent some time making some photos of this iconic stadium. The photo above was one of my favorites from that walk around the stadium. I would have liked to have done this again when the crowd and teams were in the stadium, but it was not worth risking missing a big play for the Sycamores.

More To Come

Tomorrow I will have more on the game including a few of my favorite photos as well. As I sit in the press box and write this it looks like I will be lucky to be back in West Lafayette before this post goes live. Right now the emotions are running high, and I want to process this day a little before I write too much more about it. This was a fun day though, and it is the reason that I do what I do.

Early Morning Drone Flights

Taking Advantage of the Good Light

While hanging out at my brothers house a few weeks ago I had the chance to take my drone up and around where he lives. He has some unique scenery around his house that is fun to photograph. An abandoned campground that can look very interesting in good light. The best light for that is overhead though so during my morning flight I kept the drone to the cornfield across the street from his house. I loved the idea of the morning light streaming across the field and through the tops of the corn. I made a few other photos that morning, but this was my favorite.

Do What You Are Comfortable With

One thing that I quickly learned with the drone is that I should stay within my comfort zone with it. When you start to do things that you are not comfortable with mistakes can happen. Here I was far from anyone else, but a mistake and crash would result in my looking for my drone in a cornfield. The best shot here was probably a little lower over the road, but that would have taken the drone out of my view, and I would not have had a visual on the road. A taller vehicle could have taken out my drone. Nothing that day was going to be award winning so it was not worth taking the chance.

Barns Of Parke County

A Few Of The Barns Of Parke County

When I am in Parke County, Indiana the focus is obviously on the covered bridges. The county is full of them, and they are fun to find and photograph. Along the way though there are also many nice barns to photograph. Like any series of barn photos this one has a few different kinds in it. I am a sucker for the old red barn. Nothing will make me slam on the brakes like an old barn on the side of the road.

Barns In The Wild

When I am driving I am pretty much at the mercy of the conditions when out looking for subjects to photograph. If there is something really amazing I may wait around for the good light, but when out bridge hunting I pretty much take what I can get. It would be nice to visit these barns again in some great early morning or late evening light. Here the cow is in the shadow. In a way that fact makes it a nice hidden feature of the photo.

More Barns Than Normal

I don’t know if it was the route that I took that day or just the sheer amount of barns in Parke County, but I was not getting very far without stopping that day. The barn above was right next to a steel bridge making it one stop with many photos to make. Next time I am out in Parke County I need to take a different route to see what else I can find. Maybe I was just on the route with the most barns.

Barns Ready For Harvest

This was a trip that I made in mid April, but some of the barns had harvest equipment in front of them. Barns like the last two in this post had older farm implements in front of them making them a little more interesting to me. Do you stop to look at or photograph barns on the road? Am I the only one?

Hanging Out At Neyland Stadium

Heading Back To Neyland Stadium

I have a little history with the Tennessee football program. In 1988 my father took some classes there, and when he came home he brought me back some souvenirs from a school I really had never heard of. The colors were orange which were the hometown LaPorte Slicers colors. I started following the Vols from that moment on. They always seemed to be on ESPN late at night so it was easy to do. A guy named Peyton came along and then it seemed like everyone knew who the Vols were. For years I wanted to visit Neyland Stadium. On the last day of 2006 I was headed home from the Purdue bowl game in Florida. I stopped in Knoxville to see Notre Dame and Tennessee play in women’s basketball. On the way into the stadium I marveled at Neyland Stadium and made a few photos with my point and shoot camera. Just over ten years later I will be back there to photograph Indiana State as they take on the Vols. The is a job that has been on my calendar longer than any other job in the past. When I knew about it I made sure they knew that I was available that weekend, and that I could shoot it. Now here we are a couple of days away, and I couldn’t be more excited.

A Time Of Year To Go Down Memory Lane

This time of year I always get a little nostalgic when it comes to what has happened over the last four years. In the span of eight days in September of 2013 I made a photo that is still being used today, and my daughter was born. When Notre Dame came to town on the 14th of September I was sure for most of the day that I would not be at the game. I grew up cheering for Notre Dame, and I love Purdue so it usually is a no-brainer. A deep disappointment that I could not be on the field was going to keep me away from the game. I ended up buying a $70 ticket to the game and picking a seat that I thought would make for a good photo. My hunch was right, and suddenly I had a photo that people wanted on my hands. I really did not know what to do, and I basically gave the photo away. I did however get a pass to photograph Purdue on from the sidelines. Before the Boilers came back home though I had another important moment ahead. My daughter was born on September 23rd. That day was hands down the best of my life. Before my daughter was born I heard people say that, and I wondered if they were being honest. Now that it happened to me I know that they had to be. My daughter was born on a Monday, and on that Saturday the Boilers would be home for the first time since I got my pass. I was excited about the game, but I still didn’t know if I should leave my daughter to go. I did, and although I don’t think that I made any images that I really liked that day it was still a dream come true to be there. You can see one of my images from that game above. Looking back on that time I had an amazing two week span that I can only hope that I can duplicate again. The emotions felt then would be hard for sure. There may be a couple of long posts this month because of that fact. Next year when it is the five year anniversary of these days you can bet your life that there will be.

Foggy Morning Roll Down

Rolling Down The Window For A Picture

I try and make a photo everyday. Some days are filled with things that make that hard to do. Other days the situation presents itself early in the morning. Last week for example while taking the kids to school I was presented with this view. I rolled down the car window, and I had a picture early in the day. I had the idea to head back when I dropped the kids off to make a picture with my dSLR, but of course the light was not even close to the same as this by then.

The Week In Photos

Last week was an amazing week. I don’t often get into the whole birthday week thing, but it seem like the odds were stacked in my favor to make some interesting pictures last week. Here is a link to my favorite photos from the week.

A Day At The Zoo

Just Hanging Out At The Zoo

Yesterday we spent the day at the zoo enjoying the company of some of the animals. With my travel schedule the next couple of weeks I am not sure how much time I will be spending at home on the weekends. This long weekend before all of that cranks up was nice to allow me to spend some time with the family. Of course I had to take my camera to the zoo with me because that is part of the deal as well.

Using The Canon 100-400mm Lens At The Zoo

When I was leaving for the zoo I didn’t want to pack a bag. It was a family trip, and I just wanted one camera and one lens to go with me. I knew that any portrait type shots would be handled by my phone so I decided to give the Canon 100-400mm lens a shot. It really did the trick for me allowing my to get in tight on the animals. Nothing will top the bokeh from my 400 prime. For a trip to the zoo with the family though this lens is great. I need to get it out to Wolf Park to test it out this winter.

I Double Dare You

Sometimes I make a photo because it looks great to me. Other times I do it because it makes me laugh. This was one of those photos. For some reason I kept thinking of the kid from the movie A Christmas Story as I saw the tongue touch the pole. Don’t worry. The giraffe did not get his tongue stuck to the pole, and the fire department did not have to be called. Continue reading

Labor Day Weekend At Lake Freeman

Spending Some Time Away At Lake Freeman

Yesterday we made our way to Lake Freeman to spend some time with family. It is always a relaxing time, and I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that my phone gets horrible service there. I actually had it turned off for much of the trip so there were no distractions. I need to start doing that more. As the sun started setting though the phone came back out. I did not bring a camera with me to the lake so I had to use my phone to photograph that amazing sunset that we saw. The sky was beautiful in multiple directions making the decision of where to shoot hard. I ended up just waiting for boats to make the choice of where to shoot for me.

The Week In Photos

Last week was a fun week. It started off with some birthday fun, and then went right into college football season. I couldn’t think of a better way to cap it off than the sunset at the lake. You can view some of my favorite photos from last week here.

Purdue Football Opens Up Their Season At Lucas Oil Stadium

This Team Is Fun!

Before I talk about the game I want to talk about this team. That was a fun game to watch. It has been a while since I could say that about Purdue Football. I had a great time photographing this team, and it was against one of the better programs in college football right now. I don’t want to get too excited after just one game, but that was a great first outing for new Purdue coach Jeff Brohm. The fans should absolutely be amped to see the Boilers play at home under the lights next week.

Thank You Anthrop Family

If you have read this blog for a while then you know the weird link to the Anthrop family. Danny was the first post ever on here. The first photo of my photo 365 project that I posted was of Danny returning a punt for a touchdown in high school. Now his younger brother is starring at Purdue. Before that their older brother played tough minutes for the basketball team. When everyone has made their way through the school the parents should get an award for their contributions to the program.

Lamar Jackson Is Pretty Good

There is a reason that Lamar Jackson won the Heisman last season. He is a special player that can keep plays alive. His feet are the reason that Louisville walked away with the victory last night. His arm had a little something to do with it as well. It was fun to see him play in person, and I still can’t believe how fast he is on the field.

Almost Had It

The photo above is a pretty good look at how the game went for Purdue. The victory was right there, but they just couldn’t grab it. Nobody gave this team a fighting chance to begin with so it was great to see them compete against a high level school for the win. The above play was close to being a great catch, but a defenders hand broke up the play at the last minute. Had one more break gone for the Boilers we would still be partying in Indianapolis. Continue reading

Indiana State Opens Up Their 2017 Season Under The Lights

Indiana State Opens Their 2017 Season Under the Lights

The day that I had been waiting months for had finally come. The start of the 2017 college football season is finally here. It has been an agonizing wait as the baseball season kind of fizzled out for me. Now football is here to save the day. What better place to start things off than under the lights in Terre Haute. This year is a fun one as both teams that I follow have new coaches and a lot of optimism for what both can do. Indiana State is full of new things. They have a new coaching staff, new uniforms, and new lights for the stadium. Every one of those things brings a little something extra to be excited about for this season. I was so excited that I was at the stadium over seven hours before the start of the game. You can view my pregame shots on yesterday’s post here.

The Will To Win

One thing that Indiana State had on Thursday night was the will to win. In a football game you are going to take some hits. Things don’t always go your way. The Sycamores came back every time with the common goal in mind. They were there to win that game. The little extra effort plays put them into the position that they were in as the clock wound down. It was fun watching them fight and claw their way back into the lead. This is a tough team that put it all out there. If that effort keeps up it excites me as that means that it will be a fun year photographing them.


Photographing In Interesting Light

As the second half was winding down there was some great light in the sky. I was struggling to get the amazing sky in the frame while still being able to make out the players. I was laying on the ground hoping that the play would come close enough that they could be silhouetted against the sky. Of course the play went to the other end, and I didn’t get that chance. I did make a couple of frames that I liked during that time though.

The Walk Out

Part of the fun of shooting for the team is getting the walk out. I love the way the players look as they stride to midfield for the coin toss. This is one of my favorite shots to get, and it looks even better with the 11-24mm lens making it. Next week in Knoxville this shot should be even better as the white away jerseys should pop against the orange backdrop. Continue reading