A Winter Walk on the Campus of Purdue University

Taking a Winter Stroll on the Campus of Purdue University

Yesterday I was on the Purdue campus for a client and I had some time to kill. The sky was beautiful, and the temperature was actually pretty mild for this time of year. I love this campus, and this year I have made a little pact with myself that I will photograph it more. One of my favorite new to me features on campus is this Hail Purdue glass mural. I don’t know when it was put into place, but I found it last year. Most trips to campus now include a photo op here. Here the rays of the sun provide a nice addition to the photo.

The Boilermaker Stands Tall

I really love this boilermaker statue on campus. It has been a welcome addition to campus, and it is fun to photograph. With the blue skies I wanted to to focus on that a bit. I actually was on my way home when I decided to photograph this statue. I pulled off the road to make a few frames. I love the sky as a background here. The new performance center is nice, but it is just another item to clutter up the background of this photo.

The Week in Photos

This week was one without any sports in it. There was a bit of everything else though. You can view my weekly collection of my favorite photos on my Exposure page here.

Bittinger Stadium By Air and Ground

Photographing Bittinger Stadium From the Air

Last night I went out to Bittinger Stadium close to sunset to get some shots of it from the air and from the ground. I really had the idea of getting some photographs from the air. The slight change in angle I thought would really look good. With the sun going down over the first base dugout my choice to position myself was an easy one. I was standing on the mound in center field flying my drone in left field. I love all of the colors here. The oranges and blues play nicely together up top while the green grass looks ready to play on at the bottom of the frame. I have had a blast with my DJI Phantom 4 Pro, and the ability to make shots like this one are why I bought it.

Photographing Bittinger Stadium From the Ground

While I was up in the air I also had a tripod that I set up prior to taking flight with my drone. The photo above I actually made handheld before setting up a tighter shot and putting the camera on a tripod. I wanted a much wider shot to start off, and the camera in center field gets in the way of that from the hill. It was fun waiting for my shot on the ground to develop while flying the drone in the air. I still do use my Canon cameras, although I don’t talk about them as much. They can’t fly like my DJI Phantom 4 Pro can.

Having Everything That You Need

One thing that is nice now is that since I bought my Think Tank Airport Helipak backpack is that I have one spot to place all of my equipment while out shooting. I tested it for the first time at the potholes and at the Williamsport Falls earlier in the week, and it worked great. I was able to carry my quadcopter along with a basic camera kit. That makes it easy to use both cameras at the same time. When I travel on vacation this summer this will be the only bag that I bring along. It will make it on the plane, and it will be able to carry all of my gear that I need for my vacation.

The ‘Lost’ Weekend

This weekend is what I call a lost weekend. For most of the week I thought that I would be out of town this weekend. I had two clients deep into talks about my services for most of the week. It was to the point that I was thinking that whichever one said yes first was the one I would go with, and the other one I would have to say I am sorry to. Of course as it does sometimes they both went another way leaving me with a weekend with nothing on the schedule. When this happens I am always restless because I feel that I should be shooting. I spent too much time pacing around the house today before finally going out to photograph the sunset. It is not truly a lost weekend as I got to spend time at home before most likely traveling again next weekend, but it feels like it. There is a sense of something missing until I make some photos. It is a weird feeling to describe, but if you have ever gone through it then you know what I mean. That is part of being a freelancer though. Hopefully I will be tired from making photos next weekend.

An Interesting Call

A Traditional, Non-Traditional Call

Last weekend at the Indiana State Museum I made many pictures. You can see some of them here. Late in the day the girls noticed a group of people dressed in amazing clothes. My first thought was to make some photos of them. I quickly realized that it was a wedding party though, and I didn’t want to get in the way of the wedding photographers who were there. At one point while we were sitting and waiting to leave the bride walked to the middle of the bridge and made a phone call. I thought that this was an interesting moment so I made a quick photo of it. The bride in her traditional garments making a phone call with a non traditional device.

The Mission of 2017

This year I did not make any New Year’s Resolutions. I didn’t want to be tied to anything with my photography. At some point around January 20th though I made a pact with myself. I would create something new everyday. That something may never see the light of day, but I would still create it. This is the kind of resolution that I needed. I have been trying to be more open with my photography lately. I was trapped in this cycle of sports photography where people started to get the impression that sports was all that I can shoot. Making a point to make something everyday has really invigorated me. Sometimes the event is planned like a trip to the Williamsport Falls. Other times like the photo above I just happened to be in the right place at the right time.

Flying Past the Potholes

Using the DJI Phantom 4 Pro at the Potholes

One site that I never get to enough is the potholes near Attica, Indiana. This is a unique geographical area where the water has made a very cool path through a ravine. I have seen many photographs of it from different angles, but none from above. I wanted to take my DJI Phantom 4 Pro over the top to get that top down look. I think that you could really get a good view of them that way. The light was not cooperating though as the sun came out ruining my idea. That is okay as it just means that I will have to go back and try again! The best part about photography is that sometimes even a fail is a win. You an make a couple of pictures that you like, but the main photo that you had in mind doesn’t work out. Now I get to go back and give it another try on another day. I think that I will have a better plan this time to fly a little safer through the tree obstacle course.

Using the Lee Big Stopper to Create Ghost Water

One thing that I don’t use enough is my Lee Big Stopper. A few years ago this was a must have for me. I was always out somewhere that I could have used it. Of course when I finally got one I was always shooting sports, and not using the Big Stopper. This year I need to get it out more. It has a permanent place in my quadcopter bag which is always with me so I won’t have any excuses. Here it adds a little to what would have been a rather boring photo.

Taking a Different Path

When I was making the above photo I was thinking about how most of the water takes the same path over the rocks here. In fact it has done it for so long that it has cut that path into the rock. Only a small portion of the water comes down a different way. I thought that this is a perfect metaphor for the last couple of years in photography for me. I spent that time doing the same things over and over and banging my head into a wall trying to make something happen. This year I decided to pull back a bit and go back to photographing everything that is interesting to me. I have really had a great start to the year, and I have had a much easier time writing the blog when it is not constantly game recaps. I needed to get out of the rut to help make myself a more creative photographer. I would like to think that when I do shoot sports know that it shows a bit.

Williamsport Falls

Catching Williamsport Falls at a Good Time

Lately I have found myself back at a lot of places that I visited in 2011 and 2012 as I was getting serious about photography. These are the places where I learned a lot of the tricks that I use today. I think I have been doing it so that I can fly my drone over them to get a different vantage point. I made a few photos of the falls from many vantage points this time though. One thing that I have learned over time is that the photo that you think is great on site may not be the one when you get home. By exploring your options you find new angles that you may never have thought of. The composition above was one that I liked, but you lose scale this way. The water falls about 90 feet, and you cannot really tell that by this photo. A well placed person or identifiable object would help show that scale. I went to the falls with Trevor Mahlmann with the thought that the falls would be going good with all of the recent rain. We were right as we had a good stream to photograph.

Flying the DJI Phantom 4 Pro Over Williamsport Falls

One reason to head back was to use the DJI Phantom 4 Pro to try and capture a new angle of the falls. On my first visit the path was closed so my only photos were from the top of the trail head. Now I have many different angles to look at, and the drone really helps that out. I had this top down view in mind right away. I wanted to show the trail that the water has carved over time to get down to the bottom. It really is amazing the power water has over time.

Going Live on Facebook Again

I thought that this would be a great place to go live on Facebook from. It was a unique view, and something that many people may not know about. What I didn’t realize was just how much the sandstone walls would mess with my signal. Out of the four minutes or so I was live only about two minutes of that were archived. That meant that I was glitchy for about two minutes of the broadcast. The two minute video is concise, and at times seems like it was cut for time on purpose. Maybe Facebook knows that I am long winded and did that to save everyone time.

Leaving Something to the Imagination

One thing that I wanted to do on the shoot was to leave part of the falls out of the frame. Sometimes you can count on the person looking at your photos to finish what you have started. I have said it before, but I am a completionist. I like to see everything in my photos. I have been working this year to leave a little to the imagination. I think a photo like the one above is a good part of a story. It gets in a little closer to something that you know already. As a stand alone piece it could be interesting as well as you have to work on it a bit in your mind.

Mr. Lincoln Welcomes You to the Lincoln Tomb

Greeted By Abraham Lincoln

On my way to St. Louis I went a little out of my way to stop by Abraham Lincoln’s Tomb in Springfield, Illinois. The tomb is located at the Oak Ridge Cemetery which also has some other interesting things to photograph. For this trip I had limited time so I just stuck to turning the tomb of the 16th President. When you pull up to the tomb you see a great monument to a great man. The first thing that you see when you walk inside of it is this view above. I knew that it would make for a great black and white image. The room was set up perfectly for a great high contrast black and white image. If the docents would have let me move the signs and other clutter this could have really been a great shot.

A Familiar Trip

In 2006 I made a trip to the Lincoln tomb with my old point and shoot camera. It was part of a fun day visiting the Lincoln sites, and then seeing a Purdue baseball doubleheader at Illinois that night. Of course the Big Ten does not play doubleheaders anymore which is great for the players, but as a fan I miss it. It made a single day road trip to see a team a little more worth your while.

The Week in Photos

Last week was a truly fun week. Tuesday night I had the chance to photograph the girls at their dance classes, and then head on over to see Purdue win the Big Ten conference in basketball. Of course the trip to St. Louis was a fun one as well. It was a fun week of making images yet again. This year I have decided to make something every day. The something I make may never see the light of day. That is part of the process though is to go for broke and try something that may not work. I have really grown as a person since I started taking my photography seriously a few years back. I have learned to shoot for me, and nobody else. Since I have started doing that I have really enjoyed what I do more, and I have had some cool opportunities as a photographer as well. You can see some of my favorite photographs from the past week here.

Historic Hinkle Fieldhouse

Photographing Basketball Once Again in Historic Hinkle Fieldhouse

I try and get to Hinkle Fieldhouse at least once a year to photograph a basketball game. This past basketball season I was fortunate to get to Hinkle for two games. I shot one for Indiana State and one for Xavier. This is a grand old building that really shows off what makes Indiana basketball so great. The way the building is set up allows the photographer to try some different things as well. The light falls off quickly so you can really isolate your subject. You also have some great signage to place in the photos to show a sense of place.

Less is More

During my last trip to Hinkle this past February I wanted to make a nice shot of the exterior of the gym. The clouds were perfect as was the light for this. I didn’t want the typical shot so I  went for a lot of blank space at the top of the image. The day was perfect for it so why not? I don’t do this often, but sometimes the situation calls for it. I loved the way that this image turned out, and I can’t wait to shoot there again.

The Week in Photos

Last week was an amazing week for me. I was able to shoot Purdue clinching the Big Ten title courtside. A few years ago I would have killed to do that. I had a lot of fun shooting a historic game. Hopefully they do it so much in the future that I will get bored of doing it. I also drove to St. Louis to cover Indiana State in the MVC Tournament for the second year in a row. Things did not go how we thought they would this year, but they did give me some moments to remember. On the way to St. Louis I stopped by Springfield, Illinois to visit Lincoln’s tomb. I had a fun week of shooting, and you can view some of my favorite photos from last week on my Exposure page here. As I write this my week is very much up in the air. This time of year it usually is. March always has a way of bringing work to me though.

Spending the Day at the Indiana State Museum

Having Fun at the Indiana State Museum

An early exit by my team in the MVC basketball tournament meant that I would be able to spend the weekend with my family. The oldest had a day planned at the Indiana State Museum with her 2nd grade class promoting the firefly as the state insect. They were there to gather signatures for the project as well as educate the public about it. They also had time to go around and tour the museum. I had never been to the museum before so why not bring my camera and have some fun.

The Importance of the Trip

The 2nd grade class has been trying for a few years to get the Say’s Firefly named as the state insect of Indiana. For some reason right now it is being blocked. You can help convince the lawmakers to help us join the other 47 states with a state insect by contacting your local representative. The kids spent hours at the museum trying to get signatures and spread awareness. It is something that they are passionate about for sure. Say’s Firefly is an Indiana native so it only

The Week in Photos

Last week was an amazing week for me. I was able to shoot Purdue clinching the Big Ten title courtside. A few years ago I would have killed to do that. I had a lot of fun shooting a historic game. Hopefully they do it so much in the future that I will get bored of doing it. I also drove to St. Louis to cover Indiana State in the MVC Tournament for the second year in a row. Things did not go how we thought they would this year, but they did give me some moments to remember. On the way to St. Louis I stopped by Springfield, Illinois to visit Lincoln’s tomb. I had a fun week of shooting, and you can view some of my favorite photos from last week on my Exposure page here. As I write this my week is very much up in the air. This time of year it usually is. March always has a way of bringing work to me though.

Al MacInnis at the Scottrade Center

The Al MacInnis State at the Scottrade Center

Last year I was so excited to get in and shoot inside of the Scottrade Center that I really ignored the statues outside of it. I think that I made an iPhone photo of the Brett (must not call him Bobby) Hull, but that was it. The skies were never very good so I kept waiting for the next day to do it. On the drive home I remember thinking that I should have just made the photos anyway. As I was walking to the stadium I realized that the conditions were perfect for some stadium shots. The sun was setting with a great yellow glow on everything withe some great skies above. I decided to make some photos before I ever set foot in the stadium. I grabbed my camera out of my bag and made a few images of each of the statues. Maybe a few too many of this one.

Take Your Time Making the Photo Dave

The photo that you see above is not what I had in mind when I walked up to the statue. I actually had my Canon 24-105mm lens on the camera. I was focusing on the statue without much regard to the building behind it. Then I decided to put the building more in the photo as well. I then switched to my Canon 17-40mm lens to get more of the building and sky in the photos. I thought that I had it, but the hockey stick kept blocking the letters spelling out Scottrade Center. I finally found the composition above that I really liked. It was the first statue that I made a photo of, and as I was walking away from it I was thinking to myself that it should not have taken that long to come up with that look. Sometimes you have to work a photo though, and maybe the sun went down just a little more during that process to give a better glow from the left.

Indiana State at the 2017 MVC Basketball Tournament

The Indiana State Comeback Bid Falls Short

Yesterday I was back in St. Louis to photograph Indiana State at the MVC Tournament for the second year in a row. For the second year in a row I was headed home after photographing their game against Evansville. This game felt very similar to the game last year. For most of the game Indiana State was just not in it. Evansville ran out to a big lead, and I was having flashbacks to the game last year. When the Purple Aces went up 26 you could see the writing on the wall. Then in the second half Indiana State started chipping away at the lead. They started getting a little closer, and Evansville started to tighten up. The game was suddenly very good with possessions having importance. Indiana State had the lead down to six with less than a minute to play, but in the end they couldn’t complete the comeback.

Saying Goodbye to the Seniors

This was a fun team to watch, and I feel for the seniors. After the Butler upset the sky seemed to be the limit for this team. They had lost some games to that point, but all of them were close losses. If they could just right that ship the season could be a very good one. The close losses turned out to be the theme of the year. It is too bad because this team deserved better. Sometimes though things happen during a season that for some reason change things. This season was just not meant to be for whatever reason for the Sycamores.

The Future Looks Bright

There are some real bright spots that will be back next year. Brenton Scott is just a junior, and he is already over 1,300 points for his career. When he is on as he was at the end of the game Thursday night he is something else. He can take over a game, and put the team on his back. Freshman Jordan Barnes looks like he could be another great player at the point guard position. As a freshman he showed flashes of brilliance. He sparked a couple of the runs that got ISU back into the game. I know the season just ended, but I am ready to see the guys back on the court. Continue reading