Top 17 Women’s Basketball Photos of 2016-2017

My Favorite Seventeen Photos of the 2016-2017 Basketball Season

This year was an interesting one as far as basketball goes for me. I shot more games away from home than I did at home. I shot very little women’s basketball inside of Mackey Arena, and when I did I had a 50/50 chance of it being for the other team.

17. I love the new Purdue intros. I made this photo early in the season when there were not a lot of photographers at the game. The Purdue photographer that day was not too interested in the intros so I went in a little closer to get this shot.

16. For the second photo in we stay in the pregame phase again. One player that is fun to photograph at Indiana State is Wendi Bibbins. She plays with an intensity that looks great on camera. Here she is firing up her team prior to the game at Butler.

15. Speaking of the game at Butler here is a shot that is not easily made at most places. The raised court at Butler allowed me to get right into the huddle here. It was a great way to show off the fire in the huddle and the beauty of Hinkle Fieldhouse.

14. This year I was able to shoot a game for the Eastern Michigan Eagles. For a few years now I have been friends with one of their student photographers. A sports group on Google+ provided me with some great people to follow through their careers. It was great to get out and photograph Eastern Michigan myself. When you see so many pictures of a team you start to root for them.

13. Here is one of the photos from my first overhead remote setup. To get to the catwalks at Indiana State you have to traverse many steps. Without an assistant it was not fun trying to make sure that everything was set up correctly. I went up and down many times to make sure that I had what I was looking for. Thankfully it was a doubleheader for the men’s and women’s teams so I got twice as much for my efforts that day. This was my favorite shot from that first game. I have always hesitated in setting up a remote, but with the way that Indiana State was using my images I knew I needed to give them something extra for their money.

12. This year I was able to shoot in Hinkle Fieldhouse twice. I love shooting in that old barn. After a while you get used to some things where you normally shoot so the thrill of an old place like Hinkle is pretty cool. I really like the way I can move around there. For the women’s games I am usually the only photographer on the entire court so I can pretty much pick wherever I want to sit. No elbow to elbow shooting here.

11. Ashely Morrissette was a fun player to watch play basketball. She was a role player early in her career. An injury forced her to be something more, and we got our first glimpse into just what she could do. She was a fun leader to watch play this past season. Here she is shown forcing her way to the basket. Her ability to make her own shots from behind the arc to at the hoop was helped create chances for others. She will be hard to replace at Purdue.

10. This was a shot that I didn’t know I was going to make that day. I was just shooting the intros at my first Indiana State women’s game when this moment occurred. Rhagen Smith is a player that loves to smile. You can tell that she loves playing the game. All of that combined into one photo makes it easy to include on this countdown.

9. Ashley Taia is a player that can do it all. She usually ends up in my photo galleries driving to the basket. Here she battles for a rebound against Butler. Some players just play in such a way that looks good on camera most of the time. I call this the Akeem Hunt theory because he was the first one that I had like that. I could never make a bad picture of Akeem. Ashley is a similar player. Some players just photograph better than others.

8. Here is another shot that I love because of the way that it shows off the Hinkle Fieldhouse. It is early in the game against Butler, and I made a photo that I knew would be in the gallery. It is these photos that take the burden off a little and let me relax and shoot looser.

7. I love it when one sport looks like another sport. Here I think this drive looks a little like a running back making first contact. There is something about it that reminds me of a football photo, and that makes it a little unique to me.

6. As I said above Wendi Bibbins plays the game with a lot of emotion. Right after a win this season she is shown here letting out a scream of joy. She really likes to win, and I can relate to that. She is a player that I look forward to photographing again next season.

5. Wendi shows up yet again on the countdown. Here she makes a nice basket again Butler. I love the way that the background goes to black on these wide shots at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Wendi elevated just enough to set herself apart from her defenders as well. That all comes together for a photo that I really like.

4. Here the gesture is everything. Ashley Taia is once again doing her thing driving to the hoop. A while back I heard the great Peter Read Miller talk about having feet off of the ground being a good thing. Here three of the four feet shown are off the ground, and it is a good photo. Feet off of the ground does not always mean it is a good photo, but it does show the motion of the situation. Here the feet and the face help convey the emotion of the situation.

3. Wendi Bibbins makes her final appearance on the countdown. This has to be a record for appearances by one player in the countdown. Here I love the basketball moment just as the ball is leaving her fingertips. What makes the photo though is her hair looking like a mohawk as she goes up. This is one of those times where a lot of things are happening in your favor, and you just have to hit the shutter button to make something very cool.

2. This photo came from the first sporting event that I shot in 2017. Near the end of the game I started to get a little bored. When you know that nobody will see the photos from the game then it takes away some of the rush you get making them. I decided to just make something for me. In fact I had this idea early in the second half, and when I got what I wanted I was going to leave. Of course I kept trying to get it better and better until I finally made this shot of Ashley Morrissette driving. A lot has to work in your favor to make this work at such a low shutter speed so that is part of the reason why I like it so much.

  1. The top photo in the countdown is from my lone shoot with the Xavier basketball team this season. During the pregame introductions I did my normal over the top huddle shot. I realized that the team was spread far enough apart that I might be able to get my camera in between a couple of players. It was then that I was rewarded with a great gesture by the player in the middle. It was a photo that was meant to be, and I will take all of the luck that it took to make this one.


This year I was not sure about doing these recap posts. I like the idea of going back through my work to see what I was able to accomplish for the season. Some of them have gone over very well. Both of the Indiana State recaps were seen by many people making them well worth the time and effort to make it. The Purdue women’s basketball post kind of went like most of my women’s basketball posts. Nobody clicked on it. I don’t know what to make of that. I spent over an hour working on the post itself, and it was seen by four people the day that it posted. The old manager in me that still tries to use SPC always wants to know why. Is it just my audience? Is it interest in the program? For whatever reason those posts don’t do well. The lack of interest in the women’s basketball program on here has had some good results though. I started my photos of the week post because I wanted to get some of those photos out. Right now I plan on putting my favorite men’s basketball photos together and releasing them next week. Next week is looking pretty busy though so who knows when it will come out.

Photographing The SAMYS

Photographing the SAMYS at Indiana State

Monday night after photographing golf earlier in the day I made my way to the Hulman Center to photograph the first ever SAMYS for them. They have come up with this idea modeled after the ESPYS. It has been a long time in the making, but it finally came to be Monday night. It was fun to see the athletes get dressed up to have a night just for them. From a first year event you would expect a few glitches as things come up that you do not expect. That did not happen though which goes to show you just how good the planning was leading up to the event. This was a fun night, and I was glad to be a part of it.

A Humbling Night

It was a fun night when the athletes were the focus of attention. One very humbling aspect of the night was watching my photos show up during the announcements of the nominees and the winners. Some of it was just pure luck. I happened to be at some of the best events of the year for the Sycamores. Seeing just how much my photos mean to the young athletes makes it all worthwhile. It is at times like these when you remember that you are documenting history. These are photos that these young men and women will have for years to come. One thing that I have noticed this past year is that my tweets and posts that feature Indiana State get far more eyes on them than my other posts and tweets do from other schools, even Purdue. They really appreciate what I do, and that means a lot.

Indiana State and Indiana Battle It Out At Bob Warn Field

Indiana Wins a Great Game 2-0

Last night I was back in Terre Haute to see the Indiana State baseball team take on Indiana. This has been the year of me covering midweek games. This is by far the most I have covered since I started doing this for money. Indiana rode one good inning to the 2-0 victory on what turned out to be a great day for baseball. Indiana State threatened a couple of times after that, but could not get the runs across. It was a close enough game though that the tension always remained which usually makes for better photos.

When the Light Is Right

Just as the bottom of the eighth inning was getting ready to end the sun started threatening to finally peak out from behind the clouds. Throughout the game I noticed a narrow slit near the horizon that I hoped would give us a great sunset. That never really happened, but it did provide a half inning of amazing light. With Indiana State out in the field the sun came through the clouds and selectively hit the field. Here second baseman Danny Camilo stands ready as the pitch is thrown. I made some photos of the players getting ready for the ball, but never did get any action in that great light. You are already thanking the Gods of light for what you have. No sense getting greedy and asking for action as well.

Nice Throw Coach

Before the game the new head football coach of the Sycamores Curt Mallory threw out the first pitch. Coach Mallory has brought with him a buzz that you can feel on campus. Sycamore football is really poised to do some good things. He has a great staff on board that has some name recognition in the living rooms of prospective athletes. It is interesting to sit where I do and see the excitement around two football programs as they begin new coaching tenures. I am biased on both counts, but I think that Purdue and Indiana State have both found winners. It will be fun to follow the Sycamores this year to document the first year of the Mallory era. Continue reading

The 2017 Indiana State Golf Invitational

Indiana State Wins the 2017 ISU Invitational

Yesterday I was back at Indiana State, but for something entirely new there. I photographed the final day of the 2017 Indiana State Invitational. The experience was like all of mine at ISU, and that was good. They were crazy enough to give me a golf cart so I spent the day trying to find good backgrounds and or holes that could give me a good background. All of the planning the world can go down the drain when a shot is hit to the wrong side of the fairway. At the end of the day Indiana State took home the team award after having a monster day. It was the second lowest team score in school history.

Photographing Golf Again

I really have only photographed golf one other time prior to this, and that was just for fun. Last year I was not too sure how it could go so I shot a round at Purdue just to get the hang of it. With that in my hip pocket I drove down to Terre Haute with no worries. I do not watch golf, but back when I had a good back I played the sport. It was nice getting back out on the links for a while on what turned out to be a beautiful day. The day started out with some pretty boring photos, but as I got what I needed I could relax and have a little more fun. A winning day by the team I was covering helped make the photos a little better. Smiles are always a good thing.

Getting the Sand Trap Shot

One of my goals on the day was to make a good sand trap shot. That sounds like an easy task, but when you consider that I was covering eight golfers on a 18 hole course it is not so simple. Luckily for me one of my golfers went into the sand in a place where I could easily move right in line with her and the pin. When it is lucky for me it is not so lucky for the golfer. It was late in the day, and I knew that this was probably my one shot at what I was going for. I was already in position when the golfers approached the green so that I would be moving in the background. When she made the shot it was a good one out of the sand, and I was able to get a photo that I had in mind on the drive down to ISU. Continue reading

The Disney Temple of Heaven

Touring the World at Epcot

At this point in my life I don’t have the following as some photographers do to get out and travel to many countries. I just mainly photograph the things around me. When I get a chance to at least pretend on some small scale that I am traveling the world it is very exciting. One place to have some fun is Epcot where in just a few short hours you can see replicas of many of the great structures of the world. This version of the ‘Temple of Heaven’ is a just beautiful, and it makes me want to see the real thing in person someday.

Beautiful on the Inside and Out

Just like the real thing this temple is beautiful inside and out. This photo has appeared on the blog in the past as a photo of the day, but I thought that I would include it again here. I love the intricacies of the inside of this temple. As the kids were waiting in line to get their passports stamped I made this image. If you have to wait in line you might as well have a great view. Continue reading

Purdue Football Spring Game

Football Is Back…Sort Of

For some reason I have never really gotten into the spring football game. I love football. There is no doubt about that. I don’t mind photographing a football practice. I think that you can get a lot of interesting pictures that way. For some reason though when I walk into Ross Ade Stadium I expect something a little more. I think that the last time that I attended a spring game I was actually in town to see Purdue and Indiana face off in baseball. I may not be remembering it right, but I am pretty sure that it has been since 2011 that I saw a spring game in person. This weekend the Hoosiers are back for the first time since 2011, and I was back in Ross Ade Stadium for the spring game. I still don’t know how much I enjoy it as a game, but I really do enjoy making football photos. Once I quit worrying about how the game was being scored I feel like I made better images. I think the emotion is far off a regular game day, but in April this will do just fine. It was awesome being back on the field at Ross Ade Stadium again. I can’t wait to see what this team can do next season. They start off with a tough test in Indy against a very good Louisville team.

A Beautiful Day For Football

Yesterday was a beautiful day in West Lafayette. The rain and clouds from the end of the week were gone, and blue skies ruled the morning. Before the game started I took my drone up to make the photo that you see above. As you can see it was what some would call a Chamber of Commerce day. As good as this stadium looks empty, I can’t wait to see it filled with fans next fall.

The Old and the New

Yesterday I was at the Purdue spring football game to see some of the new faces. This is an exciting time for the football program, and I wanted to see the new faces in person. At this point I think that everyone is still feeling each other out. The coaching staff has a lot of work to do to see just what they have inherited. A clean slate means that everything is truly up for grabs for next season. Each player must compete to show the new staff just what they can do. Continue reading

Wind and Waves at the St. Joseph North Pier

Heading Up North To Catch the Waves

Thursday on social media I was seeing photos and videos of Lake Michigan alive with activity with a north wind. My friend Trevor Mahlmann and myself went up to the St. Joseph lighthouse to see just how strong the waves were. If you are not familiar with Trevor he has a cool lighthouse project he is working on right now. You can view one of those posts here. I had an idea in mind heading up there for sure that could be pretty cool. The waves would have to be pretty high for it to come about though.

The Waves and Wind Were in Abundance

One thing that I noticed when I stepped out of the car near the pier was that the wind was very strong. It nearly blew my baseball cap off so I switched to a stocking cap to protect my head in the wind. The thing about these photos is that you cannot get them if the wind is not strong coming from the north. It was a good sign, and we knew that we would be in for a show. When you get out and see just what the wind and waves can do it really is something else. These were small waves compared to what an ocean can produce. I can only imagine watching some of those huge waves in action.

Taking the Drone For a Spin

The first thing that I did was to take my drone up and over the action. As I started to go out over Lake Michigan I decided to turn on Facebook live again. You can see that video here. I really like showing people some of the cool places I can go with this drone. It was not easy getting the drone out to the end of the pier. The strong wind made the drone work, and I wasted about half of my battery just getting out there. Once out there though I was able to take some time to have some fun with the scene. I was almost immediately rewarded with a nice wave as I set up my over the top shot. In fact I was not quite in position, but I think that it worked just fine. That photo is the one immediately above this paragraph. The shot at the top of the post was one that I had to wait on for a while. There is no rhyme or reason as to why the waves do what they do. They just suddenly make a big splash so to speak.

One other interesting thing about the photo above is the two distinct water sources. The very dark water is the water from the St. Joseph River. The lighter colored water at the top of the picture is Lake Michigan. I love it when I can find a place where two bodies of water meet. It makes things just a bit more interesting to me. Continue reading

Nashville By Night

A Stormy Nashville Skyline

Last May the games that I was covering for the NCAA Tournament were all cancelled because of weather. With a long day looming the following day I would have been smart to head to my hotel to get some rest. Instead I made my way downtown to check things out. The drunken crowds on Broadway were a bit too much for me so I tried to find a quiet spot. I found just that on a bridge with a great view of the city. As I started over the bridge I saw this scene. I loved the way the city unfolded before me here as well as the fast moving storm clouds overhead. The clouds really picked up the city’s light well. This was one of my favorite photos from that night.

Waiting For The Right Time To Post

This was a photo that I liked a lot. I did not post it right away as I had so much going on at the time. I actually thought that this was a great candidate to use with a third party program that would animate the sky. I contacted the company about getting a trial version to review, and this was one of the photos that I was going to use in the review. The company never did get back to me, but they did put me on a spam email list. After waiting nearly a year I will finally post the photo on the blog. Waiting was actually a good thing here as I found a new way to process the photo while I waited. It is a little over the top, but I think it fits the scene very well. This photo has technically been on the blog before, but just in my year end countdown of my favorite photos of 2016 that you can find here.

Top 17 Indiana State Basketball Photos of 2016-2017

My Favorite 17 Indiana State Basketball Photos of the 2016-2017

This past season with the Indiana State basketball team was the first one where I was there from start to finish. There were some very big highs and some lows. It was not the season I thought I was going to see in early December. Sometimes things just don’t work out. This was a fun season to photograph though. This was a hard list to put together not because of a lack of content, but because I had too many moments to show from the year. In the end I just picked some of my favorite photos from the year to share.

17. The countdown starts where the season ended, in St. Louis. I followed the team out onto the floor of the Scottrade Center for their MVC Tournament game against Evansville. I liked this view of Brenton Scott taking the floor. It is the kind of hero shot that I try and make for the players during the season.

16. Head coach Greg Lansing is fun to watch on the sidelines. Here he was perfectly framed for me with the flag in the background. I made this during the first game of the season. During the course of the season I realized that I would have some other good pictures of coach, but this was one that stood out to me.

15. The Butler game was full of great moments. I could probably have filled this countdown up with just shots from that game. I tried to limit that though to spread out some love for the entire season. Here Brenton Scott makes an acrobatic shot when ISU really needed it. I also like how the Hulman Center is shown in the background as well. A good size crowd made me want to shoot a bit wider that game.

14. A nice surprise on the season was the play of freshman Jordan Barnes. This past year the team lost a good point guard in Everett Clemons, but the future at that spot looks great with Jordan leading the team. As a true freshman he really showed the ability to lead this team.  Continue reading

Navy Pier and the Chicago Skyline

Navy Pier and the Chicago Skyline

This was the one photo that I had in mind when I was headed to Chicago. This was a family trip, and I knew that I wouldn’t be out much making photos. Sunday morning was one day when I knew that I could get up early before anyone else to go out and make some images. With Navy Pier being so close it only made sense to head there to make some photos. The day before we had lunch at Navy Pier, and I did a little scouting. The sky was perfect for this shot then, but at that time the buildings would have been backlit making it a little harder. I also did not want to take off and land with all of the people around there. It made sense to wait until the next morning to make my photo.

Back Where It All Began

Navy Pier is where this whole photography thing really began. In June of 2011 I took a very basic course there that woke me up. I had spent about a decade just shooting in the same mode with my camera wondering why sometimes my photos where better than other times. A course here gave me the confidence to get out and make things my own. It was during a break that day when I made plans to head to Lafayette to fill in for a week at a local business. That turned into a full time job that allowed me to move back to West Lafayette. I have been saying that it is kind of fun as I revisit some of my early photography targets with my drone. I didn’t even think of this until I was walking back down the pier after the shoot. We all want to see the places that we like in a different way, and the drone allows me to do that.

Flying on Facebook Live

I have used the Facebook live option of the drone sparingly since I bought it. I usually go live when I think that I am somewhere interesting to other people. This shoot fit that bill just fine. Above is the video saved to YouTube from that shoot Sunday morning. If you follow along on my Facebook page you can see the photos that I made as they are made in the video.

The Week In Photos

Last week was not a sports heavy week as some have been since I started my weekly posts. Last year I remember looking at different sports schedules and panicking because I wouldn’t have much for the weekly post. I think a year ago I measured my worth as a photographer by how many sporting events I could shoot in a week. That is not a good business model though for me currently. Last week was probably close to what I need to be doing. You can view some of my favorite photos from last week here.