Indiana State Battles Drake in MVC Play

Indiana State Loses a Hard Fought Battle Against Drake

Last night I was back in Terre Haute for the second straight day to cover Indiana State basketball. This time it was for the Indiana State men’s team as they battled Drake who was sitting atop the conference. It is early in the season, but Drake is looking good so far. Last night Indiana State came out a little cold in the first half and found them selves down ten at the break. They played a very good second half though, but could never seem to get closer than three. That is what they ultimately lost by. They still gave the crowd at the Hulman Center quite a thrill as they battled back. This team has some great pieces that by tournament time I think will be scary.

Go Brenton Go!

Man did Brenton Scott fill up the stat sheet yesterday! We know that he can score. He did that yesterday with 25 points. He also had seven steals which led to many of those points for him. When he plays within the game he is a hard man to deal with. This team feeds off of that energy that he brings, and that is what will decide how this season will go.

Giving It Your All

The Sycamores lost yesterday. You really can’t fault the second half effort that they gave though. That half was some of the most fun that I have had photographing basketball this year. This is the start of a fun photo sequence from the day. Jordan Barnes has become a target for opposing teams. I felt they held him down a bit yesterday. The good news is that he scored 14 being held down. He plays the game hard and that is why he is so much fun to cover. Here he chases a loose ball down in the second half. He ended up horizontal in the air throwing the ball back in play and landed next to me. It was a great effort that I am sure that he is feeling the effects of today. If you click on the photo and then scroll to the left you can see my full sequence. For some reason I missed focus a little on the third and what would have been the best frame in this sequence. I had him right where my focus point was, but I didn’t track him. I left them in the gallery because of the effort though.

Murph!

Brandon Murphy scored a career high 16 points yesterday as Drake really had no answer for him. He had a couple of monster dunks, but of course he was facing the other direction for all of them. I caught a little of his face here so it became the image that was used. I think instead of talking x’s and o’s prior to the next game we need to talk about photographic coverage and where to look when you dunk.

Shooting the Game A Bit Differently

Yesterday I went up top to photograph the intros and tip. I stayed in the corner for the start of the game until the first media timeout. I just wanted images that looked a little different. It seems that in basketball you start to just find a groove and you keep making the same images over and over. You can change up lenses, and to some extent your location as well. For the most part you can’t really get a different look.  I don’t know if I made any great images up there, but I did add something different from a  look standpoint. By the time the tournament comes I will be desperately looking for a new angle.

Going Wide

I love to show basketball wide. You can see everything going on around the person with the ball. I don’t go wide much at ISU because of the empty stands, but I do like throwing a few into the gallery. I just love the look when everyone is engaged in the play.

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Indiana State Starts The Year Off With An Emotional Win

Indiana State Caps Off An Emotional Week With A Big Win Against Evansville

This was a rough week for the Indiana State women’s basketball team. Their coach resigned earlier in the week which cannot be easy for a team that is as close as this one appears to be. Add the flu making its rounds, and it could not have been a fun week around the program. Last night was fun though. A slow start to the first half put Indiana State in a hole at the half. They came out firing in the second half though and cruised to their first MVC win this year.

The Return of Ashley Taia

One huge addition to the Sycamores last night was Ashely Taia. I really have not seen her play yet this season. She injured her ankle early in the IUPUI game that I covered, and has not played in any of the home games that I have covered. She was back in Australia with her father who was battling cancer. You cannot imagine what she has been through over the last couple of months, but she sure had a smile on her face when she had the basketball last night. Taia is a game changer, and her addition will only help the Sycamores. It was good to see her back on the court.

A Win For Josh Keister

In his first game at the helm of the Sycamores Josh Keister picked up the win. This could not have been an easy week for Josh or the team, but they pulled it together and showed a little toughness in picking up the W. These kids are good kids, and I may have rooted more for them to pull out that win last night then I have for any team I have ever covered. I wanted that good feeling for the team. It was great to see them enjoy the moment.

A Great Night

By the time this post goes live I will be back in Terre Haute for a basketball and swimming doubleheader. That is fine with me as I had so much fun last night that I hope a little bit of that can carry over to today. The men’s basketball team has a tough opponent in Drake coming in. A win would not be easy, but it is not something unexpected for this team. It is cold outside so why not spend the day inside a warm Hulman Center?

Top 17 Stadium Shots of 2017

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

Searching For Owls

On The Lookout For Owls

Above is one more of the photos that I made on Christmas Eve when I lucked into a huge group of Short-Eared Owls. It was an amazing sight, and it made the fact that the snowy owl was not doing anything interesting very easy to take. This was the first and the last time that I have seen such owls in the wild. At some point I need to study these owls a little so I can know where to find them a little easier. For now I will just thank the stars that I wandered down the right country road on the right day.

The Fickle Nature of the Snowy Owl

Earlier today I went out looking for the snowy owl again. I had to make the rounds around the block a couple of times before I saw one. When we finally saw the owl it was on top of a light pole with a man out of his van underneath it making photos of it. When he got back into his car the sound of the door combined with the tractor passing by must have been too much for the owl as it then flew out into the field nearby. We waited quite a while for the owl to move, but it never did. We did get to see the owl, but I think that the amount of people coming around to disturb it have made it more leery of people. I have made my posed pictures of the owl. I would love to get some shots of it exhibiting some behavior. Maybe I need to rent some long glass and invest in a blind.

Top 17 Sports Photographs of 2017

My 17 Favorite Sports Photos of 2017

Today I shoot my first sporting event of 2018. After shooting 106 sporting events last year I have a lot to live up to this year. Last year I shot practices, regular season games, conference championships, NCAA Regional events, and NCAA Championships. It was an amazing year, and I don’t list those things off to brag. I list them off because a part of me still cannot believe that I am doing this for a living. This year I was paid to travel to nine states to make sports photos. Being paid to travel is cool, but when you are being paid to shoot a sporting event somewhere new it is even cooler. I love being on the road with the team. You get to know everyone much better, and you get to meet some great photographers along the way. Over the last two years I have met some great people who have helped me out a lot on these road trips. The is a hard list to put together. As I said before I shot 106 sporting events last year. Even making a top 106 would be tough as there would be multiple photos from one event that I would like. To boil that down to a top 17 is nearly impossible. I tried to go with the 17 moments or places that stuck out to me. I know that I am missing some for sure. The ISU track meet that they won after coach had just passed is one that seems like a glaring omission. Covering the Purdue baseball team on their return to the Big Ten Tournament is another. It is just hard to whittle it all down to seventeen moments. Here is my attempt at my favorite seventeen photos from last season.

17. I can’t think of many ways that a National Anthem shot would make this countdown. I see so many of them in a year that they start to all blend together for me. While photographing the Indiana State women’s basketball team at Illinois I noticed that the light was amazing. I went from the boring anthem shot that I had planned to this shot. It was not only an anthem shot that I liked, but it was one of my favorite sports shots of the year. This will be hard to top this year. I will scour every anthem during the year though to try and do just that.

16. I really did not cover much softball this season. During one game I knew that I was not shooting for anyone and the photos were just for me. It was then that I started playing around a little. I switched my camera to double exposure mode and started playing. Here I made the first exposure of the dark background and the Purdue P. I then would place a Boilermaker in the empty part of the frame. Maya Hughes seemed to know what I was doing and lean into the photo a bit for me here.

15. This year I covered two teams for Purdue that I had not since 2014. The first was Purdue baseball during a home game in April. I had not shot for the Boilers at home for a long time. I was glad that they won that night, and my gallery could include this shot of two of the players celebrating. This was an amazing year for the team as they exceeded expectations and made it to the Big Ten Tournament. Luckily it was close in Bloomington although I would have driven much farther than that to cover it. On these dark, cold winter days you can’t help but wish for a warm night shooting baseball. This season cannot get here fast enough.

14. Another year has gone by as the photographer for the Lafayette Brawlin’ Dolls. This is truly the thing that is the most fun to photograph. I was only able to make three of their four games this year as I had other events get in the way. The players are great to me, and you can’t beat the photos. Here two former teammates hug during warmups while skating around the track. What other sport can you make this shot in? Continue reading

Cheese Anyone?

Stopping In Wisconsin To Get Some Cheese

Last week on my way to Milwaukee to photograph the Xavier basketball team I stopped to make a couple of pictures on the side of the road. It is good to get out and stretch your legs from time to time while traveling. I usually have to get to where I am going so I don’t have time to do this. I budgeted extra time on this trip though as I would have to drive through Chicago. I really wanted to go and photograph a lighthouse in Milwaukee like my friend Trevor Mahlmann, but I realized that I wouldn’t have the time to do it. These roadside cheese signs are pretty cool too. Something you don’t see much outside of Wisconsin.

Using The 24-70mm Lens

I can’t remember the last time that I made a photo outside of a sporting event with my 24-70mm f/2.8 lens. I usually take my 24-105mm lens out when I am going to make photos like this. I don’t need the extra stop of light usually, and I get a little more lens that way. Here I had the 24-70mm mounted on my camera for the basketball game so I just went with it. This is still a great lens that I just don’t use as much as I should.

The Week In Photos

I have been so caught up in showing photos from the past this week that I have not really talked about my Week In Photos post from last week. You can find that here. It has a little basketball in it along with the last bit of Christmas for the year. I felt that I had a really good week to close the year out on. Take a look and let me know what you think.

Top 17 Purdue Campus Photos of 2017

My Favorite Seventeen Images of the Campus of Purdue Made in 2017

This year I made a point to get out and make more images of the campus that is just down the road from me. In the past it was something that was so close that I could just do it tomorrow. When you think like that then you never make it out to make photos. This past year I made many trips to campus to see what was going on. They didn’t always pan out, but over the course of the year I built a set of photos that I was proud of. Here are seventeen images from campus this year that I really liked.

17. I have enjoyed making photos of the John Wooden sculpture at Mackey Arena since the first time that I saw it. The trouble at some point though is that you have kind of tried everything when it comes to it. Here I was able to get a different look with the use of flash.

16. I really had some fun on snowy mornings on campus. Last winter I had more time in the morning to mess around so I could sit and wait for a picture. Here I was waiting for something interesting to come towards me. The umbrella was what I was looking for.

15. This was a shot that was in no way planned. I walked up to the Boilermaker statue to make a photo of it. As I was walking back down I saw this student up against the outer wall of Ross Ade Stadium. That incline combined with the snow was fairly interesting to me. It was something different that I was able to make by just being there on campus.

14. Campus is really an amazing place when it snows. You can probably tell that in the fact that every photo on this countdown so far was made on a snowy day. Here is a familiar scene on campus with the engineering fountain along with the bell tower. The snow really makes it magical though. As I look at this photo I realize that it was one of my favorites from the year. Why did I rank it so low when I made this list up?

13. The Boilermaker comes to work every day no matter what the weather is. Here he does his thing as the snow falls down all around him. When I made this against the grey sky I knew that I would treat it this way taking the sky to white. I love this look, and it fits the Boilermaker well I think.  Continue reading

The Empty Dance Floor

Hanging Out At The Rathskeller

This past year after seeing Ben Folds play across the street my wife and I went for a drink across the street at the Rathskeller. I had never been, but it was a favorite place of hers from her days in school down in Indy. At this point of the year you should not have been sitting outside, but of course the weather is so unpredictable that it was actually a nice night. We took our drinks outside to enjoy the nice night. At one point it was only a couple of other groups out there, and then soon it just became the two of us. I loved the way that this bandshell looked, and I knew that I wanted a picture of it. Right before we left I made the picture that you see above.

The Best Camera You Have…

I have said many times on this blog that the best camera that you have is the one that you have with you. Here I had my Canon G16 point and shoot because that is all that I could take into the concert. I would have liked a larger file and more dynamic range, but that is what I had that night. I still like the photo as it helps me remember a fun night out on the town in Indy.

Top 17 Concert Photos of 2017

 

My 17 Favorite Concert Photos of 2017

2017 was a fun concert year for me. For the second year in a row we went to Dead and Company, Jimmy Buffett, and Austin City Limits. All three are fun in their own way. The highlight of the year for me though was watching Metallica live again. It was a great Father’s Day present since I had not seen them live since 2009. Another highlight was seeing Ben Folds in concert. He puts on a great show that the audience gets into as well. Here are seventeen of my favorite concert photos from the past year.

17. Few concert venues can say they have the view that you get looking back at the main stage at Austin City Limits. Here I walked over to get this view of the ever changing Austin skyline as the sun was going down behind me. I love this view, and I try and do something with it every year.

16. This year we saw Jimmy Buffett for the fourth straight year in a different state. It is not something that we planned, but the way it worked with our schedule. We have seen Jimmy in Indy, Chicago, Milwaukee, and Cincinnati the last four years. The show this year in Cincy was Jimmy’s 50th in that venue. That is amazing to me that you could play fifty shows in one venue. That is a testament to his staying power. You figure though that after all of these years that venue in Cincinnati would have parking figured out.

15. This year while covering volleyball at Indiana University I had a large amount of time off in between games. I went just south of Bloomington to Story, Indiana to meet my brother who was working the Hoosier Hops & Harvest there. It was fun making some photos there, and this simple concert shot of the Indiana Boys playing was part of a fun break in the action for me.

14. While walking through the crowd one day at ACL Fest I saw this great scene with the sun going down among the flags in the middle of the concert grounds. I didn’t have my camera with me so I pulled out my phone to make this picture. If I remember right I had a sleeping child in my arms which really ups the level of difficulty here.

13. Another shot of the sun and the flags in the middle of the ACL Fest grounds. I love the way that the flags allow for some fun when the bands aren’t the ones you were looking for at that time. I love the ACL Festival. It is a great time that is very well run.

12. This fall Alton Brown put on a great show at the Elliott Hall of Music. As the show was winding down the kids had to use the bathrooms on our way out. I took the chance to make this photo of the spotlight on Alton as he sang his encore. Elliott really is a special place to watch live entertainment.

11. On our way into the Dead and Company show I heard a commotion on the new lawn at Wrigley Field. I looked over, and Bill Walton was playing with the cover band. As I pulled my camera out to make a picture Bill acknowledged the crowd. This was a cool moment that I lucked into.  Continue reading

Top 17 Critter Photos of 2017

My 17 Favorite Critter Photos of 2017

I really think that I had an amazing 2017 with the amount of cool critters that I was able to see and photograph. Almost off the bat I was able to capture a few photos of bald eagles grabbing fish out of the Wabash River. From there it was a fun year finding new and interesting wildlife to chase. After fruitlessly looking for a few years I was finally able to photograph a few owls as well. This was a fun year for wildlife, and here are a few of my favorites.

17. I spent a lot of my year waiting for eagles to do something. Often they would just sit in the trees doing nothing. At some point you start to get bored and you try and make an image out of that. Here the light was hitting the branches just right to make that work.

16. Usually I don’t use my iPhone when making photos of wildlife. Here in Ocean City, Maryland though I was able to do just that. While crabbing on a pier one of the crabs came right up to me. The phone was the only thing that I had available so I made the photo with it.

15. When we go to the Indy Zoo the first thing that the girls always want to do is to see the butterflies. Of course I have my camera so I go around and try and find something interesting to photograph. Here we found a female that was fending off many males. One male comes in close to the female here.

14. This year I finally made it up to see the Sandhill Cranes at the Jasper-Pulaski Wildlife Area. They were amazing to watch as they spent some time here before continuing south. Here one grouping takes off out of the marsh.

13. More fun at the zoo. While the kids watch the animals I like to have fun photographing them. I will probably not go on an African Safari in my life so I like to pretend that I am on one while I am there. It is fun to try and make photos of the animals that don’t look like they were made at the zoo.

12. I spend a lot of time in the winter waiting for bald eagles to do something. While I am waiting I am also looking for other things to photograph. Here a flock of geese came by in great formation giving me a good photo. I don’t know that I came away with a good eagle photo that day, but I did come away with a cool silhouette photo.

Bald Eagles Of the Apocalypse

11. When I made this photo I called it “The Bald Eagles of the Apocalypse” With the sun lighting up the clouds behind the eagles that is what came into my mind for some reason. This is another example of me waiting for the eagles to do something. It sounds boring, but at times it can be fun coming up with shots while I am waiting. This is one of my favorites from those times.  Continue reading