Kernel photos: year in review

Kentucky center Willie Cauley-Stein dunks the ball during the second half of the University of Kentucky Men’s Basketball game versus University of Florida basketball game at O’Connell Center in Gainesville , Fl., on Saturday, February 7, 2015. . Photo by Jonathan Krueger

Jonathan Krueger

“I remember how excited to shoot the Florida game Jonathan was. The weeks leading up to the game Willie Cauley-Stein had thrown down a couple of posterizing dunks but nothing compared to the one in the second half of the Florida game. Jonathan texted me immediately after the dunk with two words, “got it”.  We tweeted the photo out as soon as we could and spent the night laughing about all the places on the internet we found the photo. It will always go down as one of the photos of the year and a great memory to look back on down the road.”

-Michael Reaves

Michael Reaves

“I was walking back to my dorm after class one day when I look on Twitter and saw the events unfolding near Commonwealth Stadium and grabbed my camera and headed that way as quick as I could. The steer was running through the neighborhoods next to campus and it was funny to watch a full-size cow outrun and fool grown men for a good hour. After about an hour stand-off, Adam Menker, a member of the UK rodeo team, arrived and lassoed the steer but yet the steer didn’t give in. He dragged the five assisting members down the sidewalk before they wrapped the rope around a tree and brought the steer to the ground. It made for a weird but fun photo from an unexpected event.”

-Michael Reaves

Cameron Sadler

“Anyone who knows my photography knows that light and shadows are my two favorite things to play with, and this image and that moment felt like one of the very rare times that I could inject a bit of my artsy-ness into photojournalism.

I took this picture before UK’s football game against the University of Louisiana-Lafayette, as the team was beginning to head out for warm ups. Obviously football hasn’t been something to rave about these last few years but as a student here I really do think there is this undeniable energy surrounding home football games in the fall; no matter the opponent there’s an electricity in the air from the fans and you get a sense that the players can feel that too. On top of that, something about this picture, to me, feels very pre-nostalgic for the players. Those walks out from the tunnel into your home stadium before warming up with people who come to be your family in front of thousands of fans are memories they’ll hold onto for a lifetime, and getting to capture that is really special to me, and I’m  thankful to the Kernel for the opportunity.”

Taylor Pence

“As the proud ‘horse girl’ of the Kernel I don’t think it comes as a surprise to anyone that one of my favorite photos of the year is of a horse. To me there is nothing better than combining my two passions of horses and photography, and I have had the pleasure of shooting multiple events this year that did just that, including Rolex Kentucky and The Breeders’ Cup. Of all of the great opportunities I have gotten in my time at the Kernel, the week I spent covering The Breeders’ Cup was easily the best.

I definitely wouldn’t consider this photo one of my best, especially considering there were more than a handful of photos almost identical to this taken during that exact moment. I choose this photo because it captured one of the most significant moments in sports in 2015, a moment that might not be seen again in my lifetime. Sometimes it is easy to discount these events as ‘just another assignment’ and overlook the bigger picture beyond what we see through our viewfinder. As photographers we get the best seats in the house and I am extraordinarily grateful for the opportunities I have gotten this year and cannot wait to see what 2016 holds.”

Hunter Mitchell

“When I first joined the Kentucky Kernel staff back in the fall of 2014, I had no idea what to expect. One of the very first things I ever got to shoot was women’s volleyball. Considering the fact that I had never even been to a collegiate volleyball match, I was a little out of my element for much of the year when I shot the rest of the matches. However, after that very first game, I fell in love with photographing this extremely fast sport.

I was incredibly excited for this season to start, as I felt I could really develop my skills at shooting volleyball. One of the things I did first was I just began checking out the Kernel cameras to shoot the games. As much as I love my personal camera, I recognized that it just wasn’t up to the caliber of photographing sports events. I was photographing the Florida match one Sunday, and the atmosphere was incredibly electric since it was such a big game. I happened to fire the shutter of my camera right after the team scored a point and saw that each person was celebrating in a different way, and could all be perfectly seen. I’m not sure why, but I just fell in love with this picture. I had been working really hard the last two seasons to get that ‘perfect’ celebration picture. And, while this one doesn’t seem all that special to some, for me this was that picture. Nothing over the top, just complete and utter jubilation.”

Lydia Emeric

“In the fall edition of the KRNL magazine, I was pleased to be apart of it once again. This photograph I have chosen was one of the photographs in the magazine. Willy T is set as the backdrop behind the two models. The woman is in front with a deep depth of field to further emphasize the clothes she is wearing. Fashion photography is so creative and exciting. I love being a part of it, and that’s why, out of all the photographs from this year, I chose this one. I am allowed to intuitively work with the camera in ways I am not always able to with other assignments.”

Josh Mott

“Nothing says college like a good public diatribe! Every year, the University of Kentucky, along with many other school, gets a special visit from a group of street preachers that claim they ‘know the true way to eternal life.’ In presenting this information, many students on campus were disturbed by their challenging and judgmental speech. Arguments arose and for a week if you were to past the temporary Student Center, you would certainly get an earful from those indignant preachers. In return for the preachers’ sharp remarks, many students did not hold back their opinions and spent hours trying to argue the preachers away.

I just happened to be walking through the office when I was given the assignment to capture this fiasco. I love this photo because we can clearly see the animosity from both the student and the preacher.  As crazy as it may sound, this event brought the campus together.  For a week it didn’t matter if you were black, white, Asian, religious, or atheist; everyone seemed to be against this group condemning people to hell.  We were unified. And while this may have been an insignificant event, for a week I saw what it looks like to be a unified campus and how powerful that can be.”

Joel Repoley

“I took this photo at the annual Stomp-A-Palooza on April 30th, 2015. After covering this event the year prior I knew generally what to expect from the fraternities and sororities competing in the competition. This particular photo is of the sorority Delta Delta Delta. This photograph came together so well because the composition and the color. The symmetry of the sorority makes the picture stand out and really understand that they are dancing. The black background and the overhead stage light really make the colors jump out. This photograph really just fell into my lap and turned out extremely well. I have always enjoyed photographing the Greek events because of the passion all the members put into all the events whether it’s a small philanthropy event or a large event like Stomp-A-Palooza. This photo really shows the time and passion they put into all the events Greek organizations participate in and put on.”

Adam Pennavaria

“I took this picture before UK played Mizzou. It was my first time shooting the team’s entrance on the field so I was pretty nervous but I think it turned out pretty well. This shot (and the rest of the game that would follow) is definitely one of my favorite memories from the last year.”