Critique 2019 Octoberfest - harrylavo - player - 35/2D AF & 85/1.8D - D600 - Days 30 and 31

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More cool stuff from your corner of the world, Harry. The geometry of your buildings forms a terrific image- the light helps to make it very attractive.
Well done on the football. Obviously training is a less stressful time period than the match and that provides good opportunities for sports photographers. You have seized them nicely.
Thanks, David. I have usually shot on the sidelines at games, but an occasional scrimmage is a good way to practice. It sure is less tense. Glad you enjoyed it.
 
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Day 26 - The "Football" Tree

I've got to confess - I shot this yesterday during the time I was shooting the football scrimmage. But I had a reason - my older sister died on Thursday and I thought I might well be on my way to Rochester, NY today. But niece and nephew used their heads and scheduled the viewing and funeral for Monday and Tuesday instead. So today I use yesterday's hot and tomorrow I start fresh again.

This tree and graceful curving fence and road caught my eye as I was shooting the scrimmage. The road is the exit from parking for the high school and its stadium. The tree is the only one along the route retaining its full foliage, and of course in the setting sun was spectacularly orange. Nothing special, but pretty I think. And the curved road does kind of lead the eye to and then past the tree, so the shot is not completely static.

Holyoke HS_20191024_162059_Colored Tree_01.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

ps I couldn't frame further to the right as there would be pine branches in the photo. Besides I liked this perspective on the curve (less "road" showing at the bend) than when otherwise framed.
pps. The shot was a JPEG (which I use to shoot sports) and so hasn't been doctored except for tiny touch of added sharpness.
 
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Day 26 - The "Football" Tree

I've got to confess - I shot this yesterday during the time I was shooting the football scrimmage. But I had a reason - my older sister died on Thursday and I thought I might well be on my way to Rochester, NY today. But niece and nephew used their heads and scheduled the viewing and funeral for Monday and Tuesday instead. So today I use yesterday's hot and tomorrow I start fresh again.

This tree and graceful curving fence and road caught my eye as I was shooting the scrimmage. The road is the exit from parking for the high school and its stadium. The tree is the only one along the route retaining its full foliage, and of course in the setting sun was spectacularly orange. Nothing special, but pretty I think. And the curved road does kind of lead the eye to and then past the tree, so the shot is not completely static.

View attachment 1648862
ps I couldn't frame further to the right as there would be pine branches in the photo. Besides I liked this perspective on the curve (less "road" showing at the bend) than when otherwise framed.
pps. The shot was a JPEG (which I use to shoot sports) and so hasn't been doctored except for tiny touch of added sharpness.
Beautiful tree and shot! Condolences on you sister passing. :(
 
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Day 29 - Casket at Burial Site

I took my camera but shot no pictures until the service was over, then grabbed the camera from behind a tombstone and took two quick frames just after the service ended and folks were milling about just behind me. Then put the camera away. Amazingly, they both turned out to be decent shots, I think. However, it is a complete tossup for me to decide which to show here, and which to put in the bucket. So I literally tossed a coin. Heads won, so the shot with more people interest goes here. And the other, which is perhaps a better composed and framed photo but with less people interest goes in the bucket.

Casket at Grave_20191029_130259_My Sister Shirle.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

The group standing were not posed, nor self posed. Stiff, perhaps, but that just happened to be the way they were standing. From left: the funeral director, his funeral assistant, and the young pastor at the Lutheran Church my sister belonged to. The gal at the right picking out a flower was a guest, who was encouraged to take any left over flowers home following the service. The flowers on the top of the casket were those that the family and some of the guests chose to leave there.

Here is the link to the alternate photo for those who care to look:
Link to Bucket Version
 
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Day 19 - Bingo Prep

The clock on the wall says 12:30pm. Bingo starts at 1:00pm. So what you see here are various folks at some stage of setting up/settling in. I'm not a Bingo player myself (not much challenge in random probability) but the Senior Center where I eat lunch is packed every Friday noon. I took this right after those of us eating lunch had cleared the tables, and before half the Bingo crowd arrived. The shot is from an upstairs room housing billiards and card tables, with (dirty) windows in one location overlooking the hall. I couldn't get further left, thus the odd angle, although I think the near-right light and the pathway of lights probably would have won out as being more attractive even if I could have. The friendly guys behind me playing billiards kept right on playing, with my rump using up half their space as I bent over to peer out the window.

View attachment 1648491
I remember seeing the Center in Octoberfests before. Glad to go back there ;)
Day 20 - Ivy Stack

View attachment 1648541
This is a stack at the end of an old mill that has been torn down following extensive damage by a small tornado several years ago. Not only is it one of the more interesting stacks in the area, but it is also one of the few without a festoon of cell towers at the top (my guess is that the building remaining does not have electrical service, but it may also be because it sets low in the valley.) I deliberately chose the slightly off-kilter view because it was more interesting (IMO) than shooting straight up.l

I've put an interesting shot of the base of the stack in the bucket.
Go to Bucket Page 10
Oh, this shot is so "harry", to use it as an adjective. There's the actual image, solid, colorful, thought out well - but there's the explanation also and the background on what we see that make your OF-threads so worthwhile every time!
Day 21 - Shapely Tree?

I've done so many fall color shots in past Octoberfests I'm not concentrating on that this year. So the color on this tree is pretty, but ordinary, Fall Orange. What struck me was that apparently this tree has been "groomed" with careful pruning over the years. I don't recall ever seeing that on a full grown tree before. It sits on a far corner of an estate that has been turned into a museum here in Holyoke. But IMO the gardening got a bit out of hand on this one.

View attachment 1648589
ps. I did try to offset the perspective once I looked at the photo full size. Small as the bottom right area may be, it bothered me. But I could not do it, even partially, without cutting into the tree itself which would have destroyed the whole purpose of the shot.
This is one beautiful tree, perfect! I agree on your thoughts about the lower right corner, but sometimes, there's just no way around a disturbing corner :(
Day 22 - Center of Holyoke from Afar

View attachment 1648590
I've looked over the years for a reasonably accessible place to shoot a landscape shot of Holyoke. This is the best place I have found, and it is not good as there is too much foreground clutter, at least at 170mm which this was shot at (2x extender on the 85mm). The ornate tower in the center is Holyoke's still-used City Hall. The canal area that I showed you a lot of over the years is down in the valley between city hall and the dark bank on the other side of the river. I guess I'll never get a shot I really like unless I rent an airplane.
hehe, you need a taller ladder :) The camera shutter button is at the right, isn't it? ;) (to me, it looks slightly tilted…)
Day 23 - First Congregational Church, Westhampton MA

I've shot this church before, but always from the front. The foliage inspired me to try it from the side. The church is only one of four buildings in the town center. The others are a library (hidden behind the tree at right,) the town office (seen in background,) and to the left of it in this photo a town office annex.

One of the great advantages of living in Western Massachusetts is that while you can live in a city, the country is never far away. This location is about fifteen minutes from my home in the fairly dense part of Holyoke, and only about seven minutes from where I walk every morning.

And ps., yes I did try to eliminate the horizontal wires, but my tools in NX2 or my lack of skill in using what is there could not do it without creating obvious missteps. Besides, old fashion telephone pool wiring is a major factor in old New England. Hard to take a scenic without them, so perhaps second best is to incorporate them. I hope the poles on the left do that here.

View attachment 1648678
this is one more example of
  1. how difficult it is, sometimes, to get a clear shot (lots of cables in there, preventing a free view - as you said)
  2. how difficult it might be to expose for the white, you did well
  3. your always top notch background info on what's going on, what's in the picture.
  4. just a beautifully, carefully taken image of your's!
Day 24 - Patterns at Sunset

A lovely clear day today. I had to walk in the morning and couldn't get the morning gold, so I was determined to at least capture some evening gold. Then I saw this house, apartment building, and church steeple in juxtaposition and just had to capture it. Required putting on both my Kenko 2x and 1.4x telextenders, something I've never done before so far as I can recall.

View attachment 1648741

While shooting this, a foursome of cute little girls were playing in the parking lot I was shooting over, and just as I got into my shooting, they suddenly sat in a circle, had some kind of communication, jumped to their feet and left. I grabbed a single shot and blew it up for the bucket. Not great technically at all but ..... well, see for yourself.
wonderfully geometric. Not only the various triangles and diagonals vs. horizontals in the 2D image, but also the 3D part of the rounded wall coming out, towards us.
Day 26 - The "Football" Tree

I've got to confess - I shot this yesterday during the time I was shooting the football scrimmage. But I had a reason - my older sister died on Thursday and I thought I might well be on my way to Rochester, NY today. But niece and nephew used their heads and scheduled the viewing and funeral for Monday and Tuesday instead. So today I use yesterday's hot and tomorrow I start fresh again.

This tree and graceful curving fence and road caught my eye as I was shooting the scrimmage. The road is the exit from parking for the high school and its stadium. The tree is the only one along the route retaining its full foliage, and of course in the setting sun was spectacularly orange. Nothing special, but pretty I think. And the curved road does kind of lead the eye to and then past the tree, so the shot is not completely static.

View attachment 1648862
ps I couldn't frame further to the right as there would be pine branches in the photo. Besides I liked this perspective on the curve (less "road" showing at the bend) than when otherwise framed.
pps. The shot was a JPEG (which I use to shoot sports) and so hasn't been doctored except for tiny touch of added sharpness.
That's how I imagine the U.S. to be: Everything is big, there's enough space to give things the room they deserve. Long fence, bigger park, majestic trees! :)
 
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Day 25 - Football Runthru's

The other day I ran across the Holyoke High School football squad (it seemed like both varsity and jv team together) having offensive and defensive drills at their practice field. They dressed in a way called "Light Pads". Basically casual clothes except for shoulder pads and a helmuts.

Dim or streaked light and a tele lens that consisted of 85mm + 1.4x Kenko Pro or 2.0x Kenko Pro or both. Usually when I shoot sports none of my gear in Octoberfest would be included ..... but here we are. I reminded myself that when I first started shooting sports I was using a D50 and a $185 Sigma 5.6-6.3 lens, and gave it a try.

The key to shooting sports, IMO, is either catching key action moments, or else catching some balletic grace. So among others I came up was this pass action. To me it is interesting that the quarterback throwing the ball is actually smiling .... the reason is that his end just broke free and if his throw was accurate, they had a touchdown. He did throw accurately, and in a real game they would have scored.

View attachment 1648784

In the bucket I've put a few other shots that perhaps better convey the large group involved. Based on my calculations, they were running in three squads on offense and three on defense as they changed offensive plays and defensive sets. The assignment-callers on both sides got a workout.
Wonderful to see you shoot sports, and thank you for the background info again!
 
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Day 29 - Casket at Burial Site

I took my camera but shot no pictures until the service was over, then grabbed the camera from behind a tombstone and took two quick frames just after the service ended and folks were milling about just behind me. Then put the camera away. Amazingly, they both turned out to be decent shots, I think. However, it is a complete tossup for me to decide which to show here, and which to put in the bucket. So I literally tossed a coin. Heads one, so the shot with more people interest goes here. And the other, which is perhaps a better composed and framed photo but with less people interest goes in the bucket.

View attachment 1649108
The group standing were not posed, nor self posed. Stiff, perhaps, but that is just happened to be the way they were standing. From left: the funeral director, his funeral assistant, and the young pastor at the Lutheran Church my sister belonged to. The gal at the right picking out a flower was a guest, who was encouraged to take any left over flowers home following the service. The flowers on the top of the casket were those that the family and some of the guests chose to leave there.

Here is the link to the alternate photo for those who care to look:
Link to Bucket Version
Condolences on the loss. All the best to your family in this difficult times.
 
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Such a lovely photograph on such a somber occasion. You are in my prayers, Harry.
It's nice to see a smile and a half. What a lovely memory you've created. Peace my friend.
A beautiful capture of the moment...
An important image of a human moment. Tastefully completed
Thank you Andy, Nick, Paul, and Wade. I'm glad you liked the photo. I've got to admit, it felt a little strange even wanting to take my camera, but I am glad I did.
 
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Funeral photography is p[ossibly one of the most difficult subjects. In both cases you handled it very responsibly and with obvious care.
Thank you, Chris. Yes, I did have a sense of obligation simply to not even make my presence as a photographer known until after the event (my nephew did know and approved.) And I certainly was not going to pose people. Just two snaps and out.
 
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