Critique 52 Week Project 2018 - Harry Lavo - Week 8

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I did this a few years ago and really enjoyed it. Since then a lot of family woes got in the way, but I am again shooting with pleasure. I will be using this forum to help stimulate the joy of constantly shooting, getting off my rear. I will tend to (but not exclusively) concentrate on the telephoto range, my first love but one neglected the last couple of years in favor of wide focal length exploration. These will pop onto three Nikon Bodies .... a D300 (mostly sports), a D7000 (all-round shooting), and a D600 (carefully planned shots). Among the telephotos to be used: the Nikon 85 f1.8D AF (occasionally with macro lens attached), a Series E 100mm f2.8, an AIS 135mm f2, an AIS 200 f4, a 300mm f4 AF-D, and two zooms: the 80-200mm f2.8D AF-S, and the 70-300mm f4.5-5.6 AFD. Whew!

Should you view my work, I hope you will find it pleasing but most of all, I will appreciate your comments critical or kind.
 
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Weeks 1-3

These shots were all taken in the weeks before I decided to enter the meme. They were, however, taken with a tele lens ... in the first picture, the old AF-S 80-200mm f2.8 on the D600, and in the latter two cases, using my 300 f2.8 AF with a Kenko 2X telextender. Along with the D7000 this created a 900mm equivalent lens.

Week 1 - Fire Call
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Nikon D7000 ,Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8D ED-IF AF-S, 1/640s f/3.2 at 80.0mm iso2200

Week 2 - Connecticut Riverbank in Late Sun
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Nikon D7000 ,Nikkor 300mm f/4 ED-IF AF, 1/80s f/6.3 at 300.0mm w/2X extender iso250

Week 3 - Barren Birdfeeder
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None of these are great shots, or problem free. I hope to do better this week.
 
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Week 4

My weeks are being counted Sunday - Saturday, so last Sunday (the 21st) was the beginning of Week 4 for me. I took a day trip up to Burlington, VT (about 8 hours RT) to watch my only granddaughter play basketball in a youth tournament, and put my new/old AF-S 80-200mm lens to work on sports, which is why I own it. In starting the processing, I was startled to find that the last basketball game I shot was ten years ago. So I had a lot of catching up to do, starting with making sure my indoor arena white balance was correct, as well as experimenting to re-establish the shot parameters I used to use for basketball.

Now youth basketball (these were fifth graders) is not a very exciting sport unless you are a parent. So I spent some of the time just watching with my daughter-in-law, and some time shooting just shots of Renee when she was in the game. But I also tried to take some decent "basketball shots" equivalent to what I did in prior years.

A Kicked Inbound
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Nikon D600 ,Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8D ED-IF AF-S, 1/320s f/2.8 at 200.0mm iso4000

A Good Pass
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Nikon D600 ,Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8D ED-IF AF-S, 1/320s f/2.8 at 200.0mm iso4000

Crowding the Ball Handler
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Nikon D600 ,Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8D ED-IF AF-S, 1/320s f/2.8 at 200.0mm iso4000

"Hoping" It Into the Hoop
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Nikon D600 ,Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8D ED-IF AF-S, 1/320s f/2.8 at 200.0mm iso4000

Unfortunately we as spectators were restricted to only one end of the court, but nontheless I felt the old juices start to flow after getting a few decent pictures. Maybe I'll visit a few local high schools yet this winter.

Anyhow, Week 4 is in the can .... and now for next week.
 
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Week 5

I've been ill with the flue all week long .... so of necessity my shots this week are either indoors or a very few steps out of doors.

Week 5- Business End of the Island
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Nikon D600, 70-300mmG f4-5.6 VR, 1/20s f/4.8 at 145.0mm iso3200

Week 5- All We Need Now Is A Rooster
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Nikon D7000, 70-300mmG f4-5.6 VR, 1/250s f/5.6 at 300.0mm iso125


Week 5- Dish Selfie
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Nikon D600, 70-300mmG f4-5.6 VR, 1/400s f/5.6 at 300.0mm iso100

Still a bit short on inspiration, but I can feel some subterranean juices beginning to flow.
 
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Sorry you have been sick! We are finally over it in our family. I really like your kitchen scene--something we don't often notice!
Glad you like it ... when I review my shots over the years I find that isolating ordinary household items is something I return to again and again. One of the favorite uses for my teles.
 
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Week 6 - Easthampton Signage

Easthampton MA, a small town adjacent to Holyoke, is changing ... from its history of working class mill town to an up and coming affordable place for artists and musicians and "with it" folks of all types. Many are escaping the high cost of living in neighboring Northampton, but at this point (2018) Easthampton has achieved a favorable arts environment all its own.

This shot looks down a double-long block of small storefronts that house many of Easthamptons new "boutique" places .... I thought I'd us the good bokeh of the 80-200 to make an OOF "romantic" shot.

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Nikon D300 ,Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8D ED-IF AF-S, 1/400s f/2.8 at 200.0mm iso200

But all is not new. "The Brass Cat" Pub has been a fixture in this same location for decades and decades .... it is a signature place that many people just passing through remember and can identify with. However as the following shot shows, its iconic "Cat" needs a bit of work thesedays:

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Nikon D300 ,Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8D ED-IF AF-S, 1/5000s f/2.8 at 120.0mm iso200
 
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Week 7: Testing the D300/80-200 lens combo sharpness.

The shots above were taken with my old D300 and a "new" used AF-S 80-200mm f2.8 lens that I purchased last fall. This is a combination I used to shoot sports 8-10 years ago and haven't had in my hands since. While the combo is familiar, both the camera and the lens are replacements for the ones I used at that time and then sold. So, I decided it was time to do some testing.

From my back patio I look out from a cliff over an industrial park that spans to the Connecticut River. The building shown here serves as the central supply depot for the Holyoke school system. I shot it late afternoon to catch the waning sun, with the combo on a tripod, so as to catch the sculpture of its bricks, trim, and windows with good contrast. The building at 200mm focal length nicely fills the frame of the shot:

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Nikon D300 ,Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8D ED-IF AF-S, 1/400s f/2.8 at 200.0mm iso200

I've looked over the photo at 1:1 pixel-screen density and the lens appears sharp pretty much all over, as had my previous copy. The lower left lack of focus is the closeness of the tree, not a lens attribute (the shot was made wide open at f/2.8). Here is the 1:1 section of the upper center of the building:

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Nikon D300 ,Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8D ED-IF AF-S, 1/400s f/2.8 at 200.0mm iso200

I also tried this same shot handholding the lens at the same shutter speed, and flunked myself. Although, in all fairness I normally shoot at a shutter speed of twice this (1/800 minimum for most sports) so I may still be okay .... further testing will reveal. I may have a monopod in my edge-of-playing field future, however. Oh, to be young again! :)
 
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Week 8

Two casual but interesting (I think) shots, one "street" and the other (well, what's to say) taken during my visit to Shelburne Falls, MA this week.

Week 8: Come in!
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Nikon D600 ,Nikkor 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED-IF AF-S, 1/160s f/4.5 at 85.0mm iso200

Week 8: Come in, my dears, ....... come IN!
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