They look like very colourful events. The backgrounds make for some interesting bokeh.
I see from your Smugmug link that you're quite fond of waterfalls. This'll make a worthy addition to your collection.
It was a good choice to go for softness over out-and-out vividness. Soft light has its virtues that would have been lost if colour and contrast had been ramped up too much.
And it was a good choice to include the foreground interest that you did. We had quite an extensive thread on sunrises/sunsets a while back and one of the main conclusions is that on their own they are weak when compared to shots that have extra interest from the environment in the form of foreground or background interest, and that's true regardless of how vivid they are.
I didn't add any glow to the fog......
I wasn't suggesting that that's what you'd done. In my limited experience of trying to create fog I found that fogginess can be enhanced by brightening it and suppressed by darkening it.
I don't have any experience of using brushes to apply a synthetic fog - I was assuming that adding whispiness would be one of their main characteristics and that it would be something that could be enhanced (and if it isn't, it should be
Whispiness is what gives fog a realistic look, as opposed to adding softness and a bright glow. If you have some control over whispiness you should experiment with it. Alternatively you may find that Clarity enhances whatever whispiness is there.
(BTW, rule #1 with reflections is that they have to line up exactly between the object itself and the viewer).
I can sympathise. I found my DSLR a bit intimidating when I moved up from point-and-shoots. The trick is to ignore the stuff you don't need and identify the stuff you do need. Yes, you can start off in Auto (with my D5200, "Auto" is written in green above a green icon of a camera. A stands for Aperture priority and is part of the PASM mode options). Auto will help you to feel more at ease with your camera, but you don't want to spend too long with it and you don't want to become dependent on it.
As others have noted, you can choose your level of complexity. After Auto you should work your way through the exposure triangle variables one at a time. "A" mode is good for learning about aperture and depth of field, S mode is good for learning about shutter speed. You can learn about ISO as you go, and once you understand all three exposure triangle variables you'll be ready to move to M mode (manual, where you control all three variables - not as daunting as it sounds).
Your camera may have a sensor cleaning function. If it does, try activating it while holding the camera with the lens pointing straight down.
Good subject. As a general rule, including some foreground helps with an overall impression of depth by creating a sense of distance v closeness, and having almost anything in the foreground (short of glaring distractions) is usually better than nothing.
That refers to depth in the horizontal sense. Your commentary refers to depth in a vertical sense, and while the foreground helps, what would have helped even more would be having more of the bottom of the valley in sight.
However, your point is valid. Foregrounds can be used to provide a sense of perspective and scale. Their closeness and familiarity contrasts with the far off remoteness of the background and/or mid-field. And as some like to put it, a foreground gives the viewer somewhere to stand - which helps the viewer to connect with the scene as a whole. That, combined with elements which lead the viewer into the scene, turn the viewing experience into a mini-journey.....
Which leads me to my final point. The ideal foreground is one that leads the viewer into the scene. The techniques for doing that are well known - leading lines, channels and framing can be used along with more general techniques such as having eye-attractors in strategic positions. Brightness, contrast, sharpness and colour can all be used to attract the eye to specific objects or areas of interest, and if those attractors are off in the distance they will add to the sense of depth.
Sometimes they soar, sometimes they lurk.
Because it is a Canon
Best answer of the day lol.
It's possible that your fall has unsettled you and as a consequence you're forgetting things that you'd taught yourself to do automatically. For example you may not be using the appropriate camera-holding and shutter release skills that you were using previously. Or maybe it's time to concede that you're not as steady as you used to be and need faster shutter speeds (or a monopod/tripod). And you may be forgetting basic procedure stuff that you did automatically before.
Having said that, the only shots that look unacceptable are those of the cyclists, and if they were moving quickly, 1/800 isn't quite fast enough (since you weren't panning). So, problem solved with those
. And with the close-ups, as Jerry suggested, close focus point means shallow DOF. A macro lens allows you to focus more closely, but you still get the same hit with DOF. Perhaps if you were concentrating on the possibility of damage you forgot those kinds of basic considerations.
The best photo ops in Scotland are on the west coast. Despite it being summer, take wet weather clothes.