I think the mono color version makes it more cohesive.
I like it.
No really, the flowers are lovely and I think the lady adds a bit of mystery. The only thing I would do is to get rid of the house in the back. It does nothing for the image and it competes with the more interesting house.
This is simple. Shoot RAW files. No matter what your camera settings are when you shoot RAW, your camera will pick up all the data that you need to make a correction in Lightroom. When you shoot jpeg, the camera processes the pictures that you take with the settings you have chosen. Extra data (that you may need to make adjustments) is thrown away.
You are shooting an image with bright white and black. Your camera may not have enough dynamic range to capture all the brightness levels in that photograph. If that is the case you have a choice to make. Perhaps let some unimportant areas blow out to capture the detail in others.
The leaf is the sharpest thing in the frame, which gives the impression that it's the only stationary thing in the frame. The background looks interesting in a surreal sort of way, and the shot as a whole looks like a leaf floating downstream.
I think R.G has come upon the thing that gets in the way of the idea of a falling leaf. Why not lay on your back and shoot falling leaves in Autumn? It might help you get a sense of how to recreate that look. I was out with my camera during a blizzard when I noticed leaves blowing across the snow. I had walked up a hill and they were at eye level so I started trying to capture them. I did get one relatively sharp, but when I got the pic up on my computer, it didn't look like a leaf moving across the snow. It looked like a floating leaf. I realizes this was because there was no motion blur. I would have had to pan the leaf, which would have been impossible. I did put some artificial motion blur on the background and it helped. I think your issue is ... How can you pan a leaf moving toward you? The answer to that question will tell you how to create the illusion. Let me know if you'd like to see my leaf attempt. It's pretty much as you'd expect though.
Val, you are a very good listener. I think you have brought Mike's vision to life. Now that I have seen this, I am thinking that what you did may help Mike capture his vision more effectively with his camera. Mike, I was getting a bit annoyed with you, but I think you were asking for help in your own way. I hope Val has shown you what you could do by getting in closer and using a more shallow DOF to blur distractions. Thank you, Val!
I think the subject is your sky, but I feel like the land is competing with it. Too busy for me, but I think if you took down the contrast on the land it would be better.
Yes, it's very striking. I love the stripes of shadow and light. The subject is lit very effectively. Good work.
What a beauty. I love the hens. They aren't as flashy, but they have very special details. I love the shot. I would brighten her just a tad. Nice job on capturing those details.
Nice sharp shot, Dave! I think I would crop at the chest since you didn't get it's feet. Also brighten the face a bit. Very nice shot ... especially since you were surprised by the creature.
I really do love it and I like the processing. Two things. There's too much foreground that doesn't add anything. The antlers and the candle holder simply distract from your subject. They both intersect with the arbor and take away from it. I LOVE the arbor and the flowers. They add so much to your whole scheme. If you shot from a higher position maybe their heads wouldn't intersect with the arbor, but I'm not sure if that would make it better or not .. it's just something I would have tried in taking a variety of shots. The antlers could be off in the background somehwere or sticking in the dirt as if they'd been there awhile. The candle stick has to go in my opionion. But .. listen to this .. it's a very good image and I'm just what-iffing.
Not overcooked at all. I think the colors are lovely and subtle. One small thing that might be bugging you is the dark rock bottom right corner. It's a contrast to everything else and draws the eye to the edge of the frame. I wonder if you could do a content aware edit to that. I like the smaller line of rocks with some light on them, but the one in the corner has no detail and does not add to the photo in any way. It really is a beautiful photograph.
I just don't find anything compelling about this image. It's my opinion that the best street style people shots are capturing a moment or a feeling. I have the feeling that you instructed this girl to walk through the area with an umbrella. Why? The sidewalks are dry, so why would she be carrying an umbrella? It's also bright cloudy which is a weather condition that doesn't usually produce rain. The foliage is nice, but there is lots of nice city foliage. The pink umbrella catches the eye, but there is not a story there. Go to this spot on a rainy day and camp out with your camera. You're sure to see a moment. Whether or not you're quick enough to capture it is another thing. Also .. be closer to your subject if you do this. Interaction with photographer often produces a pleasing result.
Yes, I would like to see inside. I think even light would be better and I liked the idea of an HDR shot for this. I'm sure it wouldn't have been easy to do that since other people are probably milling about.