Or should I say, this is Choosing Carefully part 3? You might be getting tired of this image by now. I know I am, but I thought I should report how things came out. I received 10 deletes before I hit my 10 saves, so it did not make it into the light box. The suggestions were to try black and white. To try cropping in closer, to remove the distracting bit of grass, a bit more contrast and to bring more focus into the far shore line. I will admit to not submitting my best shot for this first submission, I choose instead one that I like, and that I had made fit the rules as I was applying them to this picture. I am not sure if this was self sabotage or self-protection, as I have seen it to be a harsh critique. Please note, this is not the same as mean, unfair or bad. It is harsh, honest opinions on the image, which is what I wanted.
After applying all the suggestions I ended up with a very different picture. It is very subjective as to it being better. I like the original image with the touch of green and shore (even if it is out of focus) and the open sky. As I said, focus is one of those things that matter to different photographers in different amounts. To me the grass is clearly grass, and the shore grounds the image. In the revised image, you could be on any body of water. I am going to keep trying. I like the idea of the critique, as it makes me see possibilities that I would have otherwise missed, and it lets me know when what I am seeing is not being conveyed to the viewer. The black and white version may be a better picture of the birds, but I was trying to capture the concept of them heading out and taking flight (the two titles I played with).
Which one do you prefer? (there is not a wrong answer, this is a matter of what you like)