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Welcome aboard Paul! Really liked the tight crop. Some things we can control and some we can't. It's unfortunate that the angle loped off some of the feet. Personally, I really liked the gilded sashes and branches and would have enhanced them. The only other thing I would say is the framing is nice but always make sure the picture can stand on it's own. Hope we see lots more of your stuff!!!
First of all, your work is more of a manipulation than a retouch, however if you want a critque, then here is my view.
- I find the effect of the speckled variety on the inside border to be a distraction, i also find the angled shadow to be out of palce.
- You have too many matts in your finish, i would lose at least one of them.
-The background is too plain for my personal taste, perhaps a gradient of some sort would help act as a more appropriate backdrop
- There also seems to be some noise in the background that could possibly be reduced.
- You have used a dropshadow on the main image, too much as far as i am concerened.
On a possitive note i would say the subject matter is very good and with the right atmosphere added and correct use of colours, you could potentially have a nice manipulation on your hands.
Overall I like what you've done here subject, composition and extract-wise. The frame/mattes, "roughness" and offset shadow effect provide interesting surroundings.
There's something about the frame/mattes that's not quite right to my eye... I don't know if it's the shadowing between layers or what. You might look at that.
I believe you've hit the mark from a creative perspective. You won't see anything like this anywhere else (and that's a good thing).
Keep creating and experimenting. You won't hit a home run every time, but I can assure you if you stop swinging the bat, you'll hit zero out of the park.
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