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Thanks Douglas. That lack of contrast was actually on purpose. I find I tend to push the contrast to high sometimes. Trying to find that balance. Comments on the forum are a great way to get feedback.
I like both images, Greg.
With the first shot, you've proven that no matter how hard it is to shoot a good symmetrical pic from straight on, it IS possible. A fine interpretation.
Regarding Douglas's comment about contrast on your second image, I agree with him on this image, although such things are very much a matter of individual choice- and the final choice is always that of the photographer.
Taking Douglas's words- and applying my thoughts to them- I'm thinking that using contrast/brightness would be a good way to control what looks to me as a too-bright image. The camera is aimed straight at the sun, so there would be strong shadows under the pier- that we don't see.
To get those shadows, I experimented with contrast/ brightness. There is an infinity of possible results. I've included one to bring strong shadows into the image. If you'd like me to pull my version- just say so- no harm. After all, it's just my opinion .