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Tread thanks for your feedback and comments, with regards to the composition of the first, my goal was to work the texture of the salt pan to create the fg element as well as main focus of this image , if my viewer did not find his way to the back of this image I think that would be ok here (IMO). The background elements for me on this one are simply playing a supporting role.
The reasoning for the long exp on the 2nd image was to capture the cloud movment on the front end of the cloud which if you look closely was achieved, several images of this scene done prior to this shot at shorter exposures did not yield the same effect. The cloud movement is slightly more dramatic in the b/w version of this shot: (see below) However I found the combination of the early eveing color with the cloud to be more appealing in contrast to the other b/w image posted.
Thanks again and I hope I gave you some more insight into my thought process for these shots.