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To me, the pose doesn't suggest disengagement, but a confident and perhaps feisty young girl.
You're right, it isn't sharp!
I think better weather conditions should be top of your priorities!
Not sure why you felt the need to change the sky at all? The image is all about the jockey in his silks, and the sky would be immaterial. You could adjust it to make it less drab, but the vibrancy of the silk will overpower it anyway.
I'm afraid I'd have to disagree...the only thing that dominates the view here is the cathedral spire (as it was designed to do when it was built).
I quite like the rendering of this picture, apart from the vignette as above. I'd like to see a few steps to the left if possible, which would move the tree from blocking the front of the house. There doesn't appear to be anything preventing you from moving to a better angle, but don't disturb the snow before you're sure you've explored fully first!
The problem with using a polariser is that the reflections will only be reduced at or near Brewster's angle, or for glass in air, around 56 degrees away from straight on...ie at quite an angle ! It would need to be further away from straight on than this picture, probably close to the wall on the right.
Firstly, I think the vignette is too heavy...real life wouldn't appear like this, and a vignette should really subtly direct your view. As the horses are the only subject, very subtle would do. The light doesn't look too good, but it's all a bit dark and could benefit from a little lightening.
For me, it looks like it should have a crop from the left and a slice from the bottom to place the left pole on a third. Whilst not a slave to the rule of thirds, I think the composition of this would be stronger for it.
It looks like a nuclear test.
If only the chap with the glasses hadn't been there!
Most has been said, and I know you're just trying out the lens, but having the subject facing you would be better! It looks like you're shooting directly into the light too, so at least you got away without flare.
It's pretty good, more than just a record shot, and has a nice graphic quality to it. The main problem for me, is that the Mediterranean sun can be very harsh, causing high contrast, and it really needs to be grazing across the brickwork to bring out all that lovely texture.
Whilst I agree with most of the above, I think just increasing the ISO to 400 would enable you to up your shutter speed to 1/800.
I think part of the problem is that the image isn't really of anything. It looks obvious that this is how you found it, with no thought of creating the image. Lighting is a part of this, but so is creating the still life. The jumble of stones and shells isn't going anywhere fast, so better to use a tripod and longer shutter speed, then you can use available light, or as Paul says, use a lamp, torch, anything can be employed. The direct flash just blasts frontal light, which isn't flattering or particularly attractive, and even softening with a diffuser, still gives poor light for still life.
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