You live in, or visit, some interesting places. If you live there, you have lots of opportunity to visit the specific locations and improve those shots you feel were a near miss.
In another thread it was suggested the photographer do self critiques. As a variation of that, lets try 20 questions. Some of them are the “get to know you” variety so thoughts can be tailored. Others are to focus your efforts.
Let’s start with, what is it about Linux that makes you happy?
As a Linux user, what photo editing software do you use?
You said you almost always shoot in raw, and in manual, why?
You seem to have a Nikon D3100, 18-55 mm, 55-200 mm, 50 mm f/1.8. What other photography gear do you have?
Your water drop photos are shot at 1/200th. Flickr reports flash was off. Why was 1/200th selected as the shutter speed?
What is the depth of field of 102 mm at f/4.5 and a focus distance of a foot?
What is the hyperfocal distance of 18 mm at f/8?
Lizard appears to be your most recent upload. Why is the tail in soft focus?
You said there is a blur issue with Coronado Bridge @ Night, when did you discover the blur?
What caused the blur in Coronado Bridge @ Night, and what could you have done to prevent it?
Regarding Tempe Town Lake Bridge, I see you are familiar with Fro Knows Photo! I also see you uploaded the large size and that the whole photo is a little soft. There are a few things going on. A couple may be resolved by technique, one by better glass. Some questions:
– list all the steps you followed to get the shot, starting with setting up, and going through to packing up.
– what is the depth of field of 18 mm and f/4 at the focus distance you used? EXIF data should tell you where focus was set.
– tell us about the weather conditions: temperature, wind, humidity, etc.
– how far are the buildings from your camera? You can probably measure the distance with Google maps.
Moving on, and thinking about your people photos, it seems your subjects are family. Looking at Happy, why did you choose f/1.8 as the aperture?
Having chosen the widest aperture, why does your subject seem to be right against the steel background?
Why does the beam on the left of that photo seem sharper than your subject’s face? A follow-on question might be, what does that beam add to the photo?
What is the depth of field of 50 mm at f/1.8 and the focus distance used?
After shooting Suegra, how did taking a step or two forward to shoot Happy, affect the photo?
In https://www.flickr.com/photos/90822098@N07/11792819014/, where does your eye go?
Why is she sitting on the side of the photo her body is facing?
Does the greenish blob in the upper right corner add anything?
All photos have flaws, and different people will perceive different flaws. “One man’s garbage is another man’s treasure” could also be expressed as “One man’s art is another man’s garbage”. A thick skin is helpful sometimes. All that said, I think you would have to work pretty hard to top Smile as a portrait. You have a nice neutral background that is out of focus except for the little bit of railing she is leaning against. Colours are good. Her near eye is in good focus. There is enough depth of field that her whole head is in pretty good focus. She has a nice smile and loving expression. The light may be slightly hard but you have detail in the shadows. I think it is really well done.
When shooting against that concrete wall, it might work better to shoot at f/2 or f/2.8 with your subject 5 to 10 feet in front of the wall. Then you can have your subject nice and sharp, and the wall will go out of focus so you just see a white sheet with very out of focus texture.