I’ll toss in a few thoughts for your consideration if I may? And I’ll try not to be too mean about it! If you are here on honest pretenses and looking for constructive feedback I think there are a few folks here that can and will provide some for you. It is the p&s pocket poppers that try to sell a professional service because they think they are “amazing” (I’m really beginning to loath that word!) that folks find irksome here.
I understand your views/apprehension on editing but I think maybe it would be beneficial to you if you adjusted your approach. Editing in itself is not Evil nor what I would call “over used”. I would, however, say that it is certainly overly improperly used (i.e. garish effects, improper or no sharpening techniques, and the attitude that a bad shot can be “saved” in post to name but a couple).
It is a 50-50 approach. The shot is half and has to be done correctly. Meaning good composition, exposure, and lighting. Strive to get it right “in-camera”. Its obvious that the people who are fauxtogging have no clue how to properly frame and compose a shot. Much less how to set a camera or deal with the scene/lighting before them. When you do it right you don’t need garish, over the top effects to hide your incompetence.
The other 50% is post processing. There is not now, nor has there ever been a photo shot that could be viewed that wasn’t processed. Period. RAW files give greater latitude in post and that is what you should be shooting. But as an example, do you know your camera manufacturer’s recommended capture sharpening settings for RAW capture? Do you know the three stages of proper sharpening? Proper cropping/framing aspects? I mention this since Mr. Clicker mentioned your shot could use some sharpening/cropping. I concur.
Learn proper, grounded post production techniques/workflows (forget crazy actions, plug-ins that you know nothing about) that you can reproduce consistently and that you know why you are doing it (and I don’t mean “because it looks cool”).
As regards your photograph? I could mention a few things that come to mind if you would like, but what if we did something that, as far as I know, has never been done on here if you’re game? You want to learn. You had the nerve to post a shot. So let’s break some ground!
Why don’t you give us a very critical, honest, hard, detailed self-critique of your own shot? After a hard look maybe say to us what you have learned from this shot and what you might like to try different next time and why? What you are seeing that you don’t like. What you are seeing that you like. Maybe you can help the rest of us! Maybe someone can help clarify if you have certain thoughts/questions.
And no worries Chrsty! This site tore me a new one when I posted for review! It was so bad that I’m not even good enough for the front page!