- Rendered a bit more snow in the air (mainly in the foreground).
- Some careful linear burning to help pull the viewer into the focal point of the image (which is now the second set of lock gates).
An improvement? I think so. Comments...
Maybe an improvement, but I see some backward steps which tend to detract from the improvement. I'm not sure what the net improvement is. Just for fun, here are some impressions and an attempt at analysis.
1. You've lost the round shape of the lock walls at the extreme edges of the composition, which was quite pleasing. I get the feeling you should now crop the remainder of that curved wall.
2. The second set of lock gates are now a more significant part of the image, as you intended, but tend to merge with (or not stand out against) the sky which you've darkened to a shade of grey too close to that of the far lock and tree.
3. The sky itself now attracts more attention and as a consequence tends to become a competing element in the composition. Is the second set of lock gates really the focus of interest or the sky?
4. I don't see any snow in the air, so maybe this is part of the problem; the jpeg is not detailed enough
I still think David Plummer's version is the best so far. The eye tends to be attracted to bright areas of an image, or the reverse; black or dark patches set against a bright background. Any compositional lines leading the eye to such areas reinforce this effect.
The open lock gates represent strong compositional lines leading one's attention to the second set of lock gates and tree. What David has done is not only enlarge that central interest, as you have also, but has kept it tight, whereas you've actually widened the gap between these two major structures on the left and right. David has also created some additional gradations of movement (for the eye) from the top of the image to the point of central focus, and from the bottom of the image, by darkening the sky at the top and darkening the snow at the bottom of the image.
The central point of focus for the eye is now more interesting as a result of greater contrast. There's light surrounding those far locks and tree. There's something happening over there. This raises some questions in the mind of the viewer. What is that light? Is it the dawn, or perhaps a break in the weather after a storm? You could even let your imagination run riot. Maybe it's the beginning of WW lll. That's the glow of an atomic explosion 200km away.