I took only one shot of the stilt-walkers scene. I was sitting on a nearby bench, recovering from the hot sun. My first instinct was to crop tightly in processing as you suggest, but after much indecision, I reluctantly came down on the side of including the two stone figures as a further element reflecting the incongruous nature of the scene. I agree the tighter crop makes for a more balanced image but there's a price on everything! I still don't know if I made the right choice. And there's always Russ to consider when it comes to cropping.....
Re the bird sellers, again, one shot in sharp early-afternoon light with the wall in deep shade and the pavement blown out somewhat. The original is colourful enough in its own way. The final image required a fair bit of selective work to bring the footpath patterns back in the highlight areas.
Re various lenses, I brought only one thanks to airline baggage weight restrictions in this part of the world - Canon 24-105L plus 5D body. After a few days in the heat, this combination gets heavy enough. I suppose the whole trip was troubled from the start. A major complication was the presence of a huge cloud of dust hovering in European airspace from a volcanic eruption in Iceland which grounded aircraft throughout Europe for several days and caused massive disruption and expense to airlines and passengers alike. As I write, the damned thing is back again, this time hanging around over Ireland where all flights were cancelled last night and are just now being resumed as I write. More mayhem for everybody - and according to the experts, it may continue on and off throughout summer. Luckily I managed to get in and out of Spain between clouds, as it were.
Pat, the idea of shooting in Spain is very appealing and I've been there a good few times, mostly in the Barcelona area. On this occasion, I went south to the Almeria region. The trip included a visit to the famous Alhambra site at Granada - one of the most visited places in the country if not the world. It's a palace and fortress complex constructed during the mid 14th century by the Moorish rulers of the time - a majestic, magical place.
You'd think a location like that would get the creative juices flowing, but no, I felt as flat as a pancake and didn't manage even one shot I was happy with. In fact, the whole trip was a disappointment photographically. I ended up asking myself if I really wanted to photograph scenes which had already been done to death a thousand times - and better. Oh, I went through the motions alright, but wherever my mojo was, it sure wasn't in Spain on this occasion. I fear this may be reflected in the two images posted here, Mike. I guess I'm going through the equivalent of writer's block. Has anyone else experienced this, I wonder. Incidentally, I'm not blaming the volcanic dust for my woes - they were all self inflicted.
Anyway, thanks for the comments, all. Back to the drawing board!!
By the way, Russ, if you're on a shooting trip, I hope you have better success than I had....