Thanks for your feedback!
I deliberately tried to avoid mentioning what I tried to achieve here, and I'm happy to see that several of you found the same things of interest in the image as me.
I'll address a few points, mainly because of the learning experience:1) The color balance
Yes, it is a bit warm, though as I recall the scene, there was a slightly red tint, probably because of the dust and pollution in the Kathmandu valley. But I agree that the image does look slightly better with that little bit of adjustment that's been suggested, so thanks for that!
(And it's yet another reason to get that decent monitor I want and calibrate it properly; I just can't be sure that I'll get the correct color balance by fiddling on what I have now. I can see the tint on my laptop monitor, but it's close to invisible on my desk monitor ...)2) The shadows
This was something that I couldn't really settle on myself. But again, I think the suggested changes are spot on. This is part of the core of what I liked initially; the layered buildings, the layered light and shadows, and the contrasts.3) The empty sky and the empty backyard
Yes, it has to go. It's hard to kill a baby, but it does
look much better in Bob's crop.4) The interaction in the shadows
Yes! I might have looked twice at the picture for the sake of the kites, but the third look came from the people at the lower 1/3 line.Other stuff
There's just one thing that I don't like about Bob's crop, and that's something that prevented me from doing it myself: the remaining part of the building in the foreground, I think it's disturbing the picture. If the background had been less complex, I'd have cloned it out or used the healing brush (as I did with an antenna and a piece of sensor dust).
BTW, Julie: that's no man on the balcony (i.e. rooftop), that's a woman.
As for Bob's regret about the child, I agree absolutely. Two earlier shots have the children are playing on the roof between the women, but there the boy hasn't gotten his kite back up in the air, and the red-clad woman is looking the other way. Then there's this shot, and another one that's taken four seconds later, which is virtually identical. The remaining shots have the red-clad woman looking the other way again, and the children are gone. To compound the damage, the first two images were accidentally taken at ISO 800, while the remainder are at ISO 100.
I'm not completely opposed to merging the scenes here, since it's not intended as photojournalism, so I could
give it a try based on this:
What do you think?
I'm thinking that the image I posted first, with the suggested alterations, works better, even though the little boy's facial expression is priceless.