Image Doctor: Lone Statue
Photographer: Russell Marshall
Camera Type: Canon 5D Mk 3
Lens: 50mm 1.4
Shutter Speed: 20sec
Adjustments: Increase: Contrast, Saturation, Exposure (+.8) Sharpen Noise Reduction Crop Vignette
Photographer's Comments: This is a statue/headstone at a local cemetery. It was shot during twilight, I have used off camera flash to the right of camera to add definition to the subject. I have cropped out the feet as there were power lines and tops of houses distracting in the background.
Image doctor's advice
I like this photograph for the techniques that you have used; the slow shutter speed, which has enabled the exposure balance between the sky and the off-camera flash has worked well for you here.
While I would call this a successful exposure, I do feel that this photograph could do with another element being added for the sake of making a stronger statement.
As it stands, I want to know where this statue is? Is it in the cemetery or is it on top of the building?
For that reason I think you should have included something in the background.
One important question you have to ask yourself when making a photograph is how honest you want to be? Although I typically would not Photoshop in extra content behind the photograph, I do have plenty of friends who actually will add elements into a photograph for the sake of making it stronger – advertising photographers do this regularly.
For that reason, I would suggest in this instance it wouldn't be a bad plan to shoot a new background, preferably a silhouette, that you can drop low into this picture.
Below is an example of what might be possible; just a few subtle supporting elements can make all the difference to a photograph.
Image Doctor's edited version