|Hi Tej, & greetings from the Critique Club. Sat siri akal.
It's good to be able to do this for such a keen member of the Critique Club. I'm afraid I'm not such a good member - my critiques are less frequent than yours. Also less structured, which I hope you won't mind.
This type of photograph demands a high level of technical competence. In fact, it could really be said to be about technical skill as much as anything else. So the execution must be good, and yours is. It looks flawless to me. Beautiful focus, lighting, exposure and processing. And of course, from a challenge point of view, you have been very clever - in three ways:
1. You avoided the revolting strident blue colouring chosen by most people.
2. You used the blue to emphasise your subject, rather than as the subject (the gradient is an especially subtle touch).
3. You chose a subject in a colour complementary to the blue.
And of course the use of the water droplets is a further irresistible bonus for the ever-thirsty DPC voters.
So, although this is not my kind of photograph, I must acknowledge that it is a very fine entry in this challenge, and deserved its high placing. In fact, I'd have been happy to see it place even higher, because it was more subtle and thoughtful than most.
Now, because I really have nothing more to say about this photograph, other than it's beautifully executed but not my cup of tea, I'll close by showing one of your images that most certainly is my cup of tea.
That is a brilliant photograph. Filled with interest, and beauty of a quite different and more ambitious kind. While the Blue image that is the subject of this critique can be seen and appreciated in a couple of seconds, this "Calm" photograph is a much more demanding and absorbing proposition for the viewer. It is deceptively simple, but rewards the viewer prepared to invest a minute or two with hidden details and potential meanings. That you can produce two such worthy but totally different works is a great testament to your ability, and I hope that anyone browsing this critique will be encouraged to spend a few minutes enjoying your excellent portfolio. I did.