I like it quite a bit.
It's a very well-done composite, tough to tell at a glance how much of it is the set and how much is the drop-in background.
There are a few cues that lead me to believe the model was shot on a white or neutral background, then clipped out and placed onto the sand. But I could probably be convinced otherwise.
The lighting on the model is perfect, it's VERY believable with the background - which is hard to do on a composite. The direction and softness of the shadows, the color and intensity of the light. Good job.
Like Skuggi mentioned, the outline of the model is a bit too fuzzy/feathered, especially on her right (camera left) arm. This drew my eye on the initial glance.
The shadow isn't quite right - I'm guessing you burned it onto the sand? The direction and intensity are right, but with a large, soft light source, the shadow should get softer and more diffuse as it's further from the subject. Additionally, the model's overall shape is smaller at the top than at the bottom. These two things together mean that the right end of the shadow (her head) should be smaller, lighter, and more diffuse than the left end of the shadow (her hips and body).
Also, the "real" shadow from a sun would be hard and crisp - remember that for photographic purposes, the sun is a very small light source, which makes for hard-edged shadows. But for the purposes of this shot, I don't know if that would work, and it would definitely be a little difficult to recreate.
My last critique is in the composition, and honestly that's more of a personal preference than a technical critique. I prefer the model/subject to be the "star" of a photo, whereas here she's one small component of an overall image. I would have liked to see the model much larger in the frame. Again, personal preference, and your composition does work really well for an environmental shot.
Overall, great job. Better than I could do with a composite like this, I think.
Last edited by nathancarter : 08-22-2012 at 09:36 AM.