As I am still also contributing to sxc :
e.g. http://www.rgbstock.com/photo/nstWJWW/Easter++/+Spring was accepted as a set in a minute.
Same pictures uploaded to sxc but not accepted: "image rejected by admin_crew (reason: We found the overall composition of this file's lighting could be improved. Technical aspects that can affect the overall quality of lighting are: flat/dull colors, blown-out highlights, harsh reflect"
I know, it is quite unimportant what I believe, but this appears to me as a straight opposite view. Any comments?
I do think the other image (?images - they look like identical sets) is superior in its composition. But the other site has a lot of inconsistent judgments on images these days, from what I can see.
What they say, in effect, just means 'poorly lit'.
It looks as if you were on the shadow side of the branch.
Nevertheless, I think the important question rather than 'how well lit is it?' should be 'will people want this image, as is, for their royalty-free stock needs?'
Poorly or well lit, my answer to that question would be 'yes'.
Watch the downloads & see if our approvers made a good judgement...
I'm also still submitting to SXC - I get more rejections from there than I do here. Very occasionally I've had it in reverse - image accepted by SXC, rejected here. I just put it down to some things being subjective... My most popular image here was rejected by SXC, so agree with fishmonk @3, watch the downloads...
The forefront branch is a little dark but that is due to the sun direction coming from the upper far right (looking at the shadows).
There are enough bright catkins in the overall composition to make it work.
If the sun were behind you when the picture was taken, the catkins wouldn't have had that glow that i find appealing.