It doesn't strike me as unnatural - perhaps it has more "pop" than the scene had in real life, but we can't judge that since we weren't there.
That is something I've been thinking about recently though: even if my processing doesn't make scenes unnatural, I do find myself regularly adding more "pop" to the photo than the scene had in real life. Recently I started wondering if the additional "pop" is making the photos better, or just more conforming with the current trends, and what would the consequences of no longer adding extra "pop" be for my photos' ability to keep the viewer interested and to bring my message or story across.
That's a good point, I'm careful not to oversharpen etc but always tweak the levels and curves as part of my standard post production. Personally I like it but it's only now that I thought it may be too much. I wonder if the straight out of the camera images would be well received? Maybe in terms of relevance or composition but would they lack impact to grab initial attention?
It looks perfectly fine to me, but it is small. Do you have this on your Flickr stream because if you do - why not link directly using the html code? That way we could all enjoy the flags and your photo in their full glory.
P.S. I'm sorry that I don't know what camera you're using or if you've used jpegs or enhanced the RAW file? I think we'd need to see it in a much larger version to really comment on it in detail with regard to sharpening, etc.
It looks like at most if you did do something you dialed in the contrast and sharpness but nothing at all seems unnatural. At what point does one draw the line and no longer consider a photo to be a photo? At the point where you know you have changed so much that you are now asking yourself that question I suppose. Also adding and removing elements, superimposing, inverting color etc.. that is more photographic-art. Either way if you are happy with the results of what you are doing then keep on doing it.
The photo looks good to me and does not seem over processed at all on my MacBook Pro's monitor. I see that one light from within is kind of like a ball of fire...but I am not sure if you could have done anything about that. It's hard to say but it appears that the white balance is reflecting the interior lighting...which is also fine. So much of this is subjective, don't you think? Looks very good to me!
By the way, I really like that interior shot of the mural in your photostream what a cool bookstore that appears to be!
Thanks for the feedback and comments, I guess like everything in life we all have individual likes and dislikes but I take from the positive response from everyone that this picture is well received and have a better idea for future processing.
The bookstore in my photo steam is Water stones in Gloucester, I really enjoy a coffee and read of the photography books there.