Huh? I think the 2nd image is pretty good. Nice white clouds where the features can be discerned without making the sky completely overcast. Nice reflection off the water. Sharp image too.
If there's any flaw, I think it's got to do with the subject rather than camera skills on the photographer's part. Buildings tend to look boring, definitely a far cry from the ones you can get in Europe. I can't think of how you can improve on the composition much without detracting from the original intention or maybe you would wait for better lighting? That's a different time and matter altogether of course. But if you ever want to portray the packed rows of shophouses in Clark Quay, the 2nd image does a fairly neat job IMHO.
thanks for all your feedback. am very thankful for all your feedback, they are all very useful!
i posted these two photos side by side, because i initially liked the first one more than the second one, but it seems that most of the people i've shown it to preferred the second one, and i wanted to know what it was that people saw in these two photos that made the other one somewhat better. i'm glad you all tell me what you see. for me, i liked the first one because i thought the somewhat-bare blue sky gave the photo some space.
i guess i do have problems with slanted horizons. whether using the e10 or the mju-II, i keep forgetting to align the photo with something. and i guess i wasn't paying too much attention to the buildings at the back. i was mostly looking at the reflections on the water.