|* Greetings from the Critique Club *
First let me say that I think you made a great start for your first entry! It took me a LOOONG time to score a 5.5+! :-)
Really nice job filling the frame without making it seem crowded. You managed to offset everything so that it didn't seem centered and it didn't feel off-balanced either. Good job.
Very good. Wouldn't be surprised if this was shot in a light box (as someone else suggested as well). Very studio-like lighting, nice and bright without being overexposed or washed out.
Also good, although I would consider burning the flower a bit (if it wasn't basic editing) to give the tones a deeper, richer feel. As it was basic editing, I think you got a lot of color out of the lighting you used. Good job.
Quite good. Since this was what the challenge was all about, I think you did a great job - and your score reflected it. The only thing I think might have improved it would be to have shown a little more of the vase/glass that the flower was in. Yes, you have good detail on the flower petals, etc. and good shallow DOF further back/down, but because of the glass' transparency it may not have been as evident to some viewer's. This is strictly conjecture on my part, as I have said, I think you did a great job.
I think it's a terrific start and I look forward to seeing more of your work. It met the challenge quite well and had a good, solid score.
Just my 2 cents...