Your 89MB image of the penguins in South Georgia is impressive. The content is interesting and I like the fact that there are a couple of seals fairly close-up on the right.
But your photoshop rendition is just awful. You've done a poor job processing this image.
I assume it's a stitched image. When taking images for stitching, it's common practice to use the same exposure for each frame, which means, in order to avoid overexposure, exposing for the brightest part of the pano and using that same exposure for less bright parts of the scene.
You don't appear to have done this. The top right portion of the image is excessively bright with blown sky highlights and the rest of the image is excessively dull.
I don't know if those highlights in the sky are beyond retrievability in ACR, or even if these are jpeg images. Assuming that the highlight detail is recoverable and that you did shoot RAW, I would suggest you do a RAW conversion with EC around minus 2, shadows and contrast zero.
In Photoshop processing, protect the highlights by CTRL left clicking on RGB channels, inverse the selection and then use the appropriate adjustment layers (levels. curves, whatever) at, say 80% opacity.
I used CS3 to stitch the image. It was done on manual mode -- ISO was fixed, and the picture was done completely in manual mode -- aperture and shutter were fixed. The reason it is very bright on the right side of the frame is that the sun above the right side of the frame. It was just to the right of the shoreline (and to the left of our ship). I was aware of this... but given the time we landed... I didn't really have time to wait for the sun to move. Fact of the matter is... much of the shooting in Antarctica is driven by "you shoot when you are somewhere" -- the typical "magic light" conditions were typically shot from the ship, with no tripod possible, before breakfast or way, way after dinner (and subsequent time in the bar ;-)
Anyway, before taking the shot I panned the camera back and forth to check the exposure. I set it so the portion where I shot in the sun was around +1.7ev. I didn't want to blow out the sky, and that was my only real criteria. Then I shot everything so the sky was quite "hot." I could pull the whole image down.
Oh, and I could clone out that goober that repeats say 11 times across the top of the frame. The fact that it's there should serve as SOME indication that it was a real "quick and dirty" effort
I applied minimal post-processing to that image. I don't consider it to be anything that is anywhere near "exhbition quality." That wasn't the intent -- I really did it for a couple reasons:
1) I wanted to test my new RRS panorama equipment to see if the parallax problems I had prior to using equipment which pivoted around the "nodal" point would be better -- mission accomplished.
2) It was a very "big" scene -- one that my 1D mark II has no hope of capturing in a single shot, given that I have only 8 megapixels of resolution.
I am aware there are many things I could do in post to improve the image. I could hit shadows and highlights some more, I could do a lot more work with curves (though I do not make a living by selling my images and Photoshop has a *steep* learning curve so I am limited to being only a novice and really only being adequate with S&H, levels, curves, and HSL controls.
At any rate, thanks for the critique -- though I would agree the image could use a lot more work. Whether I care enough to do the work I don't know -- I doubt I'll go through the pain of re-adapting my R800 to roll paper and I'm not going to sell it or really use it for anything more than documentary pictures anyway.
Also, that still doesn't change the fact that THERE WERE 50,000 PENGUINS THERE! And this is one of the things that you truly, truly have to smell to believe
We also were unable to make a landing at a spot on South Georgia where they had upwards of 120,000 penguins. The bay was not well protected and with the Katabatic winds, we simply couldn't get onto the Zodiacs.