I did about 10-15 adjustments layers to the image, curves and levels, plus used custom color profiles.
I'm very grateful that you put so much time and effort into this. It is very helpful for me to see how you approach the scene. Any more specifics that you care to share about your techniques would of course be welcome. Did you start with an overall strategy for the adjustments or did you work locally and let the overall effect develop?
I worked in RGB and did not convert to LAB.
Yes, I generally work only in RGB also, but I made the conversion to LAB just so I could see what you had done to the contrast. Sometimes I find it easier to think in black and white, and then look at the color seperately.
How do you like the image now?
I think it is much improved. It is livelier, the space feels more open, and the eye moves a little more freely. (The addition of the border was helpful--I wouldn't display a print without a mat, and perhaps I should follow a similar practice even for jpeg files.) I especially like the two trees, the greater depth of the small pond, and the treatment of the landslide in the far background. There are quite a few subtle changes that enhance the overall depth and dimension that I will continue to study. I am still analyzing my own reaction to your use of color--I can see that it works well artistically when I look at it as just a photo, but I feel a little torn by the knowledge that the colors aren't "realistic." (That isn't a real hangup for me, as I have shot enough different color films to know that realism is a somewhat illusory goal. Perhaps in this case, I just got overly attached to a particular sense of the colors.) Thanks again for the input.