Well, I must say I love the Peter Eastway's shot but of course it is a matter of taste. The third photo Jeremy posted is exactly the type of photo I get all the time. I am at this gorgeous location, the lighting is ok but not great, the trip has been wonderful but when I open the photo in Photoshop it looks...average. One time a photographer told me, that post production is half the fun. I agree that you should get the best possible shot in the camera but sometimes I feel post editing is somehow a dirty word in the minds of some shooters. I kind of like the first photo in color though.
I guess I like the Eastway's photo because of the WOW factor, I have posted similar photos to Jeremy's in other forums and have gotten 1/4 of the comments his original photo got.
Andres, that was my point, really. My wife and I had just over a week in Arizona / Utah. I'd been there before; she hadn't. We had decent weather at Grand Canyon and lots of sun in Page. When we reached Monument Valley, though, it was heavily overcast and raining. We went out to Goosenecks because I wanted to show her the place and since I probably won't return for years, I took some photographs. I knew as I took them that to produce anything worth paper and ink I'd need a lot of post-processing. I knew also that even with a fair bit of work, I might well end up with nothing.
Christoph, I like the idea of what you've done to the photo but like Eric, I think it's overdone. I appreciate it was more a proof of concept, though, and I'll see what similar effect I can manage. Thanks for the method tip, which I'm sure will have application elsewhere as well.
Eric, having now been to Horseshoe Bend, I too think I prefer Goosenecks, at least for black and white. The colours are more interesting at Horseshoe, which no doubt helps to explain its popularity.