Thank you very much, but totally unexpected given all the superb other entries, and, if I may add, undeserved as it was Nik who provided "his" Silver Efex that I simply applied to the image without any additional fiddling because I liked the effect it produced "as is". I'll try to find something but I am afraid it won't be anywhere near the superb challenge images that we've been accustomed to.That was fantastic, folks, and not at all what I expected to see! Well done, everybody. Welcome to the forum and to the thread, @ijnstu. Also, I don’t believe I have had the pleasure of an entry from @mumu in the past. Great to see you both here.
To set the scene, this is what it looked like in the other direction, in back of the camera.
View attachment 865378
The patches of sunlight were quite short-lived and I didn’t have long to take my best shot at the challenge scene. What I like about the shot is the river of bright winding across the scene, the un-illuminated foreground and overhead clouds serving as a framing device. As it turns out, that would appear to be a minority opinion. OK, then, what else is on offer? Nearly everyone had a brighter, more intense, more normalized exposure of the foreground on display. The details of balancing exposures and intensifying discrete regions varied but they were all defensible. The less reportorial versions really caught my eye, though.
I’d be at it for the next several hours if I gave each and every entry its due. But dinner remains to be cooked, so I’ll cut to the chase.
Honorable mention: @RichardC #1 - for opening the floodgates and making just about any subsequent entry look conservative. I only had trouble with the lines, otherwise a solid contender for first runner-up. Put me in mind of mid-century travel posters.
Second runner-up: @frankmulder #2 - the dialed-down detail matched the pumped-up colors perfectly for me. I love the blocky, water-color sky.
First runner-up: @ijnstu - one effect of the radial filter was to add a suggestion of rain in the distance, especially on the right. Cool!
Winner: @relic #2 - the inverse vignette really worked to concentrate my gaze at the center and establish the far ridge (along with the cumulus) as the subject that I think it is.
Thank you, all. That was a great crop of entries. Over to you, @relic.
Much too modest. If winners were picked solely on the basis of technical facility, this thread would have withered long ago. Think of the challenge as a long running conversation (or, if you wish, argument) concerning how images may best be presented. As a craftsperson in real life, I have come to the opinion that the choice of tool is little more important than the manner of using it in determining the result. The magic lies in matching the tool to the job. Moreover, it is knowing the desired final state (or recognizing it when achieved) that most governs the result. We all start at the bottom of the learning curve...Thank you very much, but totally unexpected given all the superb other entries, and, if I may add, undeserved as it was Nik who provided "his" Silver Efex that I simply applied to the image without any additional fiddling because I liked the effect it produced "as is". I'll try to find something but I am afraid it won't be anywhere near the superb challenge images that we've been accustomed to.