Here a version without clipping. I think the mood might be destroyed when the foreground gets to bright. In my version there is definetely enough light to walk home without a torch light .
Thank you for the beautiful image.
As you can see from my second entry, an aggressive crop from the top ruins the composition, as I predicted in my first post. If I were to roll up my sleeves, I would remove the hanging branch and inpaint or heal in the sky, and after that see if I should crop the top a bit more. Other places that I would heal (but won’t because of the lack of manual (i.e., hand) dexterity and physical pain) would be
1 the areas where the sky touches the trees: horrid haloing and pixelation; and 2 the unmatched vertical seams on the lake near the island, which are the most distracting parts of the pano. Understandable because the ripples and waves change a lot and are hard to blend.
My Play Raw approach is generally minimalist and computational rather than relying on hand drawn masks, corrections and hand tweaked GUI modules. It is more like live coding performance art. (Except that my computer and scripts are super duper slow.) That is why it doesn’t always have the veneer and likes as other entries do.
So, I guess, if I were to make manual touches, I would take the sky of the second and combine it with the foreground of the first; and remove the overhanging branch and lower the crop a tad.
One last thing that is particularly troublesome is, as you noted, the red parts of the sky. Some Play Rawers ended up clipping them. I found it equally hard to saturate or increase the chroma of the sky, or adding drama, without getting the appearance of clipping, or at least posterization. It is a delicate balance. In this case, I would do some of the powerful masking or selective manual corrections that RT or dt can do to rein in those areas.
Now, before anyone rolls up her/his sleeves to mend stitching artifacts etc.: Please don’t waste your time. I’m well aware of those and would also prefer a different crop. And this is just a scaled down version.
I think @XavAL’s approach with tonemapping and wavelets tackles this very well. And @gaaned92’s use of dynamic range compression (aka Fattal) is also convincing.