Over the weekend, was with my son scouting the local Audobon preserve looking to select an Eagle Project.
Walking back took a look behind and thought this was worthy of a shot. Not happy with this...the view of the trail and the light at the end of trail appealed to me. I played a bit with this in LR 4, but still not happy. Was shot at a higher iso than i would have liked, but had forgotten to tune it down...
Hope you don't mind, but I took a crack at it just to give a visual. I think you might be happier with a vertical crop in something close to an 8 X 10 ratio. The landscape crop was too busy in my mind. I couldn't decide what path to go down. My mind said middle, but my eyes kept going to the rocks on the left and the other path on the right. You might also try bringing out a little more shadow and mid-tone detail, especially in the left framing tree.
Much better composition. I like what you did with the midtones, but curious how you did it - i brought more detail in the tree shadows on the left, but i like how you also darkened the shadows further down the path - not sure how you did that without impact the tree?
It didn't take too much work and, if you shot in raw, you could end up doing a better job than me on your end. Here are the rough steps I took.
1) crop 2) reduce global contrast using the contrast slider. I think I went to about -20 to even out the scene a bit and give me more latitude to adjust locally. the original scene had a wide span of contrast. 3)Brought up the shadows to about 60 to bring out detail in the tree trunks 4) brought down highlights to about -10 5) used the adjustment brush to paint two adjustments. The first was on the path, I burned in about a 1/2 stop and also decreased highlights abit. The second burn was around the corners and edges of the frame to bring about a mild vignette and guide the eyes more through the frame. 6) introduced a slight s curve to add back a bit of pop 6) lastly I sharpened to about 50 and mixed details and masking.
I gave it a shot with DxO for color depth initially then to LR5 to try and sharpen it up a bit. Cropped a bit as, like Joshua, I thought it needed some. Also added a bit of lightness at the end of the tunnel. Maybe too much sharpening even though I didn't add much at all.