Quote Originally Posted by bass_sears View Post
O.K., lame I know, here I am replying to my own post

Anyway, any input on comparing this second attempt at both cropping and playing with levels and curves would be appreciated.

My gut reaction is the crop makes it better, the levels and curves is heavy handed.

-- Bass
I actually prefer the orig photo - mostly because it looks more natural to me.
This is, however, my personal preference - I nearly always like 'true to life' images and I reckon you got the balance well sorted on the first one. True the sky was washed out - and maybe if you have isolated that and tweaked only the sky it may have helped it a bit.
As for the crop - again - purely down to choice - if you prefer your crop then it's right for you - I quite like the wider view with this landscape image.