Don't forget to click on image to see 1200 pixels wide (of the original 26 thousand)
So, I have been living with the print for 24 hours and am not happy. The version I made then is below. This evening I decided to start back at the original stitched image after basic trimming. I elected to NOT chop off the right side after all but see if I could make the various parts of the image relate better. A variety of curve layers later (probably about two dozen), and a few curves that had the highlight point shifted left, but this time no Akvis Enhancer (that increased local contrast). I then felt I needed to improve the highlights, but didn't want the near whites driven to stark white. What I did was to create a curve starting in the upper right, running on the diagonal for the lightest pixels, then lightening for the light gray areas, then returning back to the diagonal line for the rest of the curve. To get that you need a few points that force it back to the diagonal otherwise anything that goes above the diagonal in the lighter areas automatically curves below the diagonal line in the darker tones and that wasn't what I wanted.
I still wasn't happy with the image and wondered what it would be like to play with the temperature slider in Camera Raw - no sweat. Save the image then save again as a TIFF and open that in Camera Raw and adjust tones and temperature to taste, a little cooler as you see in the above image. What I really did was make it a lot more contrasty and cool, then opened the image, copied all, then closed it and pasted it as a new layer in the image I was editing earlier this evening. Now I could use layer opacity and masking to control just how much of the cool contrasty image I wanted, and where.
Turned out I didn't want a lot, and not everywhere, and with some more tweaks above is what I have ended up with.
I might still lighten the gray areas on the far right a tad more, but that's for another day.
I want to discuss what role complex images like this play in photography and when I have settled (for the near future) on the editing, will do so.
I would really like comments about this image, NOT about how you would fix it, but whether as is it works for you or not, and why.