I love Argos' dramatic clouds. I don't think it's over the top, at all. I would, however, brighten things up a bit, make the colors look like a brighter day everywhere in the photo, not just in the sky, and finally, reduce the noise in the sky. I hope u don't mind, Argos, I used your version to start with.
I like your last version much more than I like my own, Argos! You took much more care than I did in masking, in restraint with the clarity slider (...I went hog wild with it...), etc., and it shows.
I love how some threads can turn into pseudo-collaborative adventures where each version gets better than the previous one. About the only thing I would retain from my version is the over-the-top red in the maple leaf. I like the more graphic art look my more solid red gives the image.
Thx Tom, is what i love about this forum, when i finish the first retouch i tought it was ok, i not even notice the horrible colour problem on the plain :redface:.
I see what you mean with the red and your graphic art aproach in general, the photo gain in strange (i dont know if it's called that way in english XD), but my tendency in this cases is go for realism. Maybe i give it a try to a more espectacular look just to change and practice XD.
I keep from yours the clarity effect on the plain, more sutile but i like how it looks .