Well... here is a somewhat uninspiring photo. It was taken at an early hour, before the sun came out. I sat the camera on a rock and set a somewhat long shutter time to catch the river in motion. I forgot that I could set the exposure compensation lower to allow for longer exposure time, but it came out 80% of what I wanted.
I've managed to crop it into the way I liked, and this first image is 100% unprocessed, straight out of camera (except for the crop, of course). It had the cold tones of early morning and looked flat.
Maybe I've already spent too much time on this "miss". But since I already worked on it a bit, I wondered how much more can I do to it to try to bring some life into it. A little contrast is certainly welcomed, and perhaps a tweak in color temperature to make it warmer?
Voila! Slight adjustments in all the bars... but most drastic changes came from: increase in "clarity", increase in "vibrance", an adjustment in the tone curve, and sliding the color temperature toward the yellow side for some warmth. I don't really know what I was doing, so I just played with everything and stop and move on to the next settings when I don't think I'm making any improvements. Maybe the color adjustment is too much for someone else's taste?
Let's take color out of the equation. I like both versions.