It was a beautiful day with the sun peeking out in various places along the hike. It was a little hot, so getting my feet wet felt good. And in my area, the bugs are not really in full force...so the evening hike was perfect.
These were shot in multiple exposures for HDR (high dynamic range). I've always had trouble with dense forests and HDR. Real dense foliage just is not enhanced at all with Photomatix. Photomatix hurts more than it helps dense forests. My solution has always been to either (1) compose the photo so that a dense forest is not real prominent, (2) convert it to black and white, or many times the solution is to (3) simply not process the photo with Photomatix.
In the case with the photos below, I did something between solution #1 and solution #3. I chose compositions where the dense forest portions are not prominent. I did, however, process these photos with Photomatix. This hurt the look of the forests, but it really enhanced the look of the sunsets, rivers, and riverbeds. So afterwards, I went into Photoshop and brought back non-tonemapped versions of the forest with layers, but kept the effect on the sun, river, and riverbeds.
(5 Exposures at F11, ISO 100, 26mm)
(5 Exposures at F11, ISO 100, 17mm)
(5 Exposures at F11, ISO 100, 33mm)