Arizona Sunset

I went out to get the moonrise but, clouds interfered and plan B was the sunset. I don’t do much landscape so this is a first for me. I did have to do a bit os straightening because of the wide angle lens. Everything else was done in LR with lightening the foreground with a gradient. I think the colors are pretty true to my recollection. Just used basic adjustments in LRC.
Anyway, any and all suggestions are greatly appreciated.
Canon 7Dll,Canon 18-135 lens, f/9.0, ISO100, 0.3sec, Tripod

What technical feedback w ould you like if any?

What artistic feedback would you like if any?

Pertinent technical details or techniques:

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A Southwest classic. Well done.

Well, I would say you are off to a great start with landscapes, this is a really strong image. I like that you kept the shadows in the land darker, which is more natural looking, rather than going for an overdone HDR with too much shadow detail. And I agree with you the colors look very good here too, vibrant but not over-saturated.

I have few suggestions to make a great image even better, although the changes are subtle. I see two minor distractions that I would suggest cloning away, the log along the bottom edge, and the two really small pieces of disembodied vegetation along the left edge. I might also try pushing the lights in the sky a bit, especially in the right half of the image. Here is a rework reflecting my comments.

Thanks. I see what you mean. Subtle but, gives a better balance over all. I looked at those catcti remnants at the bottom and was torn as to leave them as natural or remove them. I guess the lesson is that if I was looking at them that much, they must have been a distraction. Better without them.
Thanks fo the feed back. One question, did you use the gradient tool or a brush to lighten the side?

Regarding distractions, if you notice it, then most likely others will too. Generally, any extraneous (or bright) elements located near frame edges will tend to create minor distractions. It’s a good idea to perform “border patrol” with your images, looking for such things.

Regarding brightening just the highlights on the right side, I used a Tony Kuyper TK Actions Luminosity Mask to select those highlights for adjustment in Photoshop. Luminosity Masks are an advanced technique. But you can easily do something in Ligthroom that yields similar results. I would use the LR adjustment brush and increase the Whites, and or Exposure sliders as you paint over that area. If you want the adjustment to only affect the brighter areas, you can use the LR Range Mask function in conjunction with the adjustment brush, to limit the adjustment to just the highlights.