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I'm assuming the top 2/3 of the image is soft focus because you made the change in processing.
It's your decision, of course, although for scenics I've almost never seen oof pics that were published. And the old masters never did it.
I'd sure like to see this with sharpness intact .
Thanks for the link.
Regarding the Mesquite Dunes at Stovepipe Wells, the way to beat the foot prints is this:
1. Go in midweek.
2. Park a bit west of the dunes (but still to the east of Stovepipe).
3. Walk on the hardpan around the dunes, making a clockwise curve, and enter them from the northwest. Few people bother to walk to this part of the dunes, and therefore there are FAR fewer footprints. I've been there when I saw no prints at all except my own- so I planned every direction I walked carefully, so I wouldn't have my footprints ruin a shot.