First things first: Thanks to all for your generous comments.
Doc: My existing thing is a tripod.
Bossel: I usually don't take my camera either.
Yildiz: Assuming you mean illumination, the evenly distributed exposure was achieved with five applications of Lightroom’s adjustment brush.
All: The image presented is probably not what I saw. It is an attempt to create an image representing some mixture of what I wanted to see and what I remembered seeing out of what the camera saw.
I frequently see something like this in the morning and always say to myself: "I ought to record that." This particular morning, I decided to do just that.
So I went back in the house, went out to the garage, got the tripod out of the truck, took it out of it’s sleeve, removed the ball-head cover, found the pano-head and mounted it on the ball head, changed lenses on the camera body . . . well, you get the idea . . . it took a considerable amount of time. Then I took the rig outside, setup the tripod after spending some more time considering the shot height and placement (I picked a low one), leveled the pano head and composed the image in the viewfinder (yes, live view would have been helpful).
By then, enough time had elapsed that the scene was totally different from what I had first seen. But, since it looked like all of the visual elements, though altered, were still there, I proceeded.
I turned on the two-second MLU and made an exposure. I checked the image for proper exposure and went back inside. Here is the raw-file’s embedded jpeg
. It looks nothing like the final image.
If I had been shooting jpegs, game over. The final image is not possible with a jpeg. My objective in making the exposure was not to get a good-looking camera image but to stuff as much information as possible into a raw file so that I could extract what I needed in PP.
All post processing was done with Lightroom 2.4. After a lot of adjustment sliding and application of a soft-light tone curve and the adjustment brush, the final image emerged.
This is why I always use raw (cRaw).
If you stuck with me, thanks for wading through this.