This was three handheld shots. You can use alignment tool with handheld shots so long as the subject isn’t moving and it helps to have vertical or horizontal lines for the alignment program to grab hold of. But it is preferable to use a tripod if you can.
ASA 400 / f8 / 1/125 base shutter speed.
Workflow: preset in lightroom where I zero out just about everything to achieve flat images. The images are bracketed, one over and one under. Into PhotoMatix where they are Image Fused according to horizontal / vertical lines. I can tweak it during the fusing process but I usually just choose average.
Then into tone mapping. This is where the majority of choices are made: saturation, high- and low-light saturation and smoothing; mirco-contrast, and just about anything that effects the overall effect you are after.
Into Lightroom where I may do some minor things, but usually nothing heavy. Export to web as an sRGB. Lose detail, and the color gamut is less than the Adobe 98 gamut I was working with. Tempted sometimes to show 100% crop, but it’s a pain and takes something away from the mystery of the shot.
I just wanted to prepare myself for the snow which is coming soon, i.e. should I go for the tripod or not. I think I have more choices with the tripod.