If you read my comment properly you'd see I didn't contradict myself and if you take my comment as a positive instead of being negative you'll see it was constructive.
To produce a quality image you can't let the processing distract from the image. My personal opinion and it is just an opinion, is that your processing does distract.
I hope you don't mind but I've done a quick B&W conversation of your first image to show that in my opinion it becomes a much better image. Happy to remove this edit if you object.
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