Quote Originally Posted by Michael Slade
So, I've been wondering what others have done, what their thought process is, and what you might have done when faced with similar retouching issues.

Note, this is NOT a journalistic project where 100% accuracy to the image is demanded, but it is a project I am working on to capture the feel and impression of an area rather than being faithful to the 'T' to the originally photographed scene.
I believe that the creative process only happens on the groundglass. I do 100% of my composition there and I never crop. Therefore the only retouching I do is to spot the print. This makes everything pure and simple.

I like Menacing Tourist's suggestion the most. Just shoot it again and get it the way you want it before you click the shutter. That will save you endless hours of drudgery.