There's something going on here, but I feel like the picture wants me to look at a spot just out of frame to the right.
Flat, dull, what the heck is this, etc etc. But I do feel like there's something going on here. The thing *I* want to look at is the short stubby T-shaped object midframe. That's not where the picture wants me to look, though. I dunno what to make of it all, but it's not merely a pointless discard, I don't think.
The difficulty in both of your worries is that leaving more to the left doesn't do anything more than make you wish for even more space...which, where these were pointing would in all likelihood mean Japan. I lighten then centered piece but it started immediately looking too contrived. I may have gone too far to the dark side in my attempt to lose that manufactured look, though.
I don't see "flatness" as I was quite careful to explore every tonal range in the image, and there are a bunch. I wonder though if it isn't the light centered in the middle of the frame that is giving you consternation. I sorta-kinda artificially darkened the foreground though tried to avoid the stereotyped vignette to deliberately draw the eye to the frame and chose the GND+2 NIK SEP2 filter preset, again to help push the eye down into the center mass of logs. Hmmmmmmmmmm. What else - what else?
The lighting looks extremely odd. There is a harsh shadow underneath the log in the center but you have blurred the sky into the ocean as if it was foggy. If it was foggy then there would be no shadow let alone a harsh shadow.
Actually, there was both. It was like when you drive down the interstate in FL and it's raining on the other side and clear on yours. I probably should artificially tone down the shadow given the treatment of the background. Good catch.
Here's the original image before the conversion processing began. The "noir" look is quite deliberate.
I like this dark, but I feel like it's unbalanced or incomplete on the left side where those two long pieces of wood end. I'd try cropping on the left just enough to remove the end of the horizontal wood just below the "t" shape. This would put the "t" in a stronger position and better accentuate the horizontal/vertical clashes (maybe). I know that's a completely different image, but that's what occurs to me ...