In digital photography era, post processing is very important to enhance your photos. We could improve our RAW file to much more stunning with several steps.
For my own workflow, I start from Nikon Capture NX or Adobe Camera Raw in order to convert from RAW --> TIFF file. This step is very vital in keeping as much as dynamic range of the shot. Moreover, we could easily enhance shadow/highlight and white balance. In Photoshop, we need to decrease colour cast in both shadow and highlight by using CURVE tools. Then, I still add brightness to mid-tone, and a little bit to overall photo. I prefer bright photo to dim photo.
In order to enhance the sky, I increase red-yellow colour from Hue/Saturation. We mush make sure that colour is not over saturated by noticing the details in the photo, especially details in red and yellow. When you want a vivid photo, you should gradually increase colour layer by layer. For example, I increase yellow colour first with +10 Saturation in yellow channel. Then, I repeat this step for another 2-3 times before doing another channel, that is red.
After finishing boosting colour, I usually concentrate on reducing overall noise and dust in the photo. Blur filter is used here, then layer mask will be employed to mask a specific area from the effect.
Finally, I sharpen the photo with smart sharpen. I usually over sharpen the high resolution photo. Then, when I reduce photo size (e.g., from 4000px --> 900px), the result will be satisfied. No over sharp left in the final output.
With this post, I attached an example of my recent photo: "G'moring the first sunshine". Please feel free to post comment or question. I will try to answer those questions as much as possible. Thank for your visit : )