Originally Posted by siskiyoublues
well to break it down,
I always shoot in RAW, that allows for the highest resolution file possible to bring into post process. All DSLR's and some point and shoots can shoot raw.
I import photo's into adobe Lightroom 3 where I will adjust white balance, contrast, toning, and any other adjustments I decide I want/need. Sometimes I will bring images into photoshop and use a plugin called alien skin exposure which is a film simulator. The one I have is a couple generations old so I imagine it's even better now.
Too bad that stuff costs an arm and a gonad.
Also you have to factor in that I am using some nice gear and some very nice glass. Probably (way) too nice for some of the locations but once your spoiled with the potential for image quality and nothing else will cut it so you just carry extra dry bags for crossing the river. It doesn't make as much a difference in web sized postings but once you spend some time looking at details at a 100% magnification it becomes glaringly clear.
Anyway, to sum it up, if you don't have lightroom already consider downloading the trial from adobe's site and spending some time playing with sliders. I've had the pleasure of working with the program since it was first released but regardless of experience it's a million times more user friendly then photoshop.
I hope that helps! if you want to PM me with any specifics go for it and I'll try to help.
I agree with this summation completely and would add one simple thing. You can always turn a RAW image into a JPEG, but you can't turn a JPEG into a RAW file.