First off, a quick confession. This is not my photo! I certainly wish is was my photo, I would have truly enjoyed being at this location in Wyoming. My brother-in-law was the lucky person who was there and took the photo. I saw the original photo and thought I might be able to bring some of the colors out using some tools from Photoshop, so I asked him for a copy of the image. Here is the original below:
The photo was taken midday in the bright sunshine, and from my past experience, I know that even with my limited knowledge of Photoshop, I could bring some color out of the image. The first thing I did was to crop the photo a bit to get rid of some of the washed out sky:
Next, I have created a quick action in Photoshop that I use with a lot of my sports images that really makes the images pop a bit. It is simply a combination of an Auto Sharpen, which brings out the edges, and an Auto Curves, which brings out the colors. The result really adds to the photo bringing a bit of color into the sky and adding sun color to the butte, below and also at the top of the page:
Finally, I ran a few of the more "colorful" actions I have collected over the past couple years and one of them really came through nicely:
As I mentioned, usually the first thing I do after cropping a photo is to run the Sharpen/Curves action, particularly when I am doing sports and trying to process quickly a few hundred photos. I certainly wish I had the time, energy, and knowledge to find a few other tools in Photoshop to help make the photos pop a bit more, but slowly I am learning.