First, I get home and take a look each photo I'm going to use and It looks something like this. A bit gray you would say.
After this, I load the photo into GIMP and start working, a bit of color level here, contrast there, a bit of airbrushing when needed so people aren't embarrassed over that zit that they woke up with is now on the internet being seen by who knows how many strangers (remember granny panties from Zack and Miri makes a Porno?). Yeah, not going to have people made fun of on my account. Anyways, next step is the color final, or what I call the "standard" file.
Much better! Bricks look red, coat looks green, shoes look gold, skin tone looks nice and tan and not all vamp'y. So most of the time I go one more step to make my photos stand out a little bit more, and that's add some blur to the background, which looks like this.
Voila! A little blur makes the world of a difference. Carefully placed, most of the time unless you look very closely, you can't even tell I added it and it just looks like a natural depth of field produced by the camera. Unfortunately adding blur to my photos (especially when I come back from a trip and have 20 or more photos to edit) is a bit time consuming. Turning what should be about a 5 minute per photo process turns into a 10-20 minute endeavor. So for the most part adding blur is no longer a priority unless I think its the only way the photo will make sense. I'm planning to have a new SLR camera with a 50mm prime lens by the end of this summer, so I want the obvious upgrade in photo quality to happen.
So there you go! A little bit of Street Style Photography Magic!