I am still hanging on to summer by getting creative with some of my warm weather photos.
The original photo below started out as a rather dark photo of a line of loblolly pines. I lightened it up a lot and used all of these effects: HDR-ish, Orton-ish, cross process, boost, comic book, I’m feeling lucky, auto color, saturation, crop, auto-contrast, vignette, museum matte, and tuning.
The mix of Picasa effects changed the photo into a more interesting fusion of textures. Increasing the saturation brought out all the foliage colors hiding in the background, and comic book brought the linearity of the forms.
However, the effect that makes the photo look surreal, with aqua sky and bright yellow ground, is called cross process. The technique was originally developed by processing photos in chemical solutions intended for a different type of film. It is now a digital effect. The shifts in color are a lot of fun to experiment with since the final product will be rather random.
If you have a photo that just needs a little extra effort to be successful, it is definitely worth a try.