Here's an example of turning a typically dreadful tourist snapshot into something you might hang on to.
You can't help the weather, and this was a pleasant enough day, but with a high overcast that washed out colors.
I'm always snapping away (ask Mirja) and if there's a body of water I'll be shooting across it. In this case, it's the Tiber River near the Vatican. It's one of those shots you skip through on your computer, and never look at again. But with a lot of spare time over the next winter, I went back to see if any of those Italy shots were salvageable.
You start by re-exposing the camera raw original + and – several stops. Then save each as a tiff, and then combine and process to suit you in Photomatix, and finish in Photoshop with the help of Nik filters. Up close, it looks like I used a tree bark texture over the whole thing, too. The result? Well, it beats the original: