One of my hobbies is image post-processing. In PP you take your mediocre shots and try to make them more appealing. Some think that is cheating, I think it offers an amazing potential for improvement.
My weapon of choice is Photoshop, with its huge array of options to mess with images.
Let's take for example a picture of a cherry shrimp, taken with a point and shoot camera a while back:
First thing I always do is to crop away unnecessary space:
I notice the flatness of the image, along with a green-yellow cast by the fluorescent lights. Time to apply Auto-Levels! Often that results in ugly color casts, blown out highlights and such, in that case I go to Fade and reduce the effect, or change to Luminescence (which keeps the color hue).
Auto Levels, among other things, spreads out the white and black point of the image which gives us a better dynamic range, but it made the shrimp darker than I liked. Time to venture into curves, to brighten things up a bit.
The camera flash resulted in a lot of dirt reflecting from the front glass. Of course I should have cleaned before pulling out the camera, but oh well, here I come with PP. I applied a Dust & Scratches filter, with a 3 pixel radius, which gets rid of dust, scratches, and most details