So, to begin with, I’m shoot with a Nikon D40x with with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED II AF-S. I’ll be honest and say that 9 out of 10 shots I shoot in the auto mode. Technically, the no-flash auto mode. At the rate I take pics (100-200 per outing) this is simply easier. Occasionally I’ll tweak aperture or shutter speed… mess with the iso, etc… but not too often.
After I get home (usually several weeks later) I dump all my pics into Aperture 2. Once in, I typically look over each one. If a picture has potential to be a keeper, I mark it with a rating of 3 stars. After going through a couple hundred pics, there are usually about 10-15 that have potential to keep. I then review those pics and begin processing them.
The final result takes a picture like this:
and turns it into this: