There's all sorts of methods to jack up colors using Adobe Photoshop CS6 (CS6) and Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 (LR4). You can do a faux HDR (in CS6, Image/Adjustments/HDR Toning). You can use Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layers (Layers/New Adjustment Layer/"Hue/Saturation"). You can "paint" over an area and change the Blend Mode to Color. But, today's image is done in LR4 with a small assist from CS6. About 90% of what's been done was done in LR4. To find out what was done, hit the "Read More".
Today image was a "nice" shot, not a great shot. (I'm not saying the finished image is great, just that I like it better.) We've been to this particular pier in Bernard, Maine, USA several times and have shot the house with the lobster buoys each time. The boats in the harbor have been basically the same boats each time. The sky has ranged from blah, grey overcast to pretty clouds to empty blue. I think we have yet to get the (straight) definitive shot that is potentially there. So, what do ya do? You play. You can do a fake HDR/Dave Hill kind of thing by jacking up most of the sliders in LR4's basic panel. All but Blacks and Vibrance and those need to be pulled down to bring the image back from being a hot mess to something recognizable. What you end up with looks somewhat Dave Hill-ish. Desaturated, any smooth surfaces pretty smooth and looking a little cartoony.
While in LR4 I decided to "hand color" parts of the scene. With the Adjustment Brush selected, the Color box was clicked. From the Color Selector Panel various colors were selected. Some colors look a little strange. The brown found on the dock looks somewhat orange-ish when selected. After painting a couple strokes, the Exposure Slider was brought down to change the orange look to a pretty good brown. The wood of the dock, railings, pier posts, and ladder were all painted with the brown. It really does matter what the "first draft" of the color looks like. Everything is adjustable after the fact because of the way LR4 works. In LR4, nothing is permanent. So, whatever you do can be "fine tuned" after whatever it is is applied. Along with the brown, blue was applied to the nearby water. The water at the other side of the harbor was left as it was.
I did another "hand painted" image a while back. Someone said they didn't think the colors looked "natural". Duh! They're not supposed to look natural. It's supposed to look like it was "hand colored/painted/tinted".
Once it was colored it went over to CS6. There a faux HDR effect was applied. The result was a little "over the top" for me, but interesting. It went back to LR4, where it immediately went back to CS6 accompanied by the previously version as Layers. (Photo/Edit In/Open as Layers in Photoshop) Once the images were in CS6 as Layers, the Blend Mode was change to Darken. That produced a very "rich" look and was, again, sent back to LR4.
The last touches (in LR4) were bring up the Saturation and Luminance of the Reds, Yellows and Oranges. This made those colors "pop" a little more. The Noise was reduced and a very slight vignette applied. The result was a fun way to spend a little time playing.