I am partly regretting promising you guys that I'd do a photo-tutorial (or something that runs along those blurry lines). Either way, it's obvious enough that a lot of editing goes into my photos. It's honestly the neon highlight of any photo-taking experience for me. Editing is really the craziest fun part, especially if you enjoy playing with colors and lighting. This was an alternate location and shoot to the outfit shot of Day 3 of my Taiwan trip (see official post here).
But I suppose to answer the questions of the tools of the trade first, nowadays (especially for the Taiwan trip), I used a Nikon D5100 with a 35mm prime lens. As for editing, Photoshop CS5. Subjectively old school, but good enough for me. Matthew, my six-year-old brother, starting early.
Truth to be told, this is entirely why I'm doubting this post - in my mind it is impossible to explain how to edit your photos. I can only show you what adjustments I use. Mainly:
Brightness/Contrast: I really like high exposure
Levels: to deal with brightness and exposure too, but a bit more specific
Curves: Brightness, contrast, colors and warmth of photo
Selective Color: Mainly to deal with ugly greens (Singapore is rampant with them) or if my face is too red, etc.
I'm still pretty new to this whole editing thing, I only started using adjustment layers properly about a few months back after exploring their uses when I downloaded a set of pre-made Photoshop Actions mimicking Instagram filters *cough* Learning experiences, learning experiences.
I really enjoy looking at before-and-after photos. I'm not sure how much this helped, but I hope you at least enjoyed the pictures!
(P.S. And I'm not going to lie - I went over my whole face with a healing tool to get that kind of complexion. Dreams have yet become reality.)