I've been asked quite a bit how I photoshop my pics, so here's my method:
I always resize first as I've found it looks better if you do than then sharpen rather than the other way around.
Then I use Topaz Sharpen and Clean to sharpen my pics. You can always sharpen the usual way, but you may not get the same effect. (Left sharpened)
I then go about messing around with the colors a bit. I usually saturate the picture between 10-15, up the contrast between 10-20, and then brighten as needed. For this particular picture the values were saturate: 15, contrast: 20, brighten: -20
Note: Sometimes I may also mess with the color balance if I need to correct the lighting or create an effect, but that is rare.
I then like to use the blur effect because I think it adds a nice touch.
I first duplicate the image, then I set the opacity of the duplicate to 30%. finally I use gaussian blur.
I set the duplicate layer to either soft light, multiply, or normal. The left is soft light. It saturates the colors a bit and can help to brighten them. The middle is normal. The right is multiply which can help to darken the colors a bit.
For this picture I settled on normal and flattened the image:
As you can see, the change is not drastic, but you can up the values or decrease them to your liking.
Hope this helps, sorry for taking so long! :knuddi:
--I actually don't have a graphics card. It's an integrated device that came with my laptop. (Intel Calistoga Graphis Controller)