With all the color layers I've been adding lately I found that editing got really time consuming so I looked into GIMP scripting. I got a basic one up that would create my 6 color & contrast layers auto-magically and it's been a big help. I used it for my latest set with Malahia and it minimized all that busy work. I tend to go for a subtle / natural effect mostly, so I haven't played with more dramatic filters much; but I'm curious what other kind of filter's people have used, especially if there are some out there that are great for portaits.
I just got back from my 2nd beach shoot and I'm loving the photos so far! We started after the sun fell past the horizon and have some really great orange sunsets. We finished up in the darkness using a tripod on the rocks. Unfortunately I forgot my remote at home so some of the background lights on the far shore are blurred. Next time I'm going to have to try some more long exposures and shoot with the shoreline in the background. I could probably even catch the awesome bio-luminescence of the red tide we have going on right now: http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2011/sep/27/red-tide-causing-stunning-bioluminescence-san-dieg/
I've been experiencing with my editing techniques lately. While, I don't do any major retouching I love to add contrast & color. Since I shoot in RAW, I also tweak the exposure and color temperature, and work with the contrast and color filters using GIMP. Here are a few samples of editing from my most recent shoot. On version left is the original jpg image, a little bland for my taste; and on the right is my edited version.
The technique is really simple and I like how it dramatically changes the mood of the image. You just take a solid color layer in front of the image, select a layer mode, and adjust the opacity. I use a variety of color