I've had some questions recently about my workflow when processing a photo, so here is a typical example of some basic processing.
This is the original shot straight out of camera.
First item to deal with is spotting. Although I will do some skin smoothing later, it helps to get rid of spots and small blemishes beforehand. Result below.
Second task is to fill in the background. This is mainly because I find it distracting.
Third task is to carry out a bit of skin smoothing. This evens out blotches to a small degree and can sometimes be overdone. Hopefully not on this occasion.
Fourth task is dodging and burning. This is where the image can really come to life. Some photographers spend a lot more time on this than me and obtain some fabulous 3D effects where the picture seems to leap off the page. I do a moderate amount just enough to improve the definition.
Fifth task for me on this particular image was to add definition to the tattoos
Finally, the top of the picture needed something added to balance it out. So I added a ghost of an image which was part of an arch ... blurred and faded ... and my logo.