I am always in awe looking at pictures by professionals — mainly their nature photos — and the colors they always seem to get in their pictures. Reading a few posts here I realized that apart from a good lens, post-processing must play an important role. Unfortunately, as an amateur I know only a few post-processing techniques: color balance, sharpen, shadow, and brightness.
Somehow I think in the post-processing of pros more things have to go in to make it a great picture. I know composition plays a very important part in creating that quality, but I am mainly interested in how pros post-process nature shots, like those of sunrise, sunsets, and beach side pictures with incredible blue colors. :).
Though there might be many things that are performed, which is the most used technique in post-processing by professionals?