I believe I took this picture in early January of this year....
So, I've discovered lots of different effects and adjustments in the course of my experimenting with photography. I think the most effective one that I've used (in my opinion) is just simple Contrast. I increased the contrast a little before uploading this picture, and I think I've greatly improved it.... What do you think? Is it too extreme? Does lots of contrast make artsy photos? In this particular situation I'm going to defend my case by saying that the extra contrast brings out both the color in the sky, and the depth in the icicles. The original is the one I had printed out on my desk, and I loved the picture that way, but now I really like the added contrast.
Below are three versions of the picture, the original, the post, and the one I thought I wanted to post, but changed my mind because the colors were too extreme.
The difference is much more subtle when they're lined up next to each other....whatever, you get the point.
Addressing some of the comments I've received, I use both a GFM 10MP digital point-and-shoot camera and a Fujifilm Finepix S2800HD (14MP, also a point and shoot). Now of course I would love to have a DSLR someday, but I think that you can make some great art with just a point-and-shoot. I've discovered that my previous background in the fine arts--in particular having a good eye for composition--is way more important than having fancy equipment.
Good photography = aesthetically pleasing subject + good composition + lots of extra contrast?