I use the Nik Software Complete Collection of Lightroom plug-ins on every photo I process. They're powerful and easy to use, allowing me complete control over the editing process in a fraction of the time. Just awesome stuff!
you should definitely check out jose francisco salgados work. i believe he has phd in astronomy and he has traveled all over the world taking stunning images. his work has been paired with symphony orchestra pieces as well. photographers-i-like