YouTube has compressed the video quality quite a bit, but this video is not really meant to see the exact values I am using per each layer adjustment, as each photo would require it's own adjustments depending the conditions it was shot, but rather to see the overall flow of what I am doing in what order.
A lot of people ask me why Photoshop and not Lightroom. I think that is a question of taste and techniques. Reason I use Photoshop is that it gives me much more flexibility and control. Sure some photos can get retouched in exact same way in Lightroom as long as I not using complex masks or cutting out objects, but it is much faster to do in Photoshop. Another and the main reason for me is the layer structure. I can create multiple layers with color adjustments such as levels, color balance, curves, selective color and then if I feel some of it is getting too much I can quickly select the layer and lower down opacity with one key shortcut, rather than opening up an entire panel and drag tiny sliders to tone down certain adjustment. It allows me to mix things faster between the layers to get the desired look. And the last thing is that Photoshop allows for much more experimenting that Lightroom.
The downside of-course is the PSD file size that you need to store somewhere and not having a clean library look with tags and folders as Lightroom allows.
Over the years my techniques changed a lot. The way I've been editing photos last year is not the same anymore. Most of the photos I post on Flickr I spent retouching 3-5 minutes per picture, sometimes when I need more complex adjustments I spend up to 10 minutes or even more. What you can see below is a baseline layer structure of adjustments I am using nowadays based on the photo form Rio.
I shoot RAW and use Lightroom as a library for all my photos where I rate images I want to retouch. I do preliminary color editing in Camera RAW before image is loaded into Photoshop such as adjusting color temperature and tint, sometimes contrast and highlights.
Finally when I have image in Photoshop my current process is approximately the same across my photos. I create a high pass filtered layer I set to overlay to achieve the sharpness of the image, then 50% grey layer set to overlay to dodge and burn areas that are too dark or too bright to get the clean "bleached" effect.
In this particular example there was one more step before though that I rarely apply to photos and that you can see in the video above (watch the video starting from 1:05 to see that). That steps consist of creating a duplicate of the original layer and "removing" shadows using Shadows/Highlight adjustment (available in Image > Adjustments > Shadows/Highlight) and then creating the shadows back by overlaying Channel Mixer set to black and white. This treatment creates sort of HDR effect that bring up a lot of details. Usually I merge these two layers together and play with opacity to down it down.
After that I create Color Balance adjustments layer that I set to overlay to get the nice contrast and adjust all 3 channels: midtones, shadows and highlights. I tend to go towards the blue tint to get the natural colors. After that I create Levels adjustments layer where I work on the image brightness and contrast. And the final touch and my favorite one is the Selective Color adjustment layer where I go through each color one by one, starting from the black, neutral and white where I can control the tint of each color in the photograph getting the exact right look.