I am going to pick one photo every week (okay let's not set the bar too high - most weeks) and do my best to describe the how I did that. This activity will be done on Tuesdays because it is technique-based. Like the idea, create your own on Tuesday!
This is my starting image. I've been spending the last two weeks photographing people in the Minneapolis skyway system. A lot of these images are shot from the hip so they are crooked or not close enough or any other number of problems.
I am using Lightroom 4 and taking a minimalistic approach.
I don't normally crop this heavily but since the people in the image are so far away it's justified. The image is already too far gone. I place the beggar to the extreme left and make sure to include the two pedestrians in the image, placing them to the extreme right, to emphasize the beggar's isolation.
Auto levels does a pretty good job here but the blacks were bumped up just a bit (personal preference). The lighting in this skyway isn't the greatest on a dreary morning so I lighten the shadows by quite a bit.