The difference between a mediocre edit and a superb edit is sometimes subtle. This subtle difference can often be just a matter of applying a minor dodge and burn, vignette, or other editing technique that gently finesses the image into a masterpiece.
Most of the time, I like to edit my photos in the spirit of "that's what I saw," but occasionally, I do an artistic edit that involves a bit more editing and exaggeration. Often, that includes manipulating colors, but almost always consists of dodging and burning, radial filters, and graduated filters.
In this video from Mark Denney, he demonstrates several editing techniques that can be applied to create dramatic landscape photos. He not only demonstrates their use, but explains the why behind each implementation. Even though the video is geared towards landscape photos, the techniques can also be applied to many other genres of photography.
The video also illustrates how a photo that may be just average at first glance can become much more dramatic with only a few simple editing techniques that help direct the viewer's eye. This effect is one of the things that I pay attention to when I'm editing an image. I'm always mindful of what my viewer will see, and what order they may see it in. Check out the video above for Denney's tips and tricks for creating dramatic landscape photos.