Slim I always post process. It is pretty much what one would have done in a darkroom. Dodge, burn and so on. On that particular photo I used a gradient form the bottom. Essentially I tend to use the techniques to draw the eye and use the light as I was taught to paint. Subject matter I take as unimportant in lots of what i do. What does matter is the light and how it reacts with the subject.
Having said I post always post process, this is because I always turn of such devices as sharpening, noise reduction and so on, with the attempt to get a flat raw file which is more about luminance and DR ( Not correct exposure but an exposure for the subject) This gives the ability to put ones own idea on the processing rather than the camera manufacturers idea of what is good. Each raw file I believe needs to be treated as different from every other and given its own individual interpretation. I have only just started to get the hang of digital after a few years, so have a lot to learn.
Thanks to all for the kind words.