That made me wonder if you've "done a thorough analysis of [your] usage of PS" that you could share?
To tell you what I do with PS, would require that I write a book about it, which as it happens I am doing, in fact I tell lie, I am actually writing two books, so it would be very difficult and long winded for me to go into much detail here. Although I can say that some of the things I do with PS, don’t seem to be in any of the currently available advanced PS books – hence the book I am trying to write whenever I get a minute to spare, although I suppose the market may now dry up for this kind of thing - just my bloody luck eh?
But what the heck you’ve thrown down the gauntlet, so I will list a few of the things I do with PS off the top of my head, and I might also mention this is why I haven’t listed anything in Jeff’s thread about what Thomas would do, as I will have to use some of my own terminology for this, because I don’t really think there are any common terms for some of what I am doing - and no I don’t do everything to every image, as not all of them need it, but sometimes I must admit I do quite a lot.
In the ProPhoto-RGB colour space:
Multiple intersecting calculation masks, utilising primary complimentary and analogous channel overlays and blending modes.
Additive and subtractive alpha channel selections through multi-layered and intersecting luminosity masks.
Panoramic multiple exposure layer stack alignments and dynamic range levelling controls and stitching - no, not HDR, but more like dynamic compression and tonal curve flattening – you could perhaps better think of it more like subtracting pixel information from multiple layer stacks and then creating a sort of three dimensional flat curve that runs through the stack, which can then be reshaped according to the contrast level you require. Which also maximises image pixel quality by naturally incorporating the same principles as ETTR, without having to do, think or even understand ETTR, because you sort of get all the benefits of ETTR as a by product.
Edge and surface detection smoothing/sharpening and localised contrast enhancements or control.
Numerically accurate colour balance through complimentary primary colour per channel overlays. I have found you can actually finely tune the colour balance of all aspects of an image, without the image even being on screen (minimised), or by trying to observe the image optically to identify if there is indeed a colour cast, as you can do it quite simply by the numbers, which also means you don’t have to rely on correct monitor colour calibration etc or even optimal lighting to do this. It’s a party trick I show to my course attendees, which always seems to blow their socks off.
Automated mid tone colour identification and selection for mid point/mid tone and colour balance – I am doing this as an experiment and trying to create a perfect colour balance action by using this technique.
Distortion cropping – not cropping out distortion, but using distortion to crop within original aspect ratio and then applying history painting.
Levels based colour mapping for seamless overlays. A good technique for removing tonal shifts in large areas of colour, such as often seen in the sky etc and especially after using or should I say overusing a polariser.
And so on for LAB and CMYK etc. Then there’s the long list of other Actions that I have written for myself over the years, plus a whole other new set of things I have created/am creating for black and white images etc.
It is what I have taught myself to do over the many years (decades) I have been using PS, it is also what I teach along with how to capture a pleasing image in the first place of course, as well as all the required image data to allow you to get the most you can out of it, because its no good having the all the data and knowing how to manipulate it, if the image sucks right?
I am sure there are others out there who use similar techniques and refer to them differently, but this is some of what I do. I have picked up bits and pieces from here and there over the years, added on bits of my own or I have thought up something new for myself when I needed to get over a problem.
So yes I use PS in a fairly deep way and I am also fairly sure that I would not be able to do half of this stuff outside of PS. It is like I have self taught myself to play music on a grand piano, only now I am being told I can no longer own the piano, so if I want to continue playing I will have to rent the piano for a larger fee that is payable for rest of my life, or my only other option is to buy a different kind of piano, but one with half the keys missing
Hope this answers your question Isaac?