Sorry if this has been up before. But I would very much like to learn how to create that painted, high contrast, saturated colors, surreal effect that some photos have. And I suppose the effect is too a big part made in the post production in photoshop.
A lot of hollywood movies have this effect too, Lord of the Rings for example.
Duplicate the image on a new layer, use curves and really brighten up your Highlights. add a little bit of gaussain blur to soften, then give the layer a transfer mode of screen. You may have to adjust the opacity a bit.
Now add an adjustment layer using hue and saturation. Bump the saturation a bit. You can even try adjusting the sat. for certian color. (The blues and greens for instance)
Play around with that, I think this can give you what your looking for.