You know those icons in the russian orthodox chruch that are all cracked and golden, well I thought it would be nice to try and reproduce the effect in a photo.
The technique that is used is called "textures for layers" and there is an excellent tutorial on how to do it on Youtube by Malgalin
You have to find yourself a texture that will give a golden cracked background and I found some excellent textures on Flickriver (are we allowed to mention that name on here)
Hell if you even want to reproduce that crappy TTL scratched look there are even textures for that complete with fake black borders.This involves layering another texture on top of the existing cracked golden icon photo. This gives the photo an old and distressed look.
There are many different textures to experiment with. Flakey and crumbly walls, almost invisible writing, moulds, moss, grass, stones, pebbles.
Using textures is an easy way to enhance a photo to give it a certain atmosphere, and it is quick and easy to achieve.