You're probably going to have to post a link to whosever website you're trying to copy if you want someone to be able to give you any meaningful advice.
I would also drop the creator a e-mail of high praise, and ask for some tips. You might be surprised with the response. At worst, he/she can only say "sorry, but no."
I do agree about linking to some examples, and as Photoshop (or Lightroom, etc.) comes into play, maybe also post to the PS forum, as many users can likely spot some of the operations performed, or have ideas on how to do similar, via other steps.