Learning techniques outside of Landscape rendering...

Most professions develop outside of traditional methods. So, I have been trying to learn from other closely allied professions in order to increase skills and generate a sense of uniqueness in my work. Recently I have been looking at some photo manipulation sites and tutorials. One such example is a tutorial on how to create light flares. I try to keep in mind that developing a bag of tricks is important but without application is useless. So how can one use light flares and atmospheric effects? Any suggestions? One idea I had was to show intensity in traffic flow (speed/congestion/size of vehicle). One could also do this with pedestrian traffic or population density.

Light Flare