#28. "RE: Where does re-touching cross the line?" In response to In response to 0
This may have been said in a different way in the many posts here, but I think it is a gross misunderstanding that a photograph should be "realistic" unless it is attempting to tell a "true" story such as in a news report. (Just as the words used to report the news should not be manipulated to distort the truth.)
Aside from that very clear distinction, I think that anything goes, *period.* There is nothing "sacred" about an image as-captured in the camera compared to what you do afterwards to get to the final presentation. It's *your* image and you should be free to create it in any way you see fit without someone complaining that some imaginary line has been crossed.
I'm also an engineer by profession, but photography is by its very nature art, not science; even though it uses technical processes. The very act of reducing a three-dimensional subject into a flat two-dimensional image with borders is in itself a distortion of reality. So why should those purists quibble about cloning out a distracting piece of background or adjusting some other aspect of an image?