A few months ago, Sport Diver magazine published an article addressing the issue of digitally enhancing/manipulating photographs. I use either the camera software or Adobe Photoshop to adjust color, brightness and sharpness, but that is the extent of my manipulations. The photo is either good in it's own right or, if not, considered a snapshot for the shoebox.
I am interested in what others consider acceptable/unacceptable manipulation and when has the line between enhancement and outright "bastardization" been crossed.
I use ROXIO Photosuite 4 for cropping & enhancing. ArcSoft PhotoImpression 4 for reducing the pic size.
For me i go as far as it takes.
But i don't like to make things that are not there.
So normaly it is curves, levels sharpning and maybe a little cropping.
But yeah sometimes i take a bird out of the sky or remove a grafiti of a wall.
But it all depens where you use the photo for.
I "edit" as much as I deem necessary to show what I saw.
Usually, this only means light changes to levels/curves, cropping (with light-conditions changing as rapidly as they do, I much prefer to only do rough framing/composition, and to take a slightly too far zoomed out picture which I can later crop at my leisure for perfect framing), and resize+slight unsharp mask for web.
In a rare 0.5% of the pictures I'll edit out fringes of grass or similar, blemishes on people's skin, etc - almost always to benefit the composition. I always feel slightly guitly about this, but not enough to stop me.
I've never gone further than that, but then, "showing what I saw" is an explicit goal for my photography.
Oh no, actually, that's not true. Once I merged two pictures of a waterfall - one with slow shutterspeed, once with fast. Just to show people the difference between that.
Wow Sander, you must have searched the back pages for this one!
Like you, I don't do much to our photos except sharpen a tad, color correct when needed and crop here or there. With the digital, I have found I'm taking more "snapshot" type pix than when I used my 35mm. Guess it's the "point and shoot" aspect that takes over. I do not need to "enhance" things as often with my scanned works as i do with the digies. (35mm goes back on the travel circuit when we go again.)
I will "fix" blemishes that appear after scanning (must clean scanner more often) but I have not removed items or performed other similar types of manipulations. Well, I take that back - I have when I have used them as a background for a web page or other personal project. My projects, my pix, my choice I guess.