Often times when taking photographs, the image you download to your computer is not what you expected. It lacks a little 'luster'. It doesn't convey the feeling or emotion you felt when taking it. The image below was taken early one morning when the sun was rising. It was warm and quiet, no traffic on the road at all. There was a hint of color in the sky but it obviously didn't translate in the photo.
I was happy with the subject and composition but my idea of a final image was not realized in this shot. I had gone mining and found my diamond but it wasn't ready to be set and admired. I believe, in photography, that more is involved than just taking the shot. The vast majority of photographs that people admire as art have had some adjustments made. Cameras just do not have the ability to convey accurately what the human eye can see. Photography, in my view, involves mining and polishing. Obviously this viewpoint can be taken to an extreme and if a photographer is manipulating an image to such an extent that it is nothing like the original scene, it is probably a good idea to indicate this.
With regard to this image, it is a single shot. But I have enhanced it to more accurately convey what I felt when taking the shot. With the vast majority of my photographs I always make attempts to shoot in the best light possible, with interesting skies. Unfortunately, logistics do not always allow for this as is the case with this shot. So, I felt a little polishing was in order.
Painters will often take a photograph of a subject and then paint it. Some painters will try to duplicate the scene as realistically as possible and others will will use a more abstract approach. It's art so it doesn't really matter what the end result looks like and how it was achieved. Art is an attempt to create something interesting that appeals to the senses. Fine art photography is really no different. So don't be afraid to cut and polish that diamond.