Photography is art. If you don't believe me, try taking a picture and getting someone to WANT to hang it on their wall. Anyone can take a picture, but it takes an artist to make a picture great. Almost ALL published photos you see are post processed. Many feel that this post processing is a form of "cheating". They feel the computer does all the work. I only wish it were that easy. (If it is, and I'm missing something, PLEASE let me know... I'm in the market for the "easy button" for post processing). No doubt, there is a fine line between polishing & gross alteration...but no matter how you look at it, it can be defined as art.
Brittannica defines the term art as
"the use of skill and imagination in the creation of aesthetic objects, environments, or experiences that can be shared with others."
As an artist, this is what I do. Though I do tend to stick to the realm of real or "realism", I do use my skill in both taking the photo(s) and in the post processing. I aim to create stunning aesthetic visuals, that I sincerely hope everyone can enjoy and appreciate.
That being said, I don't consider post processing as a substitute for good camera skills. I do my best to get the photo perfect with the camera. This saves a tedious time that might be needed during the post processing portion. Wether you agree with my perspective or not, I again, sincerely hope you enjoy my photos... Both unprocessed and processed. After all, I've never heard any complaints about Norman Rockwell's Saturday Evening Post photos and post processing... You read that correctly...I typed it correctly...photos. I will post more on the Norman Rockwell, the "God Father" of HDR later. Until then...