Originally Posted by DDAY
For me, I try (emphasis on try) to re-create the image as I saw it when I shot it. That means both visually and emotionally to me. The camera doesn't work as well as our eyes & brain (even when shooting RAW) so it does take some work to get the image to come close what I first experienced before tripping the shutter. Sometimes it's more work than others in terms of post-processing.
The best images have the right combination of artistry and reality. Can't say that I've ever achieved this myself though.
Very well put DDay; It's the fact that you're even concerned about the decision, really, that makes you an artist. Its very true that a photograph is just a summary of what we see; so any need to add or subtract elements in a photo to project that vision is quite justifiable. Great thread starter BTW