I sent an email to a co-worker today. It's something important enough to me that I'm going to post it here too, so when you hear people say such things, you can battle them too. (A friend commented that another friend had beautiful photos on her desk and the person below replied "well, yes, but everything is photoshopped so who knows...". On a separate occasion she also commented to someone that "the day you can take a picture of me and make me look good, without going into photoshop, is the day I'll think you're a good photographer.")

I overheard a comment you made yesterday and then was told by someone else that you made a similar comment to them along the same lines. Coming from a teaching and photography background, I feel the need to educate you as to how incorrect and damaging what you said was. Your statement was along the lines that photoshopping an image is somehow akin to cheating in producing beautiful photos. You may not be aware, but photoshopping, as it is called because of the original program used to do it, is 100% NECESSARY to digital photography. It is the exact same as the developing process that FILM goes through, only using a computer instead of developing chemicals. I know this to be true because I came from a film photography background with more than 20 years experience in photography, and nearly 10 years of it digital.

You may think "...but you're manipulating the image; changing it from its original in-camera state". The fact is, both film and digital cameras do NOT capture what the eye sees and remembers. Film uses chemical enhanced paper to capture an image and digital cameras use computer chips (CCDs and CMOS chips). Both film and CCD/CMOS chips have a narrow dynamic range (color range), showing MILLIONS LESS colors than the human eye sees and both film and digital always introduce some kind of color shift. So to make the final image look like the original subject, adjustments are required to highlight and shadow strength, and color cast and strength.

All film photographers enhance photos by their choice of chemicals, sometimes using "inappropriate" chemicals to get a certain colorshift/result (called cross-processing). And they frequently "push or pull" film (process for a slower or faster speed film) and use what's called dodging and burning to make certain areas lighter (dodging) or darker (burning). They expose film for longer or shorter periods of time and even double-expose it to get special effects. They use filters over a lens to decrease glare, increase saturation and a myriad of other reasons. None of this is considered "cheating" yet your implication that doing the exact same thing (post-processing) in photoshop is somehow a negative or testament to the quality of the photographer.

In reality, it is a testament to the INEXPERIENCE of the photographer who does NOT post-process (or "photoshop" as you say) their images. The very least processing that EVERY (professional) photographer in the world does is cropping, and whether that happens in-camera or after developing, it is still processing nevertheless.

OK, I'll get off my soapbox now, but did have to get this off my chest as overhearing what you said was taken as a slight by several people. And I know that was not your intent to slight them (us) but was merely made because you didn't necessarily have your facts straight.
Thanks, tonya