Digital photographs manipulated in photoshop, are they somehow less “ photographic”?
According to some folks over at flickr yes.
This notion displays a lack of understanding of the entire photographic process to my mind. Manipulating photos in a program like Photoshop is simply processing. All photographs are processed. Analog ones in chemistry, digital ones in a computer. All digital photos whether scanned form film or downloaded from a digital camera require some level of manipulation, the degree of manipulation required depends on several factors, the means by which the image was captured, and the output device, (there maybe others but I can'think of them just yet).
So here's a scenario, you choose to shoot in RAW for because like me you don't trust some camera manufacturers idea of what an image should look like. This image upon downloading requires processing of some sort, otherwise you have an image whilst full of digital information visually may express nothing, or what about the other extreme, you are travelling and don't want to fill up your cards to quickly, so you settle for a jpeg from the camera, even these are not as crisp as they can be and require some intervention in the process. My point is digital manipulation is no more unphotographic than push or pull processing, burning or dodging or spotting, there is no cheating going on. Anyone who thinks there is doesn't understand the process.