As many of you probably know I have "seen the light" and much prefer strait from camera photographs. It is probably in my nature and my aesthetic that I feel that way but I needed a long stint as a commercial shooter to really jar me into the disdain that I have for most images that deluge us every day. For commercial purposes only - I say have at it, you must produce what your paying clients want to pay for but that is where it ends for me. I have no ill will for photographers that need to make a living with "illustrations". That is what I consider most images today that claim to be photographs.
Fact of the matter is that most photographers that have been doing this photography thing for more than 10 minutes feel the same way - that is if they love photography and it is not JUST a means to produce income. Talk to some - regardless of what they do to make a living - the majority that I know like strait photos for many many reasons.
I ran across this article today on journalistic photos that took the post-production way way too far. Half of them you can see why the photographer that "took it too far" did what they did. The other half you have to ask yourself WHY OH WHY IN THE NAME OF GOD did he/she do that? I mean you can see the impact and understand the herd/train, the soldier/hand, even the fireman/sunset (although that is questionable in a "news" image) - the rest of them are why, why, why? Please why? They are not photographs anymore, they are illustrations and add NOTHING, they actually subtract from the value - even without "knowing" about the fakery - most of them are obvious - buy why??????????????
Keep this in mind before running the next step in your processing on your own personal photographs.