To me the beauty of art is that, as the artist, you can take any creative measures you want. Sure there are rules in art, but when it comes to creativity, rules are always meant to be broken. Every new area of art is an example of this thought process. Realism, to Impressionist, to Post-Impressionist, you can clearly see the rules breaking for the creation of art.
The same holds true for photography. There are rules when taking photos, rules when editing photos, but ultimately it is all up to the vision of the artist on what rules to follow, or to break. I break rules all the time, and I LOVE it. It is in the rule breaking that I find myself to be the most creative.
“No man has the right to dictate what other men should perceive, create or produce, but all should be encouraged to reveal themselves, their perceptions and emotions, and to build confidence in the creative spirit.” ~Ansel Adams
There are those that see the above shot as cheating with editing. Some people have said that editing a photo at all is cheating. All photos over the lifespan of photography have been edited, and manipulated. The darkroom was the place to manipulate photos through the exposure of light to the image before digital photography took over the world. And now, digital processing is the new rule breaking generation to create an entirely new era of photographic art.
The number one rule of rule breaking... do not lie about it! Own it. Be proud of it, but do not try to pass off edited photos as "what the eye sees" photos. Technology has made people incredibly smart and they know a scam when they see one. All of these photos are mine, and are heavily edited because I LOVE the editing process, the creative freedom in shaping beauty.
"It's not what you see, but what I want you to see." ~Ansel Adams