We seem to be confusing two issues here...
Ray I am not confusing any issues to do with either thread.
All the issues I raised are pertinent.
However, as I allude to at the beginning of my last post many people are confusing what I am saying.
In reality most of the issues pertaining to both threads that have been raised are two sides of the same coin even if the two threads are based on two different articles: one by Alain, and one by Peter.
To some people what these two advocate are merely a matter of degree, to some one approach is acceptable and the other not, and to some neither is acceptable.
Probably the biggest issue, for me personally, is the fact that some individuals are trying to construct a box around me that fits their preconceptions rather than what I am expressing.
Peter Eastway in his recent post acknowledges that there are differences in artistic intent and approach by the photographer/artist as well as differences in expectation by buyers and viewers.
The only way to deal honestly and ethically with these issues is, well, to be honest and ethical about one's approach to postprocessing.
The ethics of this do not extend to every aspect of photography - in many genres the finished article is obviously not any kind of reality and because of this the image can be evaluated appropriately because everyone knows and understands and expects all sorts of manipulations.
Landscape and nature photography is different - a representation of reality is expected. Now, whether everyone in the universe expects this or only some, perhaps most, is neither here nor there. There is likely a very broad range of views on this among our viewers and buyers (just look at the range of views expressed by photographers on this forum).
Some photographers wish to put their head in the sand on this issue (if I have understood them correctly - I may be wrong, especially considering how many are appearing to consistently misunderstand what I consider plain language - if I have misunderstood anyone please accept my apologies).
All we need to do is tell our viewers and buyers what we are doing to our landscape and nature images and let them make up their own minds about whether our work has any value to them once they are informed.
I will repeat this too - I believe it is fraudulent to pass off landscape and nature images as possesing recognizable reality when that is not true.
Again, this issue is not about techniques but about personal ethics.
Some posts have flippantly and arrogantly made reference to some sort of "reality policing" or similar, but to repeat, this is nothing about any kind of enforcement, but, it is about personal ethics.
Nothing I have written challenges the ethics of either Alain nor Peter.
I do have very different views on their artistic approach though (personal opinion coming):
All of Peter's work that I have seen although having a surreal look is actually an edit of a real image. If one had been present when he shot the image it would still be a recognizable as the finished product (refer to his article if you like).
Alain's work can be different - he freely admits to editing in and out major aspects of the scene in his images.
In my humble opinion, in the context of nature and landscape photography, the entire charm and allure, power and beauty of the image it is that it does represent recognizable reality. I will not be alone in my view here.
Again, please do not equate this view with some form of misguided photorealism.
So, could I find myself an owner of some of Peter's work? Yes, possibly.
Could I find myself an owner of Alains work? Most assuredly not if I knew the mountain range had been duplicated and the river that is supposed to be in the valley below had been edited out and replaced with something else. No matter how pretty the resulting image, to me, it is truly a meaningless image.
Please do not confuse my personal views of the work of these two individuals, as examples, with aspects of the ethics of how we present landscape and nature photography to our viewers and buyers.
Ray, I trust that nothing that I have said, by way of clarification, could be deemed to be unreasonable.