looking at the two images, reminds me a bit of before and after ads you see on TV or other media, the before looks dull and sad, where as the after photo looks fresh and inviting.
could it be that when Jim where there in the prime of the season with all the wild flowers out, waited till last light "the golden hour", took his shot and got pretty damn close. lighten up the foreground or took several exposures and skillfully blended them together?
To me he needs to work on his masking, but other then that,, its a lovely image.
i don't know, but its possible. Sometimes magic do happen other times we make magic..... i am only saying that because i have polished many turds in my time, with the help of the trusty Photoshop.
if the question is how far is too far? Then i would say its in the eye of the beholder... if you don't like it, don't buy it.