This is a dramatic shot of the Grand Canyon from the South Rim during a snow storm. Do you see what the camera sees? Is the picture accurate? Are the colors faithful to the scene as you would see it with your own eyes? Without a reference point, the picture can appear well done and very nice.
Here are a few changes made with Adobe Camera Raw. The white balance was changed from default to cloudy. The exposure was reduced a little to add some drama to the picture. The recovery mode was moved almost to the maximum and there was some clarity, contrast and vibrancy added. Which of two pictures looks more like what you see if you were standing on the Rim? Now comes the question, which of these is closer to reality? Does that matter? When I take the picture I am not thinking about recording what is visible to me at the time, but what can become visible through my vision of the photograph as it can become rather than what it is. Believe me, they really are the same picture. Do you see why I like to go to the Canyon when there is a storm brewing?