Lets say you as a good photographer walked upon a scene you would do a better job, with lens choice, lighting and picking which things to include in the frame and how to show them ( depth of field, angle, contrast etc), than someone with no talent that just walks up and tries to take a picture of something.
Isn't that what photography is all about. Isn't that why 10,000 Ansel wanna-bees keep looking for his tripod holes in Yosemite.
How often do we get asked by amateurs to critique their work and we tell them, your composition is a bit off, the lens choice could have been better, you should have cropped more.
Personally I think we do a lot of arranging and coordinating the objects in a picture.
I coordinate peoples bodies in ways that shows them in more flattering ways. I choose what to include. I choose what to accentuate and what to hide. I choose how the background and foreground play into the portrait. I can't change their face but I can perfect it with light and angles.
Anyway I think we do a lot of manipulating of the elements that are in front of us.