no, yes, yes, maybe, hmmm - I think. There is definitely a trend towards over-saturated manipulated images. Sometimes they are incredibly good, but mostly they are all the same. To me traditional photography and particularly B&W is more about the art and the story behind the image. I think those of us who still shoot film are trying to do more than just record the image as a record; rather we are trying to interpret the moment, and the image becomes not just a record of the instant but also a record of the emotion and thought that goes with it. Does this make sense? In the distant past, before my dalliance with digital, I shot film when it was the only option as a life-record. I don't think I thought too much about why each image might be interesting. Now I DO think about the vast majority of the shots I take. I know if I just want a record, I can get my phone out, so shooting on film requires the addition of something else - the "why might this be a good image?" - "What am I trying to say?". Does it matter that society in general doesn't necessarily appreciate what many of us are trying to do? I don't think it does; to many people for example, a rare vase is just a vase, but to the discerning expert it is a rare piece with a history, and a story, which is what makes it valuable. Can fast food diners eat real food? possibly not, if that is all they have ever known, but, can real-food eaters eat fast food? Of course the answer is yes, because the discerning palate is always able to make an informed choice. The same with film/digital. I defy any digital shooter who knows and has experienced nothing else to go out and make great analogue photos straight off, but a film shooter given a digital camera will most likely get decent images from the first click. So, if shooting film is about trying to capture more than just the image, where does that leave digital manipulation? Surely in this case the image creators are synonymous with the writers of fiction - based on the real world, but sensationalised for effect. Nothing wrong with that, and fiction brings much pleasure, but it is a creation, and not a record.
So is this the distinction? Traditional photography is about recording both the image and the moment, but in the world of photoshop, the moment never existed, and therefore the manipulators are in effect writers of fiction.
There is still the question as to whether a highly stylised and maybe alt-processed traditional photograph is a fictional creation or a record of an actual moment. Discuss!
It probably doesn't matter if the majority don't see the distinction and don't care. The people who know, will carry on knowing, and appreciating.