Photography, like many art forms, is an interpretation. It's not generally a picture of exactly is in front of the lens, but what the photographer thinks or feels is in front of the lens.
We manipulate our photos from the moment we conceive them by cropping, under or over exposing, the timing of when we push the button, how we develop the film, and in the printing process, we "customize" it even more.
What we pull out of the final wash is what we think the scene was, how we saw it, and how we put that on paper. That's why photography, in my view, is much more an art than it is a science.
And to me, art is an illusion.