I look at it from two catagories, photography vs graphic arts. Where is the boundry and how wide the gray area.

All cameras are basically the same; a lens, a light tight box, and a light sensitive medium. It really does not matter whether the image is recorded on film or digitally. The image right from the camera is essentially unmanipulated. In the darkroom, the traditional photographer will use what ever means at his disposal to achieve a print for the intended use, be it gallery, newspaper, magazines, etc. He can dodge, burn, control contrast, flash, color correction, tone, bleach, control exposure.

Now the traditional photographer can scan his images, digitize them. Here is where the digital and the traditional photographer merge. Now both can go into Photo Shop and do the very same things to images done in the traditional darkroom.

It would seem, the real problem is just how much manipulation can one do where he crosses the line between photography and graphic arts? How much manipulation, how far can you alter an image where it becomes something alien, different from the original image?

I believe you can manipulate an image far more once it is digitized in Photo shop then in the traditional darkroom. Even add and remove elements, like that news photographer did. Or even form abstracts as in what Gordon Parks did in one of his books of digital art.

The commercials for Ford with the photographer lugging his LFP camera around are digital and look heavely manipulated, super imposed, montaged. You can sure put a twist on reality with digital.