This screenshot shows the side-by-side comparison feature in Adobe Lightroom. On the left you see the result from the raw camera data. On the right, you see the difference in the photo after a few adjustments have been made.
I have a friend who once told me; “I don’t like when photos have been edited, I don’t think it’s authentic.” And, while I would agree that authenticity is an important quality in people, I disagree when applied to photos. And here’s why; The camera sensor doesn’t truly capture the essence of what one sees through the lens. It simply records all the raw data and sometimes, raw data is lacking the richness and depth of the real thing.
And besides, unless I’m shooting a commercial job, I shoot to please myself.