Photography as art is now an accepted premise by the art world. Yet many photographers reject the use of tools which can be used to refine images into art.
When I choose an image to be an art image I often use various tools to change the texture, enhance color or even modify elements of the image. Sometimes as in this example I exaggerate tonal rangers and contrast so that details become a key to defining what I want the image to say. In this case I was trying to impart a holiday color to leaves that gave them meaning as a second chance to impact those who saw them.