I think many of the post-processing edits done in landscape and other genre of photography are not only to remove distractions, but to make the picture pristine or ideal, like a painting. While I am not questioning the freedom of the artist to do so, I am thinking whether it is really necessary to make a photograph pristine and perfect. Can we not enjoy a landscape photo (or architecture for instance) that has all the quirks and imperfections of the real world? Is it really necessary to remove a tree branch (except in the most extreme cases) or add a sailing boat where it did not belong? While I am not a staunch adherer of aesthetic realism, I think some principles of it are worth considering when applied to photography. For example: First, the deepest desire of every person is to like the world on an honest or accurate basis. Second, the greatest danger for a person is to have contempt for the world and what is in it—contempt defined as the false importance or glory from the lessening of things not oneself. Third, the study of what makes for beauty in art is a guide for a good life: "All beauty is a making one of opposites, and the making one of opposites is what we are going after in ourselves." - WikipediaAgain, I am not saying I staunchly believe in these principles. I just want to give it a thought. I don't believe "honest and accurate basis" is equivalent to saying "all photography should be photojournalistic". I am proposing using photography to depict the world with all its blemishes and imperfections, which adds an extra illusion of realism and with it a new aesthetic. While in painting, one has to really put an effort to add such imperfections, photography makes it easy. So I am wondering whether we should move away from such imperfections in photography, or celebrate them. I would be curious to know what others think. Looking at existing threads, principles of aesthetics have been discussed in the past, but may be not in these exact lines. Of course I may have missed something, so feel free to direct me to previous discussions if you feel so.