I thought I would open a can of worms with the Photoshop topic this morning.
In my core I am prety much a purist at just about everything I do. I still feel like using Dreamweaver to build a web site is cheating because I use a text editor to do it. I feel the same way about photography. I would like to get everything the way I want it straight out of the camera. Unfortunately, I have not always found this to be possible. I have looked at the work of some who have exceptional images and when you ask them what they did in Photoshop they say they just adjusted the curves or levels. So far, I have not been able to duplicate what they do without some photoshop involved.
With that said, a few weeks ago I purchased a PS plug-in from Kodak that basically airbrushes an image for you and you decide how much coarse, medium, and fine detail to leave in the image. I have been using this on occassion especially when I am in a hurry and don't have time to deal with multiple gaussian blur levels. I just create a top layer with the airbrushed image and generally set the opacity to about 50%. (If anyone is interested in the plug-in and doesn't already know about it, you can find it here: Airbrush Plug-in
So is it good, or right, or wrong. Does it then turn photography into graphic arts work? I don't know. My preference is to provide a model or client with the image that is not airbrushed, but every one I have shot over the past couple of weeks, models, female portrait sittings, some male portrait sittings, and even family portraits have all prefered the airbrushed image. Most of the time with non-model subjects I just put in some of the airbrushed images along side the non-airbrushed images and I don't say anything about either. All of the women have gone for the airbrushed images even for family portraits. I do tell models which images are airbrushed or not.
So, I guess, at least with my clients lately, graphic artistry is okay in their photographs. But personally, I prefer the images that are not terribly gaussian blurred or airbrushed. Then I have to answer the question whether I am shooting for what I like or the subject likes.