"The camera does not record emotion... The job of a photographic artist is to work with the camera's image, to create the drama and add back the emotion." -David Fokos
I found that quote this morning when I was reading Rangefinder (a photographer trade magazine). That sums up the way I feel about editing: I'm working to bring in the way I see the world into the shots my camera saw. Choosing camera settings isn't enough to make the final product representative of the way I envision it; I also spend time poking around in Photoshop to get it just right. More often than not, I know how I'm going to edit a shot the second the shutter clicks closed.
I'm a little hesitant to share these before-and-afters because I feel like the before images are raw and unfinished. But I know that it's important to share how much is technical and how much is inspiration.
I don't have before-and-afters for these. This is how I saw them in my mind and it took a few clicks to 'finish' them off.