Call me traditionalist, purist, or person with old ways. I'm fine with that.
I have always admitted that as a professional photographer I'm a product of our digital age. I am rather certain I would not be the experienced photographer I'm now but just a regular snapper, were we still in times of film cameras. While saying that I still believe that the perfect shot is being made on the location, when you explored it, estimated the best time to be there based on time of the year and location direction and then, with certain amount of luck (no heavy rain arriving at the most important moment, no super strong wind trying to blow you away etc), were able to capture conditions you had in mind.
I realize that despite how good digital cameras have become these days, they still have long way to go in terms of capability of a human eye. I'm sure that at one point they will become as good and at some point even better than our human sight. Unfortunately it is not the case just yet and that is the reasons why I use GND (Graduated Neutral Density) filters to balance the uneven light in a scene I capture. It is not always perfect, but that is the best we have at moment on the location.
I know there is a large group of HDR photographers that later combine from 3 to 9 photos to get single photo at the end. Somehow this is not a way that works for me. To get the right satisfaction on the location, I want to know I took the perfect shot and saw it on the display of the camera when I was out there, not after spending hours of post production taking bits and pieces from various photos. I realize that this approach is rather difficult to do with certain types of photography, such as interior architecture photography when there are no filters of various sizes of windows to give us the perfect shot of room interior and view out of the window at the same frame. Those photos for now, simply have to be merged together.
And here comes the post processing. Strangely enough I was rather oblivious or ignorant to what all can be done with photos in digital world till recently. Of course the digital trickery that can be done in Photoshop is well known for long time. But I didnt realize the levels it reached in landscape photography with programs like Lightroom.
I travel extensively with rather limited time on my hands, therefore my PP (Post-Processing) approach is that I dont want to spend more than 5 mins on each photo, not hours like some people I know. I make sure that I am happy with the photo when I take it and that is what I personally call true PHOTOGRAPHY, everything else is DIGITAL ART in my view.
When I checked some of the many youtube tutorials online these days, it looks more like a person is painting and recreating brand new photo over the basic frame - here comes a green brush for more green grass, here comes a yellow/orange/red/purple brush for more before nonexistent sunset colors, here comes a blue brush for more blue sky. Here I add some of the hase or dehaze filter to create feeling of mist of fog, that was never in the scene when the frame was captured. Here I add brighter spot as if a sun was hitting there, here I add a dark spot for more dramatic effect. Here I add an overexposed circular filter to make it look like a sun light which was never there. The tragedy happens when people do that on photos with shadows that come from completely different angle. All of that is then finished with completely changing colors with split toning. After seeing some of these tutorials, I started to question myself why do I get up at those ridiculous early hours to capture best colors when midday photo can be turned into dramatic sunset.
With all that said, I'm not a stranger to some basic post processing. I have my regular values set up - like increase contrast, decrease highlights, brighten shadows, some noise reduction or the super useful removal of chromatic aberration, etc. I apply same setting to all photos and then I go one by one and adjust those values according to need of each photo (never removing removal of chromatic aberration ! ;))