You can do so much (anything you can imagine?) to a photo using programs like Lightroom and Photoshop. I guess because I think about this stuff a lot I just assume it is well known to everyone, but I am reminded from time to time that this just isn’t so.
The above comparo does a great job showing some of the more “normal” stuff that you can do when you process an image. I think more people realize that you can give someone a third eye or an extra head digitally than realize you can really change the way a person looks without going to that extreme. The way you process an image (and all images must be processed) has as much to do with the final impact of the picture as an editor has on the final impact of a movie.
The image above was shot of the same person on the same day with the same lighting and camera settings. Admittedly it is more time and effort than pushing a button for a preset, but the two images above are basically the same except one is processed to be grungy and one to be glamorous. Side note: This shoot was set up for the image on the left. The one on the right was just a happy accident.
I think it is so neat that digital photography gives such granular control over an image.