Editing to get at the truth

I posted the picture above to my Facebook profile and elicited a Wow! from a friend who's a pretty accomplished photographer. I wish I could have taken that photograph -- it's only the result of an edit job. The one below is what I actually took. As you can see, it's over-exposed and rather boring.
I kicked up the saturation a little bit, to give the grass a golden hue.
Then, I gave the sky an evening cast. Now, the grass was too bright, so I darkened it a bit, and ended up with the picture that leads this post.

Here's another picture from the Wichitas that I did some editing on. I whitened out the sky here and pumped up the grass in the foreground.

In my defense ... I feel that the edited photographs capture the sense of the prairie better than the unedited originals.
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