Posted 31 May 2020 - 05:43 AM
In my opinion, the intended use of the image decides, what is cheating and what is not. "Pretty pictures" are exactly that. They are pretty. The goal is not scientific accuracy.
If you are taking images as documentation or for scientific reasons, accuracy is key. Altering reality would be a problem. Let's say you take an image of a comet and combine it with the starfield imaged a few nights later. Things could have changed in between and you could get a wrong assumption about asteroids, supernovae, and other objects, that can change within days.
For me, pretty pictures are a form of art. And art has no need for rules. How do you let other people experience, what you felt while watching or imagining a comet? Scientific accuracy won't be the no. 1 tool to achieve this.