Today I went to the Geelong Art Gallery. Our camera club organized an outing there to view the Vigex Photo Exhibition. It is an international-level exhibition, thus boasting entries from all over the world. At this exhibition I realized that all the photos, except those in the Nature category, have obviously been photoshopped. Thus I am now more amicable to image editing in competition photographs. I now accept that it is perfectly alright for a photograph to be "tuned up" before it is ready for competition. Everybody does that. Even in the film days, post processing enhancements were done in the darkroom. Thus we have the terms "dodge" and "burn" in image editing which originate from the film days.
On the same token, a photographer may forgive himself if his shots are never going to be "picture perfect" straight out of the camera. It should also be recognized that a digital photographer without Lightroom (or any other image editing software) is like a film-days photographer without a darkroom.