I had a bit of a play with this exercise as you can see. Lots of potential with this kind of technique. In this case it’s not believable but it’s definitely different.
With these two photos I have darkened the figures so that they stand out a little better and the same with the Island. I selected on the areas and used a curves adjustment to darken them. I would call these adjustments improvements. They are not out-and-out manipulation. I see no ethical issues with this type of work. In terms of how far I would go with adjustments like this, for this photo I wanted a believable adjustment so the change is subtle. Perhaps if I wanted to make something unbelievable;e I would go further. I draw the line with deception. The next two photographs are a step to far for me. I only noticed the pole in the first, original photograph after I looked at the file on my computer. I could remove the part that intersects with the shelter but that, as far as I am concerned is a little too far. Now I am fundamentally changing the photograph but passing it off as the real thing.