To edit or not to edit?

As Travel Photographers and Wildlife Photographers we face a dilemma. We want to record what we see and offer the best representation to our followers but we also want to produce the biggest impact with our work.

The leopard in the tree with the washed out sky in the background is the true representation of what I saw. I sat in a boat on the Chobe river for hours waiting for the sunset to change the sky or the leopard to move and offer a better back drop, but no, she was happy sitting against the African bleached out skyline whilst her cub (in the bottom photo) played along the river bank.

The top photo, with the replacement sky has been one of my most successful photos in competition, it is a true representation of the leopard – but not the African skyline along the Chobe river.

Which is best, what is right, how much editing should we do? What are your thoughts – all criticism welcome!