I think a photograph can be both natural and artful, the colors don't have to be the dull/bland orange without contrast, saturation, or interesting and colorful aspects, you can get emotional and awe-drawing responses from someone by using a very natural color balance....and at the same time know that you are presenting an image that is as accurate as we can make it to be. I've had several conversations with Roger, I've even gone the rounds with him over processing of DSO/pure astrophotography images (I disagree with his post-processing philosophy when it comes to DSO editing), but I agree with him regarding widefield/nightscape color balance. I posted this shot earlier in this thread, it's one I took over Memorial Day weekend when the surprise aurora reached quite far south (here in the Northern Hemisphere), it's processed with a natural color balance so you can appreciate what are the accurate aspects of the night sky and it was shot with an unmodified camera. The aurora adds some beautiful pinks/oranges/yellows/purples to the left, you can clearly see the h-alpha signal from the North America nebula and Sadr Region in the middle/left of the sky (and if you look close you can even see the Eastern and Western Veil nebula), you can see the pinks of the Eagle, Omega, and Lagoon Nebula, the nice blues and yellows in the Rho Ophiuchi Complex, and obviously the bright banded red and green airglow throughout.
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The way I look at it is the vast majority of the world's population lives in urban centers where it is impossible to see the Milky Way, so when people happen upon (or seek out) shots of the Milky Way and the night sky they should be presented an image that is accurate as possible. You mention NASA using false colored images, this is done for scientific means so as to analyze data in a way that can maximize results (fwiw I'm a stem cell researcher and I have to analyze a ton of data from experiments), in the case of IR or UV or microwave or X-ray they have to assign colors because those emissions fall outside the visible spectrum of light, without assigning a color the data is meaningless because we can't put it in a visual format that can be analyzed with our own eyes. But cameras don't deal with that issue (assuming you're not shooting in IR), we deal with the visible light spectrum when imaging with a DSLR.
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