Everything in photography is processed. The act of taking film to be developed is called...processing. Early masters such as Ansel Adams were equally as skilled in the darkroom as behind the camera to generate a finished image.
Digital photography is processed by necessity. A digital camera converts what it “sees” in to ones and zeroes (ultimately) and sends that information to a memory card. The image is processed again when uploaded to a computer. Whatever software one is using puts its own spin on an image depending on its presets. This file then goes through the ether to a lab where another computer has its say before sending the image to a printer. The image has been processed maybe half a dozen times before it ever rolls out of the printer. Anyone who says their images are not processed is either fibbing to you or doesn’t understand what happens to a file. I can also make an image look substantially different depending on the camera presets. That raw image can then look different in Photoshop than in Aperture and looks different every time Aperture updates itself. It’s the nature of the beast.
What I certify to you is that every image you see or ever will see from my hands is an honest reproduction of what I saw when I made the image. No HDR. No composite images.
It’s art. You can’t use it as home plate at the family softball game. You can’t use it as a surfboard, but if you take care of it, you are purchasing a piece of art that your great grandchildren will fight over.