Photoshop might not be as good an example as dodging and burning in the dark room. And dodging/burning is usually always encouraged-- not because you have to, but because you want to. Of course you'll want to have the best photography to work with, but instead of an elitist purist standpoint, there's nothing wrong with taking a perfectionist standpoint and dodging/burning your already good photograph to perfection based on your likings and/or other people's likings.
At the end of the day, it really is a purist attitude mandating whether you're for or against EQ (crappy EQs aside). Even a friend of mine, who doesn't consider himself an audiophile at all, is very much against using any EQ because he said it "wasn't what the artist intended." Even though his pair of Skullcandy Aviator aren't perfectly flat, he still approaches EQ in the same purist manner. Right then I knew that a good part of bias against EQ because of purism like that was full of hot air. (Not saying all is)
True. If you see any of Ansel Adams photos pre-darkroom they're really not impressive at all. His skill as a photographer was mainly dodging and burning. He was also limited by the technology at the time though. But to me Photoshop work and dodging/burning are one in the same, both are necessary.
I work with some other professional photographers more talented than I and with much better equipment and it's amazing how their photos are close to perfect straight out of the camera. They always need some retouching, maybe punch up the shadows, edit out some spots, but you are merely polishing a close to perfect piece.
I don't think it's an either/or choice with EQ. There is no debating EQ is a necessity to perfect your sound. I think it's more a matter of minimalism vs. overabundance. IMO EQ should be done minimally to try and fix any inconsistencies in an already ideal signal chain, not used as a magic fix-all to completely alter the sound signature of components.
Edited by sesshin - 6/25/11 at 10:33am