I often hear viewers at art shows say—"Oh, it's been photoshopped."—usually with a roll of the eyes.
Darkroom photo manipulation isn't out of the ordinary. While enlarging a print, the exposure time can be adjusted, filters added to affect the tone and color of an image, implements are used to dodge (keep sections from developing) or burn (enhancing the developing time). Enlargement exposure time could be increased of decreased to compensate for under- or overexposed frames. Negatives can be overlaid for double-exposures or a dramatic effect. Different types of paper gave different results; finishes can be added while the print was drying. I had special photographic paints that I used to touch up scratches, get rid of red eye or add some artistic effort to an image. I mixed my colors, had special brushes; the corrections were nearly impossible to see. Back then (a mere twenty years ago), many photographic enterprises existed, and were noted for their work with specific types of film, or producing unique products. Most of these have gone out of business or, like Kodak are struggling to find their niche in the rapidly changing photography scene.
But in the 130 years or more of what is now archaic print image production, clients, patrons and other viewers never grumbled, "Oh, it's been darkroomed."
Now many mid-range cameras come with built in darkrooms; after an image has been captured, the exposure, cropping, and even some special effects can be done in the camera before the image is ever uploaded to a computer (it's been cameraed!"). Most people who own a digital camera have the software that comes with it and can buy more of at any office or big box store. Software programs are also available online for download, several for free. Hence, photoshopping an image is not a big deal compared to the expense of the old-time darkroom.
As new cameras are developed, new software springs up, too. Special programs area available to use with imaging from for mobile phones and tablets.
What's a professional to do? Just as it is with professional writers, professional photographers have to be certain their craft is finely honed. Finding a photographic specialty is the same as choosing a certain writing genre. Once decided, pursue it to the hilt, and don't let naysayers bring you down. It is often difficult to find acceptance and affirmation of any type of artistic work in the general public. It's even harder now, when all the I-wish-I-could [publish a book, do photography] folks suddenly can.