Picassa 3 is a neat program to experiment with. I don't normally use the "retouch" function (which allows for the removal of blemishes, etc). This lady's face did NOT need THAT! However, when I moved the brush width to maximum and disturbed the image slightly on the right portion of her face I noticed that the right side locks of her HAIR jogged to the left at a certain critical location. I'd restyled her hair electronically!
COOL! I said to myself, and saved the result. I cropped her face tight and applied sharpening, film grain and messed with virtually all the other effects to get what you see. Note that I definitely altered the color temperature... this allows a lot of surprising color effects to pop out when a picture has been sharpened (which increases contrast and depletes the number of discrete pixels... kind of an Andy Warhol effect.)
Every image is a combination of two things... shape (or form) and color. A photograph is not a single image but thousands of individual images (call these pixels if you want) arranged in some organized way. Our eye captures this organization and our brain compares it with previous experience stored in memory. That's seeing.
Is seeing believing? Maybe, maybe not... but when you see something that strikes a deep chord within you (in the case above: beauty, life, joy) it translates to emotion. You are either attracted or repelled by striking photowork. You are never bored!!