50 Photo Manipulation Ideas

50 Photo Manipulation Ideas

Photo manipulation in Photoshop is a creative photo montage with the usage of additional or surreal objects. Some photographers don’t like it and prefer the basics of image editing as color correction and portrait retouch. However, there are some photographers and digital artists who are interested in pushing the Photoshop’ limits.

What Is Photo Manipulation?

We see image manipulations in photo exhibitions, political propaganda, advertising, and commercial industry. It can be quite controversial if we compare results with unedited shots. Photojournalists are forbidden to use photo manipulations. NPPA’s Code of Ethics says that photographers should not photoshop pictures in any way that can mislead people or confuse subjects.

Picture Manipulation Tips

Usually, when you come across photo manipulations for the first time, the question arises “How did the author create this?”. The answer is always almost the same: a professional image editing software like Adobe Photoshop or GIMP, numerous Photoshop tutorials, presets or Photoshop actions along with a lot of patience.

Find a Comfortable, Efficient Workflow

In-depth image manipulation can take days or even weeks. To make your workflow convenient, you need efficient gear. In case you don’t have an opportunity to purchase something like the iPad Pro, you can begin with something cheaper, for instance, the Huion H420. Its price is only $30 and it has nice capabilities of photo manipulation for beginners. With the help of a stylus and tablet, you can use the brushes more effectively. If to compare with a mouse that has just 2 pressure levels (on and off), a stylus provides you with more pressure sensitivity similar to drawing with a pen.

Work with High-Resolution Images

The more pixels they have, the better result will be. Your image should be at least 150% larger than the final photo. For example, in case you need a picture 800 pixels wide, an original one must be at least 1200 pixels wide. If there is an opportunity to use a double size (1600 pixels), then the outcome will be even better.

Pay Attention to The Lighting and Shadows

Photo manipulation photographers create a composite picture with various light sources along with mix-matched shadows. They also might add a person to the picture but forget about shadows. A perfectly manipulated image has persistent shadows and clear light sources.

Get Creative

Read inspirations books, watch surreal movies, attend photo exhibitions to experiment with your own photo manipulations. You are not just removing some defects, you are creating an image from your own imagination.

50 Inspirational Photo Manipulation Ideas

Photo manipulation is the craziest thing you can do using Adobe Photoshop. Time, patience and imagination will help you achieve a fantastic result. Just get inspired and try. Consider the following ideas and the wow effect is guaranteed.

1. Robot Woman

examples of photo manipulation in the media by Maxi

The cybernetic woman resembles a man at the times when robots invade our planet in the future.

2. Abstract Poster

photo manipulation ideas photoshop

The next picture can impress everybody as it is a real work of art. If you want to know more about changing the eye color in PS quickly, then look for some helpful photo manipulation tutorials.

3. Marine Vibes

photo manipulation inspiration

If you want to get the photo similar to this one, then use textures. They will add some depth to your masterpiece. There are different textures. You can choose a dark or a light one in accordance with the main purpose of your art.

4. New Titanic

photo manipulation techniques by Khuong Nguyen

Khuong Nguyen is a photographer from Paris who performs photo manipulation using contradictory objects in his pictures, such as an animal and a shoe.

5. Piano

manipulated photography by Dimitry Rogozhkin

Dimitry Rogozhkin is an artist whose pictures remind apocalyptic Hollywood films. He tends to mix image manipulation with portraits. He has been in love with drawing and art for many years and they serve as his inspiration too.

6. Balloons

photo manipulation by Robert Jahns

Robert Jahns (Nois7) performs photo manipulation, however, his photos are so qualitative that they look very realistic. He works as an art director, photographer and digital artist as well. In his pictures, he frequently works with the impossible and at the same time takes advantage of the natural world to make his images realistic.

7. Fight

manipulation photography by Riccardo Bagnoli

Riccardo Bagnoli is a photographer from Italy who lives in Boston, Massachusetts. He works with advertising, fashion and portraits. He is good at creating very imaginative stories in absolutely different styles. Bagnoli’s works look like scenes from sci-fi films about the interaction of humans with different creatures and the presence of shocking superpowers.

8. Climbing

photo manipulation ideas by LSD Photographers

LSD Photo Advertising Studio was created by Marco and Paolo, photographers who realize ideas, shoot and edit their pictures together. They do wonderful, surreal and weird photography manipulation that changes people’s views on the real world in a fun and unpredictable way.

9. Flatland

photo manipulation examples by Aydın Büyüktaş

Aydın Büyüktaş is a Turkish photographer who made this photo as a part of a series of images "Flatland". They show how landscapes fold into each other and create a very unusual look.

10. Full Moon Replacement Service

photo manipulation ideas by Erik Johansson

This image by Erik Johansson shows a moon service that is trying to choose the best moon to be put into the sky.

11. Cracked-Skin-Effect

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Download Dispersion Effect Photoshop Action

The main idea, as well as the biggest complicity in manipulation photography, is combining the original photo with its enhanced texture which has the cracked effect. Advertisement specialists like applying unusual techniques because they look very effective and quite unusual. Modern designers constantly search for something fresh and unforgettable for fashion magazines and such type of art is the best way to attract more viewers.

12. Photoshop Painting

photo manipulation ideas Download Oil Painting Photoshop Actions

Are you looking for some photo manipulation ideas to have fun? Then this variant deserves your attention. Using it, everyone can become a hero of their favorite painting.

13. Ink Smudge Effect

photo manipulation techniques by Amanda

This effect is included in the list of the most fantastic photo manipulation examples. I don’t know what words to use to describe the possible final look. The effect gained the popularity thanks to a produced tempting and mysterious outcome.

14. Create a Human Robot Hybrid in Photoshop

photo manipulation examples by Victoria Redondo

This effect shows what is photo manipulation the best of all. For achieving a fantastic result, you need to pick up a suitable image. If it depicts the model’s face and body, for example, in underwear, then you will be able to emphasize all body lines. Be sure, the viewers will be impressed with the effect of transforming a model into half-machines.

15. Glitch Portrait Effect in Photoshop

photo manipulation for beginners Download Glitch Effect Photoshop Action

This option has an impressive variety of variants. If you want to enjoy the best possible result, then choose a photo in which the model is captured with clear visible edges.

16. Merge Two Photos

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Order Photo Manipulation Service $25 per photo

Combine two or more photos for unusual results. Keep it natural without overphotoshopping. Pick photos with similar colors and in one shadow picture.

17. Time Wasting

photo manipulation examples by Graphics Tute

Look at the next example. It has a pessimistic vibe and carries a sense of wasted time.

18. Magic

photo manipulation ideas pinterest

These composite photography ideas prove that our imagination has no boundaries. We can bring every idea to life. Photoshop will easily help us achieve the desired outcome.

19. Halftone Dots Photoshop Effect

manipulated photography Download Cartoon Effect Photoshop Actions

This effect divides an image into countless dots which may be monochrome or colorful. Such an option is called a Halftone. The greatest advantage of this effect is that it matches wedding, portrait and even landscape photography equally well. Just look for photo manipulation ideas Pinterest to make sure.

20. Red/Cyan 3D Effect

examples of photo manipulation Download Red/Cyan 3D Effect Action

If you want to know how to make photo manipulation quickly and make the image recognizable, then pay attention to this effect. It will help you widen professional horizons and bring you a lot of pleasure. Additionally, your portfolio will attract even more viewers and the difference between the works before and after will be incredible. Be sure, by wearing 3D glasses enhanced pictures will revive.

21. Easy Smoke Dispersion Effect in Photoshop

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Download Double Exposure Photoshop Action

The effect is quite simple to repeat. However, the final result can be compared with top-quality image retouching. Only the best photo manipulation specialists can provide such an outcome.

22. Pixelated Effect in Photoshop

photo manipulation background by Styles

Are you eager to show your own creativity with this amazing effect? Such composite photography examples can modify every traditional shot a lot. As a result, it will become unrecognizable.

23. R 3D Effect

composite photography examples by Graphics Tute

Not every image manipulater dares to work with such effects. However, this option can turn out to be very beneficial at a professional level. You can use it in different advertisements and logos. As a result, any billboard and image will become striking.

24. Uprising

photo manipulation example

It is a great option for photo post-production and giving it post-apocalyptic motifs. Use special textures when creating such a photo manipulation.

25. Poor Doggo

composite photography ideas

The manipulated pictures are surreal. It means the viewers can even see a magic fairy or a flying cow. You will need to regulate shadows. They will make shots clearer.

26. Flying

manipulation images for editing Download Natural Light Bokeh Overlay

All examples of photo manipulation prove that proportions are very important. Of course, everything depends on your initial idea. Do you want to create a whale that is bigger than a house? Just do it! Remember one rule here. The realistic look of the image depends on the proportions.

27. Time to Work

photo manipulation examples by Garrigosa Studio

It is important to go beyond the boundaries in photo manipulation. This is what the creators of this collage did. Let the animals do something human and get a similar interesting manipulation.

28. Bath Time

baby photo manipulation by John Wilhelm

Nature takes the first place in terms of photo manipulation examples. This professional designer creates unusual and exciting manipulation of nature pictures.

29. Celebrate

photo manipulation ideas by Christophe Gilbert

Christophe Gilbert is sure that every small detail makes a big difference. Just look at his amusing image manipulation works.

30. Passengers

examples of photo manipulation by Andric Ljubodrag

Andric Ljubodrag is a photographer who shoots for advertising. His works are both funny and witty. They are very unique and unusual.

31. Paintings

photo manipulation ideas photoshop by Garrigosa Studios

Garrigosa Studios is a well-known company that deals with brands advertising. Its photos are very famous and used by Nike, Audi and other popular companies.

32. Make Dynamic Photo

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Order Photo Manipulation Service $25 per photo

If you’re limited in budget on additional photo props and expensive studio lighting equipment, you may use your Photoshop skills to realize your extraordinary photo project ideas.

33. Dark Shadow

composite photography ideas by Brooke Shaden

Brooke Shaden frequently takes pictures of herself and, using picture manipulation, gives a new life to a photo. She characterizes her pictures as a juxtaposition of light and dark in people.

34. Surreal

photo manipulation ideas Download Film Photoshop Actions

Tommy Ingberg combined his computer skills with love to fine art photography. To tell a story, this Swedish photographer creates a series of pictures. He often achieves it using juxtaposition or eliminating integral elements.

35. Unusual Portrait

photo manipulation ideas by Alberto Seveso

Alberto Seveso was interested in CD covers from the 90s and this led to a huge love to the artwork. He creates photos and illustrations and often mixes them to get unusual and inspirational works.

36. Sailing to the Night

photo manipulation techniques Download Night Sky Photoshop Overlay

For his image manipulation works, Erik Alms uses morning light, angle a little from the back, a foreground object, a background object that explains the story and clouds added in Photoshop.

37. Friends Forever

manipulation design by John Wilhelm

It is an interesting example of baby photo manipulation. As a result, you will be able to add a unique photo to the kids’ album.

38. Natural

photo manipulation for beginners by Frank Uyttenhove

Frank Uyttenhove is a popular professional shooter. He creates astonishing manipulation works. All of them involve people and animals.

39. Octopus

manipulation design by leovilela

As I have mentioned before, nature is one of the most favorite topics for photo manipulation. It’s interesting to use huge animals in our familiar environment.

40. Sadness

photo manipulation ideas by Anka Zhuravleva

Anka Zhuravleva was making sketches all her childhood. Later she understood that photos often served as her inspiration for drawings. Now she likes to mix them both to create interesting photo manipulation pictures.

41. Fire

composite photography ideas by Frieke Janssens

Frieke Janssens creates surreal conceptual pictures. For her work, she uses photography manipulation, drafting and planned in detail sets and props.

42. Drive-In

manipulation photography by Kyle J Thompson

Kyle Thompson started creating pictures after getting inspired by abandoned houses. A lot of his photos are self-portraits shot at such places. Even though he often shoots himself for his pictures, he covers his face making it look like anyone can be in these photos.

43. Turtle

photo manipulation examples by Tim El-Helou

Tim El-Helou is a pro in Photoshop and his pictures are proof of it. Objects in his photos are often out of order or have unusual sizes, sometimes even both. As a result, you get a picture manipulation work that looks pretty real until the moment you decide to take another look at it.

44. Swimming with Fishes

photo manipulation ideas by Staudinger + Franke

Staudinger + Franke is a popular photo studio created by Robert Staudinger and Andrea Franke in Vienna. The majority of their pictures are created for the advertising sphere. They produce very fascinating and qualitative juxtapositions.

45. The Thing of Dreams

composite photography ideas by Murat Akyol

Murat Akyol is a great artist who expresses his dreams using photo editing. Pictures that he creates are wild and diverse, which might mean that he has quite unusual dreams.

46. The Key

photo manipulation ideas by Alex Belko

This picture is called "The Key" and it’s a digital self-portrait by Alex Belko who is great at working in Photoshop. This picture was chosen for an honorable category at the Sony World Photography Awards. This image has a lot of details and I wonder what idea he had when he was working on this manipulated photography piece.

47. The Last Step

photo manipulation background Download Sky Overlays

Sergey Dibtsev created a picture called "The Last Step" that was selected by the Sony World Photography Awards. This manipulation photography work is his view on misery and loss. It shows a woman in danger, a broken-hearted man in deep thinking and a helicopter looking for something on the land.

48. Comatose Red

composite photography ideas by Milad Safabakhsh

Milad Safabakhsh is an Iranian artist with great Photoshop skills. He created a picture "Comatose Red" which achieved an honorable category at the Sony World Photography Awards. This work is thought to show the feeling of being in a coma with a light tunnel giving you the way back to life.

49. Fish Park

photo manipulation examples by Yong Lin Tan

Yong Lin Tan took this picture from his balcony when it was heavily raining. Then he came up with some photo manipulation ideas to show how it feels to be inside the concrete jungle and look for freedom that everyone strives to get.

50. Evolve

photo manipulation ideas by Bara Prasilova

Bara Prasilova is a Czechoslovakian photographer and Photoshop artist who created a series of pictures entitled "Evolve" for the Hasselblad Masters book vol. 4. In this manipulation photography work, women with long hair show the bonds between human relationships and fear, emotions and worries that people can feel.

Photography Manipulation Freebies

To perform such photo manipulation techniques, you might need a lot of various tools for Photoshop, including textures, clip arts, overlays, presets and actions.

Snowflakes Photoshop Brush

free snowflakes photoshop brushesfree snowflakes photoshop brushes

A wonderful free Photoshop brush for winter photography, which will add agility and additional atmosphere to your photo manipulation.

Cloud Photoshop Brush

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You can use this incredible brush not only for landscape photography, but also create curly clouds in portrait photos with it.

Fog Photoshop Brushes

free fog photoshop brushesfree fog photoshop brushes

Add a mystical atmosphere to your photo manipulation using this brush, which will help create a slight haze.

Photoshop Smoke Brushes

free smoke photoshop brushesfree smoke photoshop brushes

Most often such brushes are used for mystical photo projects with a mysterious forest and a girl in an old dress. Try this material, it is very easy to use.

Hair Brushes Photoshop

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Lacking hair volume? Do you need an extra flying curl? Download this brush and enjoy the effect in one click.

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