Digital photo manipulation helps create fascinating images with photo editing, image retouching, photomontage, and other creative photo manipulation techniques. An expert can do various types of image manipulation, like creating collages and adding special effects. 

Read this article to know what Photoshop manipulation is, its benefits, types, and more! By the end of this image manipulation article, you will learn how to craft new images with creative photo manipulation. 

What is Photo Manipulation?

Photo manipulation, also known as photograph manipulation, transforms and alters an image. Photoshop manipulation is considered a skillful art when done for creating unique images. 

However, it is considered unethical when digital photo manipulation is done for political propaganda, journalism, and scientific manipulation.

So, this picture manipulation article will refer to the ethical types of image manipulation used to create surreal and amazing images for entertainment. 

For example, some common photo manipulations you can make are removing unwanted people, replacing the sky, or slimming your body. 

Why is Photo Manipulation Important?

Businesses and individuals understand the importance of photographs for showcasing themselves or their products. Therefore, photoshop manipulation helps them create images that improve their presentation. 

For example, say you are selling a face wash. Instead of just using a regular (but high-quality) product image, you could manipulate the photo to make the product look like it is floating in the water.

Picture manipulation is important in telling your story the way you want to. Individuals can create surreal images that showcase their creativity using Photoshop manipulation. 

Benefits of Photo Manipulation

Photoshop image manipulation helps make the photo attractive. For example, you can recover any missing parts on the page and fix any limitations. In addition, picture manipulation ensures the best possible performance of the image. 

Image manipulation has lots of benefits for businesses and professionals. 

Benefits of Photo Manipulation for Businesses

Businesses can use photoshop manipulation to process high-end garment images, jewelry, furniture, magazines, brochures, banner, and ad designs. 

For example, an apparel business can use the clipping path and ghost mannequin effect to remove a mannequin from the clothing photos. Furthermore, an experienced photo editor can add neck labels using photoshop manipulation. 

Benefits of Photo Manipulation for Professionals

Professional photographers and artists use image manipulation to create collages, creative concepts, and compositions. 

The benefit of photo manipulation tools for professionals is that they can experiment with various colors, angles, themes, and artworks to convey their stories. Digital image manipulation can transform regular images into surreal artwork that amazes audiences.

Types of Image Manipulation

How many types of image manipulation are there? There is no limit to the manipulations you can make using Photoshop. However, always remember to be ethical and try to entertain viewers, not deceive them. If in doubt, work with a professional photo manipulation service provider.

Here are some examples of photo manipulation that help you alter your image for the better:

  • Background Changing
  • Cinemagraph Creation
  • Photomontage Creation 
  • Photo Collage Creation
  • Professional Stylization
  • Creating Special Effects
  • Photoshop Image Blending
  • Beauty Photo Manipulation
  • Creative Photo Manipulation
  • Photo To Sketch Conversion
  • Adding Or Removing Objects
  • Photo To Cartoon Conversion
  • Photo To Painting Conversion

Background Changing

Unsatisfied with the background of your image? You can use Photoshop to change the background to a creative or surreal one. For example, replace the sky with a sci-fi backdrop in space for a futuristic look! 

Cinemagraph Creation

A cinemagraph is a cross between a static image and a moving video. Most of the photo is completely stationary, with one element that moves. You can create a cinemagraph by combining a short video with a single frame. Professionals create cinemagraphs to bring their photographs to life. 

Photomontage Creation 

A photomontage, also known as photo compositing, creates a composite image by rearranging and overlapping two images. Artists can make creative photomontages to tell their stories. They are only limited by their imagination.

Need Professional Photomonage Creation?

Photo Collage Creation

Create photo collages using photoshop manipulation techniques. A collage takes multiple objects/images and resizes, repositions, and rotates them to make one combination. Many businesses create collages for their clients, such as products, weddings, and other photo collages. 

Professional Stylization

Before Photo Manipulation Service - Professional Stylization and Background Changing
Before Professional Stylization and Background Changing
After Photo Manipulation Service - Professional Stylization and Background Changing
After Professional Stylization and Background Changing

A skilled image manipulation artist can turn a regular photo into a movie scene. They apply various stylization techniques for creative scene creation. Some of the effects you can add include smoke, paint, and more! 

Creating Special Effects

Want to apply a burning effect on your car like Ghost Rider? You can do that, and more with photo manipulation! Creating special effects is easier than ever using powerful tools like Adobe Photoshop. If you can imagine the picture, you can create it!

Before Photo Manipulation: Adding Special Effects
Before Adding Special Effects
After Photo Manipulation: Adding Special Effects
After Adding Special Effects

Photoshop Image Blending

Blend two images together in Photoshop to create your desired photograph. For example, Photoshop image blending can be applied to take a person into a surreal background. In addition, Photoshop blending is used to create the double exposure effect. 

Beauty Photo Manipulation

Do you wish you were slimmer? Want to add on a six-pack? You can do both of these things with Photoshop manipulation! Use picture manipulation techniques to retouch your body, fix symmetry, and more to transform your photo.

Creative Photo Manipulation

Creative photo manipulation is used to make amazing images that showcase the artists’ creativity. A simple example to illustrate creative manipulation is food photography ads. Have you ever seen a photo showing the inside of a burger? That is creative photo manipulation!

Photo To Sketch Conversion

Have you ever wanted to get a beautiful pencil sketch of yourself? You don’t need to hire a pencil sketch artist! Instead, just photograph yourself (or anything else) and convert it to a sketch using Photoshop manipulation. 

Adding Or Removing Objects

Have you ever taken a family photograph with your extended family? Then, someone was probably missing due to some prior commitment. Fret not; you can use digital picture manipulation to add the person to your photo! 

The opposite effect can also be achieved via image manipulation. Remove unwanted objects (or people) from your photo to have the elements you want. 

Photo To Cartoon Conversion

Before Photo Manipulation - Convert Photos to Sketches, Cartoons, or Paintings
A Photo of Two Friends
After Photo Manipulation - Convert Photos to Sketches, Cartoons, or Paintings
A Photo of Two Friends After Photo to Cartoon Conversion

Do you like cartoon drawings? Then, you can create your own cartoon by converting your photos into Photoshop! Therefore, learn photo manipulation to transform your photo into cartoons that reflect your favorite comic book style. 

Photo To Painting Conversion

Use photo-to-painting conversion tools and techniques to create amazing paintings of your images. You do not need to be a painter to make beautiful paintings! Just use an online picture-to-painting tool like Fotor or learn Photoshop!

History of Photo Manipulation

The origins of photo manipulation can be traced back to the 19th century (the 1800s). 

Early photographers manipulated their photographs using physical tools like paintbrushes, scalpels, magnifying glasses, and more. For example, one popular picture manipulation was spirit photography. The photo manipulator created “spirits” of deceased persons to prey on families of fallen soldiers. 

As time progressed, photo manipulation used more advanced techniques like mirrors to create different perspectives. However, the history of photo manipulation changed with the introduction of Photoshop in the 1980s. 

Digital photo manipulation has increased the capability of image alterations. A skilled photo editor can create virtually any visual they want. The internet is filled with amazing examples of creative image manipulations by artists and photographers. 

What is the Future of Photo Manipulation?

The future of digital photo manipulation involves AI photo editing. 

Artificial intelligence-powered photo editing tools already exist (for example, Luminar AI). However, in the future, AI will help streamline the most complex photo manipulation tasks. 

Photo editors will be able to manipulate images with the click of a button. So, you can expect photographers and artists to become even more creative in trying to create unique imagery. 

One downside of having AI-powered photo manipulation tools is that there is a danger of every image being similar. For example, AI tools will use the same techniques to apply the edits, leaving behind similar images. 

However, the future of digital photo manipulation looks bright. We just have to ensure that we can identify manipulated images from real ones. 

What are the popular photo manipulation trends right now? 

Here are some of the most popular photo manipulation trends you must try:

  • 3D Red Cyan
  • Fire Manipulation
  • Dispersion Effect
  • Glitch Distortion
  • Simulate An Infrared Effect
  • Halftone Pattern For A Retro Look
  • Double Exposure Effect With 2 Images

Photo Manipulation Skills

A photo manipulation expert first needs mastery of digital photo manipulation tools like Adobe Photoshop. Other important skills of photo manipulators include:

  • HDR Photo Editing Skills
  • Use of Dodge and Burn to Create Illusions
  • Skilled in Light and Shadow Manipulation
  • Able to Manipulate Perspective for the Right Effect
  • Knowing Different Types of Image Manipulation Styles

Photo Manipulation Tools

Professional artists, photographers, and editors use various photographic techniques and tools to make creative edits. There is professional PC photo editing software used by these experts. In general, mobile photo editing apps are not considered powerful enough for high-end manipulation.

The following are the most common picture manipulation tools:

  • Photoshop
  • Luminar AI
  • Luminar NEO
  • Affinity Photo
  • Pixlr X / Pixlr E
  • Corel PaintShop Pro
  • Pixio Photo Studio 11
  • CyberLink PhotoDirector 365

How To Manipulate Photos?

Wondering how exactly you can create a manipulated photo? 

Follow these general steps to manipulate your photos using Photoshop:

  • Develop a Concept
  • Gather Your Items (Images, Elements, Textures, Graphics, etc.)
  • Start Image Manipulation on Your Photo Editing Software
  • Ensure the Right Perspective
  • Match Lighting and Color
  • Use Basic Tools (Layer Masks, Clipping Masks, Adjustment Layers, etc.)
  • Use Advanced Tools (Liquify, 3D Tools, Filter Gallery, etc.)
  • Color Correct the Manipulated Photograph


In conclusion, photoshop manipulation is a creative process of altering your photographs.

Businesses can use image manipulation tools to make their products and advertisements stand out. Also, creative individuals benefit from using digital photo manipulation techniques to make creative artwork. 

I hope you found this article interesting! Photoshop manipulation is essential to making creative edits for your photographs. So, whether you are a business or an individual, you will benefit from knowing how to manipulate photos. Furthermore, there are diverse types of image manipulation you can make.

Thanks for reading my image manipulation guide! Please leave a comment if you want any questions answered. 

Photo Manipulation FAQs

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about Photoshop manipulation. 

What does photo manipulation do?

Photo manipulation is the transformation or alteration of photographs using various methods, tools, and techniques to achieve desired results.

What is the difference between photo editing and photo manipulation?

In photo editing, the editor works with the information already present in the image. On the other hand, photo manipulation adds, subtracts, or substantially alters the information in the image.

What are the photo manipulation tools used by professionals?

Some of the most popular image manipulation tools used by experts include the following:
Adobe Photoshop

What are the nine image manipulation techniques?

Image Rendering.
Creating A Shadow.
Color Combination.
Image Combination.
Texture Application.
Stock Image Selection.
Emphasis On The Smallest Details.

Is photo manipulation unethical?

Ethical problems occur when photos are manipulated to trick people into believing something which is not real. Photojournalists, scientific photographers, and political entities must refrain from photo manipulation.

This page was last edited on 3 April 2024, at 10:23 am