10 Photo Manipulation Ideas to Inspire you

Selfie Distraction

Photo manipulation

Photo manipulation is creative editing of an image. It‘s used extensively in fine art and even more so in commercial product photography. In fact, most billboards you see today on the street will feature photo manipulation.

Photo editing or manipulation?

There is a thin line between photo manipulation and editing.

Technical adjustment of an image: changing brightness, contrast, making the photo black-and-white, fixing red eyes or removing some blemishes – that‘s all just editing. That‘s what most photographers will do anyway.

However, once it goes past some basic alterations, the image steps into manipulation zone. Image manipulation is pursuing the artist‘s vision with no boundaries. It might present a completely distorted reality. It can mean adding a background element from another image, giving the subject another person‘s face, drawing extra sketches on top of the image or even merging multiple images to one.

Photo manipulation has been used for ethically questionable purposes throughout history. For example, dictators would use photo manipulation to fake political images long before Photoshop was invented.


Before you get commissioned to do product photo manipulation, you‘ll probably do some practise with fine art. Therefore, we‘ve compiled 10 examples for you from Skillmill authors. We hope this showcase will inspire you!

Creation by Maria Seitz

1. A portrait by German designer Maria Seitz
If you’re looking for some refreshing colorful photos, take a look at Maria’s showroom.

2. Sculpture Model
A stunning piece of art by Manuella Muerner Marioni, an artist from Switzerland whose works have been exhibited all around the world. She has won Leonardo da Vinci 1st. International Prize and other prestigious awards.
This particular piece of art has been exhibited at the Leonardo da Vinci Museum in Rome.

Creation by Valentin Paster

3. Butoh
Valentin Paster’s work speaks for itself. This emotional picture features dancers performing the Japanese art of Butoh, a style of dance defined by its very evasion of definition.
Valentin – a photographer from Berlin – strives to capture elemental emotions in his photos. He becomes highly immersed when directing a photo shoot – not your average passive photographer.

Creation by Luca Di Sabatino

4. Selfie Distraction
An award-winning series by an Italian photographer Luca Di Sabatino. It tells a story about our modern-day selfie-obsessed society – and how it can lead to destruction. The series won first prize in photography at the third Art Biennale in Salerno. “Sharing can’t wait. Everywhere: like, share, love, follow…“

Various illustrations
Creation by Hilbrand Bos

5. A composite photo manipulation by Hilbrand Bos
Hilbrand Bos, a Dutch graphic designer, has worked as an illustrator for companies including National Geographic, NBC Universal, Marie Claire, Hemingsworth, and other giants.

Flower Hill
Creation by the Madd Hatter

6. Flower Hill
This artwork comes from the Slovakian illustrator Madd Hatter, a designer passionate about urban and space illustrations. He says it‘s one of his own favorites.

Creation by Polivios Matsikasr

7. Evolve
Evolve is a game art photo manipulation work by a Greek designer Polivios Matsikas. This young illustrator is passionate about video games and is on his way to design his own game.

Creation by Irakli Odoshashvili

8. Nostalgia
You better don’t miss this space-urban image by a self-taught artist from Georgia Irakli Odoshashvili is breathtaking – take a look.

Pencil drawing #1
Creation by Lidia Springer

9. Pencil sketch by Lidia Springer
Lidia specializes in model photo manipulation. Her retouch work is the cover of numerous fashion magazines. She has worked with brands like Vintage Shades, Jacques Reboul Watches, Yan Stepanenko, Julia de Belos.

The Disappearance of the Elephant
Creation by Erik Brede

10. The Disappearance of the Elephant
A unique piece of photo art that is both amazingly decorative and deeply political. According to Erik, photo manipulation is political statement art. The Disappearance of the Elephant is from one of Erik Brede’s bestselling series.

“Interested in conceptual approaches to the construction of a photograph, Brede masterfully manipulates the tools of digital transformation to create a picture of an elephant crumbling before our eyes. Conceived as a crumbling edifice, Brede brings to the fore the processes of extinction afflicted upon elephants.“

––  OnGallery, London

Discover more creative talent and projects on Skillmill. If you wanna share new work, exhibits, products, or news, .


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