20 Creative Photo Manipulation Ideas to Repeat

photo manipulation ideas

I have analyzed the most widely used photo manipulation ideas and techniques created by digital artists, photographers and designers to help you create eye-catching images that will stand out on social media and give your portfolio a professional look. On this list, you will find both simple ideas that can be implemented even by beginners and more complex techniques suitable for professionals.

1. Play with Backgrounds but Mind the Shadows

weedit.photos photo manipulation example before after

One of the most widely used photo manipulation ideas involves background replacement. However, it might be impossible to cope with this task unless you don’t have extensive editing experience. To speed up your workflow and get professionally edited photos, make sure to contact WeEdit.Photos.

Our team of experts will quickly remove a complex background and replace it with another one for an affordable price. The experienced retouchers will take into account all your requirements to perform basic or advanced manipulations depending on your needs.

2. Double Exposure

This effect is widely used by designers who work on book, magazine, and music album covers. Besides, you can see overlapping pictures in various ads. This technique was originally used by film photographers, but these days, it became more widespread. If you are a beginner, it’s better to use a dark base photo with a simple background that doesn’t contain many details. Most photographers use dark portrait photos as the base.

double exposure photo manipulation ideas

To create the image that you can see below, a photographer used a brighter picture and added it as a new layer on the top of the base photo. You can achieve a similar effect by adding abstract pictures with many details.

double exposure photo manipulation ideas

For instance, you can use landscape pictures, photos of flowers, clouds, trees or architecture to implement such creative self portrait photography ideas.

3. Glitch Distortion

Glitch art is quite trendy nowadays. It’s widely used by designers who create music covers, images for social media, and a variety of advertising materials.

glitch photo manipulation ideas

Glitches distort the appearance of media files and allow achieving a striking effect.

glitch photo manipulation ideas

Use this option if you want to adjust colors, achieve a double-overlay effect, and give your portrait a retro feel by adding horizontal lines. Some artists use neon elements to enhance their glitched portraits even further.

4. Surreal Montages

In the picture below, you can see a photo of the road that looks like the continuation of the violin’s neck. This idea is popular among photo manipulation artists, since it allows them to see objects from a different angle by juxtaposing two pictures that resemble each other.

surreal photo manipulation ideas

The photo editor who created the image manipulations below used the same idea to emphasize the likeness of giraffes to trees and compare the seaside to the eye.

surreal photo manipulation ideas

One of the most stunning photo manipulation ideas involves combining 2 objects that resemble each other. You can experiment with it if you have photos of objects of similar shapes and colors.

5. Jigsaw Puzzle

If you are looking for easy-to-implement photo manipulation ideas, enhance your picture using this unusual effect. You can customize it by selecting any number of jigsaw pieces.

jigsaw puzzle photo manipulation ideas

I like breaking down my portraits into more pieces to make them look more sophisticated. You can also create an effect of an unfinished puzzle with missing pieces, just like Alma Haser did when working on this photo.

6. Levitating Book Pages

This idea will appeal to Harry Potter enthusiasts and everyone who loves reading books about mages and wizards. Using Photoshop, you can make any object in the frame levitate.

levitation photo manipulation ideas

To achieve the same effect as in the example below, use a photo of a model reading a book and blend it with photos where a model throws book pages in the air.

7. Animal Eyes

To create this effect, photographers blend the source photo with the image of a cracked face. If you take a look at the picture below, you will notice that the photo editor went even further and turned the second photo black and white while leaving the original photo intact.

animal eyes photo manipulation ideas

Such photo manipulation portrait ideas help photographers emphasize the likeness of their models to animals.

animal eyes photo manipulation ideas

This way, you can show the hidden beauty of nature and use unusual features of different species to make your model stand out.

8. Cracked Skin

There is no need to implement fancy Christmas pictures ideas that require thorough preparation since you can always opt for an easier approach. Take photos with only one Christmas-themed prop in the soft-colored background, such as the wreath, and include a pet in the frame. You can also use a step stool for small kids to ensure that everyone is visible in the frame.

cracked skin photo manipulation ideas

Thanks to it, you can see colored skin texture in the cracks. To save time, you can create a similar effect with the help of dedicated brushes. You can post such portraits on social networks on Halloween.

9. Crumpled Paper

For a more artistic effect, use a crumpled paper image and blend it with a photo to transform one of its parts.

crumpled paper photo manipulation ideas

You can experiment with different blending modes and move the paper texture to any part of the image. Besides, you can blend it with the face as in the example below.

10. A Splash of Color

Add color splashes to the face and turn a part of your portrait black and white to achieve a similar result. To create this effect, use a paint splash photo in PNG format and then blend it with the portrait.

face color splash photo manipulation ideas

This technique is used by photographers who want to make it look as if their models were wearing surreal makeup.

11. Drawing Outlines

This option will come in handy for those who are looking for easy photo manipulation ideas that can be implemented even by beginners. To achieve this effect, there is no need to use advanced software.

drawing outlines photo manipulation ideas

Instead, you can recreate it with the help of Android photo editors or iPhone photo editors that allow you to draw outlines in a few clicks. Popular apps will automatically analyze your photos and create outlines, which will help you save time on post-processing.

12. Melting Face

You can make it look as if the face of your model were melting by implementing a variety of cool edit ideas with the help of the Smudge Tool available in Photoshop.

melting face photo manipulation ideas

13. Face Slice

If you need to transform a close-up photo, use this 3D sliced head photo manipulation idea to give your portrait a surrealistic look.

face slice photo manipulation ideas

To create this effect, use the Ellipse tool and Soft Brush to create stylish posters and other attention-grabbing images.

14. Fire Dancer

If you want to add a magical feel to your pics and create mesmerizing portraits of moving subjects, try recreating this unusual effect. To produce a more beautiful effect when performing this photo manipulation, make sure to add some glow to the flames.

fire dancer photo manipulation ideas

It will help you achieve a more realistic look. To do it, use the Brush Tool to edit the flames and the parts of the body to add some glow to them.

15. Sketch Brush Stroke

One of the most widely used photo manipulation ideas involves transforming a portrait onto a pencil sketch. To give a creative feel to your pictures, try editing only a part of your photo and create a brushstroke effect.

sketch photo manipulation ideas

Keep in mind that this technique is quite complex, so you will need to spend a lot of time editing your photo. To optimize your workflow, you can use Photoshop actions that allow achieving a similar effect.

16. Dispersion Effect

This technique allows creating an effect of disappearance by dispersing one of the objects in the frame. In this photo, it looks as if the elephant were gradually dispersing.

dispersion photo manipulation ideas

You can use the particles of any shape, including geometric shapes, pieces of glass, feathers, wisps of smoke, etc. Photographers started using this effect more often after the Avengers: Infinity War movie got released.

17. Paint Dress

The photo below was created as an ad for Valspar paint. The designer came up with the idea of this eye-catching photo manipulation and transformed splashes of paint into the parts of the dress.

paint dress photo manipulation ideas

This idea will be especially useful for those who work with photos of skirts and dresses as it allows recreating the texture of the fabric.

18. Ink Portrait

The designer Alberto Seveso is known for enhancing his portrait photos by adding wispy colors to the background. He uses eye-catching ink textures to make his models stand out against a solid-color background.

ink portrait photo manipulation ideas

I admire the way he selects complementary color schemes to emphasize the beauty of his models, just like he did in the example below.

19. Pixel Stretch

If you are looking for cool photo edit ideas, this technique lets you achieve a creative effect and give your pic an abstract look. You need to create a row or column of pixels and prolong them to create unusual shapes.

pixel stretch photo manipulation ideas

Pixel stretching will be especially useful for those who like experimenting as there are numerous ways you can customize this effect. Stretch pixels to create circles, arches, or other shapes depending on your needs. To create this effect, you can use any photo editing software for beginners.

20. Floral Portrait

To give your portrait photo a romantic feel, you can embellish it by adding beautiful flowers, leaves, branches, and other details. If you want to seamlessly merge several pictures, use standard blending options. Besides, you can further enhance your photo by adjusting colors and adding abstract details.

floral portrait photo manipulation ideas

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