Photographers capture a spectacular view of the world. But photo manipulation artists create their own. Mixing photography and Photoshop creates inspiring, thought-provoking images of the impossible. So, where do you begin creating your own photo manipulation or alterations?
Here are 36 excellent photo manipulation artists and their work.
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Photo Manipulation Artists You Should Follow
Let’s dive into our list of favourite photo manipulation artists. Following digital manipulation artists will inspire you. And it’s a great way to get more familiar with the genre.
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Anna Maghradze is a digital collage artist with a loyal fan base. She is simplistic in her approach and never uses more than two or three photos for her collages. In doing so, her preference is to let the message of her work do the talking.
Anna’s artwork is surreal yet emotionally engaging, exploring themes of isolation and loneliness. She uses her compositions to portray her dreams, hopes, and fears as a Photoshop technician of great skill with an eye for narrative-focused image creation.
35. Rosie Hardy
Rosie Hardy is popular in the photo manipulation community. She frequently takes self-portraits in dreamy settings. Her images are conceptual. She often focuses on themes like social media, loneliness, and inspiration.
Rosie is an expert at creating realistic worlds. She can make the most unusual props look very real thanks to her expert skills. The most impressive part? She uses a free photo editing program called GIMP to edit many of her images.
Nicholas Scarpinato is a fine art photographer. He often takes images of himself, other people, and objects in surreal locations. His photo manipulations often feature unusual colors and compositions.
Nicholas shoots digital photography, but many of his photos look like they were shot on film. This nostalgic quality has attracted over 50,000 people to his Instagram page alone.
33. Melania Brescia
Melania Brescia is a fearless photo manipulation expert. She’s also a self-portrait photographer who specialises in conceptual work.
Marcus’ images are both thought-provoking and quirky. Even his still-life commercial images have personality. His portfolio doesn’t disappoint.
31. Kylli Sparre
Kylli Sparre, also known as Sparrek, is a fine art photographer with a powerful gallery.
Her background inspires Kylli’s work in dance. Because of this, she often takes photos of women dancing elegantly.
No matter how unreal her photo manipulations are, Kylli always manages to make them look real.
30. Daniel Serva
Daniel Serva is a surreal photographer with a vibrant portfolio. His photo manipulation portfolio is full of meaningful details.
He often starts with a self-portrait. He then uses different elements to turn it into a thought-provoking work of art.
Daniel often shares behind-the-scenes photo manipulation videos with his followers. He enjoys planning his photoshoots and taking spontaneous pictures at the same time.
29. Jared Tyler
Jared Tyler is a conceptual photographer. He often focuses on themes like love, identity, and heartbreak. He achieves this by using smoke, butterflies, illustrations, and water. Jared’s expert photo editing skills allow him to create relatable art. His images capture feelings that we’ve all felt at some point in our lives.
Jared’s photo manipulation work is both dark and hopeful. He adds to the emotion in his work by accompanying his photos with meaningful quotes and song lyrics.
28. Gonzaga Manso
Gonzaga Manso is a photographer and director. His photography manipulation look like surreal paintings from another world. What makes them stand out from other images is the lighting. Gonzaga often shoots in low light conditions. This allows him to experiment with all kinds of interesting themes.
Gonzaga is also an award-winning director. His latest film, ADIVINA, has received over 30 awards. His knowledge of cinematography takes his photo manipulation skills to the next level.
27. Leah Johnston
Leah Johnston isn’t only a well-known photographer. She’s also an actor and filmmaker who has won numerous awards for her work. Her images are cinematic, gloomy, and conceptual.
On Leah’s website, you’ll find a full-size gallery of self-portraits with descriptions. Leah explains the story behind each photo and how she took it. It’s a great guide for those who want to get better at planning their photoshoots.
Martin De Pasquale’s mind-boggling photo manipulation work is likely to leave you speechless. He aims to make people feel something intense. Some of his photos can be put in the horror category, while others are simply funny. This versatility has given Martin access to a huge fanbase. Martin captures the impossible using his expert editing skills.
Aleah Michele Ford is a conceptual and fashion photographer. She often includes enormous insects or mythical creatures in her manipulation photos. In her portfolio, you’ll see giant spiders, mermaids, moths, and more.
Aleah’s image manipulation work doesn’t look edited or color corrected. This makes her photos look realistic.
24. Platon Yurich
Platon Yurich is a conceptual photographer and filmmaker. Every image in his portfolio focuses on a different theme and composition. He can make simple landscapes stand out thanks to his image manipulation skills.
Not all of Platon’s images are edited, though. He knows when to use props and when to rely on his photo manipulation skills to create seemingly impossible scenarios.
23. Robert Cornelius
Mythology, fairytales, and cinematography inspire Robert’s images. Many of his photos feature mythical creatures, wild animals, and ethereal landscapes. All of these elements make his images look like perfect digital paintings.
22. Julien Tabet
Julien Tabet transforms photos of wild animals into fantasy-themed art. In his photo manipulation gallery, you’ll find all kinds of wild and wonderful animals. These are the kinds of creatures you’d see in Salvador Dali’s paintings!
Julien’s editing skills will entertain you and inspire you.
21. Brooke Shaden
A fine art photographer, Brooke Shaden often photographs herself. Then she manipulates the image into another world. She describes her work as looking at the juxtaposition of light and dark within people.
Her images often look like they could have come from a fantasy storybook. Or even off the walls of art museums.
She started with minimal gear and resources. And she often continues to use herself as a model for her work. Hailing from Pennsylvania, she’s also an author and speaker.
Follow Brooke Shaden on Instagram to glimpse what’s possible in the genre, even if the only model you have available is yourself.
20. Aydın Büyüktaş
Aydın Büyüktaş earned viral fame for his series of mind-bending aerial drone images, Flatlay. The series takes aerial landscapes and folds them away from you. As if the ground could bend like a sheet of paper. He crafts his images using a mix of planning, composites and 3D software.
The Flatlay series earned him viral fame. But his earlier work also includes several successful mind-bending series. These question reality and even the laws of gravity. Büyüktaş is a native of Turkey.
19. Bára Prášilová
Bára Prášilová makes the impossible playful. She uses bright, bold colors and unusual photo manipulation ideas. She is a photographer and art director in Prague. And her work has earned numerous awards and gallery exhibitions.
Her work often draws attention to something missing or similarities between unrelated objects. Images often feature women in unusual poses or photo manipulations. Prášilová is also a Hasselblad ambassador.
18. Erik Johansson
According to his biography, Erik Johansson views a photograph as a moment and an idea. He blends and manipulates several images together to create a surreal scene.
Johansson says he aims to make that scene look as realistic as possible. Even when capturing a physically impossible world.
From unzipping a road to installing the moon. His work questions reality while creating an impossible yet inspiring scene.
17. Charlie Davoli
Charlie Davoli is a surrealist photographer. He often uses photo manipulation to juxtapose two different ideas. According to his bio, that juxtaposition stems from a move from Singapore to Italy as a child.
His former work also inspires his photography art as a musician.
His photo manipulation work includes flip-flopping the ground and the sky, blending opposite places into the same scene, or bringing the sky down to earth (or everyday objects up to the sky).
16. Dmitry Rogozhkin
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Dimitry Rogozhkin’s work looks like it could have come straight from an apocalyptic Hollywood hit. He often mixes photo manipulation with portraiture.
His work is also inspired by a long-time love of drawing and art. His Instagram is an organised grid that deserves a second and a third look. The Russian photographer also travels often and captures his adventures.
15. Jati Putra
Jati Putra isn’t a photographer but a graphic designer. That background helps the Indonesia-based artist create images that make viewers pause to digest what they’re seeing.
His work adapts existing images. But it often makes it difficult to tell which way is up or down. Oceans bend at a 90-degree angle, flat landscapes become three sides to a rectangle.
14. Robert Jahns
Robert Jahns (Nois7) may be a photo manipulation artist, but his work is so well done the images look lifelike. Jahns is an art director, photographer, and digital artist. He creates vibrant painterly images using photo manipulation techniques.
While his work often plays with the impossible, he uses the natural world to give a lifelike quality to his art.
13. Anka Zhuravleva
Anka Zhuravela spent her childhood sketching. As an adult, she realised her drawings and paintings were often inspired by photographs.
After picking up photography, Zhuravelva became a visual artist. She often mixes her art background with her photographs for inspiring photo manipulation images. The Russian artist has been featured in several gallery exhibitions.
12. Eugenio Recuenco
Eugenio Recuenco is a Madrid-born photographer with a painter background. He creates impossible images using more than just digital manipulation. Recuenco creates his own sets.
That, mixed with a background in art and inspiration from historical art periods, creates otherworldly images. His latest work makes real people look like part of a museum exhibit.
11. Frieke Janssens
Frieke Janssens is a surreal conceptual photographer. She creates images from photo manipulation and composing and elaborately planned sets and props.
The Belgian photographer studied drawing and painting. Her work is often controversial, tackling tough subjects. But it’s that controversy that makes her work so memorable.
10. Lara Zankoul
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Lara Zankoul is a self-taught photographer. She learned to experiment — a skill that’s still integral to her work. Even now, after several international galleries.
According to her biography, Zankoul aims to capture issues in society and everyday behaviour. But also to allow the viewer to draw their own conclusions.
Tommy Inberg had always enjoyed photography. But he went to college and started a career as a computer programmer before he started using photography as a therapy.
From there, Inberg mixed his computer background with his passion for photography in fine art. The Swedish photographer uses a series of images to tell a story. He often does it through juxtaposition or by removing something integral.
Artist Alberto Seveso’s interest in the CD covers of the 90s sparked a lifelong passion for artwork. An original spark that still shows traces in his work.
Seveso is both a photographer and illustrator. He often mixes the two mediums to create unique, inspiring artwork. He’s also worked with several major brands. These include names familiar to photographers like Adobe, Nikon, and Sony.
Artist Unknown i an isn’t exactly unknown – he’s Ian De Novellis, a digital artist. Unknown i an haven’t had decades of art experience. But his work encompasses an impressive array of colorful images.
His work is often an incredible mashup, from a jellyfish carnival ride to a polar bear made from clouds.
An interest in abandoned homes first inspired Kyle Thompson to pick up a camera. This initial inspiration can still be seen in his work today.
Much of his work is a self-portrait taken in a forlorn location. While he’s often his own model, his work often hides his face, so it’s easy to imagine anyone in the image.
Not all his images are a result of Photoshop manipulation. But he often uses compositing to create surreal images that feel post-apocalyptic.
He also says he only knows the basics for Photoshop composting. His work shows what’s possible even without extensive Photoshop training, if that’s true.
5. Shaun Ryken
Shaun Ryken is a graphic designer based in Ontario. His work, which often looks straight out of a sci-fi movie, has amassed him more than 45,000 fans on Instagram.
He says Photoshop helps him escape – and he creates images that help viewers escape into a fantasy world too.
4. Tim El-Helou
A 22-year-old student in Germany. Tim El-Helou’s work shows an impressive understanding of Photoshop techniques. His work often puts something out-of-place, alters scale, or both.
The result is often an image that almost looks real until it makes you look twice. El-Helou also shares tips and tricks on mastering photo manipulation on YouTube.
3. Rafy A
Going just by Rafy A, this digital artist is worth following. Not only for the stunning imagery but because he will teach you how to do the same thing with your own work.
His Instagram is a feed of fantasy worlds. And his YouTube channel shows just how the image was created.
Another artist that invites fans to see the behind-the-scenes process. Andhika Zanhuar creates fantasy worlds using Photoshop manipulation techniques.
Besides seeing his work on Instagram, you can see how the image was created on YouTube.
No, Adobe Photoshop isn’t an artist. But what better way to find new, upcoming artists than by following the tool that most of them use?
Photoshop’s Instagram is full of every type of photo manipulator in every style. It’s a great account to follow if you want photo manipulation examples from many artists.
Photographs most often capture the real world. Seeing a manipulated image makes us pause to think and reconsider how we view the world. Expert photo manipulation artists know that. They spend their time imagining new worlds and creating surreal images.
These artists demonstrate what’s possible with a good image, Photoshop, and some imagination. Follow these top Photoshop artists for a steady stream of inspirational edits.
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