Because I hate writing the same thing over and over again here are some answers on f.a.q.,tutorials and inspiring resources for you to start off on the right path.
I would also like to apologize for my bad English
Answers on f.a.q.
Photomanipulation is very popular category on deviantART,but to be seen and recognized you need to develop your own style and practice a lot to develop your skills too.
I get many questions about hair,lighting,colors,contrast and similar,and here are some answers.
For tutorials check the "tutorials" section below.
How can I make my own photomanipulation?
Well if you dont have a clue what photomanipulation is then I cant really help you because its really hard to explain.I suggest you to read some below listed tutorials and practice A LOT.
Get Photoshop or Gimp (I personally recommend photoshop)
Learn first about the layers-[link] ,then get to know tools that you will use the most.
soft/hard round brush-mostly for erasing
Smudge tool-for fixing hard edges or fixing hair etc.
Dodge and burn tool-for fixing and adjusting lighting
How can I put everything together and make it look natural?
Most important is that you know how to cut it out properly. When cutting out model or object always use round hard brush in various sizes,dont be lazy and use soft brush because it will look bad and messy. For backgrounds (like fields,sky,sea etc) you can use soft brush.
Adjust the colors and be careful when it comes to lighting,be sure to fix it using dodge and burn tool.
Shadows are also very very important,use burn tool for them.
Make sure that distant objects are less contrasted then the ones that are closer.
Use free transform tool to change size,perspective or to warp object.
How do you work with colors?Any tips?
So for the color adjustments the most important is hue/saturation and color adjustment Also I would recommend adjusting curves,brightness/contrast before working with colors because when you increase/decrease contrast (etc.) the color intensity is changed too.
Some very useful tools for colors are selective color and color layer For adjusting colors using color layer you need to duplicate the current layer and change his blending mode to "color",then use soft (or hard) round brush in desired color to "repaint" the colors ,use different opacities for different color intensity.
How do you fix or paint hair?
Its almost impossible to cut out hair properly so that it looks natural.
For shorter hair I use smudge tool (50-90% strenght) and go over the hair with 1-3px brush dragging "strands" from one place outwards.
For long hair I used to use hair brushes (perfect if you dont have tablet). But since I have tablet I paint it myself using hard and soft round brush in various sizes and tones.
(check the "tutorials" and "brushes" section below</strong>)
Here are some very helpful photomanipulation tutorials that everyone should read.
More useful tutorials
Useful and inspiring brushes
Some helpful brushes like hair,clouds,grass and similar and some very inspiring ones that can be a nice touch for your work.
These are used very rarely in photomanipulations but they can really be useful and they are great way to learn new things.
And some of my own;
Some of my favorite model stock providers:
Some of my favorite nature/places stock providers:
Well I think I covered almost everything but If you still have questions feel free to note me.