Image manipulation has been used by photographers since the early history of photography. One of the first photographers who used image manipulation was the swedish born photographer Oscar Rejlander. Rejlander was educated as painter in Italy but when he came to England in about 1840 he discovered the possibilities in photography. You can read more about Rejlander and many other photographers at Robert Leggat`s History of Photography . Rejlander used simple sandwishes or double copying technics like in this image. There are many well known photographers from the 60es and 70es who has been specializing in image manipulation and special effects. Photographers like Steve Grohe, Steve Bronstein and
Storm Thorgerson fra Hipgnosis
are just a few of them. Hipgnosis is known for the covers for Pink Floyd , Peter Gabriel an others. They produced images with photographic technics which are very difficult to distinguish from digitally manipulated images.
I have been using computer manipulation since 1994 but I have always used image manipulation. It is only your fantasy and creativity that puts the limits for what is possible .