in the sense of no elements were added to create an illusion. trees were distracting objects hence was removed. however it doesnt give the image a different face. the photo still very much resembles the original.
p/s: when i wrote no photo-manipulation, i intend to testify that there were no tricks behind the handstand.
Small tip on that note, perhaps saying "not a photo-manipulation" would be a better description of it? The way you write it now gives the impression that there has been no photo-manipulation in the work although you even state later in the sentence that you removed trees. Just a tip.