How To Create Phantom Photography – Make Your Own Ghostly Photos Just In Time For Halloween

in Artwork, Merchandise, Technology

The Haunted How-To

Photograph your subject

Once you have your spooky seen set and your model ready to pose, position your tripod in the location you want for your photo and don’t move it or the camera at all.  A minimum of two images with the exact same camera position is needed to make the effect work.

With your ghostly subject in place, take the first image. For variety, you can take several shots with different poses as long as you move nothing else in your frame.  Carefully remove the subject-to-be-spirit from the frame, ensuring that nothing else in frame or your camera moves.  Take a second image with exact same settings and conditions as the first image (sans model/subject).   This second image is your background image.

You can repeat the process with other angles, as long as you ensure your subject images and background images are exactly the same for each new angle.

Edit your image(s)

Upload your photos to your computer or device for editing.

Using the editing software of choice, blend your images (your software must allow you to change the transparency/opacity of an added image). With each set (matching model/subject and background) you are going to want to make the image without your subject the background of your project.  Add in the image containing your would-be ghost on top of the background and adjust the transparency of that image to your preference.  As that image is reduced in opacity, only the subject will seem to fade – creating your ghost!

Once your two images are blended to your liking you can save that image for further editing/effects of your choosing.

This tutorial from Adobe shows how to work with the layers (stacked images) and create a ghostly effect. The example also shows an alternative way to use any two images that you may already have (skipping the special set up) to create the effect.

The wizardry of digital image manipulation is a fiendishly fun way to create a creepy cool collection of phantom photographs for decorating your haunted home or event.  Speaking of events, setting up a camera/tripod with a set backdrop and/or props and taking a series of these paranormal pictures could make a fun nightmare to send your party/event guests as a token of terror after the event.

Photoshop elements is a simplified version of Photoshop.  Photography enthusiasts can subscribe, through Adobe Creative Cloud, for $10 a month, and maintain the latest versions of Photoshop and Lightroom (a great processing tool).  Alternatively, a copy of photoshop elements can be found on Amazon.

Images: Amazon, Michael Gavin

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