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Tutorial: How to make your own “ghost photography”

Today I’ll show you how I made Alexandra’s nun ghost photography. I used my ball jointed doll as a model but this tutorial will work also for people or even your pet.

When taking a photo for this purpose, always use a tripod. You will need two pictures – one with your model and one without it. Your camera must NOT move between these shots!

Ghost photography tutorial

Good. Now download your pictures from the camera and open both of them in Photoshop, GIMP or any graphic editor able to work with layers. (Did you know you can get Photoshop for free?) Insert the picture without your model as a new separate layer over the picture with your model. At my example picture, you can see two layers: “model” at the bottom, “no model” at the top.

Ghost photography tutorial

If you want to touch up your model, do it now. For example, I removed the huge pins holding Alexandra’s veil. Do not edit anything else than your model. At the example picture, the top layer (“no model”) is hidden but it is there.

Ghost photography tutorial

Content with your model? Now the spooky part. Edit the opacity of “no model” layer – make it partially transparent. I set it to 35 % but feel free to experiment. This step will partially cover your model with its background and make it look like a ghost.

Ghost photography tutorial

Argh! Feeling dizzy? This happened because my camera moved a bit, despite my best effort. Correct the position of “no model” layer according to the immediate surroundings of your model – the rest doesn’t matter.

Now use a soft eraser and erase everything in “no model” layer except of the immediate surroundings of your model. Phew! Better. Sharper. You can now merge all layers. Edit the result as you like (e.g. add contrast, colors, crop it etc.) and enjoy your own ghost photography.

Happy Halloween!

Ghost stories

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