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Adding a Ghost to a Photograph

FotoFects Photo Editing Mar 21, 2005

Add a ghost to your photograph and make the photograph poor quality just like the most famous photographs of ghosts.


image 1 1. Open the background image where the ghost will be placed in and the object that will be the ghost. Drag the ghost image into the background image so that the ghost image is in a new layer.

image 2 2. Use the "Extract" tool (Filter> Extract) to extract the ghost out of the photograph. Click OK.

image 3 3. Add a layer mask to the current layer (Layer> Add Layer Mask> Reveal All).

image 4 4. Use the "Apply Image" tool (Image> Apply Image) to apply the following properties:

Source: Filename
Layer: Background
Channel: RGB
Blending: Normal
Opacity: 100%

Click OK.


image 5 5. The mask should now contain the background image. Unlink the layer and its mask.

image 6 6. Transform the object so that it is proportional to the objects in the background image.

image 7 7. Use the "Hue/Saturation" tool (Ctrl+U) to remove the saturation of the ghost.

image 8 8. Duplicate the ghost layer (Ctrl+J) and set the blending mode of the new layer to "Screen".

image 9 9. Apply a "Gaussian Blur" (Blur> Gaussian Blur) to the new layer. Set the radius to a value that removes any detail on the ghost. Click OK.

image 10 10. Duplicate the top layer (Ctrl+J) several times until the ghost starts to appear in the image.

image 11 11. Create a new "Hue/Saturation" adjustment layer (Layer> New Adjustment Layer> Hue/Saturation) as the top layer and set the "Saturation" to "-50". Click OK.

image 12 12. Create a new layer (Ctrl+Shift+N) as the top layer and fill the canvas with the colour black.

image 13 13. Use the "Add Noise" filter (Filter> Noise> Add Noise) to set the following properties:

Amount: 33%
Distribution: Uniform
Monochromatic: Checkmarked

Click OK.


image 14 14. Apply a "Gaussian Blur" (Filter> Blur> Gaussian Blur) with a "Radius" of "1" pixel to the current layer. Click OK.

image 15 15. Set the current layer's blending mode to "Screen".

image 16 16. Duplicate the "Background" layer and move it under the top layer. Set the layers blending mode to "Overlay" and set the opacity to "50%". Invert the image on that layer (Ctrl+I).

Adding a Ghost to a Photograph 17. The ghost should now be visible in your photograph. Rollover the image in this step to see the original image before this technique was applied.

Photographs of ghosts are usually very grainy and unsaturated. Ghosts tend to be overexposed and translucent with their transparency differing depending on the brightness of the object it is in front of, however, that is only a stereotype and there is no evidence of what a ghost should look like. Photographs of ghosts seem to appear most haunting when they the picture of the ghost wasn't taken deliberately; perhaps with someone in the photograph smiling at the camera and unaware of the ghost.

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