Introduction: Ghosts in the Graveyard! Halloween Photo Shoot!

Picture of Ghosts in the Graveyard!  Halloween Photo Shoot!

This has been my favorite Halloween project this year!  And I love Halloween!
Ghosts in the Graveyard--a Halloween Photo Shoot!

Step 1: Old-Timey Photoshoot!

Picture of Old-Timey Photoshoot!

The first thing we did was take 376 pictures.

Well, lets back up.  I told my kids what I wanted to do.  Surprisingly, they were all on board!  Even the 4 year old!  Yay!
So we dressed them up.  I picked church clothes that looked the most old-timey.  And the boys wore some bow ties that I hot glued together.   The boys had vests...the girl had an old school dress and dark gray tights.  Pretty plain.

Then we found some accessories.  Old keys, a vintage pocketwatch and a lacy parasol.  

Then we trekked around our neighborhood...with me in a hoodie and yoga pants...looking for great picturesque places...and the little cemetery a mile across the road from us.  (yes, we walked...we are a 1 car household)

Then I would take pictures with my kids in them...then they would come stand by me and I would take a few of just the background.
The best part about this photoshoot is that I didn't need all my kids to smile at the same time!  :)  I just told them to look kind of sad...and we got some great shots!

Step 2: Pixlr Time!

Picture of Pixlr Time!

I am a photoshop girl.  I've used it since high school...I think that's when the cavemen first invented photoshop for pc's.  Anyways.
I decided to try out pixlr...and I love it!
It's super bonus there!  And it navigates basically the same as photoshop, so it didn't take me long to figure things out!
So, try it!

I loaded in 2 pictures.  One with my children in it...and one of the plain background!

Step 3: Then the Simplistic Editing!

Picture of Then the Simplistic Editing!

The edits here are super simple!  But that's perfect, anyone can do it!

Here's what I did. 

Open up both pictures in pixlr.

Then copy the picture with the people and paste it right over the top of the plain background picture.

You have 2 layers now.  Then on the top layer (the one with the people) select that tiny carrot: Toggle Layer Settings (see picture)
It will bring up the OPACITY bar.  This is the fun part.  Just use the slider to make the people appear ghost-like!
Every picture is different.  Some I took the opacity to 60% some only 73%...

Then you want to look at the layers and make sure they line up as good as they can.
Not always super perfect, but it gives it a vintage double exposed kind of feel!  

Then I Desaturated the images...
You can also do sepia tones or old photo effects.

Step 4: Then OVER-DO It!

Picture of Then OVER-DO It!

And if you're me, you will over-do it!  After all, we took over 300 pictures!

We altered tons of pictures!  We had them printed in 1 hour at Walmart, made cards for family and friends and wall decor for the entry way!

It helps if you have some ornate vintage frames...kind of spooky!

I realize this would be very disturbing if any of my children ever die...but for now, it's a great Halloween addition!

Thanks for viewing!  Let me know what you long as it's nice! ;)
And please vote for me if you liked it!  :)


jolemannen (author)2016-10-10

cool i love it :D

Wiredfey (author)2013-03-23

Want to try this project but was wondering which you used.i went to the site and there was three options,editor,express,and o-matic.

was curious
have fun

SpencerH2 (author)Wiredfey2015-10-01

You would want to use the editor.

jessyho862013 (author)2012-11-06

and congratulations too ok :D

WhatWasIthinking (author)2012-10-31

Congrats on your win!

YES congratulations!!!!! :)

paqrat (author)2012-10-16

Beautifully done. I may have to try this and I am a total klutz with a camera.

doodlecraft (author)paqrat2012-10-17

Thanks! I used a tripod and the pictures weren't too complicated...might as well give it a try! :)

jfreeman3 (author)2012-10-16

Must say, I find this pretty awesome looking, and not that difficult to do. I've been looking for a nice tutorial/layout of what to do. I have been having the hardest time with Photoshop Elements. So, thanks for sharing this with us!

doodlecraft (author)jfreeman32012-10-17

Thanks for the nice comment! :) I've used Elements before too...with no success! Weird, seeing that I feel really competent with photoshop 7...and pixlr translates pretty similarly. Biggest thing is how much time you have to spend learning it! Hope you try it out, this tutorial is pretty basic, just takes time taking pictures! :) Thanks again!

The King of Random (author)2012-10-13

Simple and creative! I love the effect!!

Thanks! Yes, simple is my middle name! Best part was the period clothing...that seals the deal! :)

Yeah I was thinking about how much time and effort you put into staging your instructables. They always look so professional! Nothing simple about that I'm sure!! :)

Thanks Grant! I'm a blogger. I post tutorials on my blog every day! Then I can transfer pertinent ones to instructables...I just do it for the contests! :) What can I say...that's what we do!

I'm glad to see you got featured again. You really are so awesome!!

Avatar_I_Am (author)2012-10-14

Very nice, good idea, nicely executed.
Beats the heck out of the way we did it with film, calculating double exposures
in the camera, or printing a double exposure with two negatives in the darkroom!
Might even be better than using the built in double exposure settings in most digital SLR cameras these days!
Well Done! Bravo!

doodlecraft (author)Avatar_I_Am2012-10-15

Thanks so much! Yes, I did some double exposure stuff in my photography class in high school...I am thankful for editing software...but you need GOOD pictures to start! :) Thanks for your kind comment!

inthegold (author)2012-10-15

love the ghost like picture, in the graveyard! It looks real, how did you accomplish that! I love Halloween because I was born the day before Halloween. Great job!


doodlecraft (author)inthegold2012-10-15

Glad you like it--and yay for another nearly Halloween baby! It's a simple technique...but my art teacher always said "crap in, crap out!" take some good pictures and you will get a good finished product! Thanks again! :)

pehughes (author)2012-10-14

Doodlecraft! Very cool!.

But I am incredibly dense. I brought up both pictures OK. I tried to copy one to paste over the other and got strange boxes appearing. So exactly how do you do that? I could not rt click to do it, nor use the copy under the edit tab. I also could only get the layer(s) on the right side to toggle between the pictures. I'm goofing something real simple, I think. Any help? Thanks. Peter

doodlecraft (author)pehughes2012-10-14

I use my control control A to select all, then control C to copy...then highlight or click on the other picture and then control V to paste.
You can do the control A to select all and then just click and drag that layer to the other picture....
I hope this makes sense! :) Good luck!

pehughes (author)doodlecraft2012-10-15

Doodlcraft! WoW, it does make sense and works for me. Thank you! Insanely, ghostly cool! Peter

onemoroni1 (author)2012-10-14

Nice instructable. However, I'm lazy and did this before digital years ago with film by using the double exposure feature on my camera. Just composed it in the camera compensating exposure by underexposing each exposure on the same frame by one stop. Did it a couple Halloweens with the kids in costume.

doodlecraft (author)onemoroni12012-10-14

Ha ha ha--Lazy! Double exposing on a camera and all that compensation still sounds like a bunch of work! :) Thanks for your comment!

onemoroni1 (author)doodlecraft2012-10-14

No, not complicated at all. Cannon A1, set exposure dial -1, shoot, push DX lever, shoot, and repeat for more layers, very easy and lazy. Of course the wait for developing as opposed to Photoshop.

Aw good ole film and I still have my pentax K1000 SLR and a slug of unused film from about 6 years ago stuff still works great, I do not understand this digital stuff.

Lindie (author)2012-10-14

Love this!

doodlecraft (author)Lindie2012-10-14

Thank you! :)

darrennie (author)2012-10-14

Awesome job. Thanks for the idea and Happy Halloween.

doodlecraft (author)darrennie2012-10-14

Thanks! Happy Halloween to you to! :)

ourjobasparents (author)2012-10-14

Another Halloween baby here :D (10/31/1982) This is cool!! I never knew how to use Photoshop so I never bothered. But after seeing how fun and simple this is I may start playing with it. I have to check out the other program you said. Next stop... to visit your blog now :)

Yay for Halloween! You should definitely try out pixlr! My kids love it too! I just tell them that there isn't a button that if you push it the computer will blow up--so try out everything you can! Have fun! Thanks, I hope you do check out my blog--it's so fun! :)

donnalee1966 (author)2012-10-14

GREAT idea, simple instructions! This would be a FUN way to make invitations for a Halloween party, especially if you could use photos of the people who are invited. Thanks!!!

doodlecraft (author)donnalee19662012-10-14

Yes, I have so many other ideas formulating for using this technique! :) Thanks for your sweet comment! :)

corvhinus (author)2012-10-14

amazing work.people like you make me proud to be a halloween's child ((10-31-1986 )).my compliments to your children for recognizing their mother's genius :D

doodlecraft (author)corvhinus2012-10-14

Oh, I've always been envious of people born on Halloween! It is my favorite! Thanks! And yes, I am a genius! :)

corvhinus (author)doodlecraft2012-10-14

id think it would be a nice effect if you dressed someone up as the grim reaper, and then use this technique to havethe ghost image of him stand behind a person as he puts a hand to their shoulder...

but thats just me

Numero uno92 (author)2012-10-12

This does seem VERY similar to "Hugo booms" entry with just more photos,and his one was uploaded first.. Kids look really cool though!

Thank you! :)

doodlecraft (author)Numero uno922012-10-14

Ha, you are right, we used similar's cool to see how much variety you can get from photo editing! :) Thanks! We had a blast, and I think the bowties helped! :)

builddoll (author)2012-10-14

I love it!!! I'm a huge Hallowe'en freak so this effect makes a great addition to haunted houses.

doodlecraft (author)builddoll2012-10-14

Thanks! This would be perfect if there was an old dilapidated house nearby to take pictures at! :) I'm a Halloween freak too!

TeganJovanka (author)2012-10-13

which pixlr did you install? when i went to install it there where 3 types
Pixlr editor
pixlr express
pixlr -o-matic
which one should i use????

doodlecraft (author)TeganJovanka2012-10-13

I used Pixlr editor...the advanced one.

TeganJovanka (author)doodlecraft2012-10-13

ok thanks.
sorry i was confused as there where different types...

WhatWasIthinking (author)2012-10-12

This is one of the best. I am going to use this edit to make a family portrait for our party.

The old fashion clothing was a great touch.

Thanks! Yeah, we intend on doing some family pics too! And the old fashion clothes were the icing on the cake! :)

About This Instructable




Bio: Hi! My name is Natalie! I have an awesome husband that lets me be a Play-at-home mom of 3! We homeschool and do projects daily ... More »
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