Ghost Spotting in Any Photo!




In this tutorial, I will show you how to put a "ghost" in any photo of your choosing. This is a great trick to know, especially with Halloween coming up! Fool your friends into thinking you managed to capture the image of a ghost in one of your photographs!

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Step 1: Choosing Your Photographs

Before you can put a ghost in one of your photos, you need to decide two things.

First, you need to decide what photo you want to put your ghost in-I suggest using one with enough empty background space to fit the ghost to avoid countless hours of editing. I used this old family portrait I found on the internet:

 Next, you need to decide which image you want to make into a "ghost". I choose an image of a women in a white gown, because of her already present ghost like qualities. However, you can use any image you want-you can even make your dog a ghost if you wish! Here is the image I used: 

Once you decide on your photos, you are ready to begin! 

Step 2: The Ghost Image

Before you can insert the ghost into your picture, you need to do a few things. First, you need to make the image into black and white. This can be done by going to Image/Mode/Grayscale or through Image/Adjustments/Hue/Saturation. 

Step 3: Resize and Select

After you've made your ghost image black and white, you need to re-size it to the size you want the ghost to be in your other photo. This might take some trial and error.

After you've chosen your size, select the part of the image that you want to use as your ghost. For example, in my picture, I just want the girl to be the ghost, I just selected her. The Magnetic Lasso Tool might make this step easier. 

Step 4: The Move

After you re-size and select your ghost image, copy your selection and paste it onto your other picture. Re position where you want your ghost to be. It will look bad at this point but don't worry! 

Step 5: Cropping

Unless you want your ghost to be on a plain background, (this is unlikely) you probably will need to do some erasing/cropping to make the position of your ghost look more realistic. This can be done easily using the eraser tool (don't forget to create another layer!) and of course Image/Crop. 

Step 6: Ghosting Part 1

Now is where the fun begins. In order to make your image look like a ghost, several things must be done. The first, is a simple motion blur. This can be achieved by going to Filter/Blur/Motion Blur. I choose a blur with a 5 pixel distance and an angle of 12. However, depending on your personal project/preference, this can be changed. I also used a Size 19 Brush Tool and dotted the border of the ghost girl with a white brush. This gives a glowing quality to the ghost. 

Step 7: Ghosting Part 2

In order to make this ghost more realistic, the Opacity should be lowered. This will give our ghost girl a see through, ghost like quality. At this point, it is up to you to tweak your ghost to your desired look. Other blurs can be used (Filter/Blur) along with the Brush Tool, the Blur Tool, the Blend Tool, and whatever you else see fit! Let me know if you find any techniques you would like to share! If your background is too light to see the ghost (like mine was), at this point you might have to do some filling on the background.

Step 8: Final Product!

This is my final project! I have been exploring more and more with these techniques, and will continue to post anything I find useful, as well as more "ghosted" pictures. Feel free to do the same! 

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    8 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction

    cool but if you look at the two men in the center at the top and stare you can almost see the layering making it look fake but otherwise i really like this and will try it out will prob. post pics.

    2 replies

    The top two men in the center aren't layered-the family portrait is in its original state except for the added ghost.

    and Thank you! Post your pictures when you make them!

    i know they aren't the add in but if you stare at them the ghost looks like it is added in not originally there so it can be obvious that it is cut in


    7 years ago on Introduction

    i don't think you should be doing this, taking away from the real pics. all you have to do is come on over to my house and you can get atleast 30 legit pics

    1 reply

    Thanks you! By the end of today this tutorial should be entered in the "Halloween Photo Editing Contest" (my approval is pending) if you have the chance give it a vote!