A simple Halloween or "scary" photo manipulation can be accomplished with little photo editing experience. With a little help from Corel Photo-Paint I'll show you how to take three different photos, and using layers and some tweaking of blending options, create a scary photo.
Things you'll need:
-a copy of Corel Photo-Paint (I'm using version X5, which can also be downloaded for a free 30 day trial at corel.com)
-three different pictures which you want to manipulate/combine
-a basic background image
-a texture ( to help give it a little bit of "age"
-a photo of a person/people (preferrably an "old-timey" photo in black and white)
-about 30 minutes (depending on skill level)
Step 1: Halloween Themed Photo Manipulation (Ghostly Old Mansion) : Picking Your Photos
Like I said in the first step you'll want to pick three different photos which will be manipulated to form one "ghostly" photo.
I have chosen:
-a picture of a rocking chair in a room by itself (nothing scary here - found this at morguefile.com a royalty free photo site)
-a texture of the cover of an old leather book (I found this online - make sure it's royalty free)
-an old picture of a woman sitting in the grass (this too was royalty free and found online)
Step 2: Halloween Themed Photo Manipulation (Ghostly Old Mansion):Import the Photos
The first thing that you'll want to do after deciding on your photos is to import them all into Photo-Paint and onto different layers (since you'll be tweaking them individually)
If you are new to Photo-Paint or any other editing software (Gimp, Photoshop, or Pixlr, etc.) most editing software will automatically place each individually imported photo onto it's own layer so you shouldn't have to worry about this. However, if you do need to create your own layers you can look at the right hand side of the screen in the "Objects" docker and down at the bottom there are three buttons, you want to choose the one that says "New Object"
Depending on which photos you choose you'll want to rearrange them in a way that makes sense. Because we'll be utilizing layers, you don't want to have your "scary factor" photo placed on a layer which will be below other opaque layers. Transparency is your friend in this case, and you can always tweak how transparent the layers are, but you only have soo much control, so a little bit of "effect" goes a long way.
Step 3: Halloween Themed Photo Manipulation (Ghostly Old Mansion):Background Image Tweaking
In my version the "background image" is actually first in the layers stack because I want the texture to show through the picture of the person and the picture of the room to give it a really old feel, and I want the picture of the person to show through the picture of the rocking chair in the room.
You'll need to double click the layer with the room on it and set the "Merge" drop down box to "color dodge"
in the Active Object slider box you'll need to set the top left white circle to a value between 0 and 25 (once again depending on your photo), and the top right white circle to a value around 215 (depending)
in the Composite underlying slider box you'll need to set the top left white circle to a value around 160, and the top right white circle to a value around 80.
Step 4: Hemed Photo Manipulation (Ghostly Old Mansion):Ghostly Old Person Image Tweaking
Now, you'll need to click the layer with the person on it and (make sure it's selected) use the eraser tool to erase the area around the person and use a "brush nib" that is feathered/gradient
Now, double click the layer and Merge drop down box make sure that the "screen" selection is selected
In the Active Object slider box you'll need to set the top left white circle to a value around 100 (once again depending on your photo), and the top right white circle to a value 255 (depending)
In the Composite underlying slider box you'll need to set the top left white circle to a value around 170, and the top right white circle to a value around 160.
Once your old person photo is blended in to where you want it, add a white drop shadow by clicking the drop shadow tool and select small glow from the drop down box in the property bar - set your shadow transparency to 40 and your shadow feathering to 100.
Step 5: Halloween Themed Photo Manipulation (Ghostly Old Mansion) :Texture Image Tweaking
Now, you'll need to click the layer with the texture on it and (while using the "masking tool") mask the white areas around the oustide of the texture - then delete this area that you just masked.
You are done with this layer, now all you have to do is export this as a jpeg and you've got a scary manipulated photo