As the night of the undead/highlight of the spooktacular calendar homes into view, we take a look at some of the most popular Halloween photo retouching effects dabbled in (on your behalf) by professional image enhancers.
Providing the dark arts are your fang.
And yes. We’ve just set out our pun-y stall for the rest of this blog. Sorry/not sorry.
Once upon a time anything spooky and computer-y started and finished with Pac-Man ghosts. And that was pretty much your lot. That being said, it will surprise nobody to learn that there are a bloodcurdling array of photo manipulation apps out there in SmartphoneLand these days. That can Zombie-fy anyone and everyone.
However, were you also aware that as a professional image enhancers our favourite photo retouching software tool also offers various ways in which we can easily put the frighteners on those privy to our visual handiwork?
No? Well read on to discover more.
More Thriller, Less Filler. Unless We’re Referring to Cure Frontman, Robert Smith, of Course
From Michael Jackson’s iconic ‘Thriller’ music video to Tim Burton’s seminal animated movie, ‘A Nightmare Before Christmas’, Halloween has long-held a fascination with those who have likely been noted in life as having – and I quote – ‘something of the night’ about them. As well as the odd professional image enhancer, by the same token. Odd as in numerically.
And one of the most celebrated aspects of All Hallows ‘een is undoubtedly the prospect of getting dressed up in outfits. Those which closely resemble antiheroes of popular culture and gothic literary fiction. And giant bananas with horse’s heads attached to them, according to a quick perusal of social media timelines.
Everyone’s getting their freak on at this time of year.
Another casual glance at the side bar of certain daily newspaper’s websites shows you the saturation point of celebs in high spirits. Jonathan Ross has carved out a solid (urban legend status) reputation in Celebsville for annually throwing what can best be described as ‘amazing Halloween parties’. Yet somewhat surprisingly DT have never received the invite to one of those shindigs.
Vamping Up Your Halloween Imag-eerie
But what about when we’re not all attending fancy dress Halloween parties. Ones where we purportedly assume the actual embodiment of a young Edward Scissorhands himself (all-in-one black PVC rig out? – check. Roughly-applied make-up? – check. Sharp fingernails? – check. Hair dragged through a well-topiary’d hedge backwards? – check)?
That’s when we spend a not inconsiderable amount of spare time transposing our familiar faces onto the instantly recognisable physical form of an extra from the cast of ‘The Walking Dead’. To impress those on our Instagram feeds, primarily.
Or a ‘Twilight-esque’ vampire, if that’s still relevant. In our day vampires started and ended with ‘The Lost Boys’ and ‘Bram Stoker’s Dracula’. But yeah; times/Halloween themes change.
Yet while there are countless downloadable apps readily available to transform us into right horrors, there’s also a whole world of Photoshop effects, filters and plug-ins we can play with too. If you’re REALLY looking to make a more lasting impression. And one that won’t wash off next time you step foot in the shower, post-Halloween party.
Freakily Unique Fangtastical Filters
Now, before we go any further we’ll level with you. Unlike some digital photo editing blogs of a similar nature to this, we’re categorically NOT going to share with you a whole host of Photoshop tutorials. Ones which show you how to create ghoulish Halloween-themed graphic effects. As that would be akin to revealing crucial tricks of our trade. Chitter chatter which might, subsequently talk us out of a job.
Although just for the record, we ain’t scared of no ghosts. Pacman nor Slimer. But remember this. You know EXACTLY who to call if you’ve got ANY digital photo manipulation queries.
Cobweb. Not the World Wide One
So instead we’re giving you the heads up on some specific Halloween filters and effects engineered by both Photoshop and independant, third party developers, which have been uniquely designed for those adept at the software package to fool around with in the lead up to the 31st of October. Professional image enhancers like DT, for example. Because let’s face it; Photoshop often appears as seeming witchcraft in the eyes of the uninitiated.
Hypothetically-speaking, if in the future you wanted us to digitally photo retouch an existing image of you (or yours*) in a Halloween styley, then you’ll be aware of what type of specialist effects we could facilitate to put you in the mood. As we’re on hand to fulfil your Halloween briefs, should you wish to spookify a photo for fancy dress party invite purposes. Or perhaps want to update your profile picture/cover shot on your social media.
8 Seriously Creepy Halloween Photo Editing Filters & Plug-ins to Make Your Images (Snap, Cackle and) Pop!
Smoke Effects – If you’re looking to instill a sense of bone-chilling atmosphere in your Halloween image, then introducing a smoke effect can certainly fit the criteria. Bespoke Photoshop filter developer, envato.com offer a number of smoke effects as a download. All of which are pre-rendered and non-destructive. Which means the original image you submit won’t be compromised in any way. One of the smoke effects is very ethereal, and as opposed to generating a dramatic style of smoke, has an other-worldly ambience to it, which we like.
Horror Glitch – You know what we mean here. When a psychologically unsettling fragmented image creates a sort of glitch/distortion effect. Which is an unnerving as it is inexplicable. Well, that. As a Photoshop plug-in. Very Paranormal Activity.
Zombie – What’s that? You want your photo to portray weird black veins, unsightly flesh wounds, missing limbs and the full-on zombie vibe for Halloween purposes? Then you’ve arrived at the right place.
Clown – Clowns eh? Tell me someone who doesn’t jump out of their skin when confronted with clowns. Apart from avid circus goers. No, we’re referring to Stephen King’s interpretation of the erstwhile kids entertainer. Now THAT’S proper scary, isn’t IT?? Well, this third party-crafted Photoshop filter comprises of 10 eye types, 6 paint options for eyes, 5 special horror effects and 3 paint options for mouth alone.
Ghost – A step up in terms of ghostly Photoshop goings on means plundering Envato’s Ghost Photo Creator plug-in. Which allows professional image enhancers to turn hitherto ordinary folk (objects and/or animals) into photo-realistic, grainy, transparent ghost-like apiritions. In a purely graphical sense.
Things That Go Dodge & Burn in The Night
Vampire – Twilight might be old hat nowadays (and our beloved, ‘The Lost Boys’, positively old school), yet every generation has a thang for vampires. Whether you’re a fan boy/girl of the romanticised Victorian ideal or a more contemporary slasher-esque vamp, we can, er, ‘vamp up’ your photos. According to how you see yourself. Various eye colours optional.
Glow in the Dark – Inverting colours works a treat and always tends to come across as a tad freaky. Add a vibrant glow to proceedings and before you know it you have a slightly disturbing version of yourself, Halloween-primed, courtesy of professional image enhancers.
Witch – From that streaky, dirty-teared effect to deadlier than the dead of night black eyes, we have the (professional image enhancer) powers to complete your metamorphosis. From normal/functional member of the public to full-on Blair Witch. Or if you prefer something more subtle, how about a Pendle hag? The choice is yours.
Generally Haunted Expressions – One of the many aftermarket plug-ins available, this simplistic one essentially allows the user to add a ghostly pale complexion to the image (ideally a human, obviously for full, dramatic effect). Picture the girl who climbs out of the TV set in ‘The Ring’ and you’ll along the right lines.
Footnote: Incidentally we’re in the business of restoring old family photos too, don’t forget. Those with or without an other-wordly presence floating about somewhere in the digitally image enhanced background.
*including your cute pet dog, if you happened to want to turn your Pug into giant spider or something equally bewitching