Ghost Photo competition

We here at the 21st Floor are offering you a chance to learn some new skills, to try out your creativity and win yourself a signed copy of Richard Wiseman’s “Paranormality”.

The task? We want you to create a ghost photograph! Using photoshop, paint, hand drawings or in camera effects we want you to create for us and our panel of experts a truly terrifying and effective ghost photograph.

The winning photo will be judged on creativity, originality and how difficult our panel find it to work out how it was done.

The panel consist of:

  • Ash Pryce, your resident Freaky Friday columnist and former ghost tour guide.
  • Hayley Stevens, writer of the Hayley is a Ghost blog and paranormal investigator
  • Bob Dezon, formerly of the Bad Psychics website and ghost photograph

But, just how easy is it to fake and create ghost photos? Well, here are some, in true Blue Peter style, that were made earlier (in some cases over 100 years earlier!)

1. Intentional Double Exposure:

This method was favoured by William Mumler. Mumler was a 19th century photographer who, one day, failed to clean the camera plate correctly, before film and digital they would use plates to effectively burn the image onto before using the plate to create a paper based copy. When he re-used the incorrectly cleaned plate it created a ghostly double exposure. Mumler quickly went into business charging ten times his standard price for a “ghost photograph” even going so far as to photograph the (unknown to him) widow of President Lincoln with her dearly departed beau hovering above her. Mumler was eventually found out and taken to court, fined and fled to another city to start the cycle all over again.

2. “Vortex”:

A vortex can be created by simply allowing your camera strap to fall in front of the lens and create a warped wormhole style effect like a “vortex”. Having spent years working on ghost tours and seeing tourists snap pictures, I saw a lot of vortexes!

3. Acetate:

I only recently came across this but it uses a similar method to the above Vortex. Basically, draw a microscopic image onto a piece of acetate or similar clear object and place in front of the lens. This will create a blurry out of focus image.

4. Long Exposure:

Set your camera so that it allows in light for a little longer, to create the ghost effect keep the camera steady and walk in front of the camera. The resulting blur can be quite spooky.

5. Image Editing software:

There are many types of image editing software out there from the free ware – GIMP – to the pricey but fantastic Photoshop. With the right creative ability you could even use a combination of Paint and Publisher to create a ghost photograph.

These are just some of the methods that have been used and you could incorporate. Or maybe you have another idea? So, get cracking and email your pictures with the subject FREAKY FRIDAY GHOSTS PHOTO COMP to

Competition closes Monday June 18th with the winner being announced the Friday immediately after.

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