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Halloween Party Tricks and Spooky Photographs

Martha Stewart Living, October 2006

What could be better, in this spooky season, than to blur the lines between real and unreal, and give your holiday photos a supernatural spin? With a little sleight of hand (and a few digital tricks), you can conjure spirits of all sorts, each with a ghastly story to share.

Many home computers will be compatible with image-editing software programs (Adobe Photoshop and Apple iPhoto are user-friendly options), and a manual can explain the necessary techniques -- including silhouetting, gradient masking, and making an image transparent. If you're an amateur at image editing, try simpler photos, with fewer elements, to start. If you prefer to avoid editing photos altogether, we've got some nondigital tricks you can use; just gather your craft supplies and build a set for your photo shoot. But before you snap a single frame, think of the story you want your photos to tell. Remember, it's Halloween: the ghostlier, the better.

Wandering Apparition

Keeping His Head

Mirror, Mirror

Disembodied Limb

Making Ghosts How-To

Punch Bowl Prop How-To

Levitating Table of Treats How-To

Pumpkin Basket How-To

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