Creating a ghost photo is fun -- and can sell well on stock photo sites

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Bonnie, here, again, with one more fun tip from our Provence Stock Photo Workshop.  

Shooting inside a 15th-century chateau deep in the French countryside, some of us saw ghosts:

Creating a ghost photo is fun -- and can sell well on stock photo sites
Cindy Guthrie

Taking a ghost photo is not only COOL, it’s actually pretty easy to do. Here’s how:

1. With a tripod, take a photo of a scene:

Step one of creating a ghost photo is to capture an ordinary scene like this.

2. Place a person into the scene and, without moving the tripod or changing your settings, take another shot:

Creating a ghost photo is fun -- and can sell well on stock photo sites

3. (Optional) Take a 3rd shot of that person moving, so you get some blur.

4. Open both (or all three) images in Photoshop, and make copies of the shots of the person, placing them on top of the original “room” shot in new layers.

You should have a layer for each shot, like this:

How to create a ghost photo using Photoshop

5. Reduce the “Opacity” of your top layer or layers so that they show through to the bottom layer. This will make your person look transparent, like a ghost.

How to create a ghost photo using Photoshop

TA-DAA!!

6. Optional advanced step: To erase away even more of the ghost and make it appear to “float” in mid-air, create a layer mask and use the paintbrush, set to “black” to paint away parts of the top two images.

It’ll take a little playing with it to get it just right.

You can also do this by taking two images with people in them:

Creating a ghost photo is fun -- and can sell well on stock photo sites
Cindy Guthrie

In this case, the “base” image is our model Isabelle, sitting at the table. Then, she got up and walked out of the shot, and we placed our “ghost” model, Dovile, into the shot.

In Photoshop, you’ll put the “ghost” layer on top of your person layer and reduce the opacity of that top layer.

Here are a few other ways we used the chateau for stock:

Creating a ghost photo is fun -- and can sell well on stock photo sites
Vicki Carson
Creating a ghost photo is fun -- and can sell well on stock photo sites
Marsha Wassel
Creating a ghost photo is fun -- and can sell well on stock photo sites
Valerie Wickland
Creating a ghost photo is fun -- and can sell well on stock photo sites
Elaine Hoffman
Cindy Guthrie

Renting and shooting in a French chateau is an experience of a lifetime. And this chateau in particular… there’s really no place like it in the world.

And to top it all off, the owners asked a local chef to come in and cook our farewell dinner right there in the chateau. Perfection.

But again… while it’s thrilling to rent a chateau, you don’t need to do anything special to take stock-worthy photos that can sell.

Do you know someone with a nice kitchen? Do you have any friends or family in the medical field who would let you shoot in that setting? How about someone with a stable… a farm… a little shop… or a great garden? Heck, you can shoot right there in your living room or on the back deck.

Any and all of these things can be the perfect backdrop to a stock photo shoot. The possibilities are endless for creating a passive income stream taking photos.

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