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Creating Headless Halloween Pictures

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This post isn’t like any post I’ve ever done before, so I hope that you enjoy it!

This year for Halloween, I wanted to have some personalized decorations. I found a blogpost of 19th Century Headless pictures and I ran with the idea for our kids. I will even show you how to make your own! All you need is a digital camera and photo editing software. I will be using photoshop.

First, a few tips for making it easier:

  • Pull long hair up, or it will look weird to have hair on the shoulders (but no head)
  • Take the pictures on a simple background 
  • Have fun! 

Step 1: Take a picture with subject in it(remember keep the background simple!)

Step 2: Take the exact same picture without subject in it

Step 3: Upload both pictures into your photo-editing program

Step 4:  Using your move tool, drag the photo without the subject right on top of the picture with your subject. You will now have 2 layers, you will only be able to see the picture without your subject.

Step 5: Set opacity of top image (the one without your subject) to about 50%

Step 6: Using the eraser tool, erase away ALL of the top layer picture (the one without your subject) EXCEPT for around the head. With both layers at 100% opacity, your image should look like this at this point:

Step 7: Using the polygonal lasso tool, on the layer with your subject, trace around the head.

Step 8: Make a copy of the selected head by going to ‘Edit’ then ‘Copy’.
Then go to ‘Edit’, ‘Paste’. You should now have 3 layers. 1st layer: picture with subject, 2nd layer: the background covering the head, 3rd layer: (should be on the top of all layers) the new head.

Step 9: Place head where you would like it. It might be fun to have your subject holding a plate, and put the head on the plate.

Step 10: (Optional) Using the paintbrush tool, I drew in the back of the neck (it doesn’t have to be perfect, if you are using an action to make it look old fashioned)

Step 11: Flatten your image (so you only have 1 layer)

Step 12: Make it look old fashioned. You can do this on your own, but I chose to use an action by Totally Rad called Old Skool (Fast), there are lots of free actions out there you can play around with to get the desired look!

Step 13: Print, Display, and Enjoy all the crazy comments you will get about your headless pictures!

I would love to hear your comments.
Happy Halloween!



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