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8 Photoshop Actions for Fun, Fresh, Frightful Halloween Photos

This post is part of a series called Adobe Photoshop Actions for Photographers, The Ultimate Guide.
15 Photoshop Actions For Portraits Under $10
How to Relight Portraits in Post With These 6 Dramatic Photoshop Actions
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Are you as excited for Halloween as the Envato crew? We're pretty excited! In celebration of the spookiest of eves, here are eight fun, fresh, and frightful Photoshop actions from Envato Elements to give your pictures a Halloween spin.

Eight Great Photoshop Actions for Halloween

Haunted Action

Transform anyone into ethereal specter with this action. This non-destructive process is easy to apply and adjust, and creates a look that is completely other-worldly.

Haunted photoshop action preview
Haunted Photoshop action by Micromove/Envato Elements

Noire Actions

In fact, not one but twelve actions are included in this set, all to help you create a cool, dark cinematic thriller look. Choose a heavy effect (like below) for maximum mood, or dial it back for a subtly unsettling twist on reality. 

Noire photoshop action illustration photograph
Noire Photoshop action by Micromove/Envato Elements

Zombie Action

People who love zombies are, well, pretty darn ravenous about 'em. Make the zombie look without the make-up using this Photoshop action. Paint-in the area to zombify and run the action for full flesh-eating glory.

Zombie photoshop action preview
Zombie Photoshop action by Eugene-design/Envato Elements

RGB Glitch

Glitch and distortion is unsettling in a psychological way that's hard to pin down. It just works. Add colour offset and tracking glitches to your photos with this action. A word to the wise: with this action, spookiness is maximized in dark images containing bright highlights, as below.

RGB glitch photoshop action illustration
RGB/Glitch Photoshop action by Devotchkah/Envato Elements

Glow in the Dark Action

Now this action is cool. Inverted, vibrantly coloured, glowy images: it's a neat look! A bit freaky. Conversely to the above, this action works best with pictures that start out with a dark subject on a light background.

Glow in the dark photoshop action illustration photograph
Glow in the Dark Photoshop action by Micromove/Envato Elements

Sin City Action

Rich black and white with a touch of blood red—classy, and more than a little bit dangerous. Inspired by Frank Miller's neo-noir graphic novel and film of the same name.

Sin City Photoshop action by Micromove/Envato Elements

Duotone Action

More than a hundred colour variations are possible with this action. Discordant colours work well for halloween, but, like the Sin City action above, a perfect choice is red and black: moody, foreboding, heavy. Sinister!

Duotone Photoshop action by Micromove/Envato Elements

Strangest Things Action

And finally, halloween just isn't complete without a Stranger Things inspired text overlay. Use the included background or your own, replace the text, and voila!

Strangest Things Photoshop action by Micromove/Envato Elements

Five Quick Tips for Halloween Pictures

Halloween imagery tends to be dark, in composition, lighting environment and subject. This creates a few challenges and opportunities for portraits:

  1. Use a flash, if you can, to help stop motion and create a crisp image. If you're up for it, take the technique one step further with a slow shutter speed. This will create a crisp image and spooky ghosted motion blur.
  2. Hard light is better than soft for a dramatic look. One small light is usually enough to create a hard-edged image.
  3. Halloween costumes often have great texture, like the zombie photo above. Keep colours simple but bold to help focus the viewer's attention on this aspect.
  4. Ask your subjects to act as their character. This will help them get into the mood, and give you better expressions and poses.
  5. Don't be afraid to go over the top and experiment! Halloween is a great opportunity to test your boundaries as a photographer and try new ideas.





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