How to Make Photos Look Dark & Creepy in Photoshop

Updated February 21, 2017

If you had hoped to take photographs to look like "a dark and stormy night" but Mother Nature wouldn't cooperate, you don't have to replan and reshoot your images. Manipulate the Man in the Moon and other creepy effects by taking your photos into a graphics program, such as Adobe Photoshop. With Photoshop, you're able to add dark and creepy effects to a not-so-creepy photo, controlling how your images turn out on the screen no matter what they looked like on the other end of your camera.

Open Photoshop, click the "File" menu and select "Open." Navigate to the photo to turn dark and creepy and double-click it. The picture will open in the Photoshop workspace. Click the "View" menu at the top of the screen. Select "Fit on Screen" so you can see the entire image.

Click the "Image" menu at the top of the screen, click "Adjustments" and select "Brightness/Contrast." Drag the window off the picture so you can see both. Slowly slide both the "Brightness" and "Contrast" bars to the left, seeing how they darken the image. Click "OK" when satisfied.

Click "Image" and "Adjustments" again, this time selecting "Hue/Saturation." Move the "Lightness" bar to the left to remove more light from the picture. Slide the "Hue" bar to the left or right to change the overall colours left in the image, such as turning everything a blood-red sheen. Move the "Saturation" bar to the right to amp up the brightness of the small bits of colour left in the image or to the left to turn everything shades of grey. Click the "OK" button.

Click the "Lasso" tool on the "Tools" palette on the left side of the screen. Draw an outline around an object in the picture, such as a person or animal. Right-click the blinking dotted lines and select "Layer via Copy."

Click the "Window" menu and select "Layers" to open the "Layers" window. Double-click Layer 1 to open the "Layer Style" window. Check both the "Outer Glow" and "Drop Shadow" boxes to give the object a lit-from-behind and shadowed look. Click "OK" to close the window.

Repeat the "Layer Style" process for other objects in the picture by clicking the Background layer in the palette, selecting the "Lasso" and starting again.

Click the lined icon at the top-right of the "Layers" palette, select "Flatten Image" and click "OK." Click the "File" menu, click "Save As" and give the photo a new name to preserve the original.

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About the Author

Fionia LeChat is a technical writer whose major skill sets include the MS Office Suite (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Publisher), Photoshop, Paint, desktop publishing, design and graphics. LeChat has a Master of Science in technical writing, a Master of Arts in public relations and communications and a Bachelor of Arts in writing/English.