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Getting Spooky With Black And White Photos

By Nikki | Effects Showcase

Halloween is quickly approaching, and, like many other extremely cool people, it’s my favorite time of the year. Every year, I go nuts and deck out the house in creepy decorations and imagine ways to terrify the neighborhood kids. One of my proudest moments was dressing up as a bloody zombie attack victim, my friend dressing up as the zombie who had attacked me, and us hiding in the driveway until a large crowd of children walked by and then jumping out at them and watching them run down the street. It’s truly the simple things in life.

To me, nothing screams Halloween like black and white photography. Today, I’m going to show you how I used the BeFunky App to create spooky black and white photos to get into the Halloween spirit.

Finding Your Spooky Inspiration:

I think that, with the right perspective, even the most common places or things can be creepy. For this post, I chose to use a photo that my sister took on a morning walk in the small, funky town of Port Costa, CA.

spookyfogtrees 2

Port Costa is an old port town right on the water that was a very popular shipping port and Railway stop. Due to its colorful history, Port Costa is rumored to be haunted and is home to both a haunted elementary school AND a haunted hotel, which was once a popular brothel. Needless to say, the history of the town and the thick fog gave the perfect perspective to my spooky Halloween photo inspiration. Another thing to keep in mind when choosing a photo for your spooky black and white photos is that the photo should have several textures and layers to make it stand out. Also, if the photo is too bright, then the composition of the black and white photo won’t be very varied and will fall a bit flat. Which brings me to...


Upping the shadows and colors in your photos will add depth to them, which will make the black and white filters stand out more.


I use Beautify at around 35% under the “Edits” section of the phone app to give my photo some depth, and sharpen at at about 50% to make sure the textures in my photo stand out.

spooky fog trees edit

Playing With Effects:

BeFunky has many awesome black and white filters to choose from, so when picking one for your spooky halloween pictures, it’s important to know the effect you’re going for. Lucky for you, I have a sample of ALL of BeFunky’s black and white effects (and other spooky filters) to give you a taste of what we’ve got goin’ on.

B&W collage 1

Starting clockwise from the top left of the collage we have Cyanotype, Holga Art, Old Photo 1, and B&W Dramatic, all applied at 100% using the phone app. Cyanotype, Holga Art, and Old Photo 1 aren't traditional b&w filters, but they still pack a nice, spooky punch.

B&W Collage 2

For this collage, we have (clockwise from top left) Glowing B&W, B&W Warmer, B&W, and B&W Creamy. These effects are more for when you want your picture to have that traditional black and white look, but with a little oomph.

Now, my two personal favorites, B&W Cooler:

B&W cooler

I love this filter because it gives the trees a cold, ghostly feeling and makes it look like the fog in the background is rolling in.

And Pinhole:


This effect has an awesome creepy feel to it that makes the walking path in my photo both foreboding and inexplicably in need of exploring.

Now I’m confident that my photos are appropriately spooky and ready for Halloween!

Ready to get spooky?

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