A recent post over at Buck's Ghosts and Hauntings had me rooting around my hard drive for the various "hoaxed" images I had created over the years. While the intent was never to dupe anyone into believing they were real (they were mostly for illustrative purposes), the nonetheless have that potential - or so I would hope.
I think it is a good exercise for anyone who would attempt to debunk or defend purported images of supernatural phenomena to try their own hand at fashioning such images. In the process, you learn a great deal about what can be done, what looks most "real", and what gives an image away as a hoax. While you might be tempted to think that you need to plop down hundreds of dollars on a high-end image processing software such as Adobe Photoshop, the truth is that many of these effects can be done with more basic and far cheaper software. And, as is the case with the second image down, you need little more than serendipity.
NOTE: Click the image to see a larger version.