If you find yourself looking at a photo in your editing software and wondering how to give it a bit more ‘get up and go’ then it may be time to start experimenting with adding textures; but what’s a ‘texture’? For you to fully undertake using textures when editing, you need to be able to use a programme that lets you work with three main operations:
2. Blend Modes
3. Brushes and or masks
Once you have these ‘under your belt’ it won’t take long before you’ll be experimenting with a wide range of choices. So what’s a ‘texture’? A texture is an image / photo of just about anything. In general it could be a photo of wood, concrete, steel, iron, water, material and so on; you get the idea. Once you have your main image loaded into the layers panel, a new image comprising of any texture can loaded into your software which then becomes a new layer above your main image. At first your screen will only show a larger image of your texture (whatever it is) but don’t fret, the idea is to ‘blend’ the texture into your main image and here you’ll use two main tools; ‘the blend mode option and the opacity slider’. In essence, you are adjusting the artistic feel of your image to give it a bit more ‘get up and go’.
To help get you started, I’ve included 15 Free texture downloads at the bottom of this blog.
The following screen shots should give you a greater understanding. The main thing to remember is that you need patience because there is no right or wrong with this, it’s down to personal taste. There are however one or two pointers for guidance. If your image has an overcast or bland sky, adding a texture overlay could be good. Also if you have a large amount of ‘negative space’ in your image the filling it with one or two textures may help. Remember also that you can add as many texture overlays as you feel, you can also duplicate the texture and change the blend mode and or opacity for a different effect; the options are endless.
The first two screen shots show that the cottage image has had three separate texture layers added; I also completed the layout with a small black boarder. Take time to view the second screen shot to pick out the texture layers
The second set of screen shoots show the lake and the palace. It has had has two texture layers inserted, one of which has text already on it together but i've added some separate adjustment adjustment layers.
While the third image started life as a black and white photo before I added a single texture, I then duplicated it and changed the settings on the second one. A third texture has been added together with some extra sharpening.
How to get textures? Well you can search and purchase some, you counted go to a site called pixaby.com any or you can photograph your own. Remember though, you will need to keep your camera square on to the flat surface to avoid distortion. The last option is to scan an image if you have access to a flatbed scanner. Hope I’ve encouraged you to have a try with textures. Now in no way am I offering these images as 'winners' I've just used them to show how textures work. Feel free to download the 15 FREE textures from this blog and just start searching the internet for more; there are lots of free ones out here. You will need to 'unzip' them before saving to your computer, enjoy.
Thanks for reading.
Terence Jones ARPS
A photography enthusiast with a long and varied interest in taking pictures.
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38) Adding Textures
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