Software Technique: Creating and Adding Textures

Adding a texture in Photoshop is a simple, easy way to add a painterly effect to a photographic image.

Adding texture to photographic images has exploded in popularity in the last year or so. You can create your own textures, or choose among a wide range of both free and commercial offerings available on the Internet, including smartphone and tablet computer apps.

The resulting images often look more like painted pieces of art than pure photographs. The beauty of working with textures is that you have a great deal of latitude in how you choose to apply them. Some images respond to a more aggressive use of texture while others benefit from a much subtler approach. In this article I'll show you how to achieve results to match a range of personal preferences and styles.

A colorful subject against a blurred background... ...can be changed dramatically by adding a texture.

Adding textures is not a new approach. In fact, I was first exposed to it by Freeman Patterson at a workshop a decade ago. He was still working with film, and he would sandwich two slides together in the enlarger - one a photograph of the subject, the other of a specifically chosen texture - to create a final image that was often mystical and far beyond the ordinary.

Since the two slides were sandwiched together, in essence doubling their density, each slide needed to be over-exposed. The trick was to determine how much to over-expose each image, which made for a lot of trial and error to prevent the texture from overpowering the subject, while still remaining visible. And of course you had to carefully consider the color of the 'texture' slide, as it would greatly impact the final result. These hurdles limited the popularity of the technique, and are probably why you've never heard about it.

Creating a composite image is much easier in the digital darkroom since you can modify the exposure of the individual images after the fact and precisely control the way in which they are blended together. That means less frustration and far more successful results. As a bonus, you can even add multiple textures for endless possibilities.

This image combines a strong composition with dramatic light. A subtle texture creates a different mood without veering too far from a photo-realistic result.

Creating a Texture

Creating your own texture is easy. You can photograph any number of items to use. Paper towels, wooden siding , concrete, sand and clouds can all work well. Let your imagination soar! Once you've decided what to shoot, fill the frame with your chosen texture. Try different angles and compositions. Shoot from up close up and further away. Remember, the more choices you give yourself at this stage, the more options you can explore later in Photoshop.

Be sure though to keep your camera parallel to the plane of the texture so that the entire area will be in focus. I find that most times using an aperture of f/8 is adequate. If, however, it's not possible to hold the camera parallel to your subject, then you may need to shoot at a smaller aperture to ensure adequate depth of field. One trick in this situation is to focus at the hyperfocal distance. Set your focus one third of the way from the near edge of your subject since your depth of field will extend a bit further behind the point of focus than in front of it. This assumes, of course that your subject lays relatively flat along a single plane.

The orange color and random patterns of rusted metal make for an interesting texture.

Generally speaking, I find textures that aren’t overly contrasty or detailed easier to work with, but there are no hard and fast rules as to what will work and what won’t. Furthermore, should you find that a texture you've photographed is too contrasty or simply the wrong color, you can always modify it in Photoshop.

If you don’t have time to shoot your own textures or want to use some preexisting ones as a starting point, there are numerous sources on the internet, just a Google search away. One site that has some nice textures is shadowhousecreations.blogspot.com. The image below was created using one of their free textures.

I liked the optical illusion that the boat was carrying the sun, but the image feels a bit flat. Adding a texture provides a sense of dimension that was missing from the original.

With free textures available, why would anyone bother to pay for one? A main reason concerns the size of the files. Some of the free files are smaller, relatively low res files. If your goal is to apply textures to images from a 16MP camera, for instance, these small files may not produce acceptable results when they are upsampled to match the dimensions of your primary image.

Don't make any assumptions when you're purchasing textures, however. I suggest downloading samples whenever possible to be sure you’re buying something that will work at your desired size. Another advantage of paid files is that they are often bundled together in logical groupings that make it easier to identify the type of texture, making it easier to choose the most appropriate one to use. Some sites, such as flypapertextures.blogspot.com regularly feature work created with their textures, which can serve as inspiration for your own creations.

Applying a Texture to an Image

Let's get to work and see how this is all done. In the steps below I'll be using Photoshop CS5, but Photoshop Elements users should find it easy to follow along.

The first step is to open the primary image (shown above) and perform any necessary spotting. Next, I open the rust image and use the Move tool (V) to drag it on top of the primary image.

To resize the texture layer, choose Edit>Transform>Scale. Drag the handles to resize the layer and press Enter/Return to apply the transformation.

If the texture has a varied pattern to it I often make it larger than the primary image. That way I can use the Move tool tool and fine tune its position, which may extend beyond the visible image area. I then set the Blending Mode in the Layers Panel to control how the images are combined.  Here I've chosen Soft Light, but experiment with the other modes and you'll soon find your own favorites. 

For the best results, you'll almost always want to reduce the opacity of the texture layer. Start by setting the Opacity slider to a value of around 75% and make adjustments until you have a pleasing blend between the two layers.

If you'd like to flip or rotate the texture layer, click on that layer (so it is highlighted in blue) and go to Edit>Transform. From this sub-menu you can choose from a number of rotation options as well as perform a horizontal or vertical flip.

There are some areas in which I want to reduce visibility of the texture layer. I add a layer mask to the texture layer, choose a soft-edged brush, set the foreground swatch to black and set the brush opacity to 50%. I then paint* on the layer mask to 'hide' portions of the texture layer. I added a Curves adjustment layer to boost the contrast. To restrict this edit to the texture layer I press the clipping mask icon (it's to the left of the 'eyeball') at the bottom of the Adjustments Panel. The bottom layer now remains unaffected by the Curves adjustment.

*Before painting with the brush, verify that the layer mask, rather than the image layer itself is selected - the layer mask will show 'frame corners' around its icon in the Layers panel. Otherwise you will be painting over the pixels in your primary image!

A quick tip: When painting on a layer mask I recommend using relatively short, frequent brush strokes as opposed to long, meandering ones. You can press Opt/Cmd Z (Alt/Ctrl Z on Windows) to step backward through individual strokes. By using multiple strokes you can undo small changes without starting over from scratch.

The final image with the texture applied.

In the example above, I used only a single texture layer, but there's nothing to stop you from adding multiple texture layers in a single Photoshop file. The basic concepts remain the same. You may also wish to experiment with additional effects found in Photoshop's Filter menu. Don't limit yourself to photorealistic results, you're an artist painting with pixels. The results should be limited only by your imagination!

If you prefer a program that can automate most of these steps for you, you could try Totally Rad’s Dirty Pictures. The price is a bit steep but you might find the time savings and ease of use to be worthwhile.

I should point out that adding a texture is not intended to magically turn poor images into masterpieces. And textures do not improve every type of image. For the best results you need to begin with good quality images that are well-composed and exposed. Then you can use the technique I've shown you to make good or great images even more eye catching. Have fun creating a new look with your images.


For more detailed instructions on using layer masks and blending modes, please see Photoshop CS5 for Nature Photographers; A Workshop in a Book (Anon & Anon, Sybex 2010.)  

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions held by dpreview.com or any affiliated companies.

Comments

Total comments: 80
androidian slip
By androidian slip (Aug 12, 2012)

for those of us lacking occasion to incinerate monies please rehash the article for GIMP 2.8+ with G'Mic.

0 upvotes
Funduro
By Funduro (Jul 22, 2012)

Interesting affects if used on the proper subject. I see myself using this in the future on some industrial machinery images. Thanks for the detailed article.

0 upvotes
Zombie Stew
By Zombie Stew (Apr 22, 2012)

I often enjoy tinkering with software that generates seamless textures. I have a license for Filter Forge

http://Filterforge.com

Consider also investing in TextureMaker once the developer comes out of hiding

http://www.texturemaker.com/tour.php?index=9

It has a an "extract" texture from any image feature. Self referential as with some procedural textures: pull texture from an area of the source to apply to the image as a whole with some of the article's techniques.

There are [now] dozens of great F/OSS procedural (seamless) texture creation tools

MapZone
fxGen

** Not covered in this article are layer blend modes

http://facweb.cs.depaul.edu/sgrais/layer_blending_modes_in_photosho.htm

I am nearly infuriated that adobe resists adding a feature to allow user created layer blend modes. This custom mode should be stored in the photoshop format file so others need not have locally installed your custom layer blend mode. ALSO the plugin SDK needs to be expanded to allow this.

0 upvotes
androidian slip
By androidian slip (Aug 12, 2012)

is the texturemaker guy in a coma? God forbid

0 upvotes
androidian slip
By androidian slip (Aug 12, 2012)

custom layer blend modes are possible in gimp with G'Mic ... but aren't re editable as you might like

0 upvotes
MauriceFH
By MauriceFH (Dec 24, 2011)

You are preaching to the converted I suspect. The large majority of Photographers do not like "messing about with Photoshop" - then mess about using techniques to help improve their image in a way that cannot be easily detected! I suggest you are exploiting the concept of ART - and good luck to you, eventually the majority will become the minority; like Politics really, work hard enough and the "penny will drop".

Thanks for your insight.

0 upvotes
Robert Anthony
By Robert Anthony (Dec 16, 2011)

Outstanding article. Thanks for leading the way.

0 upvotes
kryznic
By kryznic (Dec 10, 2011)

wondeful article! thanks! cant wait to give some of my old photos a new look.

1 upvote
Gary Zuercher
By Gary Zuercher (Dec 6, 2011)

The French Impressionists of 1870-1900 were the artists who, in reaction to ever-improving photographic technology, made oil painting more expressionistic and "painterly" rather than photo-realistic. Today's photography, especially digital photography, can be made more "painterly" by the use of the techniques mentioned in the article and others. That being said, I always remind myself that, just because I CAN doesn't necessarily mean I SHOULD.

1 upvote
PaulGrand2
By PaulGrand2 (Dec 6, 2011)

And thus its ironic that the impressionists were the first artistic movement to fully embrace photography!
I recently saw a website dedicated to their photographic source material, fascinating! :-)

0 upvotes
PaulGrand2
By PaulGrand2 (Dec 6, 2011)

Speaking as one half of the Flypaper Texture team, i'd like to thank Ellen for this enlightening feature!
Btw, its a little known fact that the Victorians also used purchased glass plate textures in their darkrooms,
this was forgotten about until only recently.
JParker, thanks for the history, Steichen's photographic movement was called 'Pictorialist'.
Our painterly textures concept is based upon the French Impressionists who in turn influenced the Pictorialist photographers we all admire.
Rayven, the texture used on the first image is Luminescent from our Flypaper Tex Pack 2.:-)

2 upvotes
Ellen Anon
By Ellen Anon (Dec 6, 2011)

Thanks Paul. Interesting about the Victorians use of glass plate textures - I didn't know that. And thanks for identifying the texture I used!

1 upvote
PaulGrand2
By PaulGrand2 (Dec 6, 2011)

A pleasure Ellen, and thanks for the feature!:-)
Its true, I was amazed when fellow flickr texture friend showed me antique magazine ads for those textures!
What we're doing now in PP was done in a darkroom over 100 years ago!

0 upvotes
drh681
By drh681 (Dec 6, 2011)

good article.
But textures can be either a tool or a crutch.

I've seen many images which the photographer tried to pass off as artistic when in fact they were sub-par; and the texture was the only interesting thing about it.

1 upvote
LoganVii
By LoganVii (Dec 6, 2011)

I remember the good old days in the lab experimenting... The only difference, now I don't smell like dektol when I finish my pictures. Great Article!

1 upvote
Paul Farace
By Paul Farace (Dec 5, 2011)

software is another photographic tool, just like a wide angle lens, flash diffuser, or whatnot...

Only today it is the predominant tool with the widest versatility... not always enjoyable to us gadgetheads, but just as legit here as anything!

3 upvotes
J Parker
By J Parker (Dec 5, 2011)

If some of the naysayers were more versed in photographic history, they would understand that Ms. Anon's excellent article is part of an established tradition that existed long before the makers of Photoshop (and those of us who read her article) were even born. One of modern photography's pioneers, Edward Steichen, was also a painter who opened a renown gallery that included not only photographers, but Picasso and Matisse among its artists. Strange how decades ago, these masters didn't have all the hangups we lesser mortals do about what photography was and could be.

In 2006, Steichen's photograph "The Pond--Moonlight" sold for $2.9 million -- a world record at the time. It looked like a color photograph, except there was one problem -- at the time it was made (1904), color photography was still 3 years away. It was hand manipulated to give the impression of color and texture!

Ms. Anon and DPReview, thank you for an outstanding article.

5 upvotes
white tea
By white tea (Dec 5, 2011)

Is it still dpreview? A website with reviews and tests of cameras and lenses?

0 upvotes
djsphynx
By djsphynx (Dec 5, 2011)

The dpreview you're referring to is gone.

Here's a suggestion for you: why don't you explore the site a little more? They've added printing resources, articles such as this one, there's a forum (as you probably know, photography contests etc.

PS: change is good.

4 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Dec 6, 2011)

@djsphynx - it isn't gone - we're putting out more of our 'traditional' content now than ever. It's just being added to :)

0 upvotes
arhphoto
By arhphoto (Dec 5, 2011)

Great article. I will give it a try.
Thanks

0 upvotes
rayven
By rayven (Dec 5, 2011)

Hi Ellen!

I'm a painter and also enjoy photography. I don't do this kind of style often, but on the right photo, when printed, it looks wonderful hanging up with other traditional paintings. I'm in love with the first image and texture. Is that your own? Is it available to download/buy anywhere?
Thanks for the article and the links to sites. The textures are also great for digital painting too.

2 upvotes
PaulGrand2
By PaulGrand2 (Dec 6, 2011)

Rayven, the texture used on the first image is Luminescent from our Flypaper Tex Pack 2.:-)
Paul Grand

0 upvotes
step_ahead
By step_ahead (Dec 5, 2011)

very interesting.. ill definitely will try it!

1 upvote
LIGHT SABRE ELTERIBLE
By LIGHT SABRE ELTERIBLE (Dec 5, 2011)

Good article. Im sure many Photographers who would also like to call themselves artists will really appreciate it. For the rest of you who think photography is all about what gear you have and how well you use it, well im sorry this article wont appeal to you.

3 upvotes
Digital Tips
By Digital Tips (Dec 5, 2011)

Great article.

I remember my old photography teacher did a nude portrait of his wife lying on some rocks by the sea, and then somehow managed to give the print the texture of canvas.

It was hung on his wall like an oil painting.

I think a lot of people don't like to delve too deeply into the artistic waters of photography... strangely they feel it diminishes the image.

Everyone has their own particular leanings. Personally I think it's all good.

6 upvotes
LiSkynden
By LiSkynden (Dec 5, 2011)

Funny that people say "who needs this" etc. cause i think everyone here has been using Photoshop a lot.
I mean why use Photoshop, Lightroom etc. if they like the originals better ;)

If anyone cares to take a look, here's my edit, trying to make a poster to look like it has been in a basement or something like that for years.

Before
http://i1033.photobucket.com/albums/a414/lindon4/after.jpg

after
http://i1033.photobucket.com/albums/a414/lindon4/before.jpg

Comment edited 13 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Peter Nelson
By Peter Nelson (Dec 5, 2011)

It was only yesterday I provided much of this same information in a reply in someone's post who has real talent for seeing foggy mornings and the effects this has on our world. This article is a reinforcement of my lesson, although the topic is a little different they both work very well. I was instructing on the lasso tool and how you can create seperate layers and make PP adjustments like contrast, sharpness, brightness to specific areas of a photograph to improve the final image or at least make it closer to what you saw or what you envision. It's a good idea for DPR to be providing this kind of tutorial information where everone can see it. We can come here for knowledge and less so for the squabaling going on in many forums over camera gear. So thanks DPR staff!
-Peter

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 5 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
LightRoom
By LightRoom (Dec 5, 2011)

Nice article. Shows that photography can be one of the arts. Of course there will always be those that despise anything that is not "forensic" photography. But in reality, a photograph is always a manipulation. Just by choosing to take or not a shot, you are already manipulating reality. So why shouldn't people investigate new ways of expression.

Why should altering the DOF be fine and even desirable, but the use of textures not? And I could go on and on about all the manipulation that goes on in what some may consider "normal" photography.

It's just another thing you can do, of many. No need to get uptight about it. Don't like it, don't do it! But what gives some people the right to decide what is permitted to be called photography? Also if you read the article carefully, one realizes that it's pure photography, even from a strict academical position.

6 upvotes
Steve and the dogs
By Steve and the dogs (Dec 5, 2011)

Very well written article, clear, simple instructions and very easy to follow.

3 upvotes
MatthewRogers
By MatthewRogers (Dec 5, 2011)

This was cool in the Photoshop WOW V 1.0 book but not so much now. And are there really people using Photoshop that need such basic info ?

0 upvotes
gilo
By gilo (Dec 5, 2011)

Why would one feel the need to do that?

1 upvote
Martinka
By Martinka (Dec 5, 2011)

it's trendy, like HDR (tone mapping) :D

1 upvote
robneil
By robneil (Dec 5, 2011)

Thanks for taking the time to put this together, Ellen. I really like the opening image.

The beauty of digital photography is the infinite options it gives us to CHOOSE what we want in a final image. Some consider themselves "purists" and are not interested in anything but "perfect" (in their eyes) untouched images; good luck to them. Others use the tools available to provide the particular image or "look" they had in mind; each to his or her own!

Thanks again Ellen - ignore those who feel the need to criticise just because their personal taste differs.

5 upvotes
bed bug
By bed bug (Dec 5, 2011)

Thanks very much for the informative article, the first image is very beautiful. I also love your signature; what font is that?

Kind regards
Stephen

2 upvotes
Ellen Anon
By Ellen Anon (Dec 5, 2011)

Thanks for the kind words. The font is P22 Zaner Pro - purchased from www.myfonts.com .

0 upvotes
Poweruser
By Poweruser (Dec 5, 2011)

I like the originals better.

5 upvotes
Ellen Anon
By Ellen Anon (Dec 5, 2011)

Sometimes I do too - and in that case, don't apply a texture. It's just an option to create a look that some people like, and as with all artistic options, that some people don't. If there weren't differences in taste, everything would look pretty much the same and that would be boring. Thanks for taking the time to read the article and comment.

5 upvotes
OneGuy
By OneGuy (Dec 5, 2011)

Well done Ellen.
A local photoshop is offering a large format (4x4 feet) prints on a textured (3D) canvass. Bit pricey but that's another dimension.
Does your method mask a low res or higher noise of the original? One person I know (yes, its a she) likes the purplish hue and other color artifacts an inexpensive camera makes in low light. Is there any way to work with that?
Finally, I do not do (anything) Adobe. Are there any alternatives you know of?
Cheers,

1 upvote
Ellen Anon
By Ellen Anon (Dec 5, 2011)

It's tempting to think that adding a texture hides that the image is lower res or has noise. To a small extent that may be true. However, as I say in the article, for best results, you want to begin with a strong image. A low res file that's enlarged to 4 feet x 4 feet is not likely to have strong detail and may be pixelated. The catch is that the farther you are from the image, the better it will look. Chances are that with an image that large, you'll be fairly far away. Bottom line is that if you are going to enlarge a low res file that much, adding a texture may help the final appearance as long as it's viewed from a distance.

As for the purplish hue and such of your friend's camera, I would use standard PS editing techniques to remove them if she sees them as undesirable. I don't have space here to go into details, but you could check out my PS book for that.

I'm not sure of another program that lets you combine pixel layers, but if something comes to mind I'll let you know.

0 upvotes
Ellen Anon
By Ellen Anon (Dec 6, 2011)

Check into onOne Software. Part of Perfect Suite 6 is a program called Perfect Layers 2 that I think can be used to combine images.

0 upvotes
Andreas Stuebs
By Andreas Stuebs (Dec 5, 2011)

Nice... But is this still photography?

1 upvote
KVirtanen
By KVirtanen (Dec 5, 2011)

Not all of it, there are also ships and a person running at the beach.

(har-har)

But seriously, history has shown that the meaning of the word 'photography' can be very broad. From dark room tricks to slicing up the negative and writing on it by scratching, all the way to photoGRAMS... People have always liked to find ways to express themselves by pushing the boundary of what constitutes 'photography'. To me, it seems that only the tools have shifted to digital a digital realm.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
athlondj
By athlondj (Dec 5, 2011)

Quote: I believe that these photographs are the result of an artist, not a photographer.

1 upvote
Andreas Stuebs
By Andreas Stuebs (Dec 5, 2011)

It is just that, when a person takes a photograph and paints over it, it is generally perceived, that the resulting picture is no longer a photograph. Where is the difference if you then use a programme to "paint over" the original image? I like some of the images presented and no criticism of the work is intended but I do question whether it is not art using photography rather than photography.

0 upvotes
Ellen Anon
By Ellen Anon (Dec 5, 2011)

For me photography is an art and techniques such as this blur the boundaries between what is a traditional photograph and what is a painting. (But note that these techniques have been used for a long time including in the days of film.) These images began with a photograph and then I worked with them to become more reflective of my vision. To me that's an artistic process - perhaps in a realm we could call Photo Art or Photo Painting or some thing.

But does it really matter if it's "still photography????"

Obviously it would matter if someone presented a forensic image or photojournalism this way, but these techniques are not intended to produce documentary images used for field guides. Photography is an art and art implies it's an expression of the creator's vision.

2 upvotes
HeezDeadJim
By HeezDeadJim (Dec 7, 2011)

Is animation still "animation" if computers were thrown in to render CG parts and not "100%" hand drawn or stop-motion animation. It's still photography since its still wholly relying on the photo as the main focus of the piece. The texture is an accenting factor (like post-pro vignetting to photos).

A calendar is still a calendar even if you throw photos in for each month. A newspaper is still a newspaper with or w/out photos for each article. Why wouldn't a photo with a few alterations or additions still not be considered "photography"?

If some people think adding things takes away from a photo, how is adding a black border or stamping your name any different? Those don't come "straight out of the camera".

0 upvotes
Debankur Mukherjee
By Debankur Mukherjee (Dec 5, 2011)

Nice Article.. Can anyone post a tutorial on making old damaged photograph effect with Photoshop CS5......URL will also do.......

0 upvotes
gbet63
By gbet63 (Dec 5, 2011)

Ever try google to obtain some great information?

0 upvotes
JudyH
By JudyH (Dec 5, 2011)

Thanks for the excellent article and examples Ellen. I often use textures with my photography. A good source of free quality textures is Shadowhouse Creations.

2 upvotes
Ellen Anon
By Ellen Anon (Dec 5, 2011)

Thanks Judy. Yes, Shadowhouse Creations is a good source for textures. The link to their site is included in the article.

1 upvote
francealot
By francealot (Dec 5, 2011)

The links don't work.

0 upvotes
Ellen Anon
By Ellen Anon (Dec 5, 2011)

The links partially work for me although the linked site appears as a tab that you need to click rather than the new page opening completely. Hopefully one of the DPReview staff can make the links automatically open when you click them. Sorry for the inconvenience.

1 upvote
f8pc
By f8pc (Dec 5, 2011)

I usually think it's tacky but the first image is extremely well done. After that, not as much.

3 upvotes
cam shooter
By cam shooter (Dec 5, 2011)

Thanks Ellen, a very good informative article. I’ll have to give it try.

2 upvotes
Kerry Munroe
By Kerry Munroe (Dec 5, 2011)

From the start, photography is about manipulating images. In the dark room adjusting the exposure, dodge and burn, chemical variations and cook books, different papers. What about cropping! To leave it in, to leave it out? The digital era is no different, only much more powerful and dynamic.

Feel free to like or dislike this person's images, but this well written article may enlighten a few of us to another photographic tool. It did for me.

Thank you Ellen for your time and effort.

11 upvotes
Ellen Anon
By Ellen Anon (Dec 5, 2011)

I agree and thanks for the kind words.

0 upvotes
Deutsch
By Deutsch (Dec 5, 2011)

Ellen, Thanks for the article. I can't paint, so your technique is especially nice and something I will try. I enjoy the diversity in photography and both the top and bottom photo definitely bring out yet another form of photographic art. Good job!

Comment edited 40 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
Ellen Anon
By Ellen Anon (Dec 5, 2011)

Definitely give it a try, but don't be frustrated if you don't like the results with the first image you try it with. It doesn't work with all images, but you'll soon get a sense for when it does work. Techniques like this increase the expressive opportunities for those of us (myself included) who are not fluent with painting.

0 upvotes
Bob Meyer
By Bob Meyer (Dec 5, 2011)

I kind of feel photographs shouldn't try to look like something they're not (e.g.,paintings). Not really to my taste, but to each his own. I'm sure lot's of people don't like my taste in photos.

Comment edited 20 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Ellen Anon
By Ellen Anon (Dec 5, 2011)

The ironic thing is that there is a trend among painters now to create photo-realistic paintings. Some of them look exactly like a photograph ... and I can't help but wonder why paint it then? But precisely as you said, "To each, his own."

0 upvotes
Lee Jay
By Lee Jay (Dec 5, 2011)

"and I can't help but wonder why paint it then?"

Because you can get a photography of an event that never actually happened, except in your mind.

http://ep.yimg.com/ca/I/yhst-130547148227411_2166_3844097

0 upvotes
Ellen Anon
By Ellen Anon (Dec 7, 2011)

"Because you can get a photography of an event that never actually happened, except in your mind."
Well that's a very good point that didn't cross my mind! I was so caught up in the realism that it never occurred to me that it could be a fantasy. Thanks for pointing that out.

0 upvotes
djsphynx
By djsphynx (Dec 4, 2011)

Thx for the contribution Ellen.

3 upvotes
Ashley Pomeroy
By Ashley Pomeroy (Dec 4, 2011)

I was fully prepared to be sick in my mouth, but these are actually pretty restrained, and the last image is nice. Now, about the Sigma SD1, what's it like?

0 upvotes
JakeB
By JakeB (Dec 5, 2011)

Hyperbole much?

1 upvote
Pixpa
By Pixpa (Dec 4, 2011)

I never really saw the point of adding textures, but there are a some good ideas here and I do like the impact of the first image.
Thanks for the article.

2 upvotes
pami24
By pami24 (Dec 4, 2011)

Instead of new lens reviews we now get this nonsense

4 upvotes
djsphynx
By djsphynx (Dec 4, 2011)

Hey pami24, can you please get on that new lens review for us?

4 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Dec 4, 2011)

Lens reviews will restart in 2012 - the move from London to Seattle put them on a temporary hiatus. This content is in addition to our normal reviews, previews and news (you'll notice that Ellen doesn't appear on our 'About Us' page).

1 upvote
Makinations
By Makinations (Dec 5, 2011)

Barney,

Perhaps you should put the "This article is not by the review staff. No reviews were harmed by the publication of this article." disclaimer at the top of all the contracted content like this. Might prevent 10% of comments like the above.

M

3 upvotes
CAClark
By CAClark (Dec 5, 2011)

Because it doesn't interest YOU it is nonsense?

I can't say this is my cup of tea either, but I see the merit of it as an extension of art & photography, and I'm not nearly arrogant enough to classify it as nonsense because it doesn't float my boat.

2 upvotes
JakeB
By JakeB (Dec 5, 2011)

Don't be so rude.

3 upvotes
Brian J Butler
By Brian J Butler (Dec 5, 2011)

Are you referring to your reply?

0 upvotes
Maraya
By Maraya (Dec 13, 2011)

What part of a "Software Technique" is a new lens review? Get with the program and pick your articles accordingly.

Comment edited 41 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
ukrondreis
By ukrondreis (Dec 4, 2011)

Awful kitsch.

7 upvotes
Lee Jay
By Lee Jay (Dec 4, 2011)

I always work to avoid exactly that look.

9 upvotes
Zoran K
By Zoran K (Dec 4, 2011)

Ah, really ?

Then I will ask for my money back !

1 upvote
PaulGrand2
By PaulGrand2 (Dec 6, 2011)

Speaking as one half of the Flypaper Texture team, i'd like to thank Ellen for this enlightening feature!
Btw, its a little known fact that the Victorians also used purchased glass plate textures in their darkrooms,
this was forgotten about until only recently.
JParker, thanks for the history, Steichen's photographic movement was called 'Pictorialist'.
Our painterly textures concept is based upon the French Impressionists who in turn influenced the Pictorialist photographers we all admire.
Rayven, the texture used on the first image is Luminescent from our Flypaper Tex Pack 2.:-)

0 upvotes
Maraya
By Maraya (Dec 13, 2011)

Great article Ellen ...exactly what I have been looking for to enhance some old houses that I want to print...The blurs/textures will do nicely to help with some modern things encroaching in the scenes...much better than a vignette in this case.
Thank you

0 upvotes
Total comments: 80