|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.
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.
*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.)
|First, Let me check its expiry date. by rajeev22675|
from Best Photo of the Week
|Dairy Way by BodkinsBest|
from Best Astrophotography Landscape #4
Residents of a Paris street plagued by Instagrammers, selfie takers and music video crews are asking the city government for a weekend and evening ban to give them some peace.
The adapter plugs into the Osmo Pocket's USB Type-C port and features a 3.5mm TRS jack to plug in various external microphones.
Checkout allows Instagram users to select products for purchase and make payments directly in the app.
GauGAN as it's known, can create photorealistic images from basic drawings using the power of artificial intelligence.
The EOS RP is Canon's latest full-frame mirrorless camera, with diminutive dimensions and a diminutive price. Find out how it stacks up and get our thoughts in our early review.
Montana judge Dana L. Christensen has ruled the Republican National Committee did not infringe upon the copyright of photographer Erika Peterman after they took a photo from a Democratic candidate's Facebook page without permission and altered it to use in a derogatory promotional mailer.
Nikon has launched updates for three of its programs to address various bugs and glitches that could cause crashes and unwanted results.
LEE Filters has launched the LEE100, its next-generation filter holder that improves the design and looks in all the right places.
With the arrival of some much-needed sunshine and final production firmware for the Panasonic S1, we've been able to get outside and really start putting the camera through its paces.
Importing, culling and tagging photos is about to get a whole lot faster and look a whole lot better with the impending arrival of Photo Mechanic 6.
On its own, the FTZ adapter retails for $250 and when bundled it dropped the cost to just $150. Now, Nikon is offering it for free with all Z6, Z7 purchases in the United States.
Profoto said it spoke with Godox back at Photokina 2018 and continues to contact Godox in an effort to stop it from marketing its V1 light.
Product renders in Italian publication Notebook Italia show an unusual design that conceals all cameras with the help of a slider mechanism.
Canon says its new EF 400mm F2.8L IS III and EF 600mm F4L IS III lenses can suffer from an intermittent flickering when shooting video in M or Av modes with certain cameras.
Leica recently announced the Q2, a digital rangefinder with a fixed 28mm F1.7 lens. It's a heck of a lot of fun to shoot with, but is it right for you? Based on our time with the camera, and its specifications, we've examined how well-suited it is for common photography use-cases.
Now that our Panasonic Lumix S1R has final firmware, we couldn't wait to get out shooting with it - and we also tried the high-res mode, which combines files to get 187 megapixel images. Because sometimes, 47 megapixels just isn't enough.
In this article, travel and landscape photographer Mitch Green encourages us to spend more time in the the field.
the lens lacks any electronics whatsoever and is constructed entirely of glass and metal. Of course, that comes at the expense of weight — this thing weighs in at 1.1kg / 2.43lbs.
Drones can be useful tools in urban areas, where they're utilized for everything from news reporting to building inspections, but flying in these areas requires careful preparation. Here's what you need to know to do so safely.
Hasselblad has released a new cable release and USB double battery charger for its X1D medium format camera .
After a report published by NBC News, Flickr has taken heat for allegedly letting IBM 'scrape' photos for use in its facial recognition datasets. But the problem isn't what it seems on the surface.
Samyang has announced the impending arrival of the AF 85mm F1.4 FE lens for full-frame Sony cameras.
Some Photoshop shortcuts are simple and obvious. Others, not so much. Here are 15 shortcuts that are actually useful.
Twitter has redesigned its in-app camera for easier access from the timeline screen.
Independent cinema lens manufacturer SLR Magic has announced it will offer all of its existing MicroPrime range in the Fujifilm X mount and has even created a Fuji-specific 12mm lens.
We've updated our buying guides with three more cameras: the Canon EOS RP, Nikon Z6 and Olympus E-M1X.
CFexpress 2.0 cards will come in three different form factors, each of which will offer different maximum speeds.
Lensbaby has added a third tilt lens to its Optic Swap system, this time a 35mm lens, adding to the existing 50mm and 80mm options.
Sigma has released firmware updates for a number of its lenses as well as its EF-E adapter to address various errors and features with Canon, Nikon and Sony cameras.
We've added the Fujifilm X-T30 and Sony a6400 to our 'Best Cameras under $1000' buying guide. These two mirrorless models pack in a lot of features for just $900 body only.