Adding Textures to Photographs - Part One

I’ve decided to break textures up into a couple of blog posts. It’s too much to cover all in one go.

If you’ve any questions leave them in the comments below or use the contact form which you’ll find by clicking ‘Contact’ in the top right-hand corner of the page (or menu section if using a mobile device).

I’ve been asked to do a workshop on textures so I’d love feedback on how you use textures, what problems you’ve encountered and if you’ve ever had a eureka moment when it all suddenly becomes clear!

Layers

Onions have layers, ogres have layers and good image editing software uses layers. I like layers. You can add them onto an image, adjust them to compliment your image or remove them entirely without damaging the original image.

Software

My editing software of choice is currently Adobe Photoshop. I pay for it through a Creative Cloud subscription like everyone else who wants regular updates and access to the latest features. I have to admit I’m not totally bowled over by the latest 2019 update to Photoshop, it’s very buggy, but I live in hope the next update will improve performance.

Simple Textures

Anyway back to layers, specifically texture layers. One of the ways I achieve a painterly look to my finished pieces is through use of my own textures. My definition of a texture is as follows;

A texture is a photograph where the patina is the main area of interest; either natural or intentionally made.

I could share some of my own textures with you, but where’s the fun in that!

No, you need to go out a photograph grubby paintwork, tree bark, animal fur, slate floors, bitty concrete or even a marble worktop with all its’ little flecks of texture. You can photograph old yellow envelopes, coffee stained napkins basically anything you can find in your home or while out and about.

In Adobe Photoshop I then place the texture as a layer over the original image, this affects the image globally (entirely), I would then make adjustments to blend the two together.

This is the simplest overview of working with textures, an approach if taken, will allow you to enter the resulting images into competitions or for distinctions where all the elements of the photograph must be your own work.

I’ll be going into more detail in part two, but if you can’t wait, check out this video I made last year about adding a snow overlay - which is based on the same principle of working with layers.