I looove Digital Textures! (examples + resources)

I've posted before about how much I really love using these digital textures in my photos. There are so many options you can use in Photoshop (or any editing program that allows the blending of multiple layers of work). I find a lot of my free resources on Flickr. If you're familiar with how Flickr works, you can search its Groups for "textures" and find some examples. Just make sure they are marked as free to use in your work. All of the examples here were made using those free texture resources except where noted. (you will need to have some knowledge of Photoshop layers to use the textures, but the links I provided below do give tips on this.)

Above is a simple photo I took last week of a dandelion weed. Although I really liked the negative space I thought this would be a great one to work with and texture. I added two textures- both on Darken blending mode at an opacity of between 40-50%. Then I went back and used the background eraser tool to lightly erase some of the texture over the detail of the floral so it would show through. Finally, I added the text, lowered the opacity so it blended better with the background, and moved it until I liked the composition.

This scene of a red-winged blackbird was kind of plain straight out of the camera. The sky was bright, but not especially interesting, and I thought the bare branches could handle some texture. I chose a light gray texture with long whitish streaks that looked like rain, erased away some of the texture around the center, and then added a slight vignetting around the edges. I also lightened the branches using the selective color tool so they would "pop" a little more.

Above, an ordinary photo of a flowering tree suddenly looks like a page from a vintage botanical book after adding a subtle texture. I lightened the leaves and flowers to the point where they had the same intensity as the background and didn't look too harsh.

Textures can also disguise parts of a photo that are otherwise distracting. This sign outside of a herb garden shop had a lot of charm but parts of it were discolored and rusty. I blended a simple, green canvas texture (purchased from Joy St. Claire, an extremely talented photographer from Ohio and great lady! you can see the textures she offers on her blog sidebar.)  I like the way it came out!

Ok, I have used this photo above before ( and it's in my current banner), but I find it magical. This was the night of the Supermoon, set against some beachy reeds and a lightened dusk sky. I added a subtle grungy texture for interest, blended it on low opacity, and then added randomly scattered text from a phrase I made up to go along with the image.

This is just a simple, kitschy sign atop a restaurant I noticed while shopping this winter. I used the selective color tool to brighten the red and white, then overlayed a misty, grungy blue texture with a soft vignette effect around the edges. It looks very sci-fi...doesn't it? I can't imagine this one without the texture now.

This macro photo of a simple acorn had a lot of pattern and interest, but I added this light brown "rough canvas" looking texture to give it even more. I played around with the blend modes until the acorn and texture just meshed together like one piece of art...now it almost looks like a different form of media.

I'm really still learning all of this, so I appreciate any feedback or tips anyone reading may have to share, too. I'll try to include them in a future post because I plan on playing around more with textures. I also have my own textures to offer you, which are free, mostly bokeh textures with circles of blur and light that add a magical, dreamy touch to photos. You can find them at the top of my blog, underneath the header on the Textures link.

Joy St. Claire textures, Moderne, Maggie texture sets
Grunge textures gallery
Textures for Layers - group in Flickr
Florabella's fine art textures set 

1 comment:

T@PoppyPlacePdx said...

Oh I think your been having way too much fun :)

I LOVE playing with textures but I am trying to developing my own. I SO wish I had photoshop, Santa told me he would buy it for me, so I better be good :)

I really, really like your Supermoon :)

Have a lovely evening, T. :)

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