Awhile back I used a photo texture to add a little extra dimension of interest to a series of photos I had been working on and one of my readers asked for a little insight into how to use textures. So, here we go!
The thing with using a texture is to make sure that you don’t overdo it. As with most effects, and I’m guilty of it too, it is very easy to keep piling on the filters or textures, or pushing the sliders farther and farther to the right, which can often lead to a pretty messy image. And, as post-processors, we are often too close to it to notice when we’ve gone too far.
To quote from a couple of movies “Small moves, Ellie, small moves” (from Contact) and “Aim small, miss small” (from The Patriot). Since the temptation is often to keep going I often try to remember the spirit behind these two quotes that if you keep control over your adjustments you will have better luck hitting your target.
This is not at all to say that you shouldn’t let inspiration strike you and experiment and go above and beyond to see what might happen. But you will often find that subtlety will take you far.
Likewise, not only is it possible to go a bit overboard with an effect, but you can also hold onto it for too long. Once again it’s something I’m guilty of too, if you find an effect that you like you will use it all the time. Don’t. It’s one thing to develop a signature style, but it’s another to beat a dead horse. You shouldn’t use the same effects all the time. It will get old pretty fast, and not every image benefits from the same treatment.
In the following images I’m going to walk through what I did to add a texture to one of my photos. The steps are included in the captions, so please click on the first image and step through the others as we go to check out what i did.
Leave a comment below along with a link to some examples of how you use photo textures in your own work!