Photographers have been adding textures to photographs for many decades. Long before the days of digital imaging, texture was added using various means. These include in-camera multiple exposures, scratching directly onto negatives or layering two negatives together in the enlarger, one of which was an image of a texture. Today, we can still enjoy the same level of experimentation with textures through digital imaging to help add that extra “WOW” factor to our images.

WHAT IS A PHOTOGRAPHIC TEXTURE?

In the context of digital imaging, a texture file is simply a photographic or scanned image of a textured object or material. Textures themselves are NOT PHOTOSHOP ACTIONS. They are typically supplied as image files, for use in Photoshop or other image editing software, which will allow them to be LAYERED above the primary photograph. Their application is relatively simple, and we’ll outline this below.

WHY APPLY TEXTURES TO PHOTOGRAPHS?

Textures can be added to photographs to help convey emotion, add mood or, depending on the style of the texture, create a more artistic feel. Textures can also be used to add to a story. Consider how an aged sepia-coloured paper texture might set the scene for a past era, while a cool, metallic-like texture might help draw the viewer into a science fiction story.

Digital textures can also be applied to images photographed against plain backgrounds to add another layer of interest. This process allows for experimentation and versatility. Financially, it can also be more feasible to create more variety in post-production with digital textures, compared to the cost of purchasing the same number of physical painted backdrops.

photoshop textures by kelly brown newborn posing photography

WHAT SOFTWARE DO I NEED?

When you purchase and download a Texture Collection from NewbornPosing.com you will find a folder of .JPG image files. These files are your textures which you’ll apply and blend as a layer above your primary photograph in Photoshop or Photoshop Elements.

Note, there is no action file needed to use digital textures.

APPLYING DIGITAL TEXTURES IN PHOTOSHOP

Kelly Brown has created this free tutorial video to demonstrate how to apply digital textures to your photographs using Adobe Photoshop CC. As textures are simply an image file, they can be used with any version of Photoshop or Photoshop Elements which supports layers, blend modes, opacity and masking (or erasing).

MORE READING

You might also be interested in our article on Adding Variety to your Digital Backgrounds.