Using Textures

8/15/2012 5:54:49 PM

Trent van der Jagt borrows a few backgrounds to help lend punch to an image - a technique that can be very effective when used to add some drama to wedding portraits.

Description: Before Using Textures

Before Using Textures

When that moment arises, the perfect scene appears or when everything in a shoot starts to come together, photographers often get caught up in the thrill of capturing what we see.

Everything seems so perfect and you just know you're going to be over the moon with the results. Then we sit down at the computer and things just don't seem to pop like we thought they would.

Image preparation

The image you've selected should already be correctly processed. Before adding any textures, have it looking exactly how you want it, preferably to should match the theme you'll be going for once the texture is added. Make sure you have correctly added any adjustments or tweaks.

Texture selection and importing

Once you have your image ready, carefully select the correct texture. If you don't want your image to appear grungy or weathered, select something subtle.

I'm using a rough but subtle texture to emphasise mood. But you can always select more than one texture to use on separate sections of an image.

Make sure the texture is large enough; if you apply it to a larger image, it will be considerably lower quality. Select the texture you're after, open your main image in Photoshop and select File >Place > and add it in.

Description: Select and place your texture
Select and place your texture

Description: After applying the texture

After applying the texture

Once the texture is open, it will be a new layer. If it doesn't cover your entire image, resize it to fit.

To combine the two layers, change the Blend Mode, which blends a layer placed above our background layer. Experiment a bit with the different blend modes until you find what best works for your image, keeping in mind that you can drop the opacity and mask certain areas of the texture if it isn’t working for a particular section. I'm using Overlay. It will likely be too intense for the image, drop the opacity until it suits your needs.

Description: Change the blend mode
Change the blend mode

Description: Try overlay blend mode
Try overlay blend mode

Description: Experiment with opacitiy
Experiment with opacitiy

Description: The texture appears over the original layer
The texture appears over the original layer


Select the Texture layer and select the Layer Mask option at the bottom. Use paint brush and paint black over an area you want to erase the texture from, in this case the face. If you go too far, a white paintbrush will reveal the layer again. To create a better transition between areas of texture and no texture, adjust the brush's size, flow and opacity options as you go.

Description: Adjust the brush options for effect
Adjust the brush options for effect


Once the texture has been added, you may wish to tweak the image a little by adding a vignette (Filter > Lens Correction > Custom Tab > Vignette) or desaturating by adding a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer, remembering that you can always use the Masking technique to add or minimise adjustments. The end result should be that you've added some new and intriguing elements to your image. Remember to play around with different textures and adjustments to find what works best for you and the image, and try and set an overall goal for the end result so as not to be disappointed with a different outcome.

Description: Add a slight vignette
Add a slight vignette

Description: Desaturate slightly
Desaturate slightly

“Set an overall goal for the end result so as not to be disappointed with a different outcome”

Top 10
Nikon 1 J2 With Stylish Design And Dependable Image And Video Quality
Canon Powershot D20 - Super-Durable Waterproof Camera
Fujifilm Finepix F800EXR – Another Excellent EXR
Sony NEX-6 – The Best Compact Camera
Teufel Cubycon 2 – An Excellent All-In-One For Films
Dell S2740L - A Beautifully Crafted 27-inch IPS Monitor
Philips 55PFL6007T With Fantastic Picture Quality
Philips Gioco 278G4 – An Excellent 27-inch Screen
Sony VPL-HW50ES – Sony’s Best Home Cinema Projector
Windows Vista : Installing and Running Applications - Launching Applications
Most View
Bamboo Splash - Powerful Specs And Friendly Interface
Powered By Windows (Part 2) - Toshiba Satellite U840 Series, Philips E248C3 MODA Lightframe Monitor & HP Envy Spectre 14
MSI X79A-GD65 8D - Power without the Cost
Canon EOS M With Wonderful Touchscreen Interface (Part 1)
Windows Server 2003 : Building an Active Directory Structure (part 1) - The First Domain
Personalize Your iPhone Case
Speed ​​up browsing with a faster DNS
Using and Configuring Public Folder Sharing
Extending the Real-Time Communications Functionality of Exchange Server 2007 : Installing OCS 2007 (part 1)
Google, privacy & you (Part 1)
iPhone Application Development : Making Multivalue Choices with Pickers - Understanding Pickers
Microsoft Surface With Windows RT - Truly A Unique Tablet
Network Configuration & Troubleshooting (Part 1)
Panasonic Lumix GH3 – The Fastest Touchscreen-Camera (Part 2)
Programming Microsoft SQL Server 2005 : FOR XML Commands (part 3) - OPENXML Enhancements in SQL Server 2005
Exchange Server 2010 : Track Exchange Performance (part 2) - Test the Performance Limitations in a Lab
Extra Network Hardware Round-Up (Part 2) - NAS Drives, Media Center Extenders & Games Consoles
Windows Server 2003 : Planning a Host Name Resolution Strategy - Understanding Name Resolution Requirements
Google’s Data Liberation Front (Part 2)
Datacolor SpyderLensCal (Part 1)