Monday, 28 June 2010

How to Add Texture to Your Photographs - a simple tutorial

I’m always asked how I add textures to my images, so I thought I would write a quick and simple recipe for you with a before and after photographic example. I use my own textures, however in this example I have downloaded some free textures from Isabelle LaFrance Photography.  Isabelle has free textures as well as free actions on her blog, so go and pay her a visit.

Here is the image BEFORE:

Step 1: Download the Free Texture Pack from Isabelle’s Website and save them onto your computer.

Step 2: Open up your Photograph. I’m using Photoshop, but I’m sure you can adapt these instructions to suit Elements.

Step 3: Open up “Burst – Free” texture that you’ve downloaded and change the colours using “Colour Balance”. I altered the colour from the original terracotta/green to a blue/fuchsia.

Step 4: Add the “Burst-Free” layer to your image. (Right click on the layers dialogue box and select “Duplicate” and select the image destination you would like the texture image to be sent to).

Step 5: Go back to your original image. It should now have the “Burst – Free” layer over the top. Resize if necessary. Set this layer to “Soft Light” and to about 63% Opacity.

Step 6: Open up “Organic – Free” texture and once again change the colours to suit. I altered the colour from the original mushroom to a turquoise.

Step 7: Add the “Organic – Free” layer to your image. Resize if necessary and set the layer to “Soft Light at about 60% Opacity.

Step 8: Duplicate the Original image and position this on top of the two textured layers.  Change this layer to “Black & White” (Go to Image – Adjustment – Black & White) and set this layer to “Soft Light” at 100% Opacity.

Step 9: Open a Curves layer mask and create a very slight S-curve – to suit your taste.  And you’re done!

Step 10: If you are posting the image up on the web, and you’ve used other people’s images – then don’t forget to give credit with links back to their site.

Here is the image AFTER:
beauty is a fragile gift

Please Note: The “recipe” will alter with each and every image as well as each texture layer you apply.  While setting it to about 60% Soft Light works in this example, in another example, Overlay at 20% may be the effect you’re after.  The trick is to experiment; there is no right or wrong way to apply layers. Of all the layer effects, I tend to use Soft Light, Overlay, Hard Light, Multiply and Darken the most.

If you have any questions, then please leave a comment and I will try and answer it for you.  In the meantime - Enjoy! :-)

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