Add an Element of Art Design Into Your Photos - Texture

August 22, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

Texture is an element of art that is often used in photography, whether it’s physically existing in the object captured or added during post-processing. The tactile feeling is conveyed to the viewer through surface quality, whether it is rough, smooth, hard or soft. 

In the photos “Tangled” and “Nature’s Ice Sculpture”, the rough curly texture of the leaves and the glossy smooth undulations of the ice are highlighted (by increasing contrast) as the images’ main subjects, giving a sense of depth to the two-dimensional pictures.

TangledTangledCurled leaves of a dried plant resemble a plate of tangled pasta.

Nature's Ice SculptureNature's Ice SculptureIce cave formed on the shore of Crystal Beach. Amazing how nature's forces can sculpt the dimpled patterns in the ice without the use of any chisels or tools.

Additional textures can be used to enhance the surface quality of the original images. In “The Beginning of The End”, the rough bark on the tree trunk and roots is further accentuated by the cross-hatching pencil sketch treatment applied in post-processing. 

The Beginning of The EndThe Beginning of The EndRoots and truncated trunk of tree, best portrayed by a pencil sketch.

Similarly, the pencil crayon effect in the “Red Rock” image makes the elements of clouds, rock and grass pop out with a three-dimensional quality. This effect is similar to painters applying multiple layers of oil onto the canvas and creating textures with their brushes or palette knives. 

Red RockRed RockRed Rock Canyon depicted in pencil crayon.

Some photographers add other textural effects (wrinkled paper, cracked stone walls, etc.) as backgrounds to their images, combining the main subjects with the specific context for an aged or artistic look. I’ll cover this approach in a future blog post.  

Try experimenting with different textures in your photos, whether enhancing the natural qualities of the objects or applying artistic filters to produce fine art images.


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