My Free Textures

5 06 2010

I do not use textures in my work very often, rather rarely, I would say. I was not charmed by it so far and I neither try to be master in it. There are others mastering the use of textures in their work, creating an original art this way, such as Barbara Kile or Anita Bower.

If you still do not know what I mean by using a texture in photographer’s work I will describe it a bit more. If you are interested in creative photography and you think that your photos are still missing something you can try to use a texture or even more textures. You can either create your own or you can choose some of the tons of free ones on the net, e.g. on Flickr’s group Textures for layers.

I should now probably state what is a texture in this meaning. The texture is usually a photo of some surface with interesting structure, colours, patterns etc. in it. A subject for such photo is usually a paper sheet, a tile, a cloth, a brick, wood and many other materials. Beside the textures of real subjects you can find also artificially created textures (made in some graphical editor).

“Well, what is it good for?” you may ask now. If I should answer according to my experience, I used textures mainly for giving a  photo a certain look and feel. You can look at my photos below as examples.

You can use textures also for separating the subject, for example if you took a photo of beautifully blooming Daffodil but you were not able to get rid of the background which disturbs viewer from enjoying the beauty of the flower you can use texture and eliminate the background by applying texture over it, leaving only the subject you want to show. If I reckon with applying a texture on some photo later on I usually try to separate the subject yet during photographing phase by using a blank white or black background.

Now we come to the technique of using textures. You can find many tutorials on the net. My one is quite easy:

  1. I process the photo to the final phase.
  2. I take the photo to the Photoshop (PS).
  3. I find suitable texture for the photo and open it in PS as well.
  4. I resize the photo to the size of the texture.
  5. I create a new layer over the photo and copy the texture to this layer.
  6. I change the blending mode of the layer with the texture to Overlay and adjust the opacity to my liking.
  7. I carefully erase the texture from the subject with wanted opacity and that’s it.
  8. I can do some additional steps such as adding a vignette, adding another texture or making some special processing to the whole image, if I want to.

As I wrote in the beginning I use textures rather rarely but I like to capture details and maybe a month ago I decided to create my own textures by photographing interesting textures in the world around me and give them to the other photographers for free.

Here are some examples:

~ Orange Mix 2 ~
1/320 sec. @ 100mm, f/4, ISO 100

The previous texture, suitable for a background in my opinion, was created during taking photos presented in this post. I was captured by the colours and shapes in this scene and perhaps I thought to use it sometime as a background for some of my photos.

The next texture is a photo of floor tiles in a monastery Rosa Coeli in Dolni Kounice, Czech Republic. The monastery is abandoned for more than 300 years and has wonderful atmosphere. Sacred buildings are usually in a good shape in our country so this one is a rarity.

~ Rosa Coeli Tiles 1 ~
1/50 sec. @ 50 mm, f/10, ISO 200

Next texture is a wall of a cottage next to our one. It is not used almost at all and it is in neglected state. The walls are lined with a special material we call “sololit”. It is made of paper “splinters”, basically from pulp, and the wall was once painted by some brown paint which now holds only on few small places.

~ Old Cottage Wall 2 ~
1/100 sec. @ 100mm, f/5, ISO 400

Last texture is a photo of old grungy metal table which belongs to the not used cottage from which is  the previous photo. As the rain, snow and wind slowly work on the table surface the layers of colours peels off and rust stains appear. The combination of colours and structures is fantastic.

~ Grungy Metal Table 2 ~
1/500 sec. @ 100 mm, f/8, ISO 200

You can find all my textures in full resolution here on page “Free textures” and also in lower resolution in my Flickr texture set. All textures are released under Creative Commons – Attribution license and are free for use under the conditions defined here. All my textures are full sized with only few post-processing steps allowing user to adapt them as much as possible.

So, feel free to use my and also other free textures, be sure to check the conditions of use and …

… enjoy the weekend!




7 responses

7 06 2010
Barbara Kile

It’s great you are thinking ‘textures’ when you’re out photographing. Nice post! For me, textures helps me achieve backgrounds. Where I live, it’s hard to find lush gardens with good backgrounds – so I have to create my own. So, they are functional for me.

7 06 2010
Tomas Turecek

Thanks Barabara for your addition to the topic. The main reason why I started to take photos such as these in this post is that I like details, structures and … well… textures and so I decided to take photos of interesting details and give them for free for others even though I don’t use them much.
I always try to find a suitable background directly on spot when I am taking some photos but it is very difficult sometimes and it might be much easier to add some texture later in post-processing. I see textures used so often that I intentionally try to avoid them. But perhaps not at all costs as there are some photos still waiting for post processing and I want to add textures to them. I hope it makes sense 🙂

14 06 2010

Love the light and colors of that orange texture, really beautiful! Texture and I don’t work very well together, but maybe I just need to spend more time in trying 😉

14 06 2010
Tomas Turecek

Thanks, Monique. Beware, playing with textures is addictive 😀

15 06 2010
Bob Towery

Great tutorial Tomas! I have wanted to do this for some time and you are giving me the nudge to go for it.

15 06 2010
Tomas Turecek

That’s good to hear, Bob! It would be honour for me to inspire (ok, nudge 🙂 ) such a great photographer as you. Give textures a chance and you’ll see 🙂

29 06 2011
Two years of blogging « Close Nature

[…] 3 most visited posts are: My free textures, Negative Space in Flower/Macro photography and Awakening […]

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