Post-processing for Textures

Although you can process textures in your image editing software the same way you process any of your other images, there are certain techniques that may help enhance your texture photograph.

Texture photos often require some basic clean up. You may need to straighten or crop them to give them the look and feel you are after. You may also find that flipping them horizontally or vertically may also help. Use your cleaning tools (spot healer, clone tool, etc.) to remove extraneous items that impose on the image. Straighten your image in Camera Raw (Lens Effects-Rotate) or Photoshop (Ruler Tool). You can also crop in either portion of the program.

Try changing your image to black and white or adding a mono or duotone. Sometimes, using the gradient tool to apply multiple colors can be intriguing. Most image editing programs have tools that can easily accomplish all of these effects.

Play with special filters, taking care to tone down the results where they appear harsh. While processing textures you can really let you creativity wander off where it will. Try different things to see what works and what doesn’t.

One thing you will find is that a texture image responds well to more rather than less contrast, but you don’t want to overdo it unless that is part of your design. You can adjust contrast in many ways, but the curves and levels tools should do the job. Try some of the presets if you are hesitant to experiment on your own.

Your texture should be in good focus. Soft textures don’t usually stand out well. Image editing software all have sharpening tools, but you can also purchase third party plug-ins that do a lot of the precision work for you. I personally use PK Sharpener and Nik Sharpener and highly recommend them to you.

Don’t hesitate to combine one or more textures to form a third. You can produce some really unique images this way.

Working with textures can be rewarding, but yes, it is also very time consuming to experiment with different effects. Still, don’t let that hold you back. There are no time constraints on your creativity and I urge you to spend a little time each week just trying different approaches with various textures. I guarantee you will eventually find one that really works for you and could put a whole new face on your photography.

Here’s another image I would like to share with you. Yes, the daisy was added, but not in Photoshop. The flower was simply placed in the background, which actually happened to be the body of a copper turtle that had a cut out design! I was fascinated, not only by the cut pattern, but on the texture of the wear and tear of the copper as well.

Daisy Copper

Daisy Copper, 8 x 10 inches
© Fran Saunders, 2009

Don’t forget to let us know if you’ve found some wonderful textures, and I’ll see you again next week when we’ll begin to look at combining textures with other images. If there are subjects you’d like me to explore with you in the future, please share them.

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About Fran Saunders

I am a photographer located on the beautiful Eastern Shore of Maryland, where I live with my husband and my Yellow Lab, Sam.
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