Even though I have a broken ankle, I am able to drive. It is my left ankle, and now that I have figured out how to get out of the house with all essentials (keys, camera, crutches, scooter) in one trip, I sometimes escape from the house and hit the road.
Saturday, I decided that a photo drive was in order, and I knew that it would have to be something photo worthy from inside the car. To that end, I drove to Thomas Farm, which is part of the Monocacy Battlefield. After all, what could be better for my photo than a Frederick County farm scene?
The day was gray, with solid overcast skies and flat light. But I had a plan in mind. I would take the photos, and then use textures to dress them up, to make them more interesting than they were straight out of the camera.
People create wonderful free textures and then share them with the rest of us via sites like Flickr. The textures I used in today’s photos came from Kerstin Frank Art. If you click on the link, you will see some of her extraordinary work using the textures she has created.
What is a texture? It is basically an image of something like rust, concrete, bark, paint on canvas, or water droplets on glass. They are like small “swatches” of fabric in all colors and, well, textures! It is possible to make your own textures, which many photographers do, and use them to enhance your photos, too.
When a texture is offered for free online, the artists usually asks that you credit him/her for the work. The ones I used in today’s photos are from Kerstin’s site.
So how do you use a texture? You download one of these (or open one you created yourself) and within Photoshop, you add it as a layer above the original image. Then you either reduce the opacity of that layer so that the photo below shows through, or you choose one of the blending modes for a layer, like “overlay” or “soft light.” You can stack one or more textures, until you get the effect you want. If you don’t want too much texture on the main subject of the image, such as on a person’s face, you can erase some of the texture or use a masking technique.
Dressing up a photo with textures is fun. Look through your photos. If there are some that you have thought were not usable because they were just too bland, consider using a texture. There are tutorials online, or you can learn how to use this technique by taking a class at FCC.
Enjoy my barn pix! (Click any photo to see it large on my web site.)
“Life Through My Lens” is a travel/photography blog written by Cam Miller, copyright 2014
Email: cam.miller@comcast. net