Why Add A Texture Or Background To An Image?

What is the benefit of adding a texture or background to an image?

I believe adding a texture or swapping a background in an image can often be the difference between having a ‘good photo’ and creating a ‘great image’.

I don’t add textures or backgrounds to all of my images however there are circumstances where their inclusion certainly creates a wow factor!

Do I use my own images as textures and backgrounds? Yes, the majority of the time I do. Last year I started building a collection of photos for the sole purpose of creating my own texture and background library.

What’s the benefit of using my own texture or background to one I can download from the internet? The main reason I’m building my own collection/library of images is due to a number of photography competitions where the rules state that every aspect of the final image must be 100% created by you.  If I was to purchase and/or use images downloaded from the internet I would not be eligible to enter these competitions. It’s been the driving incentive for me to photograph my own set of ‘stock’ images to use as textures or backgrounds.

As I have added to my library I’ve discovered that there are some images that just don’t work well as a texture overlay however they do make excellent background layers.  For instance, I took a photo of a bright green, timber textured wall. I wanted to see what it would look like if I changed the colour and toned it down – would it pass for a texture?  In this particular circumstance it didn’t work well as a texture however I really liked it as a background. Here are the steps I took to create this image.

Here is the original image – a section of the bright green, timber textured wall.

My original texture or background photo

My original texture or background photo

I processed the image in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom by adjusting the white balance, Temp 12941, Tint +150; vibrance went to negative 62 (-62) and the orange saturation slider was also pushed to negative 48 (-48).

Colour adjusted through Lightroom - New texture

Colour adjusted through Lightroom – New texture

The Lightroom processing was a good start to creating a texture of background. I opened the processed image in Adobe Photoshop, added a couple of filters, adjusted the curves and now I have a base image I’m happy with.

Snapshot of Photoshop working on the texture

Snapshot of Photoshop working on the texture

Now for the fun part, to play and see what happens.  I chose a photo from my glamour photography session earlier this year with Heather.

Original photo of Heather

Original photo of Heather

Then opened my texture/background and moved the texture into the image, creating another layer.  I then dropped the opacity of the new layer to 35%.  In my opinion having the lines throughout (overlaid as a texture) really didn’t work as they were too strong across Heather, even with the opacity turned down.  I decided to mask off the area covering Heather so the texture was now only visible as a background.

Merging the two photos and Playing in Photoshop

Merging the two photos and Playing in Photoshop

To finish off I soften the whole image with a couple of my favourite filters.

My final Image of Heather on the new and improved background.

My final Image of Heather on the new and improved background.

The possibilities truly are endless when playing with textures and backgrounds. You are only limited by your imagination.

Until next week.

Kassy.

 

 

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