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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
To finish off I soften the whole image with a couple of my favourite filters.
The possibilities truly are endless when playing with textures and backgrounds. You are only limited by your imagination.
Until next week.