For me, adding a texture to a photograph adds a little magic. It’s not something to do all the time and not every image suits it. I’m intrigued when I look at a textured photograph wondering what has been added. It adds a painterly, impressionistic effect that I really like. Frustrated painter? Maybe.
Here is an example that I have just created. Here is the the original image, the texture and the combined effect:
This isn’t intended as a full tutorial, but here is a quick run down on how to produce this effect:
1. Open main image and texture in Photoshop. Click on texture and go edit> image size. Change the height and width dimensions and the resolution to match those of the main image.
2. Stay with texture and go select>all then edit>copy. Click on main image and then edit>paste and texture will sit on top of main image and you won’t be able to see it.
3. Now the fun starts. In the layers panel, select a different blending mode to normal. A whole list will appear and to get to know them initially try them all and control the strength of the effect with the opacity slider. Some weird and wonderful sights will cross your screen. Multiply, screen and overlay are some of the most useful blend modes but experiment.
4. If you want to erase some of the texture, say from someone’s face, create a layer mask and with a soft brush (opacity10- 30 %) and foreground colour as black, simply brush away the texture. Any mistakes and you can put it back with the foreground colour as white.
So where do you get your textures from? Firstly, you can create them yourself by photographing any surface that looks interesting from peeling paint on walls, to rusted metal or bark. If you want to either buy or get some free ones, try these sites most of which incorporate tutorials as well. Flypaper Textures, Shadowhouse Creations, French Kiss Textures, Distressed Textures and Dirk Wustenhagen.
So good luck with creating some unique images. Lastly I should mention someone whose work inspired me, Michael Regnier, so check him out.