The Wonderful World of Texture! (or What I Was Really Going To Write About This Week Fell Through)

I’m on spring break this week, which means I’ve had all kind of time to start two new projects, clean and organize the condo and come up with new and exciting blog posts! Naturally, I have done none of these things. I did have a topic all semi-ready to go that had to be put on hold and that I hope to bring you in the near future. So instead, I bring you, the exciting world of Photoshop textures (just humor me)!!

Before this last semester of school, I primarily used Adobe Lightroom to process all my photos. It’s a fantastic program with a very slight learning curve. However, in Photoshop the user can create layers of different images, cut out pieces, move things around a little more freely, and generally make more precise adjustments that cannot be done in Lightroom. Adding a subtle texture to a photo can give it that little extra punch and depth that takes it from good to great. The greatest teacher in the Adobe products is getting in there are messing around. So pick a texture and mess around with the blending modes. All you need to remember is: multiply and friends will get rid of your light areas while lighten and company will get rid of your dark areas and overlay and his pals are just that- overlays the texture on top of the bottom image.

The internet is full of free PS texture downloads. A quick Google search brings back “about 11,000,000 results”. I haven’t downloaded all 11,000,000 yet, but I’m pretty close. The nice thing about downloading that much stuff is that I forget I have them. Then when I accidentally find them in my download folder I get really excited. “Hey! I was just looking for another grunge painted wall texture!” It’s like putting on your jacket and finding $5 in the pocket. It was your money all along, but it makes your day none the less.

But, you don’t have to be like me and clutter up your download folder with all sorts of random textures. It’s incredibly easy to make them yourself. Take a close-up picture of the wall or the side walk or a tile floor or a wood cabinet with your camera on the largest file size possible. We want the resulting photo to be large enough that it doesn’t have to be stretched too much and get fuzzy. It’s better to cut something down then enlarge it.  It doesn’t have to be a perfect photo, because it’s going to be blended with other layers. So don’t stress about it being too in focus or the color being crazy. We are going for interesting texture anyway- this isn’t going to hang in MoMA.

Here are two that I created a few weeks ago one is some big rusty tin roof or something and the other is the side of a barn. Feel free to click them, which should open them in a new window, and then right click and save. They are huge pictures, so they should work with any size project.

 

 

 

 

If  you are anything like me and like to download every single free thing you find, just in case, then here are some links to get you started:

Lost and Taken: Wonderful site with so many free textures it’s amazing. Probably the only texture site you’ll ever need.

Design Reviver:  25 Free Photoshop Texture Packs

Practical Photoshop Tip: Free Stuff Tuesdays. They are from England so you can feel all international jet-setty while using them!

Well, that is it for me this week, because I’ve got to clean, organize and start two projects. Eh, I think I’ll go workout instead. Have an amazing week!

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