Posted on Mar.03, 2011, under Abstract

(Nikon D700, 70-300mm at 185mm, ISO 400, Exposure 1/125 sec @ f/16)

I’m still experimenting with applying textures to images and trying to figure out what works with regards to base image, blend modes, texture images, etc. Last night while watching some TV, I played around with a few images on my laptop to see if I could come up with some images that I liked. This particular image resulted from a ‘I wonder what would happen if…’ sort of moment. I took this shot a few weeks ago during a foggy/snowy day. I’ve always been attracted to the graphical look of bare trees against a monochromatic background. The fog/snow created a perfect opportunity.

My original thought was to process this in a high key black and white, and I did do a version with that processing. The image above was a refinement of that image. I chose the ‘Ming’ texture from my Flypaper collection and added it to the stack. I played with the usual blend modes of Overlay, Soft Light and Hard Light. I chose Hard Light and was pleased with the green tint that it added not only to the tree but to some other elements of the shot. I still wasn’t happy with it, however, so I added a second texture called ‘Lost Void’, a grayish dirty plastery sort of texture. For this layer, however, I did something different. I decided to go with the Darker Color blend mode to bring more of the texture into the image. I backed off on the opacity until I got a nice blend of the original scene, the green layer and the top layer. The opacity ended up being around 65%. I finished things off with a curves layer with a strong S-curve to increase contrast.

Would be really interested in hearing your feedback. Thanks!

Copyright © 2011 James W. Howe – All rights reserved.

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  • Heath O'Fee says:
    The texturing is pretty heavy, but I think it works. It looks like an old canvas painting, and I dig that sort of look…definitely a piece of art.
  • Awesome Shot James!
  • Chris Nitz says:
    I agree with Heath on the heaviness of the texture. However, it does make this image feel like an old photo I might find in an abandoned house. Great job on using the texture to add something to the blank space, while not over killing the tree. A great end result to me!
  • James Howe says:
    One of the things I wanted to do with this shot was to make the texture heavier. In fact, over the next couple of days I’ll be posting a couple variations of this shot and a similar one which might be considered even heavier. I was sort of going for an ‘image on metal’ sort of look. Definitely not something I would do as a matter of course, but sometimes it’s nice to push the bounds a bit. Thanks for the feedback, I definitely appreciate it.
  • I agree with Heath and Chris – it’s definitely a bold use of texture, but I think it works to create the sort of shot you seem to be looking for.

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