Santorini at Night © Deborah Sandidge
You can create a fine art look with your photograph by simply applying a texture. A texture layer addition can increase the depth, dimension, and drama of a photograph. It is one of the easiest ways to create a more expressive image. A texture layer can be anything you wish, from painterly looking brushstrokes, to textured canvas, to old grunge that appears in the viewfinders of antique cameras. Texture can add more personality to an image. You can make a digital image look like an old photo by simulated film effects, or make a photo look more painterly or impressionistic, or even create something more contemporary and abstract. Textures can be applied to a still life, landscapes, portraits… anything goes!
Using Mini Bridge in Photoshop CS5 is a great way to try out textures! I'm a big fan of Flypaper Textures, plus I have a collection of my own textures I like to use. Mini Bridge allows you to easily try out any texture from your texture folders (jpeg or tiff) to see how it works with your image.
This cityscape from the city of Oia in Santorini was photographed during twilight. An empty sky and neutral background can work well with texture. In Photoshop, I selected the folder Flypaper Textures Summer Painterly from Mini Bridge. I chose Brushed Rose, a beautiful gold and pink brushstroke texture, and dragged it over the Santorini image. The next step is to choose a blend mode (I chose Soft Light). You'll see an X over the texture temporarily as it opens in Photoshop as a smart object. You can experiment with a texture, blend mode and opacity, pressing the Escape key to remove the texture, or Enter key to choose it. You can apply texture twice or use different textures. The texture can easily be resized by pulling out the corners to fit your background image. Mini Bridge allows you to try out textures - easy and fast!
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