Hello everyone! My name is Rebecca Cooper and I’m super excited to be here and for the chance to share a little bit of what I love with all of you at Ucreate.
I am a wife and mother of four, an avid scrapbooker, as well as a professional photographer. You can read a little bit more about me and my family on my blog Simple As That and see more of my photos on my photography website.
Today I thought I’d share with you a few quick tips on adding textures to your photos. Sound like fun? Well, lets jump right in.
I’m going to show you how to take a photo like this:
to this in just a few simple steps:
ADDING TEXTURE TO PHOTOS:
1. I began by opening my original photo in my photo editing program Adobe Photoshop CS4 (File > Open) **please note: Adobe Photoshop Elements is also a great program to use and the technique is almost identical when following the instructions given here.
2. Using a couple of my favorite photoshop actions (more info about what photoshop actions are and how to use them can be found here) my photo began to look like this:
3. Next I wanted to add a little bit of interest to the background (the blue wall in my office) and I did this by adding a texture overlay to my photo. There are many textures available out there for purchase but for this particular effect I created my own texture using my camera and a piece of scrapbook paper. I simply took a photo of a piece of scrapbook paper (lay the paper on the floor, stand directly above it and while keeping your camera level with the paper snap a photo). I then opened the photo of the paper in my photo editing program and cropped it to the same size as the photo I was working with.
4. To add the texture to your photo you will need to have both the texture file (the cropped photo of the scrapbook paper) and the photo you are working on open in your photo editing software. Now drag the texture file on top of the photo file using the move tool (if this option isn’t available in your photo editing software simply copy and paste the texture file onto your photo). Your photo will no longer be visible because the texture file will be on top of it.
5. By placing the texture file on top of the photo we have now created two seperate layers within the photo document we’re working on. Open the layer pallette (Window > Layers) and you will see the two layers there, the background layer (which is your photo) and the texture layer (the photo of the scrapbook paper). Click on the texture layer, and you will see an OPACITY slider in the upper right corner of the Layers pallette. Click on this and begin sliding it to the left to lower the oppacity of the texture layer. You will notice your photo begin to look a little bit like this:
You can now see the photo through the texture layer. Adjust the opacity until you get the look you desire.
6.What we want to do next is remove the texture from any areas on the photograph where we don’t want it to appear, ie. skin, clothing. To do this we will use the Eraser tool (on the left tool bar, it actually looks like an eraser). Once you have selected the eraser tool you will notice in the upper right corner of the screen a drop down menu that says Brush, click on the small arrow within this drop down menu and select the diameter/size and hardness of your brush. I prefer to use a soft brush and will also adjust the opacity of my brush depending on the area on the photo I’m working on so that I can blend the areas with texture and without texture smoothly. Use the eraser tool by clicking your mouse and while holding drag it over the areas of your photo where you wish to remove the texture. Be sure you are still on the texture layer while doing this.
7. Once you have successfully removed the texture from the areas you selected the final step is to flatten the two layers we created (Layer > Flatten Image).
Now that you know how to add a texture to your photos, try experimenting with different textures and see what fun things you can come up with. There are many textures out there available for purchase (these are some of my favorites) but armed with your camera you can create some of your own textures from everyday objects around you. For this photo I even used a digital scrapbook paper file that I had purchased for my background texture.
I hope you enjoyed today’s photo tutorial. If you are looking for more easy-to-follow photography tips check out my downloadable e-book 40 Top Tips for Better Photos.