Advanced Summer Workshop

Week 4 of the summer workshops was an advanced workshop with Jane Lazenby BA(hons) Fine Art, ASEA, UKCPS, LRPS, BPE3*, CPAGB, AFIAP. Jane who is a member of the Wakefield Camera Club has won many awards at the club but more importantly nationally and internationally. She was a speaker at the Photography Show in March this year and claimed four of the highly coveted Merit Awards in the Open Category in the MPA Master Photography Awards 2018.

Jane started the evening with a little background and explained that she is a painter at heart and the move into photography came from taking photos to paint. During the first half of the evening Jane presented a slideshow about using textures in Photoshop and how textures can be used to enhance the out of the camera image. Jane explained that textures can be used in many ways but the three main uses are

  • Add one or more textures layers over your image and adjust the opacity and blend mode,
  • Paint out unwanted backgrounds in your image using a brush colour picked from the image then add a texture layer or three, then adjust the opacity and blend mode and add a mask to very skilfully create your final image,
  • Add texture layers above and below your image, then adjust the opacity and blend mode and add a mask to very skilfully create your final image.

During the second part of the evening Jane demonstrated each of the above techniques using images provided by the committee or one or two of her own. It was like magic, in just a few minutes Jane was able to add character and emotion to the images, she made it look very easy but it was very clear that Jane is very talented and has learnt how to apply her love for painting to digital editing. Jane explained that she often imagines a background story for each image to bring it to life and help give the image character. A fascinating approach I am sure we will all be practising as we prepare our textured images for the next competition.

Jane also explained to an enthralled audience where to get your textures and you’d be surprised how easy they are to get. You can start by downloading them, either for free or by purchasing them from one of many sites like, or but you can also have much fun creating your own textures and storing them in a library for future use. There are textures everywhere, walls, floors, old buildings, farm yards, in the home and the garden, just let your imagination do the work. Remember you can only use textures you have created yourself in competition images.

Jane spent some time talking about the creative process, and stressed that the only way to improve is try it and see. This quote from Jean Bryant sums it up nicely “The fear of being wrong is the prime inhibitor of the creative process“.

The evening was one of the best practical demonstration evenings we have seen at Wakefield Camera Club, it was a thoroughly fascinating evening, thank you Jane.

Have fun practising – Drag it on and mask it!

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