Working with Textures

Working with Textures

What a treat! Our very own Jane Lazenby provided a fantastic evening of entertainment and education with her talk about ‘Working with Textures’. Jane started by explaining that whilst you can buy textures you can soon learn how easy it is to make your own, they are photographs of just about anything that has a surface or effect on it. There are no rules about what makes a good or bad texture it is just personal preference gained from trial and experimentation.

A short list of some of the things Jane suggested you could photograph included bits of old paper, material, paper with chalk or flour, rusty metal, wood, paving stones, peeling paint, paint splatters, old buildings, upholstery, concrete, there really is no limit. Using RAW to capture your textures gives you large images with maximum flexibility to alter the texture by changing the colour, hue, saturation, lightness, darkness or anything that takes your fancy, after all the texture is just a photo you can edit in your favourite photo editor.

Jane shared a gallery of different examples and explained how different textures provide for different effects and how some suit different pictures better than others. It all depends on the effect you are trying to create. We also learnt about the importance of Blend Modes, and whilst they are 27 mathematical mysteries it is all about what works and what doesn’t, who actually cares why? Of the 27 Jane has her favourites, they are Multiply, Soft Light and Screen and when combined and their opacity tweaked it is possible to create some great effects, there are even some that quickly take you back to the psychedelic past.

After the break came the practical. This was about bringing in the textures into layers on top of your base image then blending them together using the different modes, painting out the backgrounds and using masks to be a little more selective. These live examples were great to watch and will no doubt have inspired many of our members to have a go themselves. If you want a recap then head over to EJ Lazenby Photography on Youtube where you can find a number of excellent tutorials using many of the examples shown during the evening. The evening finished with the opportunity to ask questions and if you want to learn more than you can contact Jane via her website.

This was a thoroughly enjoyable and informative evening, thank you Jane.