Experimenting With Textures

*** myPhotoWalk — Photo Tech Talk ***

In recent days I have been so taken with the graceful lines and curves in flowers as my subjects for macro photography. As I have focused on the beauty of calla lilies, roses, and other flowers I have experienced the surfacing of my creative and artistic side. So when I bring these photos into my computer to post-process and create a final image, I’ve felt an increasing desire to experiment to bring out the work of art I see in my mind inspired by the beauty of the flower.

In the case of this calla lily, I decided to experiment with textures to highlight the graceful openness and vulnerability it seemed to have innately in its shape. First, I processed in Adobe Camera Raw to boost the highlights and shadows. Then, I brought the photo into Adobe Photoshop and created a new layer. I used Nik Viveza to add some structure and contrast, bringing out the lines of the edges of this flower. Now I was ready to start experimenting with textures.

I brought in two different textures from a painterly collection I have in a folder marked “Textures” in Adobe Bridge. I pulled them into separate layers and transformed them in Photoshop to make them the same size as my image. I created layer masks with each of the textures and painted in the original calla lily with about an 80% opacity on my brush. Doing this left a hint of texture on the calla lily but almost 100% of the texture in the background. Since I was already getting into the whole texture thing, I went into On1 Photo 10 Software, one of my favorite programs, and added two more textures, clouds and brocade. If you have read this far into my experiment, you might be wondering why I chose those two textures over all the others. All I can say is that I had an idea in my mind that I was trying to achieve, and those two textures were taking me in that direction.

So when I brought the image from On1 Photo 10 back into Adobe Photoshop, I studied my finished work. I was not satisfied with the result because the texture was so busy and actually seemed just crazy, and it distracted from the calla lily. I wanted something softer. What could I do now to give the whole background a softer feel? Then, I got an idea. Why not add a painting filter from Topaz Impression. So I took it into Topaz Impression and found a filter that softened the whole background into something much more pleasing to my eye. I believe the one I chose was the Georgia O’Keefe filter because of the lines. I created a layer mask and painted in the original calla lily to maintain its lines and curves. I left the softer background intact, feeling that its texture matched the softness of this beautiful flower.

I titled this image, I Want To Know You, because I feel as though it is open and vulnerable. It brought to mind Jeremiah 9:24 where God speaks of His desire for us to truly know and understand Him. This is my response to His invitation. Yes Lord, I want to know You.

So, there you have it. My experiment with textures. I learned a lot about the subtle nuances of layer masks and brushing certain things in and others out to create a work of art that tells a story. I can’t wait to do it again with another image that seems to ask for a creative touch.

♥ Blessings and Grace to You!


myPhotoWalk Devotional

Truly know me and understand that I am the LORD.
Jeremiah 9:24 NLT

myPhotoWalk Technical

  • Title: I Want To Know You
  • Description: A macro shot of a beautiful white calla lily in Palm Desert, CA, USA.
  • Creator: Catherine Martin
  • Date Created: 03/24/16
  • Camera: Nikon D810, Micro-Nikkor 200mm, FL 200mm, ISO 220, f/8, 1/250sec.
  • Photoshoot: myPhotoWalk PhotoShoot in Palm Desert, CA, USA.
  • Post-Processing: Adobe Camera Raw, Adobe Photoshop, Nik Software, On1 Photo 10 Software, Topaz Software.
  • Copyright ©2017 Catherine Martin – myPhotoWalk™ – Quiet Time Ministries. All Rights Reserved.
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