Texture blending is a fun way to get creative with your photos and transform them into something new and unique. In a nutshell, all you need to add textures is an image editor that supports layers, such as Adobe Photoshop. Some other editors, such as Luminar, have a built-in texture blending feature. Here are the basic steps to get you started, aka “Texture Blending 101.”
Open a photograph in your image editor, such as Adobe Photoshop
Drag a texture image file from a browser window (I use Photo Mechanic) onto the image editor, or use the “Place Embedded” command in Photoshop and choose a texture file. Note that high-resolution texture images work best, as they won’t produce artifacts during resizing.
Size the image to fit over your original photo and press Enter on your keyboard
In the Layers panel, blend the texture by changing the blending mode to something other than Normal. Try Multiply, Overlay, Screen, or Hard Light modes for starters. Then adjust the layer opacity to blend in the texture and reveal the photo underneath it.
You can also use Layer Masks to blend the texture in. Use brushes to “paint” out the texture from areas of your photo you wish to reveal.
Don’t stop there! Try using multiple texture layers, too!
Once you’re finished, adjust contrast and color on the final image. You can also finish your images in Lightroom after saving them.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve struggled with photographing birds in flight for years. The number one problem I and others have is focus acquisition. With birds in flight (BIFs), the ideal situation is to lock focus early while the animal is still at distance, track the approaching bird, and then capture a rapid burst of shots when the bird begins to fill the frame.
For me, my struggles have always been two-fold. First, when birds are very far away, it’s often hard for the camera to discern the difference between the subject and the background. Often times the camera will focus on the background instead of the bird. When this happens, you need to quickly re-cycle the focus system (pump the focus). The other challenge is when the bird drops below a background object such as trees or a mountain ridge. Again, the focus system can quickly lose track of the subject unless it’s fairly large in the frame. Continue reading My Go-To Focus Setting For Birds In Flight→
If you’re looking to transform your images from snapshots into stunning creative photos, try experimenting with long exposure photographs. All you need is a camera that supports bulb exposure mode, a tripod, and in some cases a dark filter. In twilight conditions, long exposure photographs are pretty easy. Set your lens aperture to f/16 or f/22 and then set your camera’s ISO value to its the lowest possible setting.
To capture long exposure photographs during the day, you’ll need to add a dark filter to your lens. These filters, called a solid neutral density filters, enable you to capture a long exposure photograph during the day. In either case, keep in mind that you’ll need a solid tripod to make a long exposure photograph.
How Long Exposure Photographs Transform Your Images
With the recent announcement that Google will no longer support the Nik Collection, I’ve started using Macphun’s suite of editing tools more and more frequently. Most specifically, I’ve jumped feet-first into their newest editor, Luminar. I’ve found it to be an excellent choice for photographers who are familiar with the Nik Collection suite. You can read my initial thoughts on Luminar here.
Here’s why I’m moving to Macphun:
Macphun Software applications use the latest technologies for image adjustments and special effects
Macphun products are compatible with Lightroom and Photoshop, plus you can use Luminar as a stand-alone editor (it even opens most RAW files)
While there are several Macphun software plug-ins available for Mac users (and they are excellent), Luminar is so incredibly flexible that it can take the place of most of the other filters, provided you know where to look. Because Luminar is coming to Windows, too, it’s the one Macphun product I think you should be familiar with. Here are some tips for getting the most out of Luminar. Continue reading Moving to Macphun: Tips for Nik Users→