How to Create Your Own Textures

How to Create Your Own Textures

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Here at DPS, we’ve already covered how to use textures in your photos to give them a completely different look and feel, but now it’s time to get inspired and create your own textures – all around your house.

Finding Textures

I typically shoot landscape photography.  And when I’m shooting a landscape, I’m looking at the big picture – where the horizon is, where the sun is at, the reflection on the water – everything.  However, textures aren’t about the big picture, though, they’re about the detail.  And we’re not always used to looking at the details.  A wall for us is usually the background – or something that’s just in the wall. But walls can make for some great textures, like this:

walltexture.jpg.jpg

The walls in my house are old plaster walls, so mine might have a bit more texture than yours (and a bit more peeling paint, apparently, too – that’s artistic, though, right?), so try looking up and down instead.  The ceilings in my house range from subtle textures…

subtleceilingtexture.jpg.jpg

…to something with a bit more oomph:

oomphceilingtexture.jpg.jpg

Both make for great textures, they just give the resulting photo different looks.

Finally, my favorite texture I’ve found around my house is from the tile floor near my back door.  Because our garage is in the back of the house, this door gets the most use, so not only does the tile of texture, but the dirt that gets tracked in the house adds just that little extra bit of lovely texture:

tiletexture.jpg.jpg

Making Textures

A classic texture is just a crumpled up piece of paper:

papertexture.jpg.jpg

Be sure to take the photo with the right light.  If you have the light shining directly onto the paper, there’s not going to be as much contrast between the hills and valleys of the paper.

There’s more to do to paper than just that, though.  Try burning the edges, or splattering it with tea or coffee.  

About the Author: Jennifer Jacobs is an amateur photographer who runs iffles.com – a site for photography beginners. She’s also addicted to flickr and you can follow her stream here.

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Some Older Comments

  • TwitterBackgrounds July 21, 2010 11:02 pm

    I often try to do my own textures but each time I don't feel really satisfied. It is less simple than it seems to create a very good one.

  • Carol Lundeen December 2, 2009 10:26 pm

    Love your suggestion of finding textures nearby - not only in your own back yard - but inside your own home!

  • Justin November 9, 2009 08:32 pm

    If you are after more textures like this head over to http://www.lovetextures.com all are 100% free and in high resolution.

  • MeiTeng November 8, 2009 07:44 pm

    I started to look for textures to photograph recently thanks to Bryan Peterson's book Understanding Exposure. [img]http://lh3.ggpht.com/_kuV5VMZfKvA/SvaSfyA1akI/AAAAAAAATlk/dv7Y3k5KWuE/s640/P32.jpg[/img]

  • aphrodite November 7, 2009 09:11 pm

    @nan luursema - if you can't say anything nice and positive then don't say anything at all!!

  • Nan Luursema November 7, 2009 12:23 am

    This 'article' is absolute shit. But it did give you some income by advertisers, didn't it? Carry on this way girl, and you will find your way to big money.

  • jolenetara November 6, 2009 05:31 pm

    Thanks so much for this tutorial- this is something I've been meaning to try for a while.

  • Harry Hoffhines November 6, 2009 04:01 pm

    I shot a concrete pillar from a couple of feet away and blended it as a layer in an urban landscape. It's fairly subtle, but at the bottom of the photo, in the asphalt, you can see the vertical lines from the pillar.

    [img]http://www.flickr.com/photos/buckeyenut81/3169700752/[/img]

  • scott e. detweiler November 6, 2009 02:06 pm

    Felix has a good point. So, here is an example of something I did with texture. I really like using them to add a bit of color or an expected blending mode situation over just adding a bit of "texture". In this example, you get a bit of apparent overexposure as well as a bit of a "sketch" appearance. This was a soft light blend over the image. I then desaturated it and burned a bit of the texture to simulate a background object for anchoring the image in space:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/poisonberry/4075521550/

  • scott e. detweiler November 6, 2009 10:32 am

    the single most important part is watching the depth of field. be sure you are perpendicular to the subject, and if it is a relief, be sure you have enough dof to carry the entire texture in focus.

  • Angela November 6, 2009 09:16 am

    I do my own digital textures from scratch but I am starting to do real ones this summer, camera me and Island Holiday, I expect to get plenty thanks for the tips :)

  • johnp November 6, 2009 08:47 am

    P.S. They are the right size for scanning to.

  • johnp November 6, 2009 08:44 am

    Thanks, something I should use more. I found various grades of sandpaper (you can buy cheap assorted packs) are good - new and used, flat or crunched.

  • cm photography November 6, 2009 05:59 am

    I did exactly this when I tried to get a texture of a chalk board for my website.

  • cip November 6, 2009 05:17 am

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  • Felix November 6, 2009 03:45 am

    If this is in the PP section, why is there no information on actually turning these into textures to be used in PS, GIMP, etc.? As it stands now, this would be better off in the Photography section.