Yellow Flower with Texture
Nature,  Photo Processing

How to Easily Add Textures to your Nature Photographs using Photoshop

Adding texture to your nature photographs can make your images more interesting and give them an artistic look.  This works well on flowers, macro photographs, even landscapes.

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I know there are plug-ins you can buy that can add textures to your photographs, but it’s really easy to do in Photoshop so why not save a few dollars. Also, free texture images are readily available to download on the internet.

Here are the steps to add textures to your nature photographs:

Adding Texture To Your Nature Image
Adding Texture To Your Nature Image

1. Open your nature image in Adobe Photoshop

2. Open the folder with your texture images in the Finder (Mac) or File Explorer (Windows)

Drag Texture on to the Nature Image
Drag Texture on to the Nature Image

3. Drag the image on top of your nature photograph in Photoshop.  This will create a layer with the texture as a smart object

4. Drag the edges of the texture layer so it covers the entire nature photograph

Select the Blending Mode
Select the Blending Mode

5. Select the texture layer and choose a blending mode in the layers panel.  Overlay and Soft Light seem to work good but also try the other blending modes. Use the adjust the opacity slider to reduce the effect of the texture.

Paint Over the Subject with a Black Brush
Paint Over the Subject with a Black Brush

6. If you don’t like the texture on your subject.  Add a layer mask to the texture smart object, select the paint brush tool with a black foreground and paint away the texture from your subject.

7. If you want to be able to go back and re-edit the image, save the image in the photoshop format with the layers check box selected.

Additional Tips 

If you are not getting the results you like, try lightening the background of the original image.  Try using the Quick Selection Tool and using the Select Subject button.  You can invert the mask to select the background instead of the subject.

Clipping an Adjustment Layer to only effect the Texture Layer
Clipping an Adjustment Layer to only effect the Texture Layer

You can also try lightening only the texture by creating a Brightness / Adjustment Layer and clipping it to the texture layer.  You can clip the adjustment layer to the texture layer by clicking on the Clip to Layer icon at the top of the Layers Panel.

Written by Martin Belan

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