Flower Before and After Texture
Photo Processing,  Software

Improve the Backgrounds of Your Nature Photographs by Adding Textures in Topaz Studio 2

Topaz Studio 2 is a terrific plug-in for Photoshop and Lightroom Classic to add creative looks to your nature photographs.  One of my favorite filters in Topaz Studio is the Texture Filter. 

Adding textures can give an artistic look to your nature photographs and add interest to otherwise dull and boring backgrounds. 

Caterpillar with a Subtle Texture Added
Caterpillar with a Subtle Texture Added

Adding texture to your macro photographs can add interest to your image. Using a flash for macro photography can often leave you with a plain black background.  Replacing that black background with textures can make your macro images more appealing.

Textures often work and look better when applying them to a plain background.  If you have a busy background and the textures are not working for you, you may want to clean up the background prior to applying the texture.

In this blog, I’ll walk you thru the features of the Texture Filter in Topaz Studio 2 and explain how you can customize textures. 

How to Select a Texture in Topaz Studio 2

Topaz Studio 2 comes with dozens of Textures to use on your photographs.  These are categorized into Groups (Borders, Textures, Light Leaks, etc.) and into Categories (Grunge, Patterns, Nature, etc.). 

You can also add your own textures to Topaz Studio 2.  Visit my blog on Adding Your Own Textures to Topaz Studio 2 to find out how.

Select Texture Filter
Select Texture Filter

To add a texture to your image, click on the add filter button on the top right of the Topaz Studio 2 window.  Scroll down the filter list to the Stylistic section and select the Texture Filter. You can also search for a texture if you know the texture name you are looking for.

Texture Categories
Texture Categories

Either scroll thru the textures or filter the list by using the Group and Category drop down lists. 

When you click on the filters, make sure you scroll thru the Blending modes and adjust the opacity of the Textures.  This will customize the texture and give different looks to your image.

I like to start with adjusting the Opacity Slider to see how much of the text I want to show thru to my image. I then like to scroll thru the Blending Modes and see the impact they have on the image.

Topaz Studio 2 Blending Mode Comparison
Topaz Studio 2 Blending Mode Comparison

I’ve included some examples to show how the blending mode can change the look of the image with the same texture and opacity.

Topaz Studio 2 Blending Mode Comparison
Topaz Studio 2 Blending Mode Comparison

You can also add multiple textures to your photograph by clicking Add Filter and selecting the texture filter again.

How to Customize Textures

Topaz Labs has multiple ways to customize textures.  Two of the ways to customize textures that discussed above were using the Opacity Slider and the Blending Mode.

Texture Edit Functions
Texture Edit Functions

Topaz also has several Edit buttons under the texture list:

  • Edit allows you to move and stretch the texture.  There are also several ways to extend the texture in the Edge Extension Drop Down.
  • You can flip the texture horizontally and vertically
  • There is also an Invert button that changes the colors and luminosity of the mask.
Texture Customization Sliders
Texture Customization Sliders

At the bottom the Texture panel, there are several sliders to customize the texture: Brightness, Contrast, Detail, Saturation, Color Strength, and Color (Color Hue).  These sliders will only change the texture and not the original photograph.

As you can see, Topaz Studio provides a lot of flexibility to customize textures to create beautiful looks for your nature photographs.

Using Masks in Topaz Studio 2

Making in Topaz Studio 2
Making in Topaz Studio 2

If you don’t want the texture covering your subject, you can use the masking function in Topaz Studio 2 to remove the mask.  There are several different masking options including a Brush with an edge aware feature.

If you launched Topaz Studio 2 from Adobe Photoshop, you can also use the Select Subject feature to easily remove the texture from the subject of the photograph.  Here is a link to a blog where I explain how to use Select Subject in Photoshop.

Written by Martin Belan

Related Blog Posts
Using Topaz DeNoise AI for Editing your Bird Photographs
Add the Photoshop Select Subject tool to Your Nature Photography Workflow to Make Your Images Stand Out
Use Topaz Studio 2 to Add an Artistic Look to your Nature Photographs

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