Today is Day 4 of the 30 Day Photography Challenge. Today’s challenge is to take a photo using texture. Now, when I talk about texture, I’m not talking about a smooth feeling. I’m talking about rough. You could use a smooth form, and lots of objects to create an interesting texture, but for now, let’s keep it rough.
You can follow the project, and submit your own photos on my Facebook page, Twitter and/or Pinterest.
Hard lighting works best. When the lighting source is bright, and close to the object that you’re taking a photo of, this is when the lighting is at its hardest. This is because the light can only illuminate the object at a certain angle. This creates contrast in the image, which can easily be made into texture.
I personally like midday lighting when the sun is really harsh and leaving lots of contrast. It’s a great time to achieve texture lighting in your photos. Which is good, because it’s not a good time to take most other sorts of photos.
The smaller the object, the harder the lighting needs to be, to work for the texture.
Fill the Frame
The feeling of texture is always at it’s greatest when it fills the frame of a photo, and not just a small section in the centre of the frame. But why is this? Well, when we go from the left to right, top to bottom, it fills the whole frame, and doesn’t appear to end. Because of this, our minds assume that the texture spans further than just the frame, and that increases the feeling of texture by making it feel like it’s larger.
The more there is of the texture, the greater it feels. You could have 5 rough rocks in a photo, which will have an element of texture to it, but imagine if there was 200 of these rocks in the photo, wouldn’t the feeling of texture be much greater?
When you start to increase the number of individual objects in a scene, they start to become seen less as their individual parts, and more as an entire texture.
It works, but don’t overdo it; you don’t want a group of rocks to look like a bucket of sand.
If the object is too small, then it’s not providing enough detail to be considered texture, and conversely, if the object is too big, there isn’t going to be enough individual objects in the frame to portray a certain texture. You need to find the right size, and quantity, and this is where the crop comes in.
I chose this photo because not only does it fill the frame, but there is also a good number of rocks in the photo, varying in size and depth, which has led to some interesting contrast and texture.
Use a zoom lens, or your feet to change the crop of the frame of which you’re taking the photo. As you zoom in and out, you’ll start to notice what works best for your texture, with a combination of both quantity and size. The photo which I’ve ended up using is a good middle ground. If I was too close, it wouldn’t have worked, and if I had moved back much further, then it wouldn’t have filled the whole frame.
Form Vs Texture
Form relates to the single object, whereas texture relates to a group of objects as a whole. The form of a person may be smooth, and nicely shaped, but when you take 200 of these people, and zoom out, you no longer notice the form, and see more of a texture.
The texture is the sense of touch, even if we can’t touch it.
Texture doesn’t have to fill the whole frame though, you can use texture in small parts of the photos too. I personally like using texture in the background of a photos, perhaps in a portrait, to make the photo more interesting.
Here’s the original photo, with no effects added.
Now, I don’t make big changes in post, but here’s what I did to this photo.
I thought at first that it would work really well in black and white, because if you were paying attention yesterday, you’ll know that black and white focuses more on form and texture, than anything else.
Having added a black and white filter, this was the result.
It’s good, but not really as good as it could be, because the difference in colour on the rocks is lessened, so the texture added in the colour difference has disappeared.
This is what I decided on, I boosted the contrast to increase the texture, and I slightly desaturated the photo. This made the colour relevant, without being too overbearing.
Lets see your photos! Leave a comment below, or leave a link on the fan page under the correct link, or post it on the wall. If you’re copying straight from Facebook, please remember to copy the image location/URL and not just the link in the address bar.
You can follow the progress of this project on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
A note from Josh, ExpertPhotography's Photographer-In-Chief:
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