Photographing Natural And Beautiful Textures

There is so much to become skilled at in taking pictures. Not only do we require to master our digital camera but we ought to understand how lighting behaves. We need to comprehend how light works because we can use this education to capture beautiful photos. Spectacular images refers to clarity, intensity, colour and better lighting.

A great way to become skilled in photography is to start photographing different textures. Different textures might include wood, metal, leaves and terracotta. These surfaces can really accentuate depth and tone very rapidly and simply. We can ascertain a lot from photographing these surfaces of different things. As we get the right light to stress these textures our images suddenly have intensity and come to life. You can prove these textures a variety of ways. I suggest photographing these interesting different textures with well-balanced lighting spread evenly across your photograph. If you are unable to get well-balanced light then shadows may work to your advantage.

A very effective photograph that has interesting textures are dried plants across a wood exterior. You can wait until the sunlight has gone down in the sky to get some shadow areas under the foliage. You will discover that your shadow areas becomes part of your composition. What this means is that shadows can work to your advantage.

A pastoral look and feel is a great point to start. Taking photos of aged wood fence posts with nails and wires can really bring wood as a texture to life. You see what we want is photograph the wood and the nails look so they look authentic. In other words make it stand out by increasing the depth of the photo. We would like the viewer to feel like they can lean in  and feel the texture.

In order to create this reality in your picture making you need to make a small list of types of materials to photograph. The fence posts and rusty nails are a good start. You may also like to photograph a distinction in textures such as steel and wood. A steel band wrapped over a wooden fence post can make for a wonderful picture. Darks and lights in textures such as this can be done in an antique tone and black-and-white for extra drama and interest. They can also be done in a variety of other tones that you can make up yourself in Photoshop or Lightroom.

What is a tone? A tone is related to light and colour. Saturated colour, deep tones mean that your photograph may have a lot of black and grey, dark yellow and deep orange to it. Light tones may mean that your shot has lots of shades of pale shades. In rural photography, where we want to capture superb textures, we often find that saturated tones are a feature.

Deep tones can draw attention to the shadow. In order for your images to look like they have bona-fide live texture then we need to accentuate the strength and light range contained within your photograph. You may decide on  a deep or shady tone to give that nail more rust or that metal band around the wood more brightness.

When we use a higher contrast in our rural photos we get an enhanced looking surface. This is for the reason that the contrast in the light brings up the detail of the surface of the textured subject. The lighting acts to bring out the detail in the lighter areas and deepen the shadow in the dark areas.

A secret to creating successful textured subjects is to keep your composition uncomplicated. Natural textures, such as foliage and timber, work best when there is nothing to muddle the shot. Simply capture the main subject and make sure there are no distracting things in the surroundings or the forefront. Once you’ve done this you can work to boost the differences between light and dark, develop the light and deepen the tones. There is nothing more distracting than a cluttered shot.

Old abandoned cars are an instance of how you can shoot wonderful different textures in your photography. When my husband and I were visiting a country town we stumbled across an old abandoned utility. This automobile was from either the Forties or the 1950s. It looked like it had been left for years and years. As soon as I saw this car I started to be very excited. The second I saw it I knew I wanted a rustic looking photo.

I knew that the metal, oxidation and washed out paint would look completely fantastic in black-and-white. Once I took a series of shots of the old utility I then opened the photo in Lightroom. I boosted the whites and highlights, boosted the blacks, and played around with the tone curve. What does this suggest? It simply means that I changed the tone of the shot to emphasise the appealing factors of the car. I wanted to increase the illuminant metal against a gentle, natural background. Once you change the lighting all of a sudden your textures stand out.

Subject to how you want your textures to look, you can utilise brilliant or dull lighting. Filtered light is always better to use because it provides us additional options in the long run. Bright light can make highlights and shadows that accentuate contrast. This can really work to your advantage.

Soft light can work very well for textures because it accentuates the detail. it can give your texture a more three dimensional look. If you are photographing an old fence post then the absence of sunlight will bring out the finer details of the wood. You will get to see the patterns, lines and shapes of your surface a lot more in soft light. In harsh bright sunlight you may lose these details altogether.

If you want to take pictures of superb different textures and not be troubled about the tiny features, then a country scene with excellent dark and light areas may work beautifully. A fence line sitting in thick grass can be a wonderful textured photograph to start with. Once you position the camera so that the fence line is running into the distance you not only have superb different textures but you have wonderful composition.

There are a lot more things you can do to emphasize your different textures. There is a cell phone app called Instagram. It has only just joined forces with Lightroom. This is a marvelous way to enhance our photos! Instagram is an application that produces antique, sepia, black-and-white and the whole other number of tones for your shots.

Instagram gives you the selection of vintage tones. In other words if you use an antique tone over your shot it looks like it was photographed in 1977. Once Instagram meets Lightroom, you have the choice of producing a distinctive look and feel over your textured photographs.

Instagram also offers you the choice of different borders. You can have a stark black border to emphasize the deep hues and tones in a photo of dried golden leaves. Or, you can have a soft cream border to match the gentle tones of a photo of a car park. Or you may have no border whatsoever.

Remember that generating different textures is simple. Once you have captured it then the pleasure begins. Make sure that you choose contrasting subjects like dead grass or shiny metal. Take photos of them as one. Then try improving the contrast and lighting of the photograph once you open it up in your favourite photo editing software program.

I recommend that you let inspiration and curiosity be your guides. Open up your image in your favourite editing program and try a variety of various methods. Boost the differences between light and dark, decrease the yellow, decrease the blue, alter the white balance etc. These are just illustrations of techniques that I tried when I was learning how to develop my different textures in my photos. I got to a place where I understood what I preferred and fashioned many different options for myself.


These various choices I designed gave my pictures a look and feel that I loved. Some were heavily saturated in deep yellows and oranges. Some were a slight sepia, and some were a very high contrast in the black and white medium. These lights, colours and looks, applied over rustic subjects, made my textures look amazing. Rusty fences took on a powerful presence. Shiny metal bands wound tightly over wooden fence posts seemed appealing and old. Hanging metal chimes looked classic and enduring.

Just think about surface and light to begin with. Then your photo editing comes afterward. Think about the light and how it interacts with your environment to bring out textures. Think about in what way lighting acts and makes things look different at different times of the day. Take pictures of different natural and man-made physical surfaces jointly. This will let you to explore contrast within your textures. The examination of light will allow you to bring out the power and the features within the photograph. Then apply some simple editing. This will let you to change the tone. Changing the tone gives you the opportunity to generate some extraordinarily inventive pictures.

This is an experiment in artistic pursuit. This is not about winning awards or being better than anyone else. This is about how this makes you feel. You can impress people later but to begin with learn to comprehend your light on how it plays upon the textures in your background. Once you’ve done this you can create extraordinary textured images. Have fun and happy shooting!


All photos on this page ©Amy K Roberts 2012.


About the Author

Amy is an multi-award winning photographer from Australia. She teaches enthusiast photographers how to take beautiful, professional photos in easy, plain English. She has a monthly photography emagazine and ebooks to help you create stunning images every time.

Comments (4)

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  1. Penni says:

    Such beautiful photography on this site!

  2. Earl Sarsuelo says:

    One of a kind work of photography. Two thumbs up! Life-like photos like these are rare to find. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Bernard says:

    Thanks Amy, what another great article!

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