Texture can be used to enhance images. This article shows how texture can be used with logs, plants, and trees to create impressive images.
Logs are one of the easiest objects to use for creating texture images. This is because they have two characteristics that lend themselves to texture photography: contrast and curves.
The first thing to look for when scouting out logs for texture photography is the contrast. It is necessary to start with a log that has enough contrast to grab a viewer’s attention. This usually means that a log must have a grain that has contrast. The second thing to look for is a set of curves. These can be either leading or non-leading curves. The important thing is that the curves add to the image in some way.
An image of a log can frequently be enhanced by including something from the environment that surrounds the log. The most likely objects for this will be flowers or vegetation.
Often, side light works well to help emphasis the contrast in the grain. However, side light is not always necessary. This is particularly true if some drama can be added to an image in some other way. For instance, when old logs get wet, the wood can sometimes become darker and take on a more moody feel. This works great for texture photography. In addition, when objects (such as the flowers or vegetation already mentioned) contrast in tone or color with the wood, this may add all the drama that is needed.
Plants are great for texture photography because they are everywhere. That means that you don’t need to travel someplace to get some great shots. All you have to do is visit your backyard.
There are so many characteristics of plants that can be used to create interesting texture images. Of course, the first thing to look for is good texture. This is usually pretty easy to find in a garden. However, you don’t want to stop there. After some plants that have good texture have been found, you should look for other aspects of the plants that can be used to create an even better image.
One of the things for which one should look is any interesting curves. Often, this comes in the form of curves formed by the edges of leaves or curves that result from plant stems. The next thing that should be considered is color. Color demands a viewer’s attention. Thus, the more saturated the color, the more interested people will likely be in an image. Even better than color is contrasting color. Contrasting color can really make an image come alive.
The best light for plant photography is usually a diffuse light. That means that great plant shots can be captured on overcast days or early/late in the day when the garden is in shadow.
The seasons play an important part in plant photography. Spring produces beautiful, lush greens. Autumn can produce stunning fall colors (depending on where you live). Unfortunately, summer and winter are less ideal for plant photography as the plants are less vibrant at that time.
Trees provide a rich variety of texture photography opportunities. Great texture images can be created from the leaves, bark, or roots. When using the leaves as texture photography subject matter, the guidelines pretty much follow those covered in the Plants section directly above. In other words, one should look for interesting curves, color, and color contrast. Furthermore, the best light is often produced by overcast conditions that create a soft, diffuse light.
The bark of trees often has great texture. Furthermore, the texture commonly forms an irregular pattern. This can create some great subject matter for texture photography. Of course, in this case, it is necessary to move in close enough to concentrate on the bark. However, there is one problem that can occur when photographing the bark. As mentioned in Part 1 of this series, while patterns can often capture a viewer’s interest, simple patterns can sometimes fail to hold that interest for very long. Consequently, it is best to figure out a way to add some interest to the pattern. This is often fairly easy with tree bark. All that may be necessary is to break the pattern. This can be done by finding some irregularity in the bark (such as a knot).
With some trees, roots can be the most interesting part of the tree for texture photography. This is because of the interesting patterns that roots can form. The key here is to find a tree with exposed roots. These roots can form jagged, irregular curves that can add a sinister or menacing mood to an image. Side light may help to strengthen this mood. However, this sinister/menacing mood can sometimes be captured even with diffuse light.
If this article gave you any ideas, it is time to grab your camera and held out to capture some eye-catching, texture images. For more information on texture photography, see Texture Photography.