Using Textures in Wedding Photography
by, 06-30-2011 at 08:52 PM (5233 Views)
The use of photographic textures in wedding photography is becoming more and more popular. Adding a texture to a few of your event photos can turn ordinary shots into unique works of art for your clients. Let me show you how you can do this in just a few short minutes.
Start out by selecting a photograph that you think might look good with the addition of a texture. In this shot below, I decided to emphasize the dark nature of the sky that day. The bride was literally freezing as I quickly shot a string of photographs before it started pouring down rain. I did some quick edits in Lightroom to give it the basic look and feel you see below:
Here are the settings I used in Lightroom to create the look you see:
Lightroom Basic Panel
- ISO 200
- 55 mm
- 1/160 sec
Split Toning: Highlights
- Temp +7383
- Tint +35
- Exposure +0.86
- Recovery +31
- Fill Light - 0
- Blacks +5
- Brightness +64
- Contrast +54
- Clarity +20
- Vibrance +81
- Saturation -69
- Hue - +34
- Saturation +6
Split Toning: Shadows
- Balance +14
Want the Lightroom preset?
- Hue +30
- Saturation +15
Next, open the image and photographic texture in Photoshop (or GIMP).
With both images open and the move tool selected (V), press and hold the Shift key while you drag the texture on top of the wedding photograph. Change the blending mode of the texture to Overlay. Your image should look something like this:
The texture is just too much and takes away from the bride.
The next step is to create a layer mask and paint out the texture so that it doesn’t affect the bride. To create a layer mask select the texture in the Layers Panel then go to Layer -> Layer Mask -> Reveal All. This creates a white layer mask that essentially allows the entire texture to show through. We are going to use black to paint out areas of the photograph we don’t want the texture to affect – the bride.
Select a moderately hard paint brush (B) and begin painting with black everywhere you see the bride. Be careful as you paint along the edges. The idea is to create a clean mask between the bride and the background.
Typically in a masking situation like this, I paint all along the edges and then press and hold the Alt key (Option key for Macs) while clicking on the layer mask. This will change the layer mask to black and white allowing you to see areas you have missed with your paint brush. Once you have finished painting, press and hold the Alt key (Option key for Macs) while clicking on the layer mask to revert back to the normal view.
We are just about done! I decided to create a dark vignette in Photoshop rather than Lightroom so that I could control it better. To do this I created a new adjustment layer for Solid Color and filled it with black.
Next I selected the Radial Gradient tool, made sure that black to white was selected and that the Reverse box was unchecked. Now I simply clicked near the center of the image and dragged outward. This creates a rough vignette – we’re not done just yet.
Back down the opacity slider just a bit – in this case, I reduced the opacity to 62%. Next click the Layer Mask that you create for the photographic texture while holding the Ctrl key (Command key on a Mac). This selects the layer mask you created. Now paint over the Solid Color layer mask with black to keep the vignette from affecting the bride.
You’re done! The whole process should only take about 10-15 minutes! Using textures like this is a unique way to infuse a little bit of “elegant grunge” into a few of your favorite event photographs. Your clients will love it!