Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Add A Texture - Save A Photo - Reprise

Check out this reprise of a post from one week ago to see how adding a texture can save a photo:

Here are a few more nondescript photographs from my files on which I have applied some of my painterly textures to see if the photographs could be 'saved'.  The results with the painterly textures (Painterly Finesse and Painterly Pizzaz Texture Sets) always excite and amaze me!

This a photograph taken through the car window last Spring of the south side of the Victoria Bridge after leaving downtown Montreal.  It's an old bridge that carries both cars and trains across the St. Lawrence River.

First, a levels adjustment on this ordinary photograph to balance dark and light tones.  It was then sharpened and a Hue/Saturation adjustment was made.   The magic took place, however, when I added one of the painterly textures.

This is the low resolution version of "Blue Skies" from my pdpa Painterly Finesse Texture Set that was applied to the photograph.

You can see all the adjustments made in the layers panel in this screenshot.  Click to enlarge if needed. 

After blending the texture with Multiply at 100% OpacityLayer Mask was applied to the texture layer.  With a soft brush at 30% Opacity, I removed texture from the metal rail and wood post in the foreground. 

Noticing a small line of light on the sky I lowered the opacity of the brush a bit more and clicked once on top of the line of light (with the Layer Mask still active).  That made a soft circle of light by revealing the lighter sky in the photograph under the texture.

Liking the soft orb of light just created, I decided to add some rays of light emanating from the orb.

To add soft rays of light:

*  Add a new layer

*  Selected SS-Light Beams from my Brushes palette (probably procured from Brusheezy!)

*  Clicked the brush icon above in the bar above my image to choose Additional Brush Options and used my mouse to move the arrow on the graph in the lower left hand corner.  This allows me to adjust the angle of the rays for this image.  I also greatly reduced the size of the light beams brush.

*  Clicked rays brush on top of the orb and drastically reduced the opacity.  I wanted the rays of light to shine down on the water and to be barely visible.

*  Moved back down in layers palette to the texture layer and clicked on its Layer Mask.

*  Using a soft brush at very low opacity (20% or so) I clicked along the water with my mouse following the same line as the rays of light already applied.   This made a little path of digital light on the St. Lawrence River.

Eh voila!  I am super pleased with the result, and in my opinion it is mainly due to the pdpa Blue Skies (Painterly Finesse Texture Set) texture.  Magic!  (Click image to enlarge.) 
(None of the effects added with adjustments and brushes would have had the same effect without the texture.)

Took the manipulated image into RadLab to see what I could get by applying some of its 'stylets':

*  Applied RadLab's "Lights Out", "Divine Light", "Iron Mouse" and "Prettyizer". 

*  Back in PSE I reduced the total effect of the RadLab application of stylets by reducing the opacity to 85%.  

*  RadLab is a "plug in".  Once purchased it has an icon right in your Photoshop workspace and the adjustments from RadLab are applied straight to your image in the PS or PSE workspace.  That means that RadLab shows up on its own layer in your Layers Panel.  You can make PS adjustments to the RadLab effect right in that layer.  How convenient is that?! 

*  Another Levels Adjustment to bring back a touch more whites (light). 

And again, more magic!  Amazing when you consider the dreary photograph I began with!

BTW, these textures do not produce dark images unless you want them that way, which I did.  That is why I used Multiply at 100% Opacity to blend them.

Here is another example, again using a rather dull photograph and adding another painterly texture:

The photograph in the upper right benefits from the application of  La Vie En Rose texture from the pdpa Finesse Texture Set.

Find these two texture sets in my
Texture Sets Shoppe.


  1. Very cool. I need to go through my stuff soon. I usually spend one day just categorizing and saving my recent art since I'm not organized enough to do it as I go. I had every intent of creating new folders as I create a new piece, but... creativity is often chaotic :).
    Stay inspired!

  2. Super post! You got me!!! Just went shopping :)

  3. Oh wow...stunning effects!! Absolutely beautiful...

  4. It is truly amazing what these textures do to the photos. You have definitely saved them. looks like a very interesting bridge. I am guessing that the building in the fog is in Montreal? Lovely effect you have captured with the textures

  5. It really is magical what texture can do. Love your edits!

  6. It is amazing how textures can save a photo. I have done this with some of mine as well. Thanks for sharing your techniques with us.

    Capture Life!

  7. I think you have done an amazing job of converting those pictures. Bonnie, I never throw anything away - I have one mega hard drive for all my pictures and one as a back up. I have found uses even for blurred pictures that I have used as textures.

    In terms of keeping computer files I think I would be classed as a hoarder except that everything is well organised!

  8. Hi Bonnie, it is amazing the difference the texture has given to your photographs and I like the idea of adding the light beam.
    I have a separate portable hard drive for all my photographs that are archived according to month and then topic (of course I can never remember what is there, so I have fun "looking".


  9. Thanks for this tutorial. Something I struggle with is after editing, adding textures, etc., I hate to save the image as a PSD file. The file size is HUGE, and it takes up so much memory. However, when I flatten the file and save as a JPG (much smaller and more manageable file), I lose all my layers, but that's what I've been doing. Kind of wondering what most people do.

  10. I love how your are able to transform these somewhat mundane photos to pieces of fine art, all with a texture and some "tweaking". Beautiful.

  11. Love what you did with your editing. Those painterly textures are wonderful!

  12. i LOVE what a texture can add to a photo. sometimes it makes all the difference... love your photographs. have a great night~

  13. Wonderful examples of the magic your textures and some experimental editing can do to turn ho-hum into extraordinary. Your textures add so much interest to the sky in particular in each example; and that foggy day building looks like a professional illustration out of a sci-fi magazine. The frightening thing is, it makes file-clearing just that much harder when almost anything can not only be rescued but given a new life altogether. I find that I'm drawn to some of my worst photographs and lose hours trying to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear, with varying degrees of success. So generous of you to take the time to share your editing processes, too. Always intriguing to see what's in someone's bag of tricks.

  14. Amazing!
    As always!
    Another post from you which will be bookmarked by me.

  15. I am very bad at deleting images and have many thousands stored on Flickr.com and on an external hard drive!

  16. I used to be really good at deleting pictures that were a bit or a lot blah! until I discovered you and your textures. Now almost all pictures that would have hit the trash are in a file I labelled "Pics to play with". Thanks so much for your wonderful textures and for you continued encouragement Bonnie. x

  17. Yes, it is certainly a very good picture to take it from the car, beautiful light and color, beautiful view, these blue colors and textures are stunning pure art.

  18. This is absolutely beautiful! I love this! So creative and amazing colors.

  19. Such amazing work you do Bonnie! What you have done with this photo is truly magical!!
    ...and your textures are phenomenal!


All comments are eagerly read and greatly appreciated.

While I do appreciate the honor, I do not accept awards or participate in assigned memes. Thanks for understanding. :)