In this simple tutorial learn how to combine textures with Topaz Impression to finalize a work of fine art photography. Textures can improve the overall aesthetic of your image, polishing them and making it appear more like a finished piece of fine art. But before we begin, be sure to download a Flypaper Textures free tasters set to the right!
Get 20% off Flypaper textures with the code topazfly until January 4th!
By Paul Grand of Flypaper Textures
With Halloween in mind, I shot a group of images with a mat black-painted background ending up with an image worthy of a book cover!
The image was processed several weeks after shooting. During that time, Topaz Impression had been released and being so impressed by my Facebook contact’s results I had to get a hold of a copy myself. Really glad I did because the results have blown me away!
Step 1: Impression
- Open your image in Topaz Impression (if you don’t own Impression you can download a free 30-day trial here).
- Apply a painterly preset like “Cezanne II” from the Impressionistic Collection.
- You may decide to tweak the settings by pressing ctrl/cmd + P to access the selective parameters where you can customize the effect.
For this demo I used the effect “Rembrandt Portrait II” with custom settings (found in the Painting Collection). Because we’re using textures to finish, it’s better to make sure that the final canvas settings are set to zero, unless of course you can’t get enough of textures!
To ensure the texture is turned off, just set the strength to zero.
You can also save the your preset settings by clicking the icon located in the top right hand corner. Once finished naming the preset and adding it to a collection, press OK to return back to Photoshop.
Step 2: Adding a Texture
- Back in Photoshop open up the texture(s) of your choice.
- Press ctrl/cmd + A to select the texture and then press ctrl/cmd + C to copy it.
- You can then paste (ctrl/cmd + V) this selection to your edited Impression image.
- Press ctrl/cmd + T to resize the image or texture as needed, holding the shift key down to maintain proportions. Press the Enter key when ready to accept the transformation.
For the demo, after making a duplicated layer I desaturated the image’s color by around 50% as shown:
I then duplicated this layer again, this time to adjust the tones by reducing the opacity to 45% in the Multiply blending mode.
The reason I slightly desaturated and then beefed up the image is because I wanted to create a more tonally finished look or a ‘Tone on Tone’ rather than have, say a cheery Xmas image, I wanted a moody one. I’ve found that classical still life set-ups really benefit from slightly neutralizing the colors at this stage before adding textures.
At this stage, I opened my texture files. I tend to play around with many combinations before hitting upon an effect I’m happy with. Here I used Casanova in Soft Light at 100% opacity with the texture’s color totally desaturated.
The rest follow unaltered:
Atlantic – Soft Light @ 81%
Caspian – Soft Light @ 36%
Sakara Skies – Soft Light @ 100%
The final pink texture really brought the photo to life! I finished off by cloning out any messy edges and straightening the candle, which had slightly distorted in our Mediterranean summer heat.
Here is the final before and after:
Don’t forget, you can get more textures at 20% off with the code topazfly until January 4th!