Photography, Tutorials

Using Textures

So after quite a few people asked me how to make textures, I have attempted to do a video tutorial on how to apply a texture to an image.  I am going to post, but you need to be warned it isn’t very good.  My computer did not behave and Photoshop wouldn’t work properly.  I don’t know what the issue was, but hopefully you will get the general idea that the trick to using textures is all about blending.

I hope you can work it out, but remember that the library of textures is growing at Public Domain Textures, and you also see some work by people who have used some textures from the site.  So if you want your work shown, put a link to the texture you used so we get a pingback.

As I said the video isn’t great, a few problems there, I am also not sure about the quality, I tried to get as good as possible.


  1. John says

    I really love using textures when I think it’s going to enhance the picture.

      • John says

        Exactly. It’s fun experimenting to see what can be created with textures.

      • I didn’t know anything about these techniques so found it really interesting. Also, re your presentation – it’s reassuring to know that we all have these problems with technology and have to play around with it to get the effects we want.

      • Oh yes, it certainly showed the problems, it was so frustrating. I don’t know what happened, I will have to play with it I think. I hope you were still able to follow it and work out what to do. Thanks.

  2. Brilliant!!!! I love it. I could follow it. I’m so excited about textures I’m going to try some right away.

    I took two photos I thought I might be able to do a texture from but they are very not like what you are doing. One is a drain in the Eiffel Tower park, the Champs de Mars, and the other is a spiral, a plant I think, I don’t remember. I’ll fiddle with them when I can and post to my blog with my results, along with this texture demo.

    Thank you for the demo!

    P.S. I like hearing what your voice sounds like. Can’t wait to meet you in person.

    • Thank you for the feedback Nia, I’m glad you could follow it, I had so much trouble doing it.

      You know Nia, the best thing to do is try, you just never know. See what you end up with, then decide if they are no good. That would be my advice.
      I hope my voice wasn’t too weird, hope you can understand what I was saying. I can’t wait to meet you either. Do you have your print yet?

  3. Audio on the video is good so that’s very important in this teaching video I think

    • That’s good to hear, oh is that a pun, haha. I had so much trouble, but it is a very easy way of doing a tutorial, I might even be tempted to do more.

      • What a lovely compliment, thank you, I thought I would come out sounding frustrated, I must find out what those tools wouldn’t work while doing the screencast, they worked fine after it.

  4. I liked your crumple blue paper texture so much it’s now the background on my regular blog!

    What a great site …. thanks for sharing it.

    • That’s brilliant, I think that is one texture I have used many times, I am quite partial to it.

      • I like the look …. and, blue is my favorite color … it sort of makes my blog feel like it’s “floating” on top of a puffy layer … I think it looks good.

      • Sounds great. I did take a look, it looks really good, it looks like you used another texture for the quote too, brilliant.

  5. Sonel says

    Great video and tutorial Leanne! Great to hear your voice too. You have a lovelly voice hon. :D *hugs*

      • I think I end up yelling to myself ;) I am so bad with that, I do not know how to merge 2 photos… don`t laugh, I really do not… I know layers yes, but after that goes beyond my skills… :D

      • You merge the two photos by blending, what software are you using? Hey I’m not laughing, a lot people don’t know how to blend layers.

      • I use PS 6, and I just made one, but I do not know how to do it again. I know how to merge 2 different versions of a same pic, but 2 different goes over my head ;) thanks, I am laughing to myself :D

      • I don’t know PS 6, I am assuming it isn’t the same as PS CS6, But you need to find something that has normal written on it and may be a drop down menu, under the menu there will be things like darken, multiply, but the one you want is soft light. If you want me to help send me an image of your screen with it open and I will see if I can find it. You should be able to blend layers. It should be with the layers dialogue box.

      • thanks so much, I have PS CC 6 so I think it is the same.
        I will definetely ask for help, but I am quite a stubborn and focused that I will learn this, it may take while :)

      • So you should find the blending layers on the right, above where you see the layers, there is a rectangle with Normal written on it, and there is a little arrow next to it so you click on it and a menu will drop down, look for soft light.
        I hope that helps.

  6. Thanks for the demo, I just had a go with the mask method which is more useful than manual erasing the texture, which takes much longer.

  7. Thank you Leanne for your generous posting. I will add this to my toolbox to be used when appropriate. I had only used textures in the past doing conventional (silver based) graphics work, so it is good to see how to use this in the digital realm.

    • Of course, you know, that is only how I use them, others might do them in different ways, but what I have shown is pretty much the norm, I think. Thanks Robert.

  8. Someday when a new computer arrives and a nice camera I shall purchase this program and PLAY thanks for the lesson!

  9. Keep up the good work. I’ve done over 80 video tutorials and have had the same thing happen (program or computer freeze) as well as other annoyances while in the production process–what ever can happen, will happen…we call that Murphy’s Law here–LOL!

    • Thanks, I didn’t think it would be just me. It is like needing to print something in a hurry and the printer runs out of paper, or needs toner, something always happens. I don’t know why the transform tool wouldn’t work though, or the crop tool, it was pretty frustrating, I will have to look into that. I was teaching a class recently, and towards the end they wanted to see some editing, so I started showing them, go 3/4 through and my computer froze, I couldn’t believe it. so annoying.
      Thanks for letting me know that it just isn’t me.

      • You are welcome…besides rebooting or resetting all tools, sometimes just hitting ‘escape’ will do the trick.

      • I will have to remember that if I do anymore. Not sure about whether I will do more, time will tell. Thanks for that kkeith.

  10. Tricia SweetRascalPhotos says

    Even though I don’t have photoshop, I watched this all the way through. You made it look easy enough, and textures do seem to be a fun way to add interest to a photo. I confess my favorite part was hearing your Australian accent. What a treat to put a voice to one of my favorite bloggers :)

    • Thanks Tricia, that is great to hear. I was worried that I may have got so flustered that you wouldn’t be able to follow it. I hope the accent was too broad, I try not to speak with a really broad accent, haha. Though, my daughter was listening to it and she didn’t think it sounded like me, so who knows. Glad you liked it. :)

  11. Excellent tutorial. Now to find the time. :)

    And your accent is just fine. You sound so much like my friend Laurie, who grew up in West Texas. When she meets a patient for the first time, most think they’re meeting someone from Australia.

    • Thank you David, yes, finding the time is hard.
      That is really interesting about the accent. When we lived in Denmark for a very short time I used to get people thinking I was English.

  12. I enjoyed your video blog…That you had problems makes you just like the rest of us and I laughed at your frustration (at that point I would have added a few words not meant for polite company) Thank you for taking the time Leanne.

    • Believe me, I was pausing it and doing all that, LOL. It was interesting because I then had to work around the problems, I will have to go and work out what the problem was though. It was or will be, a much faster way to do some tutorials. Thanks.

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  14. hutchphotography2020 says

    Thanks for your wonderful tutorial. What helps me in photoshop is to make both images the same size and resolution before I bring them together to do blending.

    • The software for the screencast was disrupting the transform tool, I don’t know why, as soon as I stopped I had no trouble transforming it. It was quite frustrating. I suspect that I may have downloaded some unwanted stuff as well, as since then I have noticed some other things not quite working properly, I will have to go through it and see what I can delete.
      So do you do that so you don’t have to transform? LIke I said I don’t have any trouble usually and I’ve noticed when I blend, the texture goes into the background and you can’t really tell what resolution it was.
      Thanks Hutch.

  15. Palimpsest says

    This was brilliant, Leanne, I’d never have worked out how to do that by myself. You have a nice, calm voice, too, which makes following and understanding what you’re doing easy. Thanks for going to all that effort.

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