I've been taking photographs of various textures for some time now, knowing that one day I wanted to be able to use them in Photoshop. But with all things technical I get a bit of a mental block, and it just felt like one of those things I'd learn one day, whenever I might find myself with a lot of time on my hands.
But as luck would have it, I happened to be in the company of the lovely Miss B. of Besotted Brand last weekend and she's a Photoshop whiz who also happens to enjoy teaching (check out her online photo classes, Souvenir Foto School). In the space of less than an hour I learned how to create my own Photoshop brush, make a png (an element that you can use as an overlay, like a strip of tape or a paper clip), and use textures in photographs. It turns out that none of those things are very difficult, which of course makes me feel silly for taking so long to dive in.
To test myself, I sat down yesterday and worked with a few of the moody textures I posted in the fall. I used a photograph of a pecan branch with a simple background and tried it out with various textures (see the bottom of this post for a tutorial link). It was just as easy as I remembered and a lot of fun to play with.
Using Texture #3 (Overlay mode with 45% opacity)
Using Texture #5 (Soft Light mode with 100% opacity)
Using Texture #8 (Overlay mode with 100% opacity)
Pecans with Texture #9 (Screen mode with 39% opacity)
I didn't do any further editing with these photos - I just wanted you to see what could be achieved simply by swapping textures and adjusting the blending modes and opacity (by the way, the title image was used with Texture #6 - Overlay mode with 100% opacity).
If you want to learn how to do this yourself, I found a good tutorial for you from Digital Photography School. It will walk you through the process, step by simple step, and it can be used for all versions of Photoshop, as well as Elements.
Tomorrow, I'll post some additional textures for you to use. But there's an abundance of free textures already floating around (check Flickr) if you're looking for something in particular. And I promise you - If I can do this, so can you!