Still life photography ideas: distress your shots by adding textures

    | Photography Tutorials | Tutorials | 04/09/2012 19:00pm

    Have you ever felt that photos viewed straight out of the camera look and feel a little flat, and lacking in emotion? It’s often the case that no matter how well crafted your ‘in-camera’ technique, most images can benefit from some tinkering here and there in the digital darkroom. Here, we’ll show you one of our favourite still life photography ideas: how to capture a stunning and simple still life using just natural light. Then we’ll combine it with a texture before converting it to black and white – quickly transforming your shot from ordinary to extraordinary.

    Still Life Photography Ideas: distress your shots by removing colour and adding textures

    Using textures is a great way to rough-up your images and give them a cool, grungy finish. It’s a look that’s very popular at the moment, with apps such as Instagram adding distressed effects to your images in an instant. However, there’s nothing more satisfying than creating the effect yourself.

    Still life photography ideas: create distressed photos

    Keep an eye open for interesting textures that you can photograph – anything from peeling paint to old wallpaper, or even a rusty tin, as we’ve used here. In fact, you can download 100 free Photoshop textures here on Digital Camera World!

    Start a collection and incorporate the textures into your work using layer blending in Photoshop. Here’s how we did it with our simple asparagus shot…

    Still life photography ideas: create distressed photos - Step 1

    Use natural light
    Set up your mini daylight studio near a window that’s flooded with lots of natural light. The window in this lean-to worked a treat, and an old wooden chopping board made a perfect, rustic background. Always aim to keep the composition simple and shoot using an aperture of around f/8.


    Still life photography ideas: create distressed photos - Step 2

    Add some texture
    Open the image in Photoshop (Elements or CS) and make some basic tweaks to the tones and contrast. Next, open a suitable texture, select and copy it (Ctrl+A, Ctrl+C), and then paste it as a new layer onto your original (Ctrl+V). Using the top drop-down, change the Blending Mode to Vivid Light.


    Still life photography ideas: create distressed photos - Step 3

    Experiment with mono
    You can use Photoshop to convert your image to black and white, but here we used a specialist plug-in made by Nik called Silver Efex Pro 2. We used it to add a sepia tint, heavy vignette and a border with just a few simple sliders.


    Extreme flower photography: slam-dunk your stems for dramatic effects
    Free lensing: dismount your lens for the ultimate creative effect
    Still life photography: depth of field mastered in 8 steps
    In Pictures: 31 great examples of still life photography

    Posted on Tuesday, September 4th, 2012 at 7:00 pm under Photography Tutorials, Tutorials.

    Tags: , , ,

    Share This Page