A photographic image is successful when it successfully grabs the attention of the viewers. Images can do this in a variety of ways. Some images depend on bold color. Other photos utilize leading curves. Dramatic scenery is also used for this specific purpose. On the other hand, there exists a method that is quite often overlooked. That method is the use of texture. Thus, the objective of this article is to cover the essentials of texture photography.
Of course, the first thing that needs to be done is to define texture photography. The definition of texture photography is really very simple. The images of texture photography derive at least part of their impact through the use of texture.
Texture will be defined as the surface detail of an object. This detail can be made up of surface irregularities (such as the wood grain of an old plank) or of small forms on a surface (such as a mass of roots from an ancient tree).
Three Types of Texture Photography
This article will cover three of the most common forms of texture photography — texture used to enhance detail, drama, or information.
Detail: With detail texture photography, the detail of an object’s surface is the most important aspect of an image. The actual object is of lower value. There are a couple of approaches to detail images. The image can be taken as a macro shot. That way, the camera is moved in close to really expose the texture. The other approach is to photograph only a part of an object (which also focuses the attention on the texture). An example of this type of texture image would be a close-up of the patterns found in old rock formations.
Typically, the best light for this type of image is side light. Side light will enhance the detail in any uneven surface by casting shadows.
Drama: With drama texture photography, the texture helps to bring out the drama in an image. In this use of texture, the texture is not the principal feature of the image. Instead, it is one component of the image that serves to spice up the image.
A key point is that, typically, the contrast or color of the texture serves to catch the viewer’s interest. So, it is essential to pick a subject that has good color or contrast.
A good example of texture used for drama would be the patterns of layered rock in the Grand Canyon glowing in the late afternoon sun.
An important point is that side light works well with these images. The side light casts shadows that emphasize the texture and, thus, the drama.
Information: Utilizing texture to communicate information about a photographic subject is the last form of texture photography that we will review. In an information texture image, the texture tells part of the tale of the image by communicating something about the image. A case in point would be an image of an aged, dilapidated, wooden walkway at a remote beach. In this case, the aged wood suggests that the beach has a history that could not be communicated by an image of just the white, beach sand.
For information texture images, it is crucial to identify specifically what information the texture is to communicate and compose the image in such a manner that the texture brings out the right message. The outcome will be a better image.
One other essential point is to make certain that the texture has a subservient role in this kind of image. Put simply, the texture should help to enhance the center of interest not overwhelm the center of interest.