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Using Textured Backgrounds For Your Images

Connie Cassinetto (Via the Lens)

Keywords: d800, z7, 70_200mm, 200_500mm, 500mm, wildlife, photoshop, textured_backgrounds, photoshop_layers, connie_cassinetto

I was happy to hear, as I was contemplating what to write, that the U.S. might be going back to some degree of normalcy soon.  It’s been a long haul for all of us, across the world, as we hunkered down and hoped for the best for both the people and the economy in our countries. I’m hoping that where ever you live as you read this that your country, too, is starting the long haul back to B.C., “before Coronavirus.”  This situation has, for many of us, created difficulty in traveling to places that we might normally like to frequent this time of the year to get photographs.  I know it has certainly curtailed my travel, although I’m lucky in that my small, rural county has not been affected to any great degree with the virus itself.  I have been able to get out once or twice to photograph the wildflowers that are starting to pop up.  In the meantime, I’ve been attempting to learn more about Photoshop and how to use it to enhance my images.  


Click for an enlargement


“Burn Out.”
Nikon Z7, Nikon Z f/1.8-85mm lens, 1/250, f/11, ISO 200 handheld.
This image is of an area near where I live that was burned extensively several years ago. I liked the “toothpick” look of the image as well as the starkness of the scene. It was late afternoon with no sky to speak of and I thought, as I took it, that a background image would work fairly well to help enhance the mood of the scene. I used PS and a purchased background texture to create the final version of the image.
Click for an enlargement


I’ve been using Photoshop for several years and I’m familiar with layering but I’m fairly certain what I do know is only the proverbial “drop in a bucket.”  Over the last several months I’ve learned a lot about importing backgrounds into Photoshop to use with various subjects as well as creating border effects with the PS brush tool.  Sometimes incorporating a background into your shoot can turn a decent image into something that might be called a “fine art” image.  I tend to really like the look of an image with an added background, but of course the look is not for everyone.  It’s a fun way to pass the time and doing this allows me to use my time constructively to continue to learn about using Photoshop.  Using a background can work with many images, from landscapes to wildlife to nature scenes.  And, any software that supports layering will work, such as Affinity, Photoshop Elements, or ON1.  

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Daniel McLaughlin (Father Dan) on October 27, 2020

Connie, I enjoyed your article on using textures as background to your photos. I liked the vulture and flowers the best. The vulture photo is what I call on a good snapshot image but it looks artistic and, as you said, more majestic. I use Capture One as my editing program and I will look at how I can add backgrounds. Ii liked that you described your needing to learn over time photos that now better describe what you want to say you see when photographing. Father Dan

Connie Cassinetto (Via the Lens) on May 4, 2020

Ribbon awarded for her valuable contributions to the Articles Section.

Hello and thanks. You can do a computer search and most likely find many websites that sell texture files. I have bought them from Flypaper and Photomorphis. You can make them yourself in PS or other programs and take them as photographs when you see a background that interests you. A colored wall, a textured image, such as sand, even a floor tile can work, it depends on your goal, your artistic talent and your budget as to which one might work for you. The more you work with different textures, the better you will get at putting the image with the right texture. Have fun and enjoy learning the technique.

Kathleen L Moore (klm45) on May 3, 2020

I like the textured versions of you photos. Very nice. I am wondering where you obtained the texture files? Thanks.