Capturing Texture

How to use texture to both show surface detail and give background information about an object.

texture examplesFinding texture in photography adds a certain appeal to your images. Everything you see has a texture, and photographing to capture that texture can make your images much more relatable to the viewer.

For example, instead of taking yet another cute picture of your nauseatingly cute house cat, what if you zoomed in on the nose or eye to capture the texture there. Or instead of taking pictures of the brick wall, try focusing in on the metal grate that protrudes from the side of the wall. Would that make for a more interesting image?

There are two topics that we will discuss here: capturing only the detail of the object and using the texture to convey information about the object(s) in the scene.


Detail

This type of texture photo is focused entirely on the texture of the object. The viewer may not even be able to tell of what object you have taken a picture. It is quite similar to the macro-mode challenge I wrote about in an earlier blog post.

When you are simply capturing surface detail, the object itself is unimportant, the texture is the main thing. You will need to use your macro mode for this shot. (see examples 2 and 4)

Information:

Another technique for capturing texture would be to choose an object with a texture which gives the viewer information about the object. For example, the tiny edges of the edge of a feather blowing in the wind or an abandoned rock query used for light rock climbing and hiking. In these examples, the texture is helping to tell the story of the object. It tells us what it has been through and it's purpose.

Light:

In order to capture the texture most effectively, you will need to consider the light you use. Usually, a side light helps to emphasize the texture. The shadows cast across the texture helps to emphasize the details in it. Whether you use hard or soft light is up to you, it depends on how dramatic you want the end result to be.

Texture really is everywhere, but you may have to look closely to find it. Remember to use your macro mode! Try to find texture in unlikely places!


This Week’s Assignment:

Take 2 good pictures demonstrating texture. One should focus entirely on the detail and the other should use texture to give information about an object. If you feel proud of your pictures, choose your best shot and post it to Instagram with #DigitalArtTeacher. Take at least 10 photos for each subject. Feel out some texture!