Create Your Own Sunshine

This week I tried combining a photo with a texture that I shot while on vacation. I have quite a few shots of what some would view as “Nothing.” But they are not “Nothing,” they are interesting Textures, that can enhance an otherwise plain photo. I rarely use my own textures. I tend more to use textures created by others, mainly painterly, cloth or paper types of textures – not textures of tree bark or brick walls which I seem to shoot while traveling. My vacation photos always include shots of cobblestones (all over Europe), old colorful plaster walls (Italy), sun-washed shutters (South France), colorful geyser water (Yellowstone), on and on…I just never use them. Oh, manhole covers, one of my favorite. How weird is that? In fact, it is through textures and color that I view a city. Especially through a camera lens, I feel pulled towards things I would never notice if I did not have that intention of looking for color or texture. You should try it even around where you live…take a walk with the intention to see what is around you, sometimes it is as simple as Sunlight on a wall.

Well, I came across some old photos I shot last Fall in my new (at the time) photography “Studio” (slash) guest room (slash) office (slash) blog junk room. The day I shot the photo, I remember sunlight dancing all over the walls; light coming through that west-facing window was so magical I found myself visiting the room hourly to see the changes. Finally I grabbed a vase of sunflowers from another room and captured this shot. The shadows created by the sunlight coming through the blinds and filtered by a gauze drapery were moody. After that experimentation, I tucked the photo files away and forgot about them until today when I came across them and some old textures I shot in Prague of a walkway wall with a view of the Vltava River below, sigh. We were walking on the outskirts of Old Towne…I’m sure Captain and my travel buddies were annoyed with me for not keeping-up, but with so much texture everywhere, I couldn’t help snapping a pic every few feet. Anyway, here is what happened when I combined my sunlight photo with my Prague wall texture.


The “wood” in foreground is a tablecloth from Ikea that I often use in staging photos. Crazy, huh? When I opened the image in Photoshop Elements I cropped it then used the healing tool to get rid of the black tape seam in my homemade white board. However, after I saw that the new textured “wall” needed a defined corner, I brushed it back at low opacity on a layer’s mask.

Prague Texture…

The texture layer was brought into Elements as two layers and set at two different modes (multiply & overlay) then brushed-off of the flowers, vase, wood and sun streaks. That’s it, pretty Simple when it comes to combining photos.

For sure the texture saved the sunlight photo! The textured wall seems to have transported my sunflowers to an entirely different location…I like to think to Prague.

If you would like to learn more about Still Life photography HERE is a site for classes and inspiration. I also recommend for textures checking out the  – Leslie Nicole has tutorials, incredible textures and ephemera that will transform your photos.

Do you want to experiment with your photos using some of my cool vacation textures? Drop by Sunday for a Freebie Download – THREE of my Prague Textures.

Thanks for Meeting Me Lakeside!