Posts in the Perfect Inspiration category:
Posted on October 18, 2013
Beautiful bokeh backgrounds can add a sparkle to an image that is swoon-worthy. However, having the right settings and props to create a lovely bokeh effect while you’re shooting is not always convenient.
Posted on September 16, 2013
So many photo editing videos out there include the art of adding textures to your images, an extremely popular technique, but they rarely cover the most important topic; how do you create textures in first place?
It’s pretty darn easy to do on your own and a lot of fun to boot. The best part is having your own unique arsenal that you can use and reuse constantly, without having to hunt online for ones that suit your fancy. Alongside all of my images, I also have homemade texture packs that I can apply any time I want to spice up my images!
The first step is actually going out and taking pictures, so here are a few pointers for your journey:
• Find the right location for you and what type of texture you want to shoot. If you’re looking for brick, grunge and peeling paint, locate your nearest warehouse district complete with crumbling buildings and dirty walls. If you prefer a more natural approach, try taking a hike through the forest, which is full of tree bark, rushing streams and funky rocks.
• Check your local forecast ahead of time to help avoid extremely sunny afternoons. If you live somewhere that isn’t the Pacific Northwest (full of clouds, which are nature’s soft boxes), don’t be afraid to bring a fill flash with you. Keep your images as flat as possible; the less shadows, the better.
• Bring the right equipment: leave your wide angle lenses at home and remember to pack a tripod! You’ll want to make sure the images are crisp with no lens distortion.
• When you find a good spot, set your camera to a small aperture and high shutter speed. You want to avoid a shallow depth of field so that you’re whole texture is perfectly in focus; try keeping your aperture ƒ16 or lower. Plus, you don’t want your images to appear shaky, so hike that shutter speed up and pop your camera on a tripod; try shooting at 1/125th a second or higher.
Once you’re home, with a card full of textured joy, it’s time to edit if your image doesn’t work perfectly straight out of your camera. You can do some basic editing such as: add detail, modify your exposure and contrast, adjust your colors, and more. There are no specific instructions for this part, as so much of this editing process lies in your personal preference. The most important rule is to have fun!
Here’s a before and after example of a texture of mine. As you can see, I like my textures to be darker, richer in color and quite gritty.
Enjoy and happy editing!
Special note: Owners of Perfect Photo Suite 7.x will receive the Natural Texture Pack by Liz as part of their September Loyalty Reward – for FREE!
Posted on August 16, 2013
A lot of you have shown us that you use textures when stylizing your images in onOne Software products. To give you even more texture options, here is an inexpensive and easy way to create your own set of textures and how to easily add them into the Perfect Photo Suite.
1. Visit your local arts and craft store
We drove to a local arts and crafts store near the onOne offices to look for paper that could act as a cool texture when blended with a photo. As it turned out, there was more than just paper available. Not only did we find a ton of paper styles in the store’s scrapbooking section, we found a variety of textures including rice paper, burlap, cork, and sandpaper, to name just a few. It’s amazing how endless the creative possibilities are with all of these different textures. The best part is, the textures we found were inexpensive. We snatched up 18-20 different samples for use in our texture pack for under $20.00 and we were in and out of the store in under 30 minutes.
2. Scan your textures
Once we returned to the office we started sorting through the textures. Our initial thought was to set up the onOne studio to photograph them. After chatting with Dan Harlacher, we learned the much easier way to capture them was to use a scanner. Luckily, Jonny Davenport keeps one at his desk (you can learn why from the recent Up Close Blog on Jonny).
Posted on June 30, 2012
For those of you who may not be aware of our new-ish series called ‘Perfect Inspiration with Brian Matiash’, it is a weekly episode-based feature that we are really proud of. The main goal is to help provide the most precious commodity to photographers and artists as a whole – Inspiration!
To that end, every Friday at 9:00AM Pacific/US, we will publish a new episode. Each episode contains an image (with a handy before/after slider), the anecdotal/inspirational story behind the image, a workflow video that walks you step-by-step through the process of getting the final image, and some free downloadable content.
This week’s episode involves utilizing obstacles within your shot to make it even better than if they were removed to begin with. We hope you enjoy it.
You can watch Episode 14 right over here!