April Edition 2014

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Adding Interest to a Bland Landscape by Anita Bower

Early morning or evening when the light is low and warm are usually the best times for landscape photos. Dreary, grey days, however, offer opportunities for landscape photos for those who enjoy working with textures. Textures add the sweet light, color and atmosphere missing from the original image.

In the example below, the top image is the original taken a few weeks ago near my home. It is rather flat, but has interesting lines. I like it because it is typical of late winter in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. The lower image is the scene after processing and adding three textures.

Image © 2014/Anita Bower Photography

The original flat, grey image provided the perfect canvas for textures. The textures add color, texture, brightness and interest. The image below shows the three textures I used. The top one, “May,” by Kim Klassen, lightened the image. I used blend mode Overlay at 73% opacity. The second texture, “Texture 295,” by Lenabem-Anna J, added warm colors to the sky and road, and some lovely blues. I used blend mode Multiply at 66% opacity, and masked off some from the structures so they would remain whitish. The last one, “Texture 275,” also by Lenabem-Anna J., added a canvas-like texture, a vignette, more light and some brown tones. I used blend mode Overlay at 58% opacity. In addition to adding textures, I did some basic processing to the image.

When deciding what blend mode and opacity to use, I experiment. I most often use Multiply, Overlay and Soft Light. The opacity is also a matter of experimenting until I find what I like.

Image © 2014/Anita Bower Photography

Below is another example of using textures to add interest to a generally bland image. There was a little sun in the original creating shadows in the foreground snow. I thought some textures would add interest. I added “Snow Room” by pareeerica, and “Let it Snow” by Kim Klassen.

I applied “Snow Room” twice, first using blend mode Overlay at 100% opacity, and second using blend mode Soft Light at 100% opacity. Each time I eliminated the bottom third of the texture because I didn’t like its look. I added “Let it Snow” last using blend mode Soft Light and opacity 55% opacity.

Image © 2014/Anita Bower Photography

These are images are fun to create. They are especially welcome when winter seems to drag on and on as it is doing this year.

Anita Bower Photography

14 Responses

  1. gordon emrich

    Are you a photographer or a photoshop menipulator.

  2. Anita, I really am glad to see the textures you use before you apply them. That makes it easier to understand the difference between the “before” and “after”. Also appreciate your details of blend modes and opacities, and how this is an artistic process.

  3. Francis

    Thanks for the technical information and the creative results.

  4. Ramona Boone

    These are beautiful! Can you please tell me more about “May”, “Texture 295″ “Snow Room” etc? thanks so much.. are these ones to buy from you?

  5. denise

    Anita, These are terrific!

  6. Wendy Kates

    These are beautiful Anita. You’ve inspired me to go back and texturize some of my less-than-ideal winter images!

  7. Sue Eberhart

    Enjoy the simplicity of your post and your lovely images. Thank you!

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