Miraz Light At Work Photography

Textures and What to do with those darn things

For those who know me and my shooting style, I love shooting in natural light. However, I reside in a suburb of Atlanta GA. Which means, the weather outdoors is not always favorable. For about 3-4 months of the year, we have cloudy overcast skies and temperatures that are less than 10 deg C or in the low  40s F. Doesn't make for very warm sunny pictures. In such cases, I resort to adding the "warmth" in post processing using textures. When I first started using textures, I faced a problem. The "texture" almost always never looked good on exposed skin. So I would mask it off. But that many a times defeated the purpose of adding the texture in the first place - to add warmth to the entire photo including the exposed skin. 

Lets take this photo for example of my daughter -

It was taken on a cold dreary day in the middle of December. When taking it, I had wished it was a little sunny but I have no control over mother nature.This was, after choosing “Shade” as the White Balance in camera. So I decided I would need to add the warmth in post processing. i.e. giving the image a more “earthy” look. I thought a texture would do it well and so I chose one of my own making called Dusty Lunar from my Winter Ambiance set. If I did what I usually do, which is apply the texture to the whole image and then mask it off with a soft brush from all exposed skin, it would clearly not help as shown in the image below. The background is warmer but the face is the same.

 So, one day I chanced upon this neat technique. When I want the color of the texture but not the texture itself, what I do is, using either the select tool or the lasso tool (depending on how the face / exposed skin is shaped) , I select the exposed skin and then use the Gaussian Blur filter. That blurs out all/any texture but leaves the color of the layer intact so you get this –

See how that makes her face warmer ? I think this is in keeping with the whole tone of the picture and makes it look less "processed".

Here’s another example incorporating the same technique with my Peach Sundae Texture from my Rustic Memories Textures and Borders set

  Not sure how to apply a texture? Look up my post on Overlays. The process is the same whether you use Gimp or PSE. 


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