Many people carry a common misconception that textured means grunge, and quite frankly that is simply untrue. Although you can use textures to create a grunge look to your images – like a faded vintage look that’s tattered or torn – textures can also be used to add some extra dimension to a photo and give it a little spice.
Generally when we do use textures for these reasons we want to work the texture on a more subtle side – that way it’s not super noticeable. Processing the image raw before we start applying textures to it in Photoshop can be a nice little touch to your image and really help prep it for the texture.
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Processing The Image
The main reason I process photos prior to applying a texture to them is because I feel that texturing is really part of the finished vision and processing has to play a role in that. You don’t just slap on a texture over an image and call it done. You kind of play with both and incorporate it into your image.
For this tutorial we are going to use an image we shot from the Newborn Workshop Collection, this file is exercise 7. We’re going to be doing a Newborn Preset Pack that’s in the Newborn Workshop Collection. If you don’t have these presets don’t worry, that’s not a problem because I’m going to go through all of the settings.
So let’s go ahead and start processing this photo. Now, what I have in mind for this image is a nice brightened area image with a subtle texture that will enhance the overall feel of the wood that we see in the background.
Alright let’s edit it. Let’s bring up the temperature to 5800 kelvin and lower the tint to -4 and we’ll keep the regular preset. Now we have this nice brighten area look.
Now for the basic settings let’s change the Exposure to +.3 and reduce the Contrast to -25. Next we’re going to drop the Highlights and Whites to -40 and -30 respectively. Go ahead and adjust the Clarity to -20, this adjustment combined with our other adjustments of is really going to soften up the overall contrast in the image and this gives us a flatter look which is very flattering for skin tones. Newborns tend to have strong yellows and reds in their skin tone, so we’re going to adjust the Vibrance to -5 and the Saturation to -5 as well. This will give us softer colors in the skin tone
Alright now let’s go down to the Tone Curve. We’re going to drop the Whites and raise the Highlights all the way through the Shadows so it’s lifted above that midpoint line. This will add to our overall fade effect, and if I turn this on and off you can see exactly how this is impacting the image. We’re adding cool tones over here in the blue, you can see that we’re dropping the reds a little bit as well as the greens, and we’re adding the blues so that it gives it this overall cooler look to the image. This combines with the temperature settings gives the image a nice pure white look.
So you can see the tone curve doing a lot of magic there. Now let’s go to the HSL, with HSL we’ll lower the saturation of Red to -20 and in Orange to -10. Like before, this will flatten out the stronger colors in the skin tones and give it a nice touch. We’re going to change our standard detail adjustments to 71.5, 10, and 3. With that let’s go ahead and set the Noise Reduction at 30. This will help us flatten out the pores in the skin without reducing the image because it won’t kill detail everywhere else. Okay so that’s it, we’re now ready to take this image into Photoshop to texture.
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