A photographic image is successful when it successfully grabs the attention of the viewers. Now, there are numerous ways to accomplish this. Eye-catching color is often used for this purpose. Leading curves can also be used. Other images rely on dramatic vistas. While these methods are very powerful, there is one method that many photographers overlook. That method is the utilization of texture.
The definition of texture photography is fairly simple. The definition of texture photography is really very simple. The images of texture photography derive at least part of their impact through the use of texture.
Texture will be defined as the surface detail of an object. This detail can be composed of surface irregularities (such as the wood grain of an old plank) or of small forms on a surface (such as a mass of roots from an ancient tree).
Types of Texture Photography
This article will cover three of the most common forms of texture photography — texture used to enhance detail, drama, or information.
Detail: With detail texture photography, the detail of an object’s surface is the most significant aspect of an image. In order to utilize this technique, the camera can be moved in for a close-up of the detail, or a portion of an image can be photographed (the portion with the best texture). An example of this type of texture image would be a close-up of the patterns found in old rock formations.
Drama: Drama texture photography is dependent on the texture to boost the drama of an image. Here, the texture is not necessarily the most significant aspect of an image. The texture is just one part of an image that helps to augment the impact of the photo.
A key point is that, generally, the contrast or color of the texture serves to capture the viewer’s attention. So, it is important to select a subject that has good color or contrast.
Images of canyons with layered rock formations offer one example of this type of texture photography.
The best light for bringing out the drama in texture is often side light. The side light casts shadows that emphasize the texture and, thus, the drama.
Information: The last form of texture photography to be dealt with in this article uses texture to communicate information. In this type of photography, the texture communicates information about an object that improves the impact of the photo. As an example, an image of a rusting, decades old vehicle rusting in the desert sun subtly alludes to the historical past of which the car was part.
For information texture images, it is essential to recognize exactly what information the texture is to communicate and compose the image in such a way that the texture brings out the proper message. The outcome will be a better image.
One final point is that the texture in an information texture image should help support the center of interest not overpower it.
The field of texture photography is much broader than what this brief write-up could cover. The more you learn about texture photography, the better your photographs become.