Have you ever wondered how to create those photos with textures integrated into the image? The challenge is really one of melding a good base photo with an appropriate texture so that when combined it looks natural and adds value to the interpretation. In the above "Before & After" image I combined a photo of the forest floor with the texture from an aging sidewalk. I think the texture subtly enhances the image, making it more interesting and providing deeper meaning.
If you have an image editing program (Photoshop, Elements, Painter) with the ability to combine layers you can create these photos too. Place the texture image on top of the base image and use soft light as the blending mode. You can also use screen (which lightens) or multiply (which darkens) as blending modes. It's worth while experimenting to see what works best.
Once you've blended the images now it's time to experiment. For example, modifying the texture layer's opacity can improve the integration of both layers. Or try burning and dodging parts of the image. This can help bring into focus those areas that are most important.
In the three images below the left most image is the original, the center image is the final result and the right most image is the texture that was used. Texture can be used in all sorts of ways. Here's an example of how Victoria Wallace, a good friend of mine, uses texture to enhance the acrylic painting The End of Innocence. Victoria uses the crackle in the piece to suggest an earlier time, which in combination with the vintage ceramic figurine subject matter suggests an unchangeable innocent past.
Similarly one could expand the interpretation of the original photograph by combining the physical with the metaphysical. The wood, which is present in the dock, also becomes part of the substrate of the reality around it. The crackle suggests something old and worn supporting new mushroom growth that couldn't exist without the rotting organic matter that they grow on, or the contrast between the hardness of concrete that through time transforms and breaks down just as the leaves transform to become soil for the forest floor.
Thought for the Day
"The true work of art is but a shadow of the divine perfection." Michelangelo
Eric David is a visual artist / fine art photographer that lives and works in Toronto.