In this tutorial I will be showing you how to work with textures to create unique effects in Photoshop. We will be using a handful of awesome glass plate negative textures courtesy of Blue Line Design from the all new Totally Extensive Textures and Patterns Bundle in combination with a free landscape photo to create a very nice treatment. The techniques covered here can be applied to just about any type of image and will help bring your creative projects to life! If you are ready to start learning how to use textures like a pro then start up Photoshop and let’s get started!
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Here’s a look at what we’ll be creating:
Follow along with this tutorial: Download the freebie files
This freebie pack is just a taste of what you can expect to find in the The Totally Extensive Textures and Patterns Bundle for just $29 (that’s 99% off). This collection is the absolute best way to get your creative juices flowing on your next project.
Step 1: Adding Textures to Landscape Photography
Let’s start by opening our free stock photo here which is a very nice free image you can download from Pixabay.com.
Once you’ve opened the image in Photoshop, go to the File menu and choose ‘Place Embedded…’ from the list as shown below:
Next, navigate to the freebies folder and find the first glass plate negatives image – ‘037.jpg’ from Blue Line Design. Once you have the file choose ‘Place’ to bring it into Photoshop as a Smart Object.
Once the file is imported you should have a bounding box around the image allowing you to transform it.
The first thing we want to do is hold the Alt/Option key and click and drag either the top of bottom middle handle of the bounding box to the outside to expand it evenly until there is only a bit of the border within the live area. Once you’ve done that, repeat the same transformation for the side handles, dragging outwards while holding Alt/Option until the border is also even on the left and right sides. If after doing this you have a little too much border on one side, or not enough on the other, simply drag the handle of that side outwards while holding the Control key instead of Alt/Option to extend it from that side only rather than both sides extending together. Once you’ve placed the texture your image should look like this:
Before committing to the transformations, we now want to click on the image while holding the Control key and then choose the ‘Flip Vertical’ option from the dropdown menu as shown here:
Now that we’ve resized and positioned the texture, press the Return key to apply the changes. Your texture should now look like this:
Step 2: Experimenting with Blending Mode
Now that we have our texture placed, let’s begin to experiment with some of the Blending Modes. For this particular image, I have chosen ‘Darken’ for the Blend Mode which created a nice effect, but experiment with a few more of these to see what kinds of interesting results it may produce!
Step 3: Layer Styles
Next, double click on the Smart Object texture layer to bring up the Layer Style dialog box. After that let’s check off the ‘Color Overlay’ option and change the Blend Mode here to ‘Overlay’. Next, reduce the opacity of the Color Overlay to about ‘35%’ as shown below:
For the fill color let’s enter the hex value ‘#0B0FAC’ and then press ‘OK’ twice to apply the changes and close out of both dialog boxes.
Now we have created a nice tint effect using a vibrant blue color. Your image should now look something like this:
Step 4: Experimenting with Adjustment Layers
Next, select the ‘037’ Smart Object layer and then hold the Alt/Option key and click on the Adjustment Layer icon found at the bottom of the Layers Palette. From the menu that appears, select ‘Gradient Map’.
You will now be prompted with a dialog box where you’ll want to check off the option that says ‘Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask’ and then click ‘OK’ to proceed. This will ensure that our Adjustment Layer has a Clipping Mask applied to it so it will only affect the layer that it’s attached to.
After applying the Adjustment Layer you will see in the ‘Properties’ panel that there is a color strip containing a gradient. Let’s click on this and in the next step we will modify the colors.
Step 5: Custom Colors
You should now have the Gradient Editor up on your screen and here you will see the gradient in the bottom of the dialog box. You should have one color on the left and one on the right. You will also notice that each color has a small box below, and one above. The top square icons above each of the colors represents the opacity, but for now we are only concerned with the bottom boxes which control the fill color. Let’s click on the first color on the lower left of the gradient editor.
For the fill, change it to the hex value ‘#2D2D5F’ as shown below:
Press ‘OK’ or hit the Return key to go back to the editor after changing the fill color. This time, select the color on the lower right side and enter the hex value ‘#7264B3’ as shown here:
We can now close out of the editor and from here just reduce the opacity to ‘80%’ to lessen the effect a bit.
Step 6: Blending the Gradient Map
Double click on the Gradient Map Adjustment Layer to open the Layer Style panel. Next, come down to the sliders along the bottom where it says ‘Blend If’ and you should have two sliders running across. What we want to do here is blend our color adjustment with the photo in a more interesting way, so let’s split apart some of these sliders. All we need to do is hold the Alt/Option key and click and drag the second tab from the left on the top slider inwards. Drag the slider in towards the middle until the value is set to about ‘0 / 83′ and then move the second slider from the right on the bottom towards the left while also holding the Alt/Option key. For the second slider we want to move the tab to the left until it’s set to about ’55 / 255’. Use the image below as reference for the values and placement of each of the sliders:
Step 7: Adding More Textures
Let’s go back to the File menu and choose ‘Place Embedded…’ once again. This time, navigate to the ‘016.jpg’ file in the freebies folder for this tutorial and choose ‘Place’ from the bottom right hand corner.
Hold the Alt/Option+Shift keys and drag outwards from any of the four corners of the bounding box and scale the texture up quite large as shown below:
After scaling and placing the text, make sure the ‘016’ Smart Object layer is highlighted. From here, hold the Alt/Option key and click the Adjustment Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers Palette before choosing ‘Levels…’ from the list.
On the next screen, check off the ‘Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask’ option and then press ‘Return’ or click ‘OK’ to proceed. Just like earlier, this will ensure that our Adjustment Layer has a Clipping Mask applied to it.
In the Properties panel, move the left hand slider in towards the center until it’s set to ‘190’ as shown in the image below:
Step 8: Texture Blending
Select the Smart Object texture layer and this time let’s change the Blend Mode of the layer to ‘Color Dodge’ which will make the lightest parts of the texture layer stand out.
Step 9: Global Adjustments
Make sure your very top layer is selected, which should be the Levels Adjustment layer. From here, click on the Adjustment Layer icon and choose ‘Black & White…’ from the list.
For this layer we do not want it to have a Clipping Mask applied, so instead it will affect all of the layers below it. Since it is now at the top of the Layers Palette, that means it will affect every layer. Let’s now change the Blend Mode to ‘Soft Light’ and lower the opacity to about ‘50%’ as shown here:
Step 10: Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer
With your previously created ‘Black & White’ Adjustment Layer selected, go back to the Adjustment Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers Palette and this time choose ‘Hue/Saturation…’ from the menu.
For the properties here let’s move the ‘Hue’ slider to a value of ‘-7’ and the ‘Saturation’ slider to ‘+3’ to give it a bit of a subtle boost.
Step 11: Curves Adjustment Layer
Add one more Adjustment Layer – a Curves Adjustment Layer to the top of your palette. For the properties, we want to create a point in the middle of the grid and then move it down and to the right slightly until the ‘Input’ setting is at ‘140’ and the ‘Output’ is set to ‘117’ as shown here:
Now click on the ‘RGB’ tab and let’s now target only the ‘Reds’. You will notice that the spectrum in the properties panel is now pink / red letting us know we are only affecting the reds in the image. Let’s add a point in the middle of this grid and set the ‘Input’ to ‘134’ and the ‘Output’ to ‘127’ as shown below:
Step 12: Grouping Effects
Now that we have applied some global adjustments let’s select the very top layer in the palette, hold the Shift key, and click on the ‘037’ Smart Object layer so all of your layers except for the original image are highlighted simultaneously.
From here, press Command/Ctrl+G to place the layers into a folder and double click the ‘Group 1’ text to rename the folder ‘TEXTURE EFFECTS’. Now we can see the before and after simply by turning the visibility of this folder on and off.
Let’s now take a look at the before and after showing our texture effects:
We have now finished our photo treatment using several high quality textures in Photoshop! To achieve this look we used just a few textures from The Totally Extensive Textures and Patterns Bundle. This all new texture and pattern bundle is based entirely on the feedback from the Design Cuts community! Get your creative juices flowing with this amazingly varied and versatile collection for an unbeatable 99% discount!
Remember that whether it’s your outcome for this tutorial or something new you’ve made, we’d love to see your designs on our Facebook page.
Please leave a comment if you have any questions or suggestions. I always look forward to hearing from you!
The textures we’ve used in this tutorial are from the The Totally Extensive Textures and Patterns Bundle which featured a wide range of textures including paper/card, abstract, ink, glitch, chalkboard, wood, nature, marble, Art Deco, grungy, futuristic and more! Follow this with a range of gorgeous patterns including ink, colour crush, simple lines, geometric, hand-drawn, craft surfaces and more.