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Home > 12 Tips How to Photograph Gritty Textures
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Images grab our attention immediately. Faster than words.

12 Tips How to Photograph Gritty Textures

The human brain can recognise a familiar object with in 100 milliseconds whereas recognise faces with in 380 milliseconds… Pretty fast, hey! Our cognition and ability to pay attention to images so fast makes us love them so much so when we see a picture we analyse and understand the semiotics of it very fast.

Textures allow us to be able to touch the image. Feel it. Understand it…

How can we create texture in our images?

1. Look at where the light is coming from – strong, direct light coming from one side will create texture in the image. This will create a three-dimensional feel.

2. If you only have flat light such as an overcast sky, you could use a flash light. Taking your flash off the camera and setting it at one side will give a familiar feel as number 1. Flash directly coming from your camera will give flat light but can create hard light and over exposure which can give an interesting gritty texture.

3. Increase your ISO or add grain to your image afterwards in post production.

4. Shoot in high contrast Black and White. In your camera or in post production, increase your blacks and whites and contrast.

5. Under-expose your images. If you are using manual – set your exposure towards the minus. If you are on Programme, AV or TV- Aperture Priority and Shutter Speed Priority you can use -2/3 or -1 in exposure compensation.

6. Find textured objects and move around them to find an interesting contrast.

7. Photograph nature. There is an abundance of gritty textures in nature. Photograph at different times of the year.

8. Touch things before you photograph. This way you can get a literally feel and will allow you to try and transport the viewer. Why do you like the texture? What feeling does it give you?

9. Look for pattern textures from the way the light is falling or the shapes in the building or person.

10. Look for smooth textures like mirror, stainless steel or glass.

11. Create overlapping textures by creating double or more exposures with your camera or in Photoshop or an app.

12. Don’t forget to look down, upwards, sideways etc. Photograph at night and look for harsh spotlights. Bring a torch and photograph people or things and shine the torch on the subject. Look for natural light.

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