Playing with Textures in Adobe Photoshop

Textures are images used to blend with different photos in order to achieve unique results. They are applied on top of the chosen photo and adjusted through Blend Modes and Opacity changes to become translucent and to give the chosen effect.
Textures could be anything- tree barks, stones, walls, clouds, water, wooden surfaces, fabrics etc.
In this tutorial I will show you how to add four textures to a church tower image. I have used Adobe Photoshop CS6 but all other versions will do either.
All five photos used are my own and unrestricted stock. You can download them and use them not only for this tutorial but also for your own purposes.

This is what you are going to create:

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STEP 1

Click on the Church of Ireland image below to open it in higher resolution in a new window, right click on it and select Save Image As to save it in the chosen directory on your computer.
The photo is taken in Kinsale, County Cork and shows one of the towers of Saint Multose Church of Ireland from the Anglican Communion.

STEP_1

STEP 2

Open the previously downloaded image in Adobe Photoshop, double click on the Background to turn it into an editable layer and call it Church of Ireland. Press Ctrl+G to place the layer in a Group and name this first Group Background.

STEP_2

STEP 3

While Chirch of Ireland layer is highlighted, navigate to the Menu bar, choose Layer, New Adjustment Layer, then select Vibrance from the fly-out menu and drag the Vibrance slider to +50 in Properties dialog box.

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STEP 4

Go again to Layer, New Adjustment Layer, select Brightness/ Contrast and increase Contrast to 35 in Properties box.

STEP_4

STEP 5

We are almost done with editing the main image. This time select Layer, New Adjustment Layer, Levels and move the gray slider in the middle to 0.75.

STEP_5

STEP 6

Now download this nice Stone texture. It is the first one to be applied to our church tower.

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STEP 7

Create a New Layer on top of Layers panel and name it Stone Texture 1. Copy and paste the texture downloaded in the previous step. Resize it with Edit, Free Transform if necessary. Change its Blend Mode to Overlay and reduce Opacity to 45%. While its layer is highlighted, press Ctrl+G to put it in a Group and call this new Group Textures. We are going to place the other three textures there too.

STEP_7

STEP 8

Download the second stone texture given below.

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STEP 9

Create a New Layer on top of Textures Group and name it Stone Texture 2. Copy and Paste there the texture you downloaded in the previous step.
While Stone Texture 2 layer is highlighted, go to Layer, Layer Mask, Reveal All or just click on Add Layer Mask icon at the bottom of Layers pane. The Foreground/ Background colors must be changed to Black/ White when the Layer Mask is selected.
Grad Brush tool, choose Soft Round Brush from the Brush Preset Picker and increase its Size to 500 pixels. Start brushing the canvas (Layer Mask must be selected!) so that to clean most middle parts of the texture and to leave only rough borders and roof “cover” as you see on the screenshot below.

STEP_9

STEP 10

Change Blend Mode of Stone Texture 2 layer to Hard Light and reduce Opacity to 35%.

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STEP 11

It is time for downloading again. Click on the White Wall texture below, right click on it and save it in your folder.

STEP_11

STEP 12

Create a New Layer on top of Textures Group and name it White Wall Texture. Copy and Paste the White Wall Texture you already downloaded and Add Layer Mask.
Take Soft Round Brush of 200px Size, slightly reduce the Opacity of the Texture to see what you are doing and erase parts of the White Wall Texture which cover the tower roof.

STEP_12

STEP 13

Change Blend Mode of White Wall Texture Layer to Overlay and lower its Opacity to 50%.

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STEP 14

This awesome Lichen Texture is the last image you have to download and to add to your image as an overlay:

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STEP 15

Create a New Layer on top of Textures Group and call it Lichen Texture. Copy and Paste there the Texture you downloaded in the previous step.
Add Layer Mask to Lichen Texture layer, grab Soft Round Brush of 500px Size and with the Mask selected erase parts of the Texture which are around the tower. If you like you can use Soft Round Brush of lower Opacity.

STEP_15

STEP 16

Now change Blend Mode of Lichen Texture layer to Multiply and reduce its Opacity to 40%.
With this step we finished our Textures work.

STEP_16

STEP 17

Highlight Textures Group, navigate to the Menu bar and select Layer, New Adjustment Layer, Color Balance.

In Color Balance Properties dialog box change the Tone settings as follows:

1. Tone: Midtones:
Cyan-Red: +8
Magenta-Green: -53
Yellow-Blue: -71

2. Tone: Shadows:
Cyan-Red: -45
Magenta-Green: +6
Yellow-Blue: -72

3. Tone: Highlights:
Cyan-Red: -11
Magenta-Green: +13
Yellow-Blue: -25

Leave Preserve Luminosity option checked by default for all three types of tones.

While the Color Balance Adjustment Layer is selected press Ctrl+G to put it in a Group and name the newly created Group Adjustment Layers.

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STEP 18

With Color Balance layer highlighted go again to the Menu bar and select Layer, New Adjustment Layer, Photo Filter. From the Filter drop down menu in Properties dialog box select Sepia Filter and increase its Density to 100%. Leave Preserve Luminosity Option ticked by default.
Reduce Opacity of Photo Filter layer to 30%.

STEP_18

STEP 19

With Photo Filter Adjustment Layer selected go again to Layer, New Adjustment Layer and this time choose Color Lookup. In the Properties dialog box select FallColorsLook from the drop down menu.

STEP_19

STEP 20

We are almost finished. In this step we are going to add slight red shades to give our image warmer look.
With Color Lookup layer highlighted, go to Layer, New Adjustment Layer, Selective Color. Change only Reds Properties like this:
Cyan: +30%
Magenta:+100%
Yellow:+100%
Black: -15%.

STEP_20

STEP 21

Our texturized image is ready. This is the result you should have in Layers panel with three groups of layers.

You can find many tutorials on how to apply texture to an image. I just showed my way of editing photos in Adobe Photoshop.

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STEP 22

This is the final result saved in .jpg format.
Hope you liked this short and easy tutorial and learned something new about photo editing.
Good luck and have fun! 🙂

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Here is a small gallery of my photos edited the same way but using different textures and Adjustment Layers settings:

Boat and Heron_1

Clock Tower_2

China Restaurant_3

Church Tower_4

Butterfly_5

Window_6

Frog_7


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