A texture game (and some free textures)


I’m very interested in textures. I don’t tend to use them in my digital photography. As for my analogue photography – on the one hand I’m a purist, preferring warts (streaks, dust, cat hairs, light leaks) and all.

But maybe you could say that using the Holga, home developing and home scanning is one big filter anyway.

In an earlier blog post I talked about filters as a way of adding a veneer of nostalgia to a photo, to try and emphasise that it was a one-off event, something that happened, that the photographer was part of, and that will never return. Well, that’s my theory. Actually, it’s the theory of French Cultural Studies guru Roland Barthes, whose book Camera Lucida was the last major work he wrote before his accidental assignation with a laundry truck. But I’m interested in how this idea works in the Digital age, and I think the popularity of texturing has something to do with it.

Should I really have an opinion on digital textures if I don’t practice what I preach? Probably not. So I’ve set myself a challenge, and opened it up to you too!

Here are five textures. They range from the bland and decorative to the complex and noisy. Each one is probably more difficult to use than the last.

The challenge is to use each and every one of them, in a way that works aestheticallly.

I’d love you to take up the challenge with me.

I’ve set up a Flickr group, Texture Challenge. Why not visit, join, and try to meet the challenge. Interesting and successful results will be posted in this blog. (If you’re reading this blog and are not a Flickr member, I’m astounded! Join at once!)

Of course, I’m really interested in WHY people apply textures. Please tell me and the other reader(s) by leaving a comment. You’ll find comments after the images below.

Feel free to link to an example of something you’ve done.

Here are the textures. Help yourself. Higher resolution versions are available at the Texture Challenge Flickr Group.

Texture 1: void

a water texture

a water texture, derived from a photo of the sea

cloud texture

A cloud tunnel, created from scratch in Photoshop

leaf texture

leaf texture: derived from a photo of a leaf

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About postdigitalblog

Lecturer in Multimedia at CQUni Wrangler of young kids @ home in Yeppoon Otherwise, photographer and digital media type.
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