An often forgotten theme in photography is textures. Textures are all around us, even if we don’t pay attention to them. I have often been asked why I was photographing a wall, head on.
Well, that wall happened to have some very interesting texture. I am no longer doing 3D modelling, so I am not using these textures anymore to dress up some complex object, but
I still take pictures of interesting textures. Sometimes, these “textures” are not even real. They are a roof with shingles, or mud on the ground. The lead picture is a wall on a house that is still in use today. It gets lots of visits every day of the year.
The even looking mud has goose prints in it. If you don’t crouch down to get them, or use a 500mm you just walk by.
Textures are all around us. And as a photographer I believe you should not ignore them. Of course, taking a picture of a wall at 50cm distance, people will start thinking that you have some loose pixels. Let them think .
Sometimes you can find ocean-related textures. Or at least that’s what you think. The rope above was nailed to the top of a board, not far away from Winnipeg, in Gimli, Manitoba.
A seemingly uninteresting piece of soil houses an interesting element, if you can find it. It nearly jumped up on my camera, once it found out that I was near.
Food is another type of texture we all know about but hardly notice in terms of photography. These green split peas were part of an exhibition in a museum. It’s hard to believe that the museum was Jim’s Vintage Garages.
What surprises less about this museum is this picture. Although I don’t believe they put them in the tires of the cars they repaired, once. And although this picture seems a uniform mass of nails, there is still an intruder in there. Perhaps you can spot it?
Shingles on a roof, an easier texture for photography hardly exists. But where, nowadays can you still find shingled roofs?
Textures on the ground, everybody walks on them, nobody feels them anymore. Perhaps that is the way that we have lost contact with nature. When people walked the earth barefooted, they knew what kind of ground they had under their feet and where to put their feet to stay safe. The above granite should have made these people feel very safe.
Another surface would have made those feet feel very unsafe. The above ice plane was on its way out when I took that picture. The next day there was nearly nothing left.
And with the retreat of the ice and the snow, come back the mulch trails. Mulch is a very good insulation against water loss in your garden. Even more, it is cheap to make, just cut up the old tree that fell down on your lawn and it provides you with a second lifetime of service.
Orange flavoured jelly
Other textures could give you an appetite for more. The above is nothing more than orange flavoured (and obviously coloured too) jelly.
Textures are everywhere in our life. Most of the time we ignore them, in the quest for that unique “money shot”. Those that don’t ignore them completely are often the same people that apply these textures as a overlay to other pictures, just to give them a feel of “authenticity”.
I believe that good textures are beautiful and should be shown all by themselves, not as a disguise for other pictures.
Try to look around and look closely at what you see. One day, a lady in the street asked me: “What are you looking so intently at?”, I answered: “Nothing in particular, but everything.” She found that I had that mysterious, dreaming look. Hmmm, not exactly what I thought, but close. Textures are there to make you feel, dream, look. And enjoy.
What are your favourite textures?