Zoom in on Textures
This story was originally published in August 2011.
The world of textures can be fascinating—they can be the tactile detail on a dry leaf or sandstone, or the repeating pattern of dense foliage that has turned into a texture, when viewed from a distant viewpoint. Here are a few tips to help you render the world of textures in fantastic detail.
Fill the Frame
If you look at any object closely, you will be able to observe minute, intricate repeating patterns that basically form a texture. Remember, to shoot an effective abstract of a texture, you should fill the frame with the subject completely. A macro lens is ideal, but you can also use a basic kit lens, zoom in to 55mm, and get really close to the subject. If you are using a compact camera, set it to the widest end of the zoom and switch on the Macro mode.
Watch that Aperture
Textures consist of patterns that run across the entire image, so it is important to maintain sharpness throughout the photograph. Since textures are often shot at the telephoto end at close distances, an aperture like f/16 or f/22 will be needed to get a good DOF. This will reduce the amount of light entering the lens, so you may need to use a slow shutterspeed, for which you should use a tripod.
Go Beyond the Single Image
Try this. Shoot many photos of textures, from different angles, and view them on your LCD. Now, zoom out to change the display mode, such that you can see many frames at the same time. The various texture shots may seem to make an interesting collage! Once you go back home, you can use any basic image editing software to put the pictures together.