Textures4Photoshop Blog http://www.textures4photoshop.com/blog High Quality Textures for Free Thu, 25 Jul 2019 08:23:09 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.4 http://www.textures4photoshop.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/cropped-textures-logo1.png Textures4Photoshop Blog http://www.textures4photoshop.com/blog 32 32 Free Glitter Text Generator http://www.textures4photoshop.com/blog/glitter-text/ http://www.textures4photoshop.com/blog/glitter-text/#respond Thu, 25 Jul 2019 08:20:44 +0000 http://www.textures4photoshop.com/blog/?p=704 Want to make a glitter text effect in just a few steps? I will show you 2 easy ways to create glitter text effect: Online glitter text effect using Textturizer Glitter text effect using Photoshop (check out PSDDude’s glitter text effect tutorial or the free glitter patterns from PhotoshopSupply) Let’s see how! 1. How to…

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Want to make a glitter text effect in just a few steps? I will show you 2 easy ways to create glitter text effect:

Let’s see how!

1. How to Make Glitter Text Online

Textturizer is an online text effect generator. It comes with lots of presets and allows you to combine text and textures from the Textures4Photoshop database.

Go to the Textturizer preset: glitter text generator

Open it up and you will get a glitter text effect like this:

Because Textturizer is an online text effect generator, you can easily change the text, font, front and back textures, colors, etc.

Its interface is very straight forwards, but if you want to know about all the features it offers, check out the full set of features and how to use Textturizer in one of my previous posts.

Simply change the text with your own text. For example, if I key in “more glitter” here’s what I get:

Glitter Text Effect

Glitter Font Generator

I’ve recently had a client ask me whether I can make a glitter font for him.

He wanted to use glitter fonts for Photoshop to write wedding invitations. Without getting too technical, the reality is that fonts are monochromatic. There’s an ongoing project called Open Type Fonts that will eventually allow having full colored fonts, but that’s still not yet ready for the open world. So, until then, let me show you the next best thing to glitter fonts.

Textturizer lets you choose from a variety of fonts and applies texture to it. So, you can use it as your own personal free online glitter font generator.

Here’s an example turning the Kavoon font into a glitter font:

Glitter Font

Gold Glitter Text Generator

I don’t need to give you exact values for my changes because I can simply grab the link from the address bar and share this exact result: Gold glitter text effect

To create a gold glitter text effect I’ve played around with the settings in Textturizer.

I switched to Bowlby One fonts, I decreased the saturation and increased the brightness. I also changed the background textures.

 

Silver Glitter Text

Here’s the link to the online silver glitter text effect made with Textturizer.

Starting from the gold text effect above, I simply changed the text.

Then lowered the saturation and changed the hue to give it a bit of a blue tint.

Using the search bar in Textturizer you can search through the Textures4Photoshop free textures database and you can easily add glitter text to any photo.

How to Make Glitter Letters

If we can make text with Textturizer, we can also make glitter letters. For this we have 2 options:

  1. Make large glitter letters PNG images
  2. Make alphabet glitter letters

Single Glitter Letters PNG

Glitter Letters PNG

Go to this link in Textturizer to get the glitter letters PNG files.

Let’s place in the text in Textturizer a single letter (“A”) and then change the text size to match the glitter letter PNG size you want to create. When making PNG images with Textturizer we simply need to turn off the background texture by un-checking the background checkbox.

I’ve used the Kavoon font as I like the way it looks. It looks like a diy glitter letter. Put in B, C, D,… etc. and download each glitter letter as a PNG file with transparent background.

If you play around with the texture hue, saturation and brightness you can easily make sliver glitter letters or other colored glitter letters.

How to Make Alphabet Glitter Letters

Alphabet Glitter Letters

Using the same technique as above, make the font size smaller and input the alphabet letters. You can download the glitter alphabet PNG directly from Textturizer.

So, that’s how you make glitter letters online!

2. How to Make Glitter Text in Photoshop

Of course, if you want more advanced glitter text effects you should probably use Photoshop.

I prefer Textturizer because you can create glitter text quick and easy, but Photoshop will give you more control.

If you are looking for more advanced glitter text effects check out PSDDude’s glitter text effect tutorial or the free glitter patterns from PhotoshopSupply.

Make a Glitter Text Using a Glitter Texture or Glitter Patterns

Here on Textures4Photoshop you will find many glitter textures that are free for personal and commercial use (with attribution). For the above glitter text effects I used this seamless glitter texture.

Go ahead, download the full size version and open it in Photoshop.

Add a new text layer and write the word “GLITTER”.

Glitter text Photoshop

Move the glitter layer in front of the text layer. Then right click on the glitter layer and choose “Create clipping mask”.

Glitter text Photoshop

The result should look like this:

Glitter text Photoshop

Alternatively you can use the free glitter patterns from PhotoshopSupply. Double click on the glitter layer and in the layer styles use a Pattern Overlay with one of the glitter patterns.

Glitter text Photoshop

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Free Online Text Generator – Try Textturizer, It’s The Best http://www.textures4photoshop.com/blog/free-online-text-generator/ http://www.textures4photoshop.com/blog/free-online-text-generator/#respond Fri, 22 Jun 2018 19:23:48 +0000 http://www.textures4photoshop.com/blog/?p=584 We’ve Just Launched Textturizer – The Best Free Online Text Generator Textturizer is a free online text generator. We tried to create the best online text generator, and I think we came close. Give it a try and let us know in a comment. Textturizer allows you to create textured text effects in just a few clicks…

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We’ve Just Launched Textturizer – The Best Free Online Text Generator

Textturizer is a free online text generator. We tried to create the best online text generator, and I think we came close. Give it a try and let us know in a comment.

Textturizer allows you to create textured text effects in just a few clicks using textures from textures4photoshop.com

textturizer free online text generator

We are proud to offer you your very own best free online text generator Textturizer. This textured text generator comes as a natural extension of the website.

Textures4Photoshop is one of the best source of free quality textures online. You can now use all the textures available on the website by creating cool text effects using Textturizer.

What Is An Online Text Generator?

An online text generator creates a cool text effects in the browser and allows you to download the end result as an image.

Of this I’m sure

We all love free tools.

I am a big fan of Photoshop text effects, but creating text effects in Photoshop is time consuming and costly. To install Photoshop you need to buy it and and then you have to know how to use it.

With Textturizer you can input the text and configure how to apply texture on the text and background to get really cool text effects totally for free.

Why Is Textturizer The Best Text Generator Online?

Textturizer is the best text generator online because of it’s many available features and ease of use. And all this for free.

I will let you enjoy Textturizer by discovering all of it’s features, so I will only list a few ones here:

  • Create text with textures easily. Simply input the text and start texturizing.
  • You can use and combine the 1100+ free stock images and textures from Textures4Photoshop
  • Use a multitude of WebFonts for creating text effects
  • Customize the size of the generated text by changing the size for the font, but also the size of the resulting image
  • Background and foreground textures can be scaled up or down
  • You can modify the textures like in Photoshop by adjusting the hue, saturation and brightness
  • The result can be downloaded as lossless compressed PNG, so the quality of the textures used is not compromised
  • It’s totally free to use!

Try Textturizer now, it’s the best text generator available online for free.

How Does Textturizer Work?

The Best text generator online available for free. How does Textturizer work?

Step #1 Input Your Text

To use the Textturizer online image text generator you will first need to input your own text. As you type in, you will see this cool text generator work its magic in real time.

Step #2 Search And Choose The Text And Background Textures

Textures4Photoshop has over 1000 unique high quality textures and we are adding new textures every day.

All textures images can be used with Textturizer. You can change both the background texture and the text texture. This makes Textturizer a special text generator.

Step #3 Adjust Font And Texture Settings

Textturizer allows changing the background texture size or to turn it off. If you turn off the background texture the end result will be a PNG image. This makes Textturizer a fancy PNG text generator.

Also, you can adjust font settings. We’ve selected a few of the cool fonts available online and made them available for use in Textturizer. Select the font type and size as you like.

What about the texture settings?

You can modify the size of the background texture and also of the texture applied on the text. Our database has lots of seamless textures that work best for re-sizable background textures.

Step #4 Download The Resulting Text Effect Image

Textturizer is basically a text image generator

So,

Once you are satisfied with the way your fancy text effect looks like in the preview, simply press the Download button. You will immediately download the PNG image containing your beautify textured text effect.

What Can I Make With Textturizer?

Using Textturizer you can make some cute text effects. Here are just a few things you can use Textturizer for:

  • Free Text Logo Design – Use Textturizer as a cool text logo generator for your business or website.
  • Messages and Online Greeting Cards – Create your customized messages for special occasions and send the link to your friends
  • Text Images For Your Blog Posts – Blog posts containing cool text images are more eye appealing. With Textturizer you can generate images with text right away.

Examples Of Cool Text Effects Made With Textturizer

Here are just a few example of what you can create using Textturizer – the best free online text generator. Click on the images to customize the end result.

Dots Text Effect

online text generator dots text effect

Grass Text Effect

free online text generator grass text effect

Cardboard Text Effect

online text generator cardboard text effect

Jeans Text Effect

jeans text effect online text generator

Text Effect With Cool Text Symbols

cool text symbols text generator

You can use ASCII symbols when creating your text effect. For a list of fancy text symbols that you can check out https://fsymbols.com/signs/

Knitted Text Effect

knitted text effect online text generator

Glitter Text Effect

glitter text effect online text generator

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Creating a Snow Globe Christmas Card In Photoshop http://www.textures4photoshop.com/blog/create-snow-globe-christmas-card-photoshop/ http://www.textures4photoshop.com/blog/create-snow-globe-christmas-card-photoshop/#comments Mon, 18 Dec 2017 07:58:44 +0000 http://www.textures4photoshop.com/blog/?p=459 Photoshop tutorial for creating a beautiful Christmas card with a snow globe. The tutorial will show creative use of snow overlays and other textures. Blending techniques, when used correctly can lead to awesome results like this wonderful Christmas card. Let's get started. Snow Globe Christmas Card Final Result To complete this tutorial you will need…

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Create Snow Globe Photoshop Tutorial

In this video tutorial I will show you how to create a Christmas Snow Globe using Photoshop. For this we will combine a few free textures from Textures4Photoshop.

For more tutorials like this you should check out this fantastic list of Christmas Photoshop tutorials.

You can also download the Snowglobe Tutorial PSD File:

Premium Christmas Photoshop Tutorials

If you want to create beautiful Merry Christmas and Happy Neaw Year effect in just a few steps, you can try these great Premium Photoshop actions.

IMPORTANT: If you are planning to buy more Christmas Photoshop actions from the actions listed below, take a look at the Christmas Photoshop Actions Bundle by PSDDude which will save you 15% of the price of individual actions.

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How To Turn Day Into Night Effect Photoshop Tutorial http://www.textures4photoshop.com/blog/how-to-turn-day-into-night-effect-photoshop-tutorial/ http://www.textures4photoshop.com/blog/how-to-turn-day-into-night-effect-photoshop-tutorial/#comments Tue, 28 Nov 2017 07:16:14 +0000 http://www.textures4photoshop.com/blog/?p=429 In this Photoshop video tutorial I'm transforming a daytime scene into a night scene. I'm starting from a photo of a lighthouse taken in day light and applying a cool night effect which you can achieve in only a few steps. Day To Night Final Result To complete this tutorial you will need these textures:…

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Photographer Journey From Beginner to Pro http://www.textures4photoshop.com/blog/photographer-journey-beginner-pro-rules-tips/ http://www.textures4photoshop.com/blog/photographer-journey-beginner-pro-rules-tips/#comments Tue, 31 Oct 2017 05:47:44 +0000 http://www.textures4photoshop.com/blog/?p=343 Becoming a professional photographer is hard work. If taking photos has been your hobby, and you want to know what the next step is, then this post is for you. I asked a group of photographers this: What is the one thing you learned that made you realize you are no longer a beginner photographer?…

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Becoming a professional photographer is hard work. If taking photos has been your hobby, and you want to know what the next step is, then this post is for you.

I asked a group of photographers this:

What is the one thing you learned that made you realize you are no longer a beginner photographer?

And the answers came. If you want to find out about photographers journey from beginner to pro read on.

This question really stirred up debates. Each journey is different. There is no one single way to become a PRO photographer.

photography learning curve

I got this graph from one of the photographers I talked to. I’d love to give credit to its author, but I don’t know who that is.

Though this graph might make you laugh at first it does contain a deep truth.

A photographer’s journey is about three things:

  • Knowledge – what you know about taking photos
  • Quality of photos – are your photos any good
  • How good you think you are – your self confidence as a photographer

Let’s see what pro photographers wanted to share about their journey turning from beginner to intermediate and pro.

UPDATE Aug, 2018: I’ve accidentally found out that the chart above is a variation on the Dunning-Kruger effect.

What Is The Dunning Kruger Effect?

The Dunning Kruger effect refers to a psychological bias we all have that makes us over estimate our abilities. Also, the more you know about a subject, the more accurate your self evaluation will be.

Dunning Kruger Effect Chart

The Dunning Kruger effect chart shows:

  1. “Peak of Mt. Stupid” – when experience is virtually non existent there is a tendency to exaggerate the level of the abilities
  2. “Valley of dispair” – while more and more things are learned, you realize that there are a lot of things yet to learn
  3. “Slope of enlightenment” – with more and more experience and things learned you slowly advance
  4. I know what I don’t know – it’s what an expert means in the end: one that recognizes their own limitations.

In this article:

A Photographer’s Journey Is Never Over

The truth is:

There will always be one type of photography in which you will be a beginner.

Photography is a vast domain. There’s portrait photography, product photography, macro photography, astrophotography, black and white, sports photography, etc.

Let’s face it:

Knowing them all will take time. That’s why a photographer’s journey is never over.

But that’s what makes photography exciting.

Knowing the Rules and When to Break Them

I’ve read a lot of books sharing photography rules, and rules can be good and bad.

Here’s why:

Photography rules are good if you use them as a starting point. A rule should never be used blindly and at the expense of the creative part.

Know the rules, know when to apply them, but also experiment with breaking them. This will give you some amazing photos sometimes.

Here are just a few rules that photographers wanted to share. Learning these rules made them feel that they were no longer a beginner.

In Sports Photography Shoot at 1/500th sec or Faster

Set your camera in Shutter Priority mode and set the shutter speed to 1/500th sec for moving subjects. For action shots you should go for 1/1000th.

bull rider action shot
R. A. Spreeman – Bull Rider Action Shot

This will allow you to freeze the subject and avoid a blurry shot. However, on rare occasions you might want to get a blurry shot just to convey the movement and the effort of the scene.

The Inverse Focal Length Rule

You probably noticed this:

When shooting with a tele lens (zoom lens) the camera shake is more of a problem. It’s hard to hold a camera totally still with your hands. The bigger the zoom, the bigger the shake.

Try this:

Adjust your shutter speed according to the inverse of the focal length. If you are shooting at 200mm try a shutter speed of 1/200th of a sec. At 300mm, try 1/300th. You will get a sharp image.

Sunny f/16 Rule

This one is simple:

If you are taking photos in bright sun set your aperture to f/16. Set your camera in full Manual Mode and get the right exposure by setting the shutter speed to 1/x seconds where x is the ISO number.

For example, at ISO 100 use 1/100th sec. For ISO 200, use 1/200th sec, and so on.

Rule of Thirds

Imagine this:

Divide the frame into 3 equal parts horizontally using imaginary lines. Then do the same vertically.

If you compose your shot placing your subject in one of the lines’ intersection points you will get a very pleasing composition.

This is called the rule of thirds. And it’s a technique many photographers use as a guide line when composing their shots.

Why does the rule of thirds work?

It has to do with proportions and how the eye perceives images. Anyway I won’t go into details.

Just remember:

Placing your subject smack in the middle can create a very boring photo.

This also happens if you shoot a landscape and place the horizon line right through the middle of the screen.

Use the rule of thirds and make your shot flow on the division lines. The eyes of the viewer will be drawn towards the intersection points.

It’s not only about placing the subject in one of the intersection points. It’s also about dividing the frame into areas of interest.

For example:

Take a landscape shot. Align the bottom grid line with the horizon. The texture and color of the ground will take one third of the frame and the sky will take the upper two thirds.

landscape rule of thirds

The composition will be more interesting than taking a half-half shot.

Again, remember, rules are meant to be broken.

Astrophotography Rule of 500

dslr astrophotography

How do they take those Milky Way shots?

If you are like me you probably asked yourself that question. Because the night sky is so dark, you need to take very long exposures.

But, did you know?

Because the Earth rotates around its axis, the night sky appears to rotate. This means that a long exposure even on a tripod, will get your trails of stars.

So, what shutter speed is fast enough?

The rule of 500 gives a quick approximation of the shutter speed fast enough to avoid getting trail or blurry stars.

Simply divide 500 by the focal length of your lens and get the shutter speed.

Example:

If you shoot using a 24mm lens, then 500 / 24 = 20.8 sec. So a shutter speed of around 20 seconds will get you a sharp starry sky.

There are some that say it should be rule of 400, or rule of 600.

Bottom line is:

Experiment and see what works for you. Combining photograph and some Photoshop techniques I’ve created several space images and textures that you should check out.

Expose to the Right (ETTR)

The histogram

It’s that graph that shows how exposure is distributed between shadows, mid-tones and highlights.

If it’s crammed to the left it means that there are a lot of dark tones in the shot. If it’s crammed to the right, then there are a lot of highlights.

Expose to the right (ETTR) is the technique of getting your shots with a histogram crammed to the right. Take multiple shots with brighter and brighter exposures.

But be careful and don’t overdo it, or you’ll get an overexposed shot.

What’s the idea?

Camera sensors are better at capturing highlights than shadows. It’s better to take a brighter exposure as it will contain more information than a darker one. The more information you get towards the highlights (right of the histogram) the better.

But, won’t my shot be too bright?

Well, yes. But you can lower the brightness in post-processing. The overall contrast and the details in the shadows will be much better than if you exposed to the center or to the left.

Very useful:

Most cameras have a blinker display mode. This shows the overexposed areas in a shot. Those areas will not have recoverable info in them. Try to avoid those situations.

For applying ETTR efficiently you should shoot RAW.

Oh, and one more thing:

Please be aware that even on high-end cameras the histogram is based on the JPG version of the shot. Even when shooting RAW.

What that means is that the histogram displayed by the camera is not 100% correct. It might show overexposure (data climbing up the right side of the graph) when in fact there is no overexposure.

Technically Correct Is Not Necessarily Beautiful

“To photograph: it is to put on the same line of sight the head, the eye and the heart.” ― Henri Cartier-Bresson

A good photo has to transmit an emotion to the viewer. Photography is an art, it’s not simply a copy of reality.

Look at these photos:

pennie smith the clash london calling
Pennie Smith – The Clash London Calling
cartier bresson decisive moment man jumping over water
Cartier Bresson – Decisive Moment

They are by far not technically correct. But their artistic value is undeniable.

So remember:

Photography is an art, a craft and a science.  Use your mind, your heart and your soul to take a great photograph.

On this site you will find quite a few examples of beautiful black and white textures that you can download for free.

As a photographer I find it very convenient to transform some of my photos using these free black and white Photoshop actions

Black And White Photoshop Actions

The Infamous Aperture/Shutter Speed/ISO Triangle

Most will say:

Find the right balance between aperture, shutter speed and the ISO and you will get the right exposure.

This is called “Aperture/Shutter Speed/ISO Triangle”. This technique can be very useful because it’s easy to understand.

I covered the details about this technique in the previous post 3 Powerful Photography Secrets For Mastering DSLR Manual Mode.

A word of caution:

The triangle is a comfortable tool, but it’s not entirely accurate. This is one of the point that really stirred up the debate with the more advanced photographers. One of them even called the triangle BS.

So, why is that?

Because the triangle does not take into account exposure. And when I say exposure, I mean the quantity of light that the sensor receives.

When learning about the triangle one might get absorbed with getting the 3 values aligned, forgetting about the actual light in the scene you are shooting.

Remember, you are shooting the light that bounces off your subject.

When using the triangle, the convention is that a higher ISO will result in a photo with more noise.

But that’s not entirely accurate.

This may go against everything you’ve heard so far. The shutter speed and aperture settings might impact noise more than the ISO setting.

If you want to know how and why, read the next section about ISO invariance.

ISO Invariance – Increasing the ISO Does NOT Increase the Noise

I hear this all the time

If you increase the ISO you will get a noisy picture.

That will lead to the conclusion that ISO is the only factor influencing noise in your photos.

That is simply not true.

Let’s first see what causes noise.

Basically, there are two sources for noise: shot noise and electronic noise.

Shot noise

In nature light is not uniform. It’s composed of small particles called photons. These photons hit the sensor and that’s how the image is composed.

Because these photons hit the sensor at random intervals the information captured is not uniform. That’s how you get noise.

It’s all about statistics. The more data you collect, the more accurate the results. Inherently, areas receiving less light will bounce less photons, areas well light will bounce more photons.

That is why darker areas will produce more noise in the picture. So you need to collect more photons from those areas. To do that you need to increase the exposure – or the amount of light that the sensor takes into account.

The ratio between the quantity of light information collected and the noise is called signal-to-noise ratio.

To get smooth photos you need to maximize this signal-to-noise ratio.

Electronic Noise

Beside shot noise, there is also electronic noise. That is random noise generated by the imperfections of the electronic components or various outside interference.

What does that all mean then?

It means that the noise in your picture is not determined by the ISO setting. It’s determined by the lack of exposure.

Also, you have to realize that all photos will have shot noise in them. You can’t avoid that. You can only minimize it.

Where does ISO come in?

ISO is the sensor sensitivity. The higher the ISO setting the less light you need to get your shot.

But, as we’ve seen before, collecting less light can decreases the signal-to-noise ratio. And that results in a noisy picture. It all depends on the amount of light available.

This may come as a shock:

Sometimes a higher ISO setting will help getting less noise in your shot. Let’s see an example:

iso noise canon 5d
Image Noise Difference (Canon 5D)

The image on the left is taken at ISO 6400. The one on the right is taken at ISO 100 and then brought 6 stops up. As you can see, for Canon 5D Mark III, there is a clear difference in noise.

Increasing the ISO in this case produces a much clearer picture. In this case increasing the ISO resulted in a much better signal-to-noise ratio.

Not all cameras are created equal.

Some camera sensors are so well built that there is barely any difference in noise even at a difference of 6 stops. One such example is the sensor on the Nikon D750.

iso noise nikon d750
Image Noise Difference (Nikon D750)

There is barely any difference between ISO 6400 and ISO 100 raised by 6 stops. This low variance is called ISO invariance.

There are two great articles that I recommend talking about the source of noise:

Did you know you can fake electronic noise in Photoshop using noise and glitch textures that you can download for free from Textures4Photoshop?

Focus Stacking

Another useful trick used by beginner and pro photographers alike is focus stacking.

Focus stacking is the technique of taking multiple shots of the same subject with the focus point in different areas. The resulting shots are then combined in one single image which looks like the entire subject is in focus.

I’ve known about this technique for years. But I only recently experimented with it.

I took multiple shots of an old pocket watch. I wanted to use my macro lens adapter to get very fine details.

Using the macro lens had the disadvantage that the focus distance was very small and it was impossible to get the whole watch in frame.

To solve this I took multiple shots of various parts of the watch with different focus points.

I then used focus stacking in Photoshop to create the parts of the watch in full focus.

Also using Photoshop I combined the parts of the watch using the Auto Blend option.

focus stacking auto blending
Combining Focus Stacking and Auto Blend

The results were quite impressive.

old pocket watch
Old Pocket Watch Shot With Focus Stacking

I got a 16 Megapixel image, much higher than the 12 Megapixels my Nikon D80 has. Also the subject is filling the frame and you can see all the details. You can download for free the full resolution old pocket watch PNG file.

Photo Selection and Post Processing

In the old days, photography was made using film. You loaded up your camera with a film roll which could only take 36 exposures.

That meant you needed to be very selective with what and how you shot.

In the digital era you can get hundreds of shots before filling up your memory card. This makes many photographers a bit “careless” how many shots they take.

Here’s what experienced photographers have shared with me:

It’s very important to know which shots to take and which shots not to take.

This sounds funny, but with this in mind you will give more thought and attention to each shot you take.

At the end of a long day of shooting you will thank yourself if you don’t have to browse through thousands of photos.

Most of the shots you will have to throw out. The photos you choose will reflect how good a photographer you are. So, the less photo you throw out, the better photographer you have become.

Post processing is another important aspect of pro photographers life.

My advice:

Take a look at Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop and learn at least the basics of post processing if you are serious about becoming a pro photographer.

Shoot RAW If You Can

All DSLRs have the option to shoot either JPEG or RAW.

As a pro photographer you should know the difference between the two. Then you can make your informed choice.

Here’s the thing

Over the years I went back and forth between shooting only JPEG and shooting only RAW.

There is no right or wrong, but shooting RAW sure has it’s advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages of shooting RAW

  1. Forget about white balance. When shooting RAW white balance is not a variable. You can change it in post production without any quality loss.
  2. More image information. RAW files contain all the information that the sensor receives. Also most cameras process a 12 bit or 14 bit color depth model. That means that the RAW file will store up to 4.3 trillion different color compared to the 16.8 million colors supported by a 8 bit JPEG. Also this helps to eliminate banding (that ugly gradient stripes which will ruin prints).
  3. It’s what professionals use. If you deliver your photos to clients that plan to use it in prints for example, you should provide them with the RAW files.

There are also some disadvantages that you should be aware of.

Disadvantages of shooting RAW

  1. RAW files are big. That means that your memory card will fill up faster. Transfer will take more time.
  2. RAW files require processing. You will have to take each RAW file and post-process it. You need special software for this.

So now you know.

There are advantages and disadvantages to shooting RAW.

If your top priority is the quality of your photos then my advice is to shoot RAW.

Conclusion

Becoming a pro photographer will take years of learning and practicing.

Each photographer journey will be different and the journey will never be over. There will always be new things that one can learn.

In the end

Photography is an art. It requires you to use your eyes, your heart and your soul.

Art is subjective. There is no perfect photo. You will always be able to improve yourself and become a better photographer.

I hope you enjoyed this article.

What did it mean for you becoming a photographer? Share this in a comment below.

For me, my photographer journey lead me to the creation of this website to share stock images and textures for free.

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Create a Realistic Winter Scene Using Snow Overlays in Photoshop http://www.textures4photoshop.com/blog/snow-overlays-photoshop/ http://www.textures4photoshop.com/blog/snow-overlays-photoshop/#comments Sun, 29 Oct 2017 12:24:34 +0000 http://www.textures4photoshop.com/blog/?p=322 In this tutorial I will show you how to make a realistic winter scene. We will use a few snow overlay textures and a simple blending method to get a very nice falling snow effect. All the textures used are free to download and use. The Winter Scene We Will Create We will start with…

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Create a Falling Snow Winter Effect – Video Photoshop Tutorial

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3 Powerful Photography Secrets For Mastering DSLR Manual Mode http://www.textures4photoshop.com/blog/3-powerful-photography-secrets-mastering-dslr-manual-mode/ http://www.textures4photoshop.com/blog/3-powerful-photography-secrets-mastering-dslr-manual-mode/#comments Mon, 16 Oct 2017 05:01:11 +0000 http://www.textures4photoshop.com/blog/?p=195 In this post I will tell you how to use your DSLR camera manual mode to get correct exposures. I will share 3 photography secrets that pro photographers already know. Understanding the settings of your DSLR camera will give you control over how the photos come out and will ultimately help you take better photos. Download…

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In this post I will tell you how to use your DSLR camera manual mode to get correct exposures. I will share 3 photography secrets that pro photographers already know. Understanding the settings of your DSLR camera will give you control over how the photos come out and will ultimately help you take better photos.

Download the PDF version


A good photographer has to understand how the camera works. DSLR cameras offer a multitude of settings that can be intimidating if you are a beginner photographer.

I hear this a lot:

Professional photographers always shoot in full manual mode. Trust me: that is simply not true…

…but pro photographers can shoot in full manual mode because they understand how all the settings of the camera influence the resulting photo.

You know this already:

Photography is all about light. Capture the right amount of light and your exposures will be correct.

But lighting conditions are not always ideal. That is why you have to learn how to set your DSLR camera to compensate for the lack or excess of light.

Capture too much light and your photo will be overexposed. Too little light and you get an underexposed image.

Know this:

A technically correct photo is not automatically a beautiful photo. But, it’s almost always a requirement for any good photo.

This post is strictly about the technical side of taking pictures using a DSLR. So, if you are ready for the 3 secrets that will improve the quality of the pictures you take…

…let’s begin!

1. ISO Explained

The simple explanation:

The ISO setting determines the sensitivity to light of your camera’s sensor. With numbers ranging from 100 up, a higher ISO setting means the sensor is more sensitive to light.

What does that mean?

It means that a higher ISO setting will allow taking pictures in lower lighting conditions. Higher ISO will brighten the image.

But, there’s a trade off:

Because the camera will be more sensitive, higher ISO settings will also increase the granular noise in the picture.

Practical ISO Examples

Let’s see some examples of photos taken with different ISO settings.

I took two pictures in full manual mode. First one is at ISO 100. As you can see the exposure is incorrect and I got an underexposed shot (the image is too dark).

iso example 100 vs 800 same settings

By increasing the ISO setting to 800, leaving the other settings the same and keeping the same lighting conditions, I was able to get the correct exposure on the right.

That looks better!

So, by setting a higher ISO I managed to get the correct exposure. If you look at the detail on the bottom, there is some noticeable noise. However, sometimes you have to make a compromise and accept at least some noise in the picture if that allows you to get the right exposure.

Let’s now see what happens if you abuse the ISO setting and you set it too high. For this I setup another example.

I shot two other photos. One at ISO 100 and one at ISO 1600.

This time I set the camera on a semi-automatic mode called P (Program Mode).

iso example program mode 100 vs 1600

In this mode the DSLR camera will try to calculate the right exposure. I only changed the ISO and let the camera decide on the other settings. At ISO 1600 we are starting to see a lot of noise.

The ISO setting is probably the easiest setting on your DSLR camera to understand.

Keep this in mind:

In practice you will probably want to start by setting ISO 100 regardless of the camera mode settings. This will give you minimal noise.

If the photo is underexposed or blurry, then keep all the other settings the same, increase the ISO and take another shot. Do this again until you get the right exposure.

SECRET #1

How to Remove ISO Noise Using Photoshop

For removing ISO noise you will need to take several shots of the subject.

Then open these shots in Photoshop using File > Scripts > Load Files into Stack… checking the Create Smart Object after Loading Layers checkbox

This will create a smart object with the shots stacked inside it. With this smart object selected go to Layer > Smart Objects > Stack Mode > Mean.

Using this technique you will highly reduce or even remove most of the ISO noise grain.

The more shots of the subject you stack, the better the result.

When the noise is still too obvious then you’ll probably need to use one of the other photography secrets in this post.

Let’s see what’s next.

2. Shutter Speed Explained

To take a picture, DSLR cameras quickly open and close a “small door” to let light reach the sensor. The “small door” is called shutter.

Shutter speed determines how fast the shutter is opened and closed.

More specifically:

The shutter speed measures the amount of time that the camera sensor is exposed to light for taking a picture. The longer the time, the more light gets to the sensor and the image will be brighter.

Also important:

If your subject is moving you might get a blurry picture. Setting a faster shutter speed will allow you to get a sharper photo.

SECRET #2

Avoid Camera Shake Using A Simple Rule

If you are not using a tripod you have to hold the camera very still when taking a shot. But even then, if the shutter speed is not fast enough you might get a blurry picture.

How fast is fast enough for the shutter speed?

I always use this rule: set the shutter speed to approximately 1/x sec where x is equal to the focal length.

For example: if I’m shooting at 50mm, a 1/50 sec or faster will be enough for avoiding the camera shake. At 300mm you need to go even faster at 1/300mm and so on.

Let’s see a few examples of using the shutter speed

I took two photos of a spinning coin:

One with 1/5 seconds shutter speed and one with 1/100 seconds. Here’s the difference.

shutter speed spinning coin example

It’s all about the balance

You have to set a shutter speed fast enough to avoid blurry photos, but slow enough to get enough light to the sensor.

Remember Secret #1 – ISO

The DSLR camera settings are meant to be used together.

What if the shutter speed that gives you a good exposure is not fast enough to freeze the subject and it still looks blurry?

The solution is:

Increase the ISO. This will allow you to set faster shutter speeds and getting the same exposure levels. That is what I did in the example above to get the same level of exposure.

To sum up:

You can brighten an exposure using a slower shutter speed. And you can darken an exposure by setting a faster shutter speed. Also, you can eliminate blurry moving subjects with faster shutter speeds and increase the ISO to keep the correct exposure.

All DSLR camera have a setting mode which allow you to set the shutter speed directly. For some cameras it’s marked as S (Shutter Priority) and on other cameras it’s marked as Tv (Time Value).

dslr cameras mode wheel
Mode Selection Wheel of Various DSLR Cameras

Now that we understand two key concepts of photography, we are moving from full auto to semi-automatic mode.

Just one more step to mastering full manual mode.

3. Aperture Explained

Aperture measures how wide the lens is opening when the shutter is opened. A wider opening lets more light in.

Quick remark:

The aperture setting is given as a so called “f-number”. Not to be confused with the “f-word” 🙂

All you need to know is:

The value of the aperture is an inversely proportional number to the area of the lens opening. For example, an F/2 setting means an opening larger than an F/4.

Confused? Don’t be!

The math and optics formulas behind this is not important. What is important is to understand how the aperture setting influences your photos.

Here’s the deal:

A higher F-number (narrow aperture) means that the camera sensor receives less light. A lower F-number (wide aperture) lets more light reach the sensor.

So, if your photo is underexposed, you can set a lower F-number to get more light in.

But how low can the F-number be?

That depends on the lens you use. The lowest F-number available for a lens is part of the name of the lens.

For example: the AF-S Nikkor 35mm 1.8 lens I’ve used for the photos in this post has a minimum F-number equal to F/1.8.

So, setting the aperture to F/1.8 will give me the maximum opening of this lens and therefore the maximum amount of light this lens can let into the camera.

Again, there’s a catch:

Using wider aperture there is a trade off that you must be aware of. The wider the aperture, the narrower the depth of field.

Wait a moment, depth of what?

The depth of field or DOF is the effective focus range, or the area that will be in focus. When you take a photo and focus on a subject, imagine two planes parallel to the sensor: one in front and one behind the subject in focus. That is the depth of field.

The two planes can be closer or further from each other meaning a narrower or wider depth of field.

The best way to explain aperture and DOF is through an example.

I took these three photos with three different aperture settings:

aperture example

As you can see, the DOF is wider and wider as the F-number is higher. That is: more of the subject is in focus. Also, as the F-number goes up (the aperture is smaller), I need more light to compensate for the less light going to the sensor.

To do this I had to use a slower shutter speed going from 1/10 second to 1 and then 3 seconds.

SECRET #3

Aperture and Bokeh Go Together

Foreground and background are both important.

Combine a sharp subject in the foreground with a soft background and you get a beautiful photo.

The soft background is often called bokeh. Higher F-numbers will give you less of the bokeh effect.

Also, different lenses give different looking bokeh effects. The main factor in this is the number of blades that the lens has. You can check for this in your lens’ specifications.

The more blades the aperture has the rounder the highlights in the bokeh. The less blades, the highlights will tend to be more square shaped.

Congratulations

You can now switch your DSLR camera to full manual mode. You now understand how to joggle the three powerful settings of your camera to get the correct exposure.

Mastering the manual mode allows you to control the exposure, but my advice is to only use full manual mode if all other semi-automatic modes fail to give you the result you want.

I’ll let you in on a secret:

For most of the images I shot for our free texture directory in textures4photoshop.com I used the semi-automatic P (Program Mode) and A (Aperture Priority Mode).

Why?

Because DSLR cameras today are very good in calculating the required settings for a correct exposure. I used the Aperture Priority mode for a lot of photos as I wanted to set the aperture at F/3.5, which gives me the sharpest results for my lens according to the specs.

Hope you enjoyed this post. Feel free to drop me a comment if you have any questions about photography.

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Using Free Digital Textures to Enhance Your Graphic Designs http://www.textures4photoshop.com/blog/free-digital-textures-enhance-graphic-designs/ http://www.textures4photoshop.com/blog/free-digital-textures-enhance-graphic-designs/#respond Sun, 08 Oct 2017 11:59:19 +0000 http://www.textures4photoshop.com/blog/?p=75 Free digital textures are one essential tool for graphic designers as they provide an easy way to add realistic details to a digital artwork without having to paint these details from scratch. Look: As a graphic designer you are looking to create the best design you can. Details make the difference. What do you do?…

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Free digital textures are one essential tool for graphic designers as they provide an easy way to add realistic details to a digital artwork without having to paint these details from scratch.

Look:

As a graphic designer you are looking to create the best design you can. Details make the difference.

What do you do?

Adding textures can greatly enhance the details and overall look of a design.

You can spend hours and hours to paint a realistic wood texture for example. But if you are on a budget, time is money.

The solution:

Free digital textures are the solution. You can simply download one of the wood texture files available and blend it in with your project.

realistic wood textures
Free Wood Textures

You’ve just saved a few hours and a few bucks while also enhancing the look of your design project.

But, are you allowed to download and use any texture just like that?

Royalty Free Texture Licenses Explained

The truth is:

There are a lot of websites that offer free digital textures for download.

But you are probably wondering:

Am I allowed to use those textures however I want?

Digital textures are subject to the Creative Commons licensing model. The type of CC license that the author sets for a certain texture decides if and how you are allowed to use the texture in your design projects.

creative commons licenses explained
Source: Wikipedia

The fact is:

When using free digital textures you should always check the license associated with it.

Looks complicated? It’s not and here’s the short explanation:

As you can see in the table above, the license regulates a few aspects:

  • attribution – are you required to give credit to the author, for the texture used
  • modification – are you allowed to modify it when used. Usually for digital textures authors allow modifications.
  • commercial or non-commercial use – are you allowed to use the texture in commercial products (works which you sell directly) or only in personal projects.

Here’s the kicker:

Textures4Photoshop.com provides free digital textures under the “CC attribution alone” license. This license means:

  • You can modify the textures however needed for your projects. You can therefore use them in Photoshop photo manipulations, print, 3D renders, game textures, web design, AfterEffects video montages, or any other graphic design work.
  • You are allowed to use the textures in commercial projects.
  • You need to give credit for the textures used by indicating the source. This is done by placing a link to the texture such that it is reasonably clear for the end user where the texture comes from. Sometimes, it’s not possible to give direct credit for the textures (for ex. in prints). If this is the case, you might still be able to use the texture, but you should contact us.

What Makes a Good Digital Texture?

Texture type

Depending on the graphic design project you are working on you will need a specific type of texture. You will have to search for the texture that fits your needs.

For example, if you want to give a vintage look to an object in your photo manipulation, you probably want to search for an overlay texture to apply. Overlay textures are images that you can place as a layer in Photoshop using the different blend modes (Overlay, Screen, etc).

Bottom line:

There are many types of textures and stock images on our website. Here are some examples:

  • seamless textures – are images that can be repeatedly tiled vertically and/or horizontally
  • pre-made backgrounds – are photos or photo manipulations that can be used as backgrounds in design projects
  • isolated objects (cutout objects) – are photos of objects in which the background has been removed
  • organic and realistic materials – this includes textures like wood, metal, glass or any other type of material

Texture size

Another characteristic you should look at is the size of the texture. Make sure that the size of the texture is large enough to be used in your project.

It gets better:

Using seamless textures you can create backgrounds of any size. But if you tile it more than 3 times the repetitive pattern will become more and more obvious.

Texture quality

You have to agree:

Good quality textures depends on the skills of the photographer and the camera used.

If the photos are taken correctly and using a good quality camera then the results should have:

  • good exposure – shadows and highlights should have a good level of detail
  • low noise – when shot in low light photos tend to get grainy noise due to the higher ISO sensor sensitivity
  • good focus – images should be sharp if not otherwise intended (blurry backgrounds for ex.)
  • good resolution – 72dpi is good enough for displaying on monitors, but if you need print quality then you probably should go for 240-300dpi

The good news is:

Our digital textures are usually processed in Photoshop to make sure they are the at the highest quality.

Conclusion

Textures4Photoshop.com provides unique textures, backgrounds and PNG images which are free to download. Use them in personal and commercial projects with attribution.

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