Weathered Concrete Wall
It's no secret. I LOVE textures. If we go on a trip, I am more likely to take pictures of interesting textured tree trunks, weathered walls, or manhole covers, than of my family members. My husband actually has been known to take pictures of me taking these abstract texture pictures. I get a lot of laughs from the people I'm with for this peculiar behavior.
What is a digital texture, you ask? Digital textures are basically abstract images. They typically lack a distinct subject, but can be beautiful all on their own. If I'm feeling stressed, or otherwise over-stimulated, I might take a virtual stroll through some texture galleries to calm my frazzled over-sensitized nerves. Seriously--these abstracts can have a therapeutic and calming effect on me.
Weathered Concrete Wall
No message. In that case, the lack of a subject is welcome. It speaks to the wordless side of my brain. Just visuals. The textures can bring up different feelings, though, even without words. Without a distinct subject.
The textures above are all from a recent trip I took. These are all raw textures, meaning they are pretty much as I saw them in the real world with very little editing or additional layering.
These textures can also be layered into other digital images with PhotoShop (or other software) to add interest and create a mood. It's really pretty amazing what can be done with these collage techniques and the blend modes.
Here are some of my favorite sources for digital textures :
Kim also has a Texture Lovin List where she frequently gives away some of her textures, and offers weekly Texture Tuesday challenges to give you the chance to use her textures, and see what others do with them. Kim also offers some free tutorials (as well as paid classes) to learn how to use textures in digital photographs.
2 Lil Owls
Lots of beautiful and grungy textures. Denise also offers some tutorials to learn how to use her textures.
Jerry Jones offers hundreds of free textures on his blog, along with tutorials and examples about how to use them.
Kerstin Frank on Flikr
Her stuff is absolutely gorgeous and wonderful!
Flickr Groups for Textures (There are many others. These are some of the ones I like and use because the rules for posting a texture allow you to use them in your own work.)
Textures for Layers
Sign up for their RSS feed for weekly free textures.
StockVault's Free Texture Fridays
Got some of my most favorite grunge textures from StockVault!
Lost & Taken - more free textures with an emphasis on grunge
For a while, I was collecting textures (free and purchased), downloading them to my hard-drive. Until my hard-drive filled up. Now I put them on a memory card (Yes, they get backed up.) There are other options I've started to use :
Marking favorites in Flickr
* Remember the Quiet Evenings (RTQE) used to be a show on Madison's WORT, listener-supported community radio. In the 90s, I was a regular listener. It was a wonderful way to wind down and relax and hear some new music. That was all before the internet.