Friday, November 8, 2013

Personal Photo Challenge - Layering Textures............

I love texture............on anything. 
Paper, fabric, knitwear, leather, painted walls, 
dried petals, Autumn leaves, crunchy cereal, even hair!

This month's photo challenge from Donna is all about 
adding texture to your basic images. 

Click to enlarge and view textures close up.
Above, the original collage of some French inspired 
images I captured in France and here at home.

After further editing ~ this 'touch of France' collage, 
made in PicMonkey, was then boosted with their amazing 
array of fun effects. I played around, adding and 
subtracting different texture effects, in two very 
different versions

Above, before editing, a more recent photo from 
last month's trip. The stunning Hungarian Parliament 
buildings on the Danube River in Budapest.

After editing with iPhoto and PicMonkey

  • Photo cropped to remove ugly bridge work on left 
  • Retouched to remove crane
  • Image set into a vintage frame then added pale green texture with PicMonkey's Time Machine effect to match the water on the left. Only light texture added as I didn't want to harden the misty soft grey shades of the buildings
  • Photo taken on the Danube river boat tour using the Nikon Coolpix S6400 set on landscape

You may have already noticed that I love playing with 
my blog banners....just like I love blogging in general. 
I guess the entire process satisfies the creative urge 
remaining from my years working in art and advertising. 

This one above started out a bit blah, so, in 
PicMonkey, I added the Urbane effect and then 
played with Ediface Textures, adding and changing...

.....eventually coming up with this version above. 
I also changed the type to a handwritten style font.

For this second version, I set the banner on top of 
one of my own vintage textures and, for a different 
effect, and added text to the side.

A word about using textures: I have absolutely no idea what 
I'm doing most of the time! I could never make a tutorial 
anyone could comprehend. I just go for it, adding and 
subtracting, changing sizes to fit when using my own 
vintage frames. 
Textures/effects in PicMonkey are great and 
easy to use, gathering a folder of your own is 
fun but requires more work. 
There are fabulous bloggers out there doing 
awesome things with the 'big' programs such as 
PhotoShop - I do not come close to their images.

But, that said, this has to be my favorite 'challenge' 
to date from Donna. Thanks to digital photography, so 
much is possible to each of us now, whether professionals 
or amateurs, when armed with a camera, a simplified 
editing program, and a some time to 'play' with all 
these photos we take!

Be sure to head over to Donna's blog
A Personal Photo Challenge and join in the fun.


  1. It was fun to see the two collages with the various textures on them. I worried without PhotoShop my creativity wouldn't be that great but PicMonkey has a lot to offer. I also use my iPhoto software for editing.

  2. Oh! This is so Fun!! You really know how to rock a texture!
    Great job...

  3. I can tell that you went for it with abandon - which is exactly what this particular challenge requires! You have to take the time to play, seeing what works and what doesn't. I adore all these grunge textures that you used. They really make your collage compositions sing! I'm glad that you had fun with this one, venturing forth fearlessly, and learned a new technique that you can rely upon again and again in the future. And you are so correct about the online programs that are available for free these days. You can do some mighty fancy techniques with them!

  4. I do love picmonkey but have never really played with the backgrounds. I love the effects you have used and how you have taken out things such as the crane. Beautiful shots. Have a wonderful weekend. xx

  5. This is turning into my favorite challenge, too. I love seeing what a difference some textures can make and I'm happy to learn about some new techniques using sites I'm familiar with! You always have the most beautiful photos. I need some texture to my hair! haha! Sweet hugs! Oh....and I love making banners, too!

  6. Beautiful photos, textures and images Mary. I like that you've taken it a step further with them. Very nicely done! Have a lovely weekend. Pamela

  7. I could tell when I clicked on your blog that you do a lot of photo editing already! Just beautiful and I loved what you showed today. I think we do things a bit similarly, wandering here and there and not always keeping track of how we got where we did. Your Budapest (I may have walked over that bridge more than once) drew me to look at more of your Budapest pictures -- just beautiful. I've been there twice but my dream is to take my husband some day. Such a romantic old city!

  8. Oh it is obvious that you took to this challenge like a duck to water. One thing I love was your "cleaning" up the bridge photo. Thanks for mentioning each thing, too, so that I could follow along.

  9. Mary, you have a style all your own and I love it. Your pictures are stunning!

  10. These are great! I especially love that your textures gave your photos a vintage look.

  11. I knew you would hit this one out of the park. The first one is my favorite. Love Love Love the roses in the basket. Great job!

  12. wow, those photos are phenomenal. i love all the treatment you did to them. great job.

  13. Really good job. Love the collage idea

  14. As soon as I arrived at your blog, your header caught my attention, and I just knew that you would ace this texture challenge! :)
    Your images are beautiful! You obviously have an artist's eye; it shows in all your work. (And then I read that you did work in art and it all fits.)

  15. Great job Mary. Love the mosaics.

  16. This challenge was made for you dear Mary!!
    Your photos and mosaics are always interesting and full of wonderful textures.
    By adding more layering these images are breathtaking - the touch of France mosaic is like images of art from the old masters.
    Your banners are always a source of inspiration to me!
    Shane xox

  17. Dear Mary, I love your photographs and how you choose your subjects and how you apply textures, especially those with stronger colors. You have a special talent for composition and you see the beauty in the most ordinary things and then you combine them with the most splendid.
    ox, Gina

  18. Love your textures and playing with them.
    How I need to play more and experiment.
    Keep on playing and I will enjoy every one.

    Hugs, m

  19. You have some wonderful effects on your collages! Every one looks super! I'd say you really know what you are doing!I also had a look at your photos from Prague, as I spent 11 days there this past July. Isn't it a wonderful city? I could have stayed a month, but would have needed more memory cards for my camera...

  20. Oh, so many good ones! I do like the roses in the first one best. You captured a romantic french feeling to the collage! Good job, stopping in from a Photo Challenge.

  21. This was a fun challenge, wasn't it? I love the bridge photo and how you altered it subtly but with dramatic effect. Really wonderful, the old buildings contrast with the newer bridge. And the French-themed collage - so beautiful, but then I'm drawn to most things with French flavor.


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