Saturday, March 19, 2011 a photo...

To again illustrate my little motto "save a photo, apply a texture", I have another example of the digital transformation of a plain old, plain old photograph with a studio-made texture.

A drab photograph with little of interest apart from the line of birch trees and lamp posts gets a vintage, romantic feel with the addition of one of my new textures and a little work in PSE.  Ta da:

With the simple addition of a texture we now find depth and an aged vintage look which add intrigue and interest to the photo.  With a little more work, a figure could be added on the path, but I like the beckoning call of a lonely, empty path at day's end.  The texture that performed this magic, and that can be yours for free, follows.

I made this texture, entitled "French Toast", with a free form paint exercise in the studio, scanned it into my computer and did a little more work on it in Photoshop to give it some finishing touches.  To achieve the look on my run-of-the-mill, ready-to-be-deleted photograph I took the following editing steps:

*  Applied the texture to the photo adjusting it to fit with the bounding boxes.
*  Set the Blending Mode to Hard Light and adjusted the Opacity to 75%.
*  Made a Levels Adjustment increasing black balance just a bit.
*  While still in the Levels Adjustment, I moved the Output slider to 60 to achieve a  faded look.
*  Added my initials signature.
*  Used my crop tool to give the photo a small white border.
*  And finally, added a watermark to protect the digital art from being 'borrowed' without permission.

Please feel free to use this texture, French Toast, for your personal or commercial projects by employing it as an element of your work.  My only request is that you not re-gift or sell the texture itself as if you created it. 

You can download French Toast for free by clicking HERE.   Enjoy!!!


  1. oh wow...that is gorgeous...and you did take an average photo and make it spectacular

  2. Bonnie, I'm excited to try french toast. I had a hard time with the last filter, blue night? I think...couldn't get it light/transparent enough in Gimp...Thanks for the tips above. I'll try and let you know. I have way too many boring photos that need help! Ha!

  3. Looks fabulous...thanks

  4. Deb: I don't know Gimp, but in Photoshop the idea is not to get it lighter or more transparent - you allow the Blending Modes to infuse light and the application of the dark blue performs magic with several very different results. In each Blending Mode you can also adjust the opacity of the texture applied. Gimp must have similar capabilities.

  5. this is quite educational - i've been looking for ways to manipulate photos and your results are most appealing.

    i've enjoyed exploring your lovely blog -

  6. The addition of this texture gives an impressionistic feel to the photo. I suppose, hence the term "french toast". Lovely results, Bonnie. Thank you for sharing this technique.

  7. I keep saying I'm going to fiddle with my photos and do something interesting with them, and I have not yet done this.

    I also want a new better bigger camera so very much - just not sure what to buy yet.

  8. French toast. You're making me hungry.. for breakfast and for playing around with Photoshop.

  9. Hi Bonnie
    A google search for textures led me to your blog tonight. I don't know if you remember me or not, but you and I were in Marie Otero's digital magic class together. I just had a nice long visit through your archives and wanted to stop and say how nice it was to see you using what we learned in the class. I particularly enjoyed your painterly creations.

    all the best
    Carla Naron


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