25 February, 2015

Making of Hawthorne Berries and use of "NORMAL blend mode


today I want to get back to some simple texturizing tip. The use of the "Normal" blend mode. This is often much better than any other blending mode when it comes to bring out the fine fabric of a texture.

I often use this when I take a rather soft grunge texture such as the ones in the Frames-and-Edges-Two - Pack in my Creative Market shop.

Hawthorne Berries before and after
I only used two textures in this image one was Dirt Frame and the other Mont Blanc .

The Normal mode works best with soft textures, that are not too dark, meaning I' d rather use lighter textures because of the later adjustments and of course they don't tend to overpower the original picture.

Take a look at the layers:

To keep the details of the frost on the berries I used a layers mask and erased parts of the texture with a soft brush at a very low Flow setting of about 3-5% and an Opacity of 100%.

The Mont Blanc layer added a bit more of frame and smoothness.

Using the Normal blend mode reduces the contrast drastically, but that can be remedied by adjusting it with the help of the Curves tool.

You can get both textures or similar ones here:


or as part of a texture pack that you can create yourself here:


Thanks very much!

Have a nice day,

31 January, 2015

Cloudscape - Abstract Skies Textures and Backgrounds & Weekend FREEBIE

I made a set of abstract sky textures and backgrounds, that I use in my work.
Hopefully you can use them in yours as well.
You can purchase them over at CreativeMarket:

I  use them whenever I have a dull white or even blue sky or whenever I think the texture adds something special and unique to a picture.

Here are two examples where I used at least one of the abstract skies to add clouds or to replace the sky - please move over the image to see a before picture

ash and bone

above the roofs of Blois


It has been quite a while since I last had texture freebie, I promise to better myself ;-)
Here we are - please click on the texture to download from Picasa.

evening glow
Aus Free textures
Have a great weekend & be creative! Dirk

28 January, 2015

NEW - 12 Blue toned textures for photographers ( + 3 FREE bonus textures)

Hi there,
I've just published a new set of fineart blue tones textures over at Creative Market. These 12 unique textures come with 3 bonus textures and you can get them for only 13 US$.

Shades of Blue II
Just to show you how they work, here is a before/after picture I texturized by using only two of the textures:

Easy to use: take a look at the layers in Photoshop

Thank you very much & be creative!

23 January, 2015

Making of Aimless Wanderer & creating a MATTE look

today I wanted to show you a technique that helps to enhance the moodiness of a image. With the help of Lightroom's gradient tool or/and Photoshop's curves tool you can clip the shadows to achieve a matte effect.

Images that were treated this way also work well with textures.

Please move mouse over the picture for a Before/After look!


Working in Lightroom

After the playing around for a while the gradient curve looked somehow weird, but the the shadows looked faded & pale:

The important part you can see on the bottom left. I dragged the curve up, thus making the dark parts paler. I also used the sliders as you can see in the second screenshot to get the mood I wanted.

Here is a Before/ After view of the processed image:

The shadows in the right part of the picture are lighter & more pale/matte. It also seems to add more fog/haze to the overall image.

Working in Photoshop

Apart from some manipulations I wanted to show how I further texturized the picture as well as added even more mood by using a color gradient and the curves tool.

I only used subtle textures, Baltic Sands from the Vintage-Film-Photography-Pack and

Both have a frame and are based on old tintype / glass plates.

The impression of the colorful rising sun was achieved by using a color gradient. 

You'll find a bunch of my gradients over here: 30-fine-art-retro-color-PS-gradients
The one I used is part of this collection.

The textures and the gradient led to darker tones and stronger contrasts and made it necessary to once again work on the matte effect.

The technique is the same as in Lightroom - you simply drag the curve up a bit and the shadows become paler...

Thanks again for your interest and be creative!!!

Have a nice weekend!

31 December, 2014

12 from 2014

Hi there,

this is only a short look back on some pics I produced in 2014.

Hope you enjoy and have a wonderful and creative 2015!!!

All pics processed with my textures (or others ;-) some on iPhone, some with PS on my iMac.

Check out my textures here: TEXTURE PACKS

See you in 2015!
Thanks, Dirk

18 December, 2014

Carry On - Evolution of a Picture

today I wanted to present a picture that I really liked from the beginning, but that I had great difficulties to process. I took several attempts on several levels of the processing to achieve the final look and feeling of the picture.

Here is the final result:

Carry On

Recently I love playing around with / processing winter images, I especially love cool blue tones in combination with red or orange leaves. The above picture features less red leaves, but another component that I like: a solitary person passing by. This always adds something mysterious and kind of tells a story.

The Start - Lightroom

I started with this picture -

Carry On raw
As you can see it i nothing too special about this picture, but still I liked the overall atmosphere of this misty dark winter afternoon. I also had the feeling that this might be not so easy, because the many trees and elements would make it hard to focus on the little person.

Next I chose one of the Lightroom presets I made for snowy sceneries and tweaked the result to finally get tones I liked:

Carry On LR
I thought this is something that I could build upon and loaded this into Photoshop and started applying textures, but the results weren't satisfying - I found them to cluttered and without appeal.

Processing in Photoshop

Content Aware Scale
After my vain attempts to texturize this picture I thought I try the Content Aware Scale tool of Photoshop CC and see what would happen with the picture. I extended the canvas size to a square and placed the original picture at the bottom of the canvas. Then I simply dragged the upper end upwards and got this -

I liked the result, though some parts were a bit out of scale but I thought I could live with that.

I was interested in the middle part of the picture, especially the lone walker. I decided to use a PS filter /Lens Blur) to blur the edges left and right of he picture.

Additionally I added a motion blur of 230px. The picture was now pretty blurry, but I had planned to erase parts of it using a clipping mask to bring back some detail. Please see Layers for reference.

The picture now looked like this:

I finally had a picture that I could build upon.

Processing with textures

I chose three textures Friction had some vertical scratches that I liked and helped to darken the blurred edges of the picture to direst the viewers eyes to the middle of the image.
deKonstrukt added some color variety and subtle patterns that I liked and Grotto Azul further enhanced the blue hues.

You'll find the textures here:

Mixed Specialties and here Vintage Film and Photography

Finally I worked a bit on the colors and the contrast and Carry On was ready to be published.

Thanks for reading,

02 December, 2014

Color gradients and textures II

as mentioned before, I often use color gradients in my work. I must admit, that this is somehow inspired by my work for the app Stackables and of course by the possibilities gradients offer to enhance moods and atmospheres in pictures.

I have created a set of 30 color gradients, that I often use in my work and made it available to purchase on Creative Market here:


To demonstrate the effect two of these gradients have please have a look at the following images:

Unprocessed version

Morning Light Bare

Processing One

I wanted the light tones closer to the lawn in front to add a more coherent fell to the image. Please take a look at the Photoshop layers for this picture:

The gradient layer made all the difference in this - additionally I chose two textures to support the the tones of the image and enhance the fog a bit.

Textures are from AUTUMN HAZE PACK

Processing Two

In this I wanted the sky to have a warm orange/red tone that is more associated with a sunrise. Again the basic color mood was created with the help of a gradient. The added textures supported the overall color choice a mood.

Again, please check out the layers from Photoshop:

Textures are from AUTUMN HAZE PACK

I hope that you can get some inspiration out of this. Please search for other examples on my blog

There is still a discount of 25% on all textures using the coupon code BLACK14 on my home page until Dec 6, 2014:

Thanks for reading!