Using Texture as the Main Subject

Today I’d like to show some shots that rely on texture for their impact. I really like the way this first image came out after processing it in Topaz Adjust using the Spicify preset. The peeling paint and pitted chrome really jump out and the DeSoto badge adds a nice hit of color to balance with the rusted grill bars. I look at images such as this as studies in using texture as the focus of the image.

Here is another texture shot from the same DeSoto. I really like the way the crazed paint conveys a feeling of age and shows it’s inherent beauty. For me this image has an almost topographical feel as if we are looking at a surreal landscape. Topaz Adjust does a great job here of intensifying the colors and showing the texture in the subject.

This detail shot of the door on an old truck shows how isolating a section of one of these old cars can create an interesting image. I usually try to spend some time exploring the surface of these cars and searching for interesting compositions that isolate the texture and patina of time.

This last image is one of my favorite shots of a Buick I located in northern Alabama a few years back. I was drawn to the contrast of the chrome against the pitted and rusted surface of the metal. The many colors that were present in the paint and rust were brought out by processing this shot in Topaz Adjust using the Spicify preset. When I use these presets they are simply starting points for me and I usually spend a great deal of time playing with the various sliders to find the right combination for a given image.

10 thoughts on “Using Texture as the Main Subject

  1. Really beautiful images- the Topaz filters and directional lighting really add dimension and almost a three-dimensional effect. These old cars have such personality.

  2. Just enjoying these again- just wondering- and guessing ( I love guessing the lighting!) were these shot at dusk or just before? soft, diffused light with still a bit of direction formed from the lighter part of the sky to the darker? I was thinking that because of the chrome in the bottom image, but maybe not… I do see a blue sky, so.. maybe full or late sun reflecting off the desert ground for fill? I really love the saturation in the bottom image- the remnants of paint, reflections and unique quality of the rust really creates a unique quality of color and light.
    Thanks again for all your posts, and sharing your work.

    1. Nelson, Thank you for taking time to ask me about these images. It is very gratifying to hear that someone is interested enough in my work to return to study it again.

      The light on the two images of the DeSoto were taken at midday in New Mexico just east of Tucumcari. The topaz preset works very much like HDR in that it emphasizes the contrast and saturates the colors. That ability to extract detail in the image makes it possible to develop such richly textured images even when they are taken at what is considered the worst time of day for lighting a photo.

      The Buick was photo was captured about an hour after sunrise which gave that dramatic color and texture the benefit of the low angle of the sun. Combined with the angle the temperature of morning light is very warm and works well with rusted subjects such as this car. The sky is so faint because the air was very humid that day and the water in the sky acted as a diffuser.

      I hope that you will continue to look at my work and ask questions when you see something that you want to know more about. Thanks again for your interaction with me and my photography.

      1. Please excuse my typos in my initial reply: they should have been:

        “The two images of the DeSoto were taken at midday in New Mexico just east of Tucumcari.”

        “The Buick photo was captured about an hour after sunrise which gave that dramatic color and texture the benefit of the low angle of the sun.”

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