Texture is one of the hallmarks of great photography. It adds character and variety to an image, creating a more dramatic composition. So, what is texture in photography, and how can the average hobbyist use techniques to bring out the texture in their work? Below, we've shared why texture is so important, as well as a few visual elements worth seeking out if you're trying to add dimensionality and detail to your photos.
Accentuating the Third Dimension
We all know that photography is a two-dimensional medium, even if we're shooting scenes that are three-dimensional. However, great texture almost looks tactile, as if you could touch your smartphone or magazine and feel each surface detail. It's an optical illusion, but a powerful one, and it allows viewers to put themselves into the scene. Whether you're looking at a worn tree trunk, a coral reef, or an animal hide, there's an abundance of texture in the natural world.
How to Heighten Texture
Using a macro lens (or "macro" camera setting), you can hone in on an object's detail and create more drama in your composition. Texture provides more information about an object, but it also allows photographers to set a specific mood. For example, if you're taking photos of an abandoned city — where debris is scattered on the road and vines are climbing up the buildings — the texture will add a feeling of desolation and mystery. Here are a few useful techniques for enhancing texture: