Texture adds drama to your photos, writes Salliza Salleh

WHEREVER you go, bring your camera and continue to take pictures because this will help train your eyes to have better visual composition.

A compelling image needs to have a sense of drama to spice up the story you intend to convey.

One of the best ways to add drama to your photo is through the use of texture.

Texture is one of the elements in the classic six-design elements. The others are colour, line, shape, space and form.

Texture or the surface detail of a subject can make your two-dimensional image look three-dimensional and appears as if you can touch the subject.

Here are some tips on how to enhance texture element in your images.


The use of macro lens helps enhance the detail on the surface of a subject. This photo of a dandelion was taken using a macro lens. The actual shape becomes less important in this image as we explore its detailed surface. Each seed is seen attached to a pod at the centre, while the tonal contrast between the background and the subject enhances the detail of the texture.


Colour contrast of the subject helps to enhance texture in the image. In this photo of a painted face of a Nepal Sadhu, the colour contrasts among orange, red, yellow, purple, white and green help enhance the texture of his face and it creates a stronger image of him.


The main reason why we want to add texture to our visual art is for a sense of drama in our composition. In this photo taken at Plaosan Temple in Jogja, the texture of the massive tree trunk, the leaves and the mossy stones spice up this image by creating a moody atmosphere of the temple.


An image with a clean and simple composition that focuses only on tonal contrast is always eye-catching. In this photo of a Nepali man, the contrast between the light tones and the dark tones enhance the texture of his face, his Dhaka topi and his woolen shawl.


Repetitive patterns create texture. In this photo of buffalos crossing a shallow pond, a group of subjects creates patterns and the moving muddy water creates a sense of texture to the patterns. Bear in mind that texture only appears prominent under the right lighting. Texture, especially detailed fine texture, needs harsh light. This photo was taken at 10am when the sun is high up on the horizon. With enough light, the murky water looks three-dimensional.

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