I haven’t done much with textured backgrounds for images in the past but every time I see others images that have used this technique I am always amazed at how cool they look. There are a couple of places that offer textured sets for sale and even though I am somewhat interested with what they have to offer I haven’t picked any of these up yet. I did come across a site that has a nice selection which can be downloaded free of charge but does ask for donations. Without sounding like a cheapskate I have always thought this a very honest thing to do, a way to try something out and if you like it donate what you think it is worth. The site is shadowhousecreations, thank you Jerry for providing some wonderful products at a what can’t be argued as a great price.

Playing around with textures is a fun experience in creativity. It offer a whole new approach to image creation. So far I have experimented with only wildflower images that seem to lend themselves well to this look even though I have seen an array of subjects such as landscapes and nature and portraits that still look extremely creative when textured backgrounds are used.

I was out at sundown last Sunday evening with only about 30 minutes worth of light left that I could still manage to focus on a subject with. I find it somewhat frustrating to run out of light just when I’m getting into things! I’ve used a small flashlight before to help light up things such as wildflowers or smaller subjects so I could set focus where I wanted it to be but this time I just hurried along attempting to capture what I could before the mosquitoes ate me up.

The area I was in is Big Shunga Park which I have mentioned before on the blog. I live within walking distance of this part of the park that has trails extending miles throughout the city. I’m always pleased when I visit and need to more often, it’s a real gem within the city of Topeka used by many mostly for hiking and bicycling. There is an area within the park that has been designating a native grass restoration area. Up till a few years ago it would just get mowed off to maintain the “pretty” park look, what a shame. For the last few years it has been left to come back on it’s own with only a few mowed trails meandering throughout the area. Rich in native grasses from little and big bluestem, Indian, switch and gamagrasses to many wildflower delights. Last year about this time I made a few of my favorite images of purple cone flowers from this area.

I know there is a healthy population of queen annes lace growing in this area so spent most of my 30 minutes searching for acceptable compositions. As I took a few shots it dawned on me that with the natural texture of the bloom they may make a good choice some type of textured background. I have a couple of different textures in this image both similar but slightly different in colors, one mostly green and the other more of a golden tone. A soft focus overlay was used in photoshop with slight masking of each background to reveal the amounts I was looking for. Guess I’m not sure this is a final workup but it was fun to play with and fairly sure it will become a keeper either in this form or one very similar.

wildflower nature photography Kansas

© Brad Mangas