Paul Thomson

Shooting Textures

Paul Thomson
Duration:   11  mins

When you visit a scenic coastline, your tendency is to photograph distant islands, magnificent horizons, the green sea or blue ocean. In this premium video lesson, Outdoor Photography Guide’s Paul Thomson takes you to the coastline of Sweden where he avoids the traditional landscape and experiments with photographing textures: rock formations that form patterns. In the process of photographing textures, Paul will show you how to look for a pattern, isolate a texture and make your shots unique.

Setting himself above the surf line, Paul anchors his tripod, his camera hovering over a colorful volcanic rock formation. Photographing textures involves looking for creative patterns. Paul shoots a flowing wave pattern, which he captures in a square format. In photographing textures, you are generally close to the subject, and you need to be careful to adjust focus for sharpness. For additional options, you can employ focus stacking. You will also want to capture the same subject from a different angle. This multi-angle technique will give you options when you edit in post production.

In photographing textures, Paul looks for images that break up the patterns like plants growing out of rock crevasses. The softness of plants contrasts with the sharp rock texture, and the colors add variety. He captures a pink sea crest flower that contrasts with the coppery rock formation. Photographing textures near the sea can be precarious because of the winds. You need to anchor your tripod and shoot at a relatively high shutter speed to avoid camera shake.

Through all this experimenting, you want to leave the scene with a variety of composition choices. In this premium video, Outdoor Photography Guide’s Paul Thomson guides you through the process of photographing textures where you find interesting patterns in the landscape. Look around carefully. Patterns are everywhere, affording you the challenge of photographing textures.