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John Suler
1,132 followers -
Clinical psychology professor at Rider University specializing in cyberpsychology & photography
Clinical psychology professor at Rider University specializing in cyberpsychology & photography

1,132 followers
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SOCIAL MEDIA LIBERATION
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TEXTURE OVERLAYS

I've always been intrigued by how you can alter the psychological impact of an image by adding a texture overlay. In an image editing program like Photoshop, the "multiply" and "soft light" layer blending modes usually work well for embedding a texture layer into the background image.

Exactly how the texture alters the effect of the original photograph will depend on what kind of texture it is, how you blend it into the photo, and the nature of the photo itself. But in all cases, the image acquires that "tactile/touch" feeling that comes with texture.

In the case of this photo (which I took in LA as our car was stopped at a light), the texture overlay gives the impression that the scene is painted onto the somewhat rough and cracked surface of a building, an effect that echoes the city theme.

The woman with the dog crossing the street is blind, which adds another interesting interpretation, because blind people appreciate and rely on the sensations of touch and texture much more so that sighted people. It's as if the texture layer is helping her "feel" her way through the scene.

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TEXTURE BY RAKING LIGHT

Here at the top of the Haleakala volcano on Maui, the very oblique rays of the setting sun rake across the gritty texture of the ground, producing sharp shadows that accentuate every bump and crevice (that very low light also gave me ridiculously long legs). Notice how very contrasty the textures are as compared to the previous two photos I posted, in which the light was diffuse or coming from the front.
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TEXTURES, SOFT AND HARD

Different types of light will determine whether textures appear soft or hard. My previous photograph of a field during morning fog reveals subtle tones of smooth, silky texture. That softness was due to very even, diffuse light created by the mist.

In this photograph the sun is a very direct front light, which results in crispy textures that seem to make the plant wilt.

Yet another possibility, which I illustrate in my next post, is “raking” light that comes directly from the side, almost parallel to the surface of an area. It accentuates a textured surface by creating tiny shadows that outline even the tiniest bumps and crevices.

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SOME THING TO WATCH
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Powerpoint presentations accompanying Psychology of the Digital Age now include audio narrations by yours truly. A good resource for teaching a course in cyberpsychology, especially when teaching it online!
http://bit.ly/2mT2bIo
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TEXTURE MEANS “TOUCH”

Texture stimulates the sensation of touch. That makes it one of the most intriguing, even mysterious aspects of photography. Whereas our sense of vision operates at a distance from the world, the sense of touch brings us up close and personal, to the sensitivity of our fingertips, face, and skin. Not having yet developed language, infants rely on the sensation of touch to experience the world.

Nature offers an infinite variety of textures: leaves, sand, rock, water, clouds - everything from harsh grittyness to velvety flow. You’ll often see textures occurring in layers, with hidden patterns emerging the more you look.

The feelings aroused by these textures cannot be easily verbalized. They activate very personal, deeply felt experiences that go beyond words. Because they stimulate tactile sensations, they physically immerse us into the image. It’s a sense of being close to and “feeling” the subject.

I noticed this scene while driving to work one day. I just had to stop, get out, and take a photograph.

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HOBSON'S CHOICE, NO MORE

It used to be that you would decide whether or not you wanted to upgrade your device or your software. Often it was Hobson's Choice (not really a choice at all) because if you didn't upgrade, things would no longer work the way they should. Now, especially with phones, you don't have to worry about that Hobson's Choice. Your apps upgrade themselves, whether you want them to or not.
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STILLNESS AND MOTION

Paradoxically, some photographs capture both stillness and motion, in a still image. Here the vertical motion blur of the background stands in contrast to the stillness of the dried palm leaf, until both motion and stillness blend at the bottom of the downward glide. Opposites come together as one.

I photographed this scene at Indian Canyon, near Palm Springs, CA. It's no surprise that the indigenous people treasured this beautiful oasis as a sacred place.
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Seriously, if you spend some more time with your pet and less time with your phone, you'll be a happier person.
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