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Photo Tip – Capturing Textures and Patterns

Have you heard the saying “it’s the little things that count“?

Well, this is certainly true in photography.

The little things make up the bigger things we are trying to capture so it can really add to the experience when we take a closer look and zoom in.

cactus close up

Beauty in the Texture of Life

Textures really capture my attention.

I like zooming in on the bumpy, smooth, spiny and shiny aspects of the subjects around me. When taking photos I often try to zoom in and fill the lens with the texture of the subject. This really helps me appreciate the design of the shell of a giant tortoise, the scales of a marine iguana or the bark of a cactus tree.


Cactus bark texture

The texture of lava rock

The texture of lava rock

Textures of a marine iguana

Textures of a marine iguana

If you can’t touch or take a piece of your subject home, getting a  close up of its texture can be the next best thing.

Shooting the “Whole Package”

This adds a lot of interest when laying out photos in a  photo frame, especially if the frame has multiple windows. You can play with shots of the subject in it’s natural surroundings, then zoom in on the face for shots to add personality, and then a final shot or two of the texture of the skin, scales, feathers or fur.

This will give a more complete picture of the subject.

Galapagos giant tortoise

Galapagos giant tortoise

Shell texture

Shell texture


Choose the Right Setting For Shooting Textures

You can get good texture photos with a high quality point and shoot, but a dSLR is even better. The setting I usually use is f/11 . When shooting textures I hold my breath as I push the shutter release to get as sharp a photo as possible. I also keep an eye out for light and shadow which sometimes means following the subject around or waiting till the clouds pass so the light hits it just right.

Paying attention to the angle can make a difference as well, I often take shots from above looking down, then I crouch down to get a different angle. The effect can be surprisingly different.

Check more Galapagos Photography Tips.

Tortoise leg texture

Tortoise leg texture

Do you enjoy taking texture shots? Please share what works for you by commenting on this post.

About the author: Dena Haines Hi, I’m Dena Haines! I’m an traveler, photographer and Canadian entrepreneur. I’m a partner at Storyteller Media, a content marketing company for Canadian travel brands. I am co-founder of Click Like This a photo tutorial blog.

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