Visual Textures

Of all the subjects I photograph, I’m most captivated by textures. Whether natural or man-made, I find them all fascinating. Photographing a face, a flower or anything familiar usually requires just thoughtful composition, exposure and focus; capturing their essence is relatively straight forward. But visual textures are typically unsystematic and require more thought to capture their nuance and subtlety. However the beauty of visual texture is that they provide an abundant source of inspiration, particularly during the concept development phase of a project.

Most of us respond to visual textures much in the same way we respond to tactile textures. Both invite us to investigate and to try and comprehend their variations of color, contrast, and pattern. Textures are a result of how materials are chosen, assembled and presented. With tactile textures it is the material itself that we can touch and feel. Visual textures are only a facsimile, but can nonetheless be just as powerful. Of course with interior design, texture plays an integral part in every surface and material chosen.

Recently, I finished sorting through some 2500 photographs from a design inspired trip to Japan. With a new camera in tow and a plan of subjects to capture, part of my focus was on adding to my catalog of visual textures. Below, I’ve shared some highlights of these images, shrunken and cropped to fit this column. Already they’ve been put to good use!

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2 Responses to Visual Textures

  1. Doug says:

    I find it interesting that humans try to emulate natural texture in synthetic products, David, sometimes with less than splendid results! Thanks!

  2. Jeni Quigg says:


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