My “Old Boots”

How can anyone write about a pair of boots? I mean what’s so interesting about them? Nothing really…but there again this post was never about the boots, more about the technique I used to get the final image.

In my garage I have a table with a large black sheet behind it which serves as the backdrop for a lot of my still life images. The table is side-lit with lots of natural light coming in from large window looking out to the garden and because of this lighting I can quite often bracket my images for some later HDR work. As an aside its from this garage window that I shoot a fair few of the wild birds who visit the feeders in the garden. Anyway back to the “old boots”

After the HDR processing I wanted to “grunge” up the image a bit. The easiest way to do this is to blend in some textures and then progressively use layer masks to darken the background more but make the boots stand out. So where did I get the textures? Well I make most of my own, they’re not that hard to create in Photoshop or similar, but if that’s too much like hard work, there are plenty of sites out there giving them away for free. Google is your friend here. Two places I can recommend are the Textures for Layers group on Flickr and Shadowhouse Creations. You can find a link to Shadowhouse Creations on my homepage. Alternatively if you want to use any of my textures then you can get them from my Flickr account. One thing I will advise, before using any image/texture that you download from the web make sure that you check the licensing. Do you know what a Creative Commons License Is? What about Flickr? Can you use any image on there for your own purposes? I’d like to know your views on using textures or any of the questions I have posed here today.



10 thoughts on “My “Old Boots”

  1. Hi Mike

    Great stuff. Great post processing reminds me of Gary Hickin if you know his work.



    1. Thank You, I’ve always seen HDR as a means to an end and to be honest with this one I was experimenting with some textures after the HDR process. I just liked the look I ended up with and thought it was worth publishing.


  2. This is inspiring Mike. I have never tried HDR- Still experimenting and finding my niche/style.
    Your image is atmospheric and compelling, I have to try something like this (probably minus the HDR).


    1. For a lot of my HDR work I use SNS-HDR or HDR Express, both of which give a very natural look to HDR. If you are looking for textures then I can recommend the Textures for Layers group on Flickr or Shadowhouse Creations, you’ll find a link to that on “Sites I Visit” Good Luck if you experiment with textures.


  3. Hi – I found your blog via the WP forum. This is a great image. Isn’t it interesting how evocative shoes without feet in them are? (If you see what I mean.) When press photographers and film makers are trying to communicate the pathos and tragedy of, for example, the scene of a human disaster, they will so often focus in on a single shoe lying on the ground…


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