Flypaper Textures


Paint it Black!

mouse-over for before view.

My first apartment in London after moving south with a college friend after graduating in the 1980’s was in the Hasidic north London Jewish area of Stamford Hill. Our charming Anglo German landlord and his wife we discovered to our embarrassment as we were hiding our pet cats, were drinking tea in our apartment on arrival! whilst meeting we noticed that they both had faded blue German WW2 ID numbers tattooed on their wrists, which we’d seen before on Holocaust survivors up north. On departing his final friendly though bizarre words were;
“Of course you’re not going to do anything like paint the walls and ceilings black are you!?”.

It had never crossed our minds but the warning or advice has stood me in good stead over the years with many landlords, right up until now, as I’ve just painted a corner of my studio matt black after finally discovering a rare can of black emulsion paint in my local Lidl store! Who would have guessed that matt black paint was so taboo in the south of France?
So these new black background image series are despite my deep seated guilt from painting a corner of the room matt black up to the window. Its just enough blackness to shoot small still lives in, and when Im over these I can quickly paint it white again, even though now as the actual house owner I’ve nothing to fear from a landlord, phew!

I started off shooting a lone candle and books but during the course of the day I felt that it wasn’t saying enough? So after a rummage through my box of props, came up with an antique french lamp (ebay) and a leather pouch of antique English copper coins, mostly old victorian pennies and three penny bits.

After which the story came together easily, one of Dickensian poverty, a dichotomy, paying the bills or buying food? And so I dedicate this to all workers who’re currently fighting for a living wage.. Calling it, ‘Oh for a living wage!’

Lighting was very simple, just daylight, it was sunny outside from a north facing window and the candle light with a bright LED anglepoise desk lamp @ desk level under the window. I shot loads of pictures before realising the reflection in the lamp door could show the candle flame to add extra depth, and finally after adding the money, I also added a white reflector on the right to brighten up the foreground slightly.
Shutter speed being just 1,25th sec and carefully hand held this time.
Just getting the candle flame in focus really helped give the image depth as the looming lamp in soft focus looked very painterly.

For processing I opened up in my now beloved Topaz Impression Filter, and quickly chose Rembrandt Portrait II, saving my settings with a screen grab as you cant save presets at the moment in Topaz.
I made a 2nd duplicate of the raw base and ran it through Topaz Star filter to get a nice light haze around the candle flame. This was to be the base layer below the Rembrandt Portrait II painterly layer and can just be seen as the painterly filter is at just 55%.
To get rid of the fake painting effects, our Flypaper textures are perfect for adding atmosphere and rebalancing, I opened the Russell Brown Paper panel and used several of our textures as the recipe shows, that lovely charcoal wall glow behind the lamp is enhanced
From our desaturated textures!

Topaz Star Effects – Candle Light 1 Preset @ 100%
Topaz Impression Effects – Rembrandt Portrait II Preset – Normal @ 55%
Flypaper Texture – Casanova – Overlay @ 23% (100% desaturated colour)
Flypaper Texture – Sakura Skies – Overlay @ 76% (100% desaturated colour)

Casanova is from the August Painterly Pack and Sakura Skies is from the Spring Painterly Pack

Back in London many years later to finish my opening story, quite by chance saw a small picture of my old landlord in the Evening Standard newspaper, it reported that after he’d written and published his autobiography the German Government had noticed and given him a medal for bravery for trying to assassinate Hitler by placing log/s on the train tracks ahead of his train, he modestly admitted it was the bravado of youth, the log/s were discovered and removed in time for Hitler to carry on the extermination of his people, but at least he tried. Locked up afterwards surviving many death camps and thus explaining perfectly his fear of black rooms and my vicarious blackened room guilt!

Btw, after writing this and googling my old landlords name, I amazingly found this recent interview with him Here heroic guy or what?

Please visit our Pack page or Combo Pack page to buy Flypaper Textures. Or our Preset Page to buy Nik Presets.
For information and more plug-in products please hit this hot link: Topaz



Thought it was time for some more roses to brighten up the blog pages. These are my old favourites Cecile Brunner which are looking particularly beautiful in the garden at the moment, I simply added an old open book et voila!
In other news Nat from Webucator Photoshop Training has produced a wonderful and useful new video for beginners which features our Autumn Painterly Pack. In it you’ll learn how to purchase our textures from the Adobe Addon store, how to add the textures to your photos and basic masking.

And since we are talking about the Autumn Painterly Pack I decided to use textures from it to process my photo.

Gertrude Jekyll @ Multiply 55% masked from the focus flowers
Greystoke @ Soft Light 100%
Nik Analog preset Fly 3 Soft Pink with the light effects layer turned off.
Glass Plate 24 @ Soft Light 100% Masked from the focus flowers.

Gertrude Jekyll and Greystoke arr from the Autumn Painterly Pack, Glass Plate 24 is from the Antique Edges 2 Pack, Nik Analog preset Soft Pink is from the Analog Presets Pack.

Please visit our Pack page or Combo Pack page to buy Flypaper Textures. Or our Preset Page to buy Nik Presets.
For information and more plug-in products please hit this hot link: Topaz

Lonesome Bison

mouse-over for before view.

After an unusually warm autumn up here in the French Jura, we were finally blessed with an overnight snow fall and so we drove up early into the
nearby ski resort and snapped away until lunch time, passing a bison farm en route and shooting them eating fresh hay, all the other cows having being taken indoors and finally buying a load of freshly churned mountain butter and their local Comte cheese to take home with us.

I’ll be taking home much more than dairy produce though, as I’m now well and truly hooked on Topaz plug-ins and stand alone Impression Topaz for Photoshop! I’ve been playing with their various plug-ins for 2 weeks now and I have to admit they’ve been nothing but fun and a pleasure to use with their general format being similar to Nik Color Pro, so its been easy to get used to, recently though, through Thomas Churchwell’s sublime portrait renderings posted on the Face Book Topaz Impression group, I also got to hear about the Topaz Impression painterly filters, there are so many to choose from, if you fancy, say, an Ed Hopper style paint effect, he’s there, along with Van Gogh and Monet et all. Amazingly you can download them all for a one months free trial period!
For me finally, these plug-ins are the perfect upgrade and antidote for filling the void left by Photoshop’s removal of their painterly filters from CC 2014.

For this image, as usual I ran it through Fly Nik color presets, I just slightly darkened the sky and added a soft cross processed LO5 color @ 25% but we’ll include this Bison preset in the next pack.This time I fancied something a little bit more illustrative than the artists presets, so I chose the Colored Pencils filter, it worked because of the bold graphical silhouette of the Bison on the snow background, it also cleared up the lumpy textured snow and rendered it into attractive snowy waves.

If you mouseover to look at my raw base shot, take note that I under exposed it as bright white snow is very hard to do moody imagery with. To finish and enhance the lonely mood I applied just one Flypaper Texture, the Classic Muscatel to warm and vignette. For more information and products please hit this hot link: Topaz

Bison Nik Fly Preset @ 100% (to be published soon)
Topaz Impression – coloured Crayons filter @ 100%
Flypaper Muscatel soft light @ 100%

Please visit our Pack page or Combo Pack page to buy Flypaper Textures. Or our Preset Page to buy Nik Presets.
For information and more plug-in products please hit this hot link: Topaz

On the Road

mouse-over for before view

Having a great time revisiting the Jura region of eastern France, but before the winter snow arrives once again we revisited the retro fire truck I last captured in the spring snow and blogged several months back. But this time I tried a slightly more surreal composition with a dramatic starry sky overlay!
Shot this time in the late afternoon sun with a normal lens, the resulting raw image was disappointingly bright and crisp and so first I dismissed it, however on second thoughts I thought I’d try running it through a few of our Nik Flypaper presets to help tone it down and harmonise the colours.
I used Fly Orford Graves 2, with the Darken Centre ticked to really darken the sky.
I then saved it and opened it again in Nik colour Pro, this time I used: Fly 3 Amanda 3 Preset which knocked the colours back and finally finished with: Fly 2 Skull Dominos Preset.
For a final soft and further tone down I created a new Fly Preset for Nik Analog, which we’ll release as soon as we have enough, however, for now if you want to make your own, this preset softened the edges and further toned down the colour, a fairly simple Preset.

Here I could have easily left the image, but decided I wanted to balance the top half more, so had the idea of adding a star image overlay, simply overlaid with Luminosity @ 100% .
Once again I could have left it there but events move fast on the Net and my attention was caught by our old portrait educator friend, Thomas Churchwell, the famous New York pro photographer who had been posting some masterly painterly effect images on Face Book of dreamy romantic models using Flypaper Textures in combination with the new Topaz Impression filter. Being a ‘Gotta have it!’ – person I had to try it straight away and as by chance the Fire Truck was open and so I had a quick play and settled on the watercolour 2 filter. I used this as a 62% overlay in Normal, removing any cheap looking effects around the edges which were too rough and the tree skyline looked a little scrappy as did the stars, so these were brushed off, but I loved the Trucks softer edges and the bottom half of the image.
For all Topaz information and products please hit this hot link: Topaz

Finally, to beef the whole thing up and add interest to the now too dark bottom, I applied 2 Flypaper Textures, the first beefed up, Caspian @ soft light 100% and a new Fly Edge 2 number 35 Vivid light @ 100% showing the bottom Text strongly with the rest mostly brushed away.

Fly Nik Color pro 2 Orford Graves 2, with the Darken Centre ticked
Fly Nik Color pro 3 Amanda 3 Preset
Fly Nik Color pro 2 Skull Dominos Preset.

Fly Preset Fire Truck for Nik Analog (to be published)

Starry Sky layer overlay Luminosity @ 100%

Topaz Impression filter – Watercolour 2 filter @ 62% overlay in Normal mode

Caspian @ soft light 100%
Fly Edge 2 no. 35 Vivid light @100% – Top half brushed away.

Please visit our Pack page or Combo Pack page to buy Flypaper Textures. Or our Preset Page to buy Nik Presets.
For Topaz video tutorials click: Topaz Labs Webinars

Antique Edges 2 launch

edges mosiac redo wide

Click on the mosaic for a bigger view

Welcome to our Flypaper Textures 5th anniversary launch and our 2nd much requested new set of Edges!
This all new derived antique glass plate negative set is slightly different from the first set as we’ve knocked back the brightness to make blending easier, we also decided to publish this set in a portrait format, this gives it an easier to use start-off point for your portrait formats and book cover images. Other changes are a slightly bigger format with the smaller sized edge @ 4500px rather than the original 4000px .

Way back in 2010 we launched our ground breaking original concept set of Edges. Scanned from large format, antique glass plate negatives in just such a way that the tarnish was captured and not the original image. We then enhanced this effect, sympathetically re-coloured and cleaned up each image – but not too much!  These plates work best when merged with modern day imagery for that authentic antique grunge look that many people crave. And finally, as always, we try to cram as many plates as possible into a pack, so this new pack now contains a hefty 40 plates! Downloads will thus take a little longer as this set is over 700mb so, be warned, though in tests we averaged  a 5 min download time with a decent internet speed.

These edges can be used in conjunction with our normal Flypapers or on their own. We’re really looking forward to framing our new look with you over the next few months!

Happy Edging! 🙂

This pack contains 40 portrait format textures with a minimum size of 4500 px at 300 dpi
To download, click on the add to cart button, a download link will be sent to you upon payment.

Antique Edges 2

40 Antique Edge Textures

Add to Cart


Please note it’s a large file, so depending on your connection may take a while to download, so why not grab a coffee while you’re waiting.



It’s that busy spring season here in southern NZ  hence the lack of posts here on the blog (Paul has been busy too, slaving away over his scanner 🙂 ). And with it being spring, you’d have thought I’d be posting more photos of spring flowers and suchlike which are out in abundance at the moment but no, I decided to post a photo I took the other day for my bookcover portfolio. Taken with the macro lens, I added texture to add to the softness and mood.

The processing…
Firstly I got rid of some of the darkness near the bottom using the clone tool. Textures are great for covering my rough cloning 🙂
Greystoke (one of my favourites!) @ Overlay 100%
Cardamom @ Overlay 70% desaturated slightly.
Greystocke @ Overlay 72%
Nik color efex Lighten-Darken centre filter to taste.

Greystoke is from the Autumn Painterly Pack and Cardamom is from the Pastel Painterly Pack.

Please visit our Pack page or Combo Pack page to buy Flypaper Textures. Or our Preset Page to buy Nik Presets.

Spring flower


I hope you’re all enjoying the new Pastel Painterly Textures as much as we are? I’m finding its textures particularly easy to use and not just for my usual flowers and still-lifes either, the pastels are working well on landscapes and beaches too!
Today’s photo is the first recipe using the new set, I must admit I just used the first two textures I tried and I’m sure I could have got a totally different result if I’d experimented more. The flower in the photo by the way, is a Muscari, almost the first of the spring bulbs to flower, as children we always called them matchsticks or match-heads because of their shape. I love their blue and the fact they thrive on neglect, perfect for my garden 🙂

Anyway the very easy recipe….
Angelica @ Overlay 100%
Juniper Berry @ Overlay 100% (masked softly from the flower)
Fly Nik Preset Fly II Egg and Bowl

Angelica and Juniper Berry are from the Pastel Painterly Pack, Fly Nik Preset Egg and Bowl is from the Nik Preset II Pack.

Please visit our Pack page or Combo Pack page to buy Flypaper Textures. Or our Preset Page to buy Nik Presets.

Pastel Painterly Launch

50 mosiac


After many weeks slaving in the kitchen we finally have this summers new Pastel Painterly Textures in the bag to Launch!
Their titles theme is possibly everybody’s favourite, herbs, spices and food, including edible flowers!

And what a gorgeous summery painterly set we have, from cool forget-me-nots to Goldilocks who’s finding her Oatmeal textures ‘just right’!
Step into the Laurel woods and gather Aromatic herbs, paddle with Water Mint, pick our mouth watering Blueberries, Damsons and Greengages, feast upon our Eton Mess, Iced Pistachio’s and Rhubarb Crumble, all washed down with Elderflower and Pink Champagne. Later, after the 3 bears have had their hot Chocolait, Goldilocks preferring her healthy Green Tea, will wend her way home through the Honeysuckle scented night air, ready to start that Chicory purge in the morning! 😉

It’s no secret that our painterly textures have been some of our best sellers, and these brand new painterly offerings are so sublimely rendered, even we think we’ve got them ahem, ‘just right’!

Don’t be fooled by the pastels name because these textures have plenty of depth, with loads of iridescent, metallic, verdigris and mirror smooth darker textures for the slightly harder look many of our Metallic fans love, down to the softer, mistier pastels that the header name suggests.

We’ve managed to squeeze 10 extra Textures into this set, that’s a whopping 50 full size textures! We liked them so much we didn’t have the heart to weed out any more than what you see here. We’ve also hit the ground running and have already created and published several images processing with these Pastel Textures and have proven very popular and so will gladly share recipes in the coming weeks to help inspire your own summer adventures!

This pack contains 50 rectangle shaped textures with a minimum size of 4000 x 5000 pixels and at industry printing standard 300dpi.

To download, click on the add to cart button, a download link will be sent to you upon payment.

Pastel Painterly Photographic Textures

50 Pastel Painterly Grunge Textures

Add to Cart


It’s a large file, so depending on your connection may take a while to download, so why not grab a coffee while you’re waiting.

Please visit our Pack page or Combo Pack page to buy our other packs. Or our Preset Page to buy Nik Presets.



It’s extraordinarily warm here in southern New Zealand today. It’s still technically winter and here we are wearing tee-shirts and sandals and with all the windows open….global warming or just a freakish weather pattern? It’s lovely but I’m sure winter will return shortly!

Anyway, the photo….it was taken the other day, quickly too I must add. The plate is a vintage one I’ve had forever and the spoon came from the cutlery drawer. The processing was pretty quick too,  with the textures just adding a slightly painterly softness which was perfect for the look I was trying to achieve.

Smoky Dusk @ Overlay 67%
Greystoke (one of my favourite subtle textures) @ Softlight 100%
Then to tweak the tone I used:
Fly Nik Preset Iris

Smoky Dusk is from the Metallic Pack, Greystoke is from the Autumn Painterly Pack, and the Iris Preset is from the Preset 1 Pack.

Please visit our Pack page or Combo Pack page to buy Flypaper Textures. Or our Preset Page to buy Nik Presets.

Surreal Luggage Label


Just wanted to show this surreal use of the new Luggage Labels overlays, as well as thank Adobe’s Russell Brown and Thomas Ruark for their ingenious new updates to Russell’s Texture Panel to which we contributed ten more Flypaper testers to freshen up the new panel which is freely available to all Photoshop CC 2014 account holders – another excellent reason for upgrading!
New features include easy uploading all our full size texture sets with its ingenious addition of an automated thumbnail installer, this addition generates a thumb nail of all the textures, the panel then uses these thumbs to vastly increase the speed of uploading your full size textures. You only need to do this procedure the first time you upload a texture set, after that, the Panel will automate all future uploads itself.

Other new features include a handy mouseover action to show the name of textures and additional random effect buttons. Our Flypaper Textures hot link can now be found at the bottom and it’s a new pop out feature, so you can still pop to the flypaper shop to fill your texture panel with loads more yummy textures and overlays!
Please watch Russell’s new video before installing, and remember, after removing old panels and installing please don’t forget to reboot, then the new panel will appear. The panel can be found in the Add On’s section of CC 2014.
And finally if you have any problems we’ve put together a new FAQ sheet Here.

Getting back to the the image, a simple French Church clock from near the Swiss border, I liked the simplicity of the oversized clock and the stucco’s cracked texture but also thought I could use it to show a new possible surreal use with the Label overlays, I first textured the image and later dropped one of our round luggage labels onto it in the layers, its Valira Andorra, from Pack two – easily warping it to fit. I also used the new Texture Panel to load it, turning the opacity to 50% whilst warping it into place, then bringing back the full opacity when happy.

These luggage labels can be dropped onto your images to add interest, simply warping them to fit their surrounding location. This is just one use we’ve thought of, and btw, if any of you luggage label collectors are interested in buying the original vintage hard copies, please email me, Paul   at

Somov – Soft Light @ 33%
Labyrinth – Soft Light @ 100%
Brushed Rose – Soft Light @ 52%
Stygian Tin – Overlay @ 62%
Aegean – Soft Light @ 72%
Valira Andorra – Normal @ 100%

Somov and Aegean are from the Paper Painterly Pack, Labyrinth  is from Tex Box 2, Stygian Tin and Brushed Rose are from the Summer Painterly Pack amd Valira Andorra is from Luggage Labels Pack Two

Please visit our Pack page or Combo Pack page to buy Flypaper Textures. Or our Preset Page to buy Nik Presets.