Flypaper Textures


On the Beach


We are so fortunate having such lovely beaches here in southern New Zealand and the fact that so many of them are so accessible and while I love deserted beaches, for my photos I like to have a human element. I tend to lag behind in my beach walks so I can get my long suffering “model” into the photo, in this case though, I swapped him for a more attractive silhouette 🙂 I had a search for my archives for a similar beach scene with a figure, cut it out using Photoshop’s Quick Selection Tool and then moved the selected figure into my beach image, with the unwanted person there as a reference for size it was an easy task. Once I’d got my new figure in place, I duplicated my background and cloned out the original figure.
And although I’d straightened the horizon in the original image, the line of waves gave it an illusion of “wonkiness” so I straightened the final layer using the warp tool.

Now the processing.
Tapis Vert @ Overlay 46% masked lightly from the sky portion
Tapis Vert @ Multiply 65% masked from the beach portion
Flypaper Nik Preset “Beach Walk” which will be be in an upcoming preset pack.

Tapis Vert is from the Autumn Painterly pack
Please visit our Pack page or Combo Pack page to buy Flypaper Textures.

path through pinewood mist


Twisty paths are journeys and this kind of imagery is the perfect metaphor for the interesting twists and turns of a life story and thus make perfect book cover images!

Over the Christmas period I’d been casually looking for art old college friends on the net after getting back in touch with ‘Lesley’ last summer – a college friend through a mutual London friend, who is a famous art book writer and style guru Maria Costanitino – it turned out we’d both been in London for many years with the same friend and never come across each other, then I moved to France whilst she’d been in New York for many years.
This week we were chatting online and she casually said she wished she’d not lost contact with a another mutual friend that had moved here to France, so afterwords I did a quick google search and found the elusive friend in less than 60 seconds! She’s now a famous French Designer, I recognized her immediately: Amanda, whose mother amazingly – I thought in a five degrees of separation kind of way – went to school with the famous Dudley Moore!

Previously after chatting with Lesley, I’d  searched and come across another old college friend, Steve – who shoots for Corbis images – this time it was through  finding his new photography website; Steve Lupton Photographer.
So I left a message and a few days later heard back from him, and we got on like the zillion year interlude had never happened! It turns out that everybody thought Id just disappeared  after I’d  left college, when in fact I’d just moved 200 miles down to London to be better able to work in the art field. I discovered that he was now an established international food photographer, who had of late successfully turned his talents to website development. He checked out our work and was inspired enough to try our Flypaper Textures. His superb subtly textured results can be seen here: Steve Lupton Photographer

Getting back to my misty twisted path, its an image I shot a few years ago and recently rediscovered, our new Fly Presets inspired me to try texturing it, and also the newly enhanced adobe raw processing program to get rid of the blown-out sky effect, not that it was, as you can see in the base image mouse-over. I started off using our Fly Presets, chose one and then tweaked it, saved it and ran it through another new preset – which will be in our next Fly Preset II set, due out soon! I then textured using our Flypaper Textures Metallic set as in the recipe below.

Fly II Path in Mist Preset
Fly II Path in Mist 2 Preset
Alice – Soft Light @ 100%
Dystrophia – Soft Light @ 16%
Smoky Dusk – Soft Light @ 100%
Scuffed Rust – Soft Light @ 16%

These 4 textures are from the Metallic Pack.
Please visit our Pack page or Combo Pack page to buy Flypaper Textures.

Tin Rose


I never get sick of flowers or taking photos of them but sometimes you have to put your thinking cap on try and come up with a new way of shooting them. I’d taken some small props to our country hut a couple of weeks back and when I had a few moments spare time in between gardening tasks, had a quick photo shoot using what I had available, in this case an old tin, old mirror and a rose (which was losing its petals) from the garden.

Now the processing
Carbide Blue @ soft light 42% masked softly from the flowers
Mars @ soft light 100 % masked from the upper portion of the image
Nik preset Fly Old Book from the Flypaper Nik Preset pack.
At this stage it looked okay but to add a bit of “drama” I used the Nik Efex Analog filters, in this case it was one from the “classic camera” set that added a bit of detail and warmth.

Carbide Blue and Mars are from the Metallic Pack.
Please visit our Pack page or Combo Pack page to buy Flypaper Textures.

Dock Surfers


Perhaps its sacrilege to say but sometimes you’ll have a batch of images that don’t suit textures!  They might already be busy enough or too dark, flash images or like the one above where I just wanted to keep it clean so you can still see the water splashes clearly. Its sister image ‘Jump’ that went viral on the net was slightly textured, but only to rebalance and colour, though that was way back as these days we’re cooking with gas, we love Nik color Efex pro here at Fly central and we love Flypaper Textures, put them together and you have a marriage made in heaven!

Thus over a year or so we started saving our home made presets and then because the few we gave away free were popular we decided there just might be a market for them, especially as we’d not come across anybody else doing them, the few free ones we’d found were just awful!  So, to fill that gap and help you guys retain our popular Flypaper processed look, viola our first Fly Nik Preset set was launched and we’re pleased to say its sold like hot cakes!

Here are two of my sisters having fun on Surin Beach, Phuket in Thailand, it was my first trip out there to visit one of my little sisters new gated holiday houses. The waves were freakishly high on this occasion, normally the floating dock was calm, so it just goes to prove that carrying your camera pays off in the end!

For the processing, I just created and used the Fly Thailand Surfers Preset from our Pack 1. (please excuse the typo in the first batch of downloads, subsequently corrected) It contains 5 stage filters which you adjust to suit your image or click off the ones you don’t need. If you’re happy with it click ok, then if you’re doing a batch, the same preset will continue to be selected for every image you open without going back into Nik, if you click the first option in your filters drop down list, which is called Last Filter Used in photoshop CC.

Please visit our Pack page or Combo Pack page to buy Flypaper Textures.

Flypaper Nik Presets Launch!

thumbs brighterflat

Presets from this set used on these images (without any textures) from top right, clockwise: 1. Photos  2. Glow Angel   3. Fly Shell Collection   4. Glow angel  5. Fly Foggy Canal   6.prickly pear   7.Father and son beach   8.Thailand Surfing   9. Quince   10 Beach Lady   11.Chingford 12.Ghost house   12.Holiday 13 .Green Beach   14.Book and Skull.

Today we proudly  launch our 84 Flypaper Nik Color Pro Presets! We’ve been using, publicising and including them in our tutorials for years, so thought it was about time we shared them! With presets you can produce stunning, modern movie looking images, without degrading your original image, its just a new layer, like a flypaper texture layer that you can continue to further process with flypaper textures for rich impressionistic images or brighten rebalance and stylise!

By using presets you can very quickly process whole batches with a click of a button, ready for Flypaper Texturing or using just as is. These presets produce stunning, high quality, bandless professional results, especially when using vignettes, which have always been a problem in other image processing. They are easily adapted and then re-saved with your tweaks with the rest of the Fly set for future use.

To purchase the presets please click on the Add to Cart icon. A download link will be sent to you after you’ve made your payment. Please note, if your copy of Nik color Effex Pro, isn’t newly updated and registered or if its only a trial version, the importing and saving of presets is not possible. If in doubt try downloading this single free preset ‘Here’ as refunds of unusable presets cannot be given due to the nature of software downloads. More information HERE.

Flypaper Nik Color Efex Presets

84 presets for use in Nik Colour Efex

Add to Cart


How to install Nik Presets

Please visit our Pack page or Combo Pack page to buy Flypaper Textures.

butterfly and view


As its now cold and wet outside its nice to revisit unprocessed images from back in june whilst traveling in England. I stayed overnight at Leeds Castle, confusingly located in kent where I stole this shot of their cottage gardens looking down over the lake towards distant woods. You can just catch a glimpse of the lake between the topiary hedges.

Flowers and I don’t really mix as I’m 6’4″ tall and bending right down with my neck condition isn’t my idea of fun, thus I really miss the old flip up LCD screen I had on the Sony Alpha, though you can now get LCD screens to top your Canon full-chip camera but its just another gizmo to pack and carry! So thankfully, I came across these tall alliums and Iris flowers.

I decided early on to add a little something to try and pull the top and bottom parts together, bored with birds I remembered our old friend Susan of Glorious Nature overlays fame had some lovely ready cut out png butterfly sets, so i pulled out this large swallow tailed beauty and tried it in a few places, I had to tone it down slightly as my textures didn’t soften or mute it enough, and I also added a little movement blur, to make it appear it was fluttering into the picture.
The sky was far too bright even though it was early morning, so I doubled up the sky layer and brushed the rest away and overlaid in Multiply mode after warming the blue tones.

I used just 2 textures, Lime plaster to create a haze and finished with the old favorite – Muscatel to warm and add a slight vignette effect, both textures placed on top of Sue’s Glorious Nature Butterfly which bring a touch of summer to any dreary autumnal day!

Swallowtail in Flight II -@ Normal @ 68%
Lime Plaster -@ Soft Light @ 33%
Copy of sky only @ Multiply @ 73%
Muscatel @ Soft Light @ 65%

Lime Plaster and Muscatel are from Tex Box 2
Please visit our Pack page or Combo Pack page to buy Flypaper Textures.



As an avid reader and part time librarian I have an avid love of books, the real versions of course, ebooks are handy to read too but the paper versions are so much nicer…the rustle of pages, the weight, even the smell…the list goes on! You can’t take a nice photo of an ebook either!

Now the processing.
Opal Silver @ Soft light 100% masked from the books
Bauxite @ Overlay 81%
Then I used to Nik’s Brighten/Darken centre to add a bit of a glow to the central portion.
At this stage it looked okay but I wanted a little bit more warmth on the books so I added…
Casanova @ Soft Light 27% masked from everything except the books.

Opal Silver and Bauxite are from the Metallic Pack, Casanova is from the August Painterly.

Please visit our Pack page or Combo Pack page to buy Flypaper Textures.

Winnats Pass Lambs


I shot this English pastoral scene back in June, midsummer, but you’d never know it from the picture, having had such a long wet winter
the sun had only just begun to warm to earth up on these Derbyshire moors. Its a favorite visiting haunt of mine because as kids we’d come for the day, normally a bleak overcast sunday and be let loose climbing these huge mini mountains, in those days we’d not make the top but nowadays I can cheat and simply drive up through the pass and park around the back, so its just a short hike. We’d scramble into pot holes and find loads of Blue John, which is a semi precious blue/purple quartz stone, much loved by the occupying Romans 2000 years ago, its almost all spent now, and you’d be very lucky to find scraps of it on the hillside like we did. You can still buy large victorian decorative blue john carved urns for a small fortune in the picturesque Castleton antique shops at the bottom of the pass, again I always found it bleak and it still smells of the same sulfurous domestic coal smoke even in mid summer when i visited as its at such a high altitude.

Back to processing, I shot this in the early evening, and in the original capture the sky is almost blown out, so I opened it in raw and saved a bright version, then i repeated it but this time I darkened the 2nd copy to bring out the cloud details. In Photoshop I simply cleared off the darkened landscape after stacking and merged the darker sky on top of the lighter landscape to balance. Naturally you can now do this all in Camera Raw, but I guess Im still Photoshop old-school!
I then played with Russell Brown’s Adobe Paper texture panel loaded with several alternating Fly packs, thanks to my new Imac its a pleasure to load each full size pack one after the other, you guys that don’t have new computers will be in for a treat when you upgrade!
I ended up with just one texture – Nuriel Clouds to brighten the center and the classic Stygian Tin texture, to add a nice vignette and atmosphere, this time no Nik was used at all, just good old-school Flypaper textures!

Stygian Tin @ Soft Light 63%
Nuriel Clouds @ Soft Light 81%

Note from the base image Ive cleared away the messy sheep wool piles from the bottom left, its always a toughie as to wether or not to clean-up images, but I always vear towards illustration where cleaned-up images are needed.
Stygian Tin and Nuriel Clouds are both from the Summer Painterly Pack

Please visit our Pack page or Combo Pack page to buy Flypaper Textures.

Fishing lures


I’ve built up a collection of old tobacco tins over the years, they’ve mostly been acquired from the family fishing bags and workshops. In their post tobacco lives they’ve held such things as screws and tacks, sinkers and hooks and lures! They’re great to take photos of too. Useful things tins!!

We’re often asked how we choose the textures we use in our photos, my choices are often fairly random, I just open a texture folder and try whichever texture catches my eye first, if it doesn’t work I try another. Once I’ve got one applied that works, and if the photo needs it, I look for another that will enhance the photo…add colour, add more texture or pattern, add softness etc.
Now the processing of this one.
Greystoke @ overlay 100% masked roughly from the background.
Palazzo @ Overlay 69%
Galatea @ Overlay 100% masked softly from the tins and desaturated a little using a hue adjustment layer.
Texturing done, I turned to Nik Colour Efex and used the Darken/Lighten Centre filter to add a little bit of brightness to the central portion.

Greystoke is from the Autumn Painterly, Palazao is from the August Painterly and Galatea is from the Spring Painterly.

Please visit our Pack page or Combo Pack page to buy Flypaper Textures.

An apple a day


Continuing the fruity theme here today….
Usually I don’t set out with an idea in mind for a photo, I tend to improvise along the way, adding and subtracting components till I find something that works. I started with a plain apple, added plates and knives before settling on a plain partially peeled apple and the knife and since I didn’t have a red apple in the house, you get a lovely green Granny Smith! Once again the photo was taken with the Lensbaby edge 80, I love it for still-lifes!
Now the processing
Greystoke @ Overlay 40% masked gently from the fruit
Aqua Vita @ Soft Light 68%
Then I merged visable CTRL -ALT -Shift-E on my PC
And used a Nik preset that I created which you can download HERE
It looked okay at this stage but I decided it needed a little more warmth and depth so I added another texture
Inferno @ Soft Light 38%

Greystoke is from the Autumn Painterly Pack, Aqua Vita and Inferno are from the August Painterly Pack.

How to import presets and/or recipes in Color Efex 4
Open Color Efex Pro 4 from the host application that you use (Photoshop, Lightroom or Aperture).
Click “Recipes” in the left panel.
At the bottom of the Recipes menu, click “Import.”
Select the “.np” preset files you have saved and import them.
These presets will then be located in the “Imported” section.

Please visit our Pack page or Combo Pack page to buy Flypaper Textures.