Welcome to Teton Textures

Warehouse Windows

Teton Textures is the sister site to Best of the Tetons. Go there for tips on where to find wildlife and prime landscape locations in the Jackson Hole area.  Almost every image on this site will be given a variety of artistic techniques—often layered with textures, lighting effects, and even multiple images. Images will run the gamut from dark and sultry to light and whimsical.

I hope to include lots of links for software, brushes, actions, filters, apps, tutorials, training, and also include a few step-by-step tutorials of my own.

Click the box to sign up to follow this blog and you’ll receive an email notice of new posts.

Lastly, I offer One-On-One Photography Excursions here in the Tetons and the Jackson Hole area.  Those trips are always fully customizable, so if you are more interested in touring the valley in search of old barns, structures, ghost signs, and textures, just ask!

Mike R. Jackson: Jackson Hole, WY

LayersWarehouse Windows: This image was captured at the old Railroad Yard in Evanston, WY in 2014.  I used a Nikon D4 and Nikon 200-400mm lens…on a tripod of course!

Most of my processing starts out in Lightroom before taking the image into Photoshop. This image was originally processed in an earlier version of LR so I had to use the Transform tool to square the window up. Now, I’d use the new Lens Corrections tools to quickly fix the distortions. This image was first run through Filter Forge, applying the “Mess Painter” filter, then Topaz ReStyle to add the beautiful colors (multiply mode). The upper portions were too dark, so I used NIK’s Skylight Filter and painted in the effect through a layer mask.

Shoshone Elder

Shoshone Elder

Shoshone Elder: (click the image to see it much larger!) Taken with a Nikon D300 and Nikon 24-70mm lens

Shoshone ElderThe image on the left appeared full page in Cowboys and Indians Magazine several years ago. Recently, I started with that image and took it to a whole new place and look. I extracted the figure from the background by creating a selection in one of the channels. The figure was modified with a few artistic techniques, then layered with several textures. The background consists of a photo of a buffalo hide (almost invisible), some long brain tanned leather fringe, and a woven basket. I added a strip of beadwork along the left side.

John Pingree allowed me to do a photo shoot of him on his property at Fort Washakie in NW Wyoming back in 2010.


First EditionThis was my first try. At the time, I liked it well enough, but I felt I could do one I liked better. The first one gave me a “road map” of what I wanted to do on the second one.

I accidentally flattened both of the original files. Huge bummer! The culprit was the alpha channel I used to help extract the figure. You can’t save a JPG with an alpha channel, so when I thought I was saving a flattened JPG, it actually saved the flattened PSD file.



The Grand

The Grand

The Grand— Mid Day: Taken with a Nikon d810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Drab GrandThe image on the left is a pivotal image for me. Why? Turns out, it is the catalyst for this site! The shot itself if rather bland. It was a mid-day shot, with a weather front moving in. The sunrise clouds were being blown out by a strong wind. The shot was taken at the pull out to the historic old Cunningham Cabin in Grand Teton National Park, looking down one of the new fence lines that had recently replaced the beautiful old buck rail fences. I snapped off a couple of uninspired shots from the window of the van and drove off looking for other subjects.

Back at my home studio, I was culling through some of the day’s shots and ran across the image. I cropped the image considerably to get rid of the fences, then ran the image through a few filters in Photoshop, and posted the image in the February page of my daily journal at Best of the Tetons.

To be honest, I can’t remember which filters I applied, nor in what order. I probably couldn’t recreate it exactly again. I flattened the image to a JPG and posted it on my blog. In the world of photography, there will always be one group that wants to see only photos as they are captured (that’s really an elusive critter for anyone shooting in RAW format, of course), without a lot of photo manipulation. For that group, “tack sharp” is a requirement. I am always a bit timid about posting too many images at Best of the Tetons in which I added much artistic post processing. It takes a long time to get readers, so the last thing I want to do is run some of them off! Occasionally, I post some photos of ghost signs, or a page of details like wood textures, hinges, rusted metal, and so forth. Some of those pages elicited the most comments.

The image at the top of this page is a result of me just experimenting and having fun. Maybe I could look at it as a challenge to try to make “something out of nothing”? I liked the results well enough to post that day. Of course, some never get that far and some get deleted entirely. The image above made me think I should create this artistically expressive site to give me the venue to post images and techniques that began to feel “out of bounds” on the other site.

Ririe Thrasher

Ririe Thrasher

Ririe Thrasher 2014: I found this thrasher in Ririe, ID.

Thrasher LayersI did some initial Lightroom adjustments before taking the image to Photoshop, followed by two Topaz Texture filters. Lastly, I added a Glamour Glow filter in NIK Color Efex Pro. That softened some of the image, but I used a layer mask to bring back the sharpness of a few key areas.  I adjusted the layer opacity on each and added some additional layers masks as needed. There are actually lots of mini composition possible within the original 35 mpx capture. Nikon D800 and Nikon 27-70mm lens.

Truck Handle

Truck Handle

Truck Handle: This handle and shadow were part of an old International in Evanston, WY.

LayersAfter some initial processing in Lightroom, the file was exported to Photoshop where I added three texture layers in Adobe Paper Texture Pro, followed by a Multiply adjustment layer to darken the corners. Adobe Paper Texture Pro is FREE, but you’ll need the Creative Cloud version of Photoshop to use it. The cracks were part of an add-on collection called Fine Cracks at Fly Paper Textures. Nikon D300 and Nikon 70-200mm lens