Understanding Overlays - A Beginners Guide To Using Overlays In Photography

From the Fairyland Collection for Photoshop

If you’re new to the world of overlays in photography, you’re sure to be excited by the prospect of being able to add an image to your photography that adds an extra dimension of texture to your photo.   

Back in the early days if photographers wanted to add texture to an image, they would create effects such as overexposure, scratching negatives with pins, using sandpaper to affect the negative and even stain the paper before exposing, these days the digital world of photography is lucky to have overlays.   

No matter what style of photography, there is an overlay for every possible look you’re trying to create ranging from flowers to facial hair.  

Floral Overlays in Photoshop

From the Blossoms Overlays Collection for Photoshop 

What do overlays do to your image? 

The basic reason photographers use overlays is for texture. This basically means in the photography world that there is an extra layer that can be added in the editing or post-production process to add or enhance the look of the photo.   

Overlays transform a photograph and can work to improve an otherwise uninspiring photograph or enhance a photo dramatically using the power of texture and layers.   

Whether you’re trying to create a stunning fog effect, a fairy garden, or a whimsical autumn falling leaves effect, there is an overlay for literally every possible theme. 

Rain and Fog Overlays for Photoshop

From the Rain and Fog Overlay Collection for Photoshop

Where to find overlays? 

You can find all of the above mentioned overlays and example images from Photoshop Actions.  Enjoy some cutting-edge Photoshop overlays that will add the drama and magic to your images that you’ve been looking for. 

Once you have found your overlays, you simply install and use in Photoshop and add texture and effects easily by adjusting the contrast, colors, filters, and resolution to create the perfect look for your image.  

Top Photoshop Overlays - How to Use Overlays in Photoshop

From the Fairyland Collection for Photoshop

Combining your photo with a texture overlay is simple and using your editing program, you can create the ultimate image using easy to download and use overlays from plenty of sources.  

Creating the right positioning and textured effect can take time to master and is instinctive, so be sure to have a play with your overlays and blending to create the perfect effect for your photographs.  

There are no rules with overlays, so have some fun with them and experience the ultimate creativity of your photography next time you’re in the editing suite.  

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