Texture is seen everyday, whether we are paying attention or not, and as explained by Barthes, “everyday culture could be analysed in terms of language of communication (visual and verbal)” (Wells, 2015). The word texture comes from the Latin words textere or textus, and mean “to weave and make” or the “style or texture of a material”. Photographic texture consists of things like the grain, details, patterns and contrasts of a photograph (Petit and Tollance, 2014, 2). It is said that texture is a photograph’s “flesh” or “the writing of light”, and texture in a photograph can work in the same way as text does on a page. Photographic texture is, just as literary text, about communicating something to a viewer or “reader” of an image (Petit and Tollance, 2014, 2).
Images captured by photographers such as Ansel Adams, Alex Stoddard, Steve McCurry and Sebastiao Salgado demonstrate how we are surrounded by texture. These established photographers have paved their own paths for becoming the idols of photography, whether it be for portrait photography, colour photography, black and white photography or even narrative portraiture, many of the photographs created by these artists have some use of texture included within them. And without that texture, the images would not have the same effect on the viewer.
Therefore, “small shapes, lines or tonal areas repeated over an area of a photograph are visually organised as a pattern. A pattern of extremely small areas of shape, line or tone is recognised as texture” (Warren, 2003, 154). Throughout the images an interpretation of texture is made. Essentially the audience is meant to recognise and understand that textures appear everywhere around us, in people, animals, different environments, and objects. This is what has been captured through the lens.