When overlaying a texture, it’s not uncommon for the texture to overwhelm the photo. Here’s an example.
In most cases, subtlety results in a more appealing image. There are several ways to reduce the prominence of a texture. Let’s move through the options one at a time, beginning with the most basic. Keep in mind that these options can be used alone or in combination.
Option 1: Reduce the Opacity
With the texture layer active, drag the Opacity slider to the left.
If this doesn’t produce the result you desire, try the next option.
Option 2: Cycle Through the Blend Modes
Currently, in this example, the blend mode is set to Overlay (one of the most popular modes for blending a texture with a photo). Since Overlay is too intense, trying setting the blend mode to Soft Light instead.
Other popular modes include Multiply, Screen, and Hard Light. If you like the look of Soft Light, but find the cracks a bit too large, the next option provides a solution.
Option 3: Scale the Texture Down
By scaling the texture down in size, we will reduce its prominence. Since the texture here is a seamless one that was applied as a Pattern Fill layer (to learn more about seamless textures, click here), double-click the Pattern Fill layer thumbnail. In the dialog, slide the Scale slider to the left. Notice how smaller, tighter cracks make the texture less intense.
Note: Had the texture been overlaid as a normal pixel-bearing layer rather than as a seamless Pattern Fill layer, we would have used Edit>Transform>Scale to size it down.
If the texture is still too pronounced, consider the next option.
Option 4: Blur the Texture
Sometimes a subtle blur takes the edge off of a texture. To accomplish this, choose Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur. (Note: If the layer is a Pattern Fill layer, it must be rasterized or converted to a smart object before proceeding.) Modify the Radius value until you’re satisfied.