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Tag : eBook covers

Photographing and Compositing Models (part 3)

Successful novels quite often have sequels. Since I had so many great shots with my model, I couldn’t resist. The composite is a mix of photo realistic and mosaic art. When I do covers I quite often do the full jacket just in case the author decides to go to print. I’ve found it’s worth it in the long run, and authors usually appreciate seeing the potential of going that route.

Photographing and compositing models

  This July the Fort Collins Digital Camera Club had its annual portraiture shoot. I’m not a portrait photographer, nor do I have the equipment, but I have a good friend in the club that shares his setup, which helps. While he’s shooting with a D810 Nikon, I’m still shooting with a D200, so there’s no way I can compete in quality of images. Still, the D200 is plenty good enough for the Internet. Above is a Vogue mockup, just […]

Covers that didn’t make the cut

This is one of those jobs that I thought was neat and I never heard back. Yes, some of book cover design is a big waste of time. This was also a photoshop challenge in that the ship wasn’t wrecked in this particular photo. The ocean scape is one of mine, but the derelict ship had to be distorted to fit the space, and then there was the reflection. Lots of work for nothing. So, if you’re an author and […]

Those Pullman Blues

This is one of the most challenging covers I’ve ever done, not because of the difficulty, but because the author oversaw every detail. I mocked up more than 20 fonts for the title, all very time consuming, which made it go way over budget. I don’t deal with the money since I sub-contract with Brian Schwartz at ePub Conversions. With all of the hassle, the end result was actually very pleasing.

The End Times Chronicle

Hikes in the mountains here in Colorado often afford such shots, although once again this has been composited in Photoshop. The path was the main attraction. This is one of those covers that went quite easily, but it not what I call eye catching. In design, more often than not it’s just satisfying the client.

Spirit Gate

Here is a case where the author paid good money for a shot of the milky way and was adamant about using it. I prefer my own renditions of the sky, but that’s because I create space art. The foreground image was one of mine. The overall effect is stunning, however I wasn’t fond of the title font, but these aren’t always a choice the designer gets to make.

The Ghostwalker File

This was a setting in the everglades. Since I’d never been there I didn’t have any images, but they types of trees were easy enough to find, and then I did some photoshop magic with a favorite sunset. I then used a filter, watercolor I think, and thus I created my scene. Since it wasn’t a wrap around, I just took one of the colors from the sky to create the rest of the jacket.

Is it Me or the Dog?

This is a winter scene I concocted by compositing a frozen lake, some frosty trees, a background, and a wintery sky. The author and his dog were added, and the shadow was painted in. Thus another one of my images being used for a book cover.

50 Saints Everyone Should Know

I have to admit saints are a big thing with me, but St. Malo’s was a favorite shot of mine while conducting a fieldtrip south of Estes Park, Colorado. It’s always nice when your photography pays off and you can actually put an image to use.

The Abacus Prize

This is one of the images supplied by the author. The colors pop, and the title fits surprisingly well in the layout, like it was meant to be. It’s always nice when that happens.

Hypocrites In His Midst

Because of subject matter, you don’t just automatically get permission to use a product. Manufacturers weigh the consequences. So it was with finding a revolver for the front cover of Donnell Wilson’s Hypocrites In His Midst. The solution, make your own make and model. Is it any wonder that authors that think they might be sued opt for solutions where no one can point a finger. The more you are aware of copyright and liability, the more you see big […]

Robert C. Mowry Series

Sometime you’re lucky enough to do a series. In such cases you already have established a look and a theme, and more often than not, even fonts stay the same. In this series I got to spend my time on artwork, which is always my favorite part. Maybe one of these days I’ll be adding more.

I Walter

Some designs are more of a challenge than you can ever anticipate. I Walter was just my first with author Mike Hartner, who had visions I think of Hollywood productions. Book covers don’t have access to set designs and actors and actresses, or multi-million dollar budgets. But still you do what you can do, and often with a little compromising a compelling cover comes out of the process. Not so with several other attempts on subsequent novels, although Mike was […]

Run for the Money

Sometimes you just have to be crafty. There are so many titles that authors get lost in the melee. A good cover design can make a difference. Of course as I’ve learned, that’s only the beginning when it comes to marketing, and ultimately, marketing is often more important than content. This composite for Jon Gregory was fun because his vision required some ingenuity so as not to go over budget on artwork. Using the tools in Photoshop made a difficult […]

Hot Summer in the High Desert

Fortunately I’m a photographer and have been enough places that I could find a road in country that could pass for the high desert. This is a story that rings American Graffiti, and thus the hot rod. The intense sun is an indication it’s summer. The sky is intentionally blended so that the text shows. In design, there are numerous elements to consider.

God in the Time of the Internet

Not often do I get to be so creative. The background is from my space art, and then the brain was one of those experiments with blending modes that turned out far more compelling than I ever hoped for. The people in the bubble are all connected. I’m always hoping one of my covers will make it to a top one-hundred seller. I’m sure the authors I do covers for wish much the same. I always design as though the […]

A Mad World Order

This is another instance where the author supplied the background image. The chopper and the drone are images from royalty free sources. They are both altered from the original. This is where compositing is very critical to make the images look like they fit. If I hadn’t composted this myself, I couldn’t say for sure that it was composited.

The Monticello Project

Sometimes an image is supplied by the author. Sometimes it’s difficult to know what to do with the image. In this case it seemed that turning the image into a a work of art somehow made it more compelling. The Monticello Project was one of those covers that went together like a snap. The colors, the fonts, and the feel seemed to fit the story right off.

The Stellar Quest

It is not unusual to go through a number of iterations to reach a final product. So it goes with creating book covers that will help sell a book and give the reader something to ponder. I like book covers that help tell the story, and so many covers out there do nothing but give you the title and the author. Sometimes that’s enough if you’re James Patterson or Clive Cussler. Still, I’d rather see a scene from the novel […]

Michael Atman, My Spock Persona

I put my faith in reason, logic and truth before Spock became my hero. As a Trekkie I take an agnostic view of religion, but I fall short of the collectivist views of Gene Roddenberry. What works on a starship doesn’t necessarily work in society. I am also a fan of Michael Crichton and Carl Sagan, who were brave enough to express controversial views in their fiction. I have an idealistic view of the future while remaining realistic about human […]

eBook Covers (part 9)

I always love pictures of nebula. There we see some of the most beautiful images of space. There are several techniques I use to get the colors and patterns, but most come from pictures of smoke taken on a pure black background. With a dozen or so images, ranging through the spectrum from deep reds to light blues, and everything in-between, I simply move layers around, creating patterns of color, and adjusting opacity to get the effects I desire. Once […]

eBook Covers (part 8)

There are things in Photoshop, like spacecraft, that are a little hard to produce. I’m always curious what tools they use when making movies like Avatar or Prometheus. For the ships to really look real, I’m sure they are engineered with CAD before they even get to programs like Photoshop. In Hope Landing, the spacecraft is actually a mulifacited model with numerous blending modes applied. I must confess, it looks more real than many of the ridiculous models you see […]

eBook Covers (part 7)

It is important for covers to convey a feeling. It would make no sense to have a book about an ice planet and see a sunny beach on the cover. This should hold true for any book. Ice Planet is a composite that uses a group of frost covered trees, a frozen lake, some hills for a backdrop, and a sky at sunset with a ringed planet. The two girls with their dog are seemingly in awe, which is a […]

eBook Covers (part 6)

In this image the 3D may be a little over the top, but if you put this cover side by side with current best sellers, it will certainly stand out. Few best sellers have a very compelling image, some no image at all, and most covers relay nothing about the content of the book. Beyond Infinity, which suggests what we may encounter beyond the universe we can even perceive, allows the reader to imagine beauty and wonder beyond the imagination. […]

eBook Covers (part 5)

So, this series is about art, and specifically about cover art. However, it’s a little difficult at the moment to concentrate solely on art with the direction this nation is headed, so since this is my blog I’m going to rant a little bit at the end, which you can skip if all you want to do is look at pictures. Guardians is another of my favorite composites. As far as sci-fi goes, the title can certainly fit a scenario […]

eBook Covers (part 4)

I’m always reluctant to add too much, too soon, but when you’re in the middle of projects, it’s best to just get done. So, more to share. Solar Dimming is one of those composites that worked way better than expected. The Photo Art was created from mountains in Nevada, a frozen lake in colorado, and a planet created from a loaf of bread. The distant sun is just a spot of light on the horizon, not a picture of our […]

eBook covers (part 3)

I confess I saw something similar when I produced this cover, but the art work I saw wasn’t actually art work. I’m pretty sure it was an image from Hubble. In my eBook cover sample, I painstakingly created the Sombrero Galaxy. It was a time consuming Photoshop project, but the kind that helps you learn how to blend layers. Sometimes I wish I had a full time job doing art scenes for futuristic movies. Creator, which I hesitated to use […]

eBook covers

Part of what I have been doing lately is creating eBook covers, mostly for the Kindle Expert, Brian Schwartz. Few of the covers are really up my alley, but fun nevertheless. Now that I’m using Photoshop CS6 extended, I have options I never had before, so it’s even more fun whipping out experimental covers using some of my digital space art. Andora Beacon is my first attempt using 3d. Man do I have lots to learn. If someone gave me […]