Category Archives: Photo Illustration

Behind the Scenes – Hunter of Mysteries

A cover for Melange Books. For this cover, we wanted the cover to resemble the other books in the series, Night of the HunterDemon Hunter, and Hunter in the Darkness. Ultimately, I played with having a brighter background lighting (the sunset) in this one compared to the storm-based backgrounds of the previous colors.  We kept the lighting on the model fairly consistent with the others. Also, I had to change the position of the ruins to have it better fit the positioning of the model. Per usual, the character is a composite image in order to create a more accurate rendition.

This is the result:

Hunter of Mysteries - Book Cover

Hunter of Mysteries - Back of Book Cover

Stock images from DepositPhotos:
https://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-abstract-smoke-moves-black-background-image48826804 – fog

https://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photos-dark-ominous-rain-clouds-lightning-image18357018 – lightning sky

http://depositphotos.com/50429945/stock-photo-beautiful-fiery-orange-and-purple.html – sunset sky

https://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photos-capital-fortress-kingdom-urartu-van-turkey-image22014223 – castle ruins

http://depositphotos.com/19531251/stock-photo-handsome-man-pointing-with-gun.html – man body

http://depositphotos.com/39716297/stock-photo-knight-and-princess-love-each.html – head

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Behind the Scenes – Demon Hunter

A cover for Melange Books. We wanted to match the cover to the first book in the series, Night of the Hunter. We used the same cover model, but a different pose, and similar lighting techniques. However, we switched the background to have more of a setting-based focus, and gave it that stormy lighting to convey mood. We also kept the typography the same and in relatively the same position so that the series was evident.

SBibb - Demon Hunter - Book Cover

Stock images from Dreamstime:

https://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photos-dark-ominous-rain-clouds-lightning-image18357018 – sky

https://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-new-orleans-lafayette-cemetery-above-ground-tombs-image60673899 – cemetery

https://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-abstract-smoke-moves-black-background-image48826804 – fog

https://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-business-man-holding-gun-monochromatic-background-image48451524 – man

http://depositphotos.com/39716167/stock-photo-couple-with-sword-and-historical.html – head

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Behind the Scenes – Song of the Sword

This is a cover for Melange Books. For this cover we wanted to keep with the theme of the previous books: Dragon SwordSword of DoomSword of the Quest, and Star Sword. Again, I piece-parted images of the model to get the dramatic pose we wanted, and per usual, I added specific lighting to the background and foreground using overlay and softlight blending layers, in order to make the image look cohesive. Adding a bit of “fog” at the base of the image allowed the title to stand out better while blending out the legs of the model where the stock image was cut away.

SBibb - Song of the Sword - Book Cover

Stock images from The Dollar Photo Club (Site no longer functional):
two images of the model

Stock from Dreamstime:
https://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photos-dark-ominous-rain-clouds-lightning-image18357018 – sky
https://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-castle-kreuzenstein-leobendorf-near-vienna-austria-image45372240 – castle
https://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-roche-rock-ancient-ruined-chapel-perched-top-rocky-granite-outcrop-known-as-located-mid-cornwall-dedicated-to-st-image32326080 – rocks

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Behind the Scenes – Star Sword

A cover for Melange Books. For this cover we wanted to keep with the theme of the previous books: Dragon SwordSword of Doom, and Sword of the Quest.  I used the same model (piece-parted to get the pose we wanted). In order to try speeding up the process, we fully discussed the author’s vision for the cover before I started piecing everything together. I asked him to clarify a few of his ideas, and we managed to get this put together withing four proofs (minor tweaks on each. I toyed with the idea of the flames pouring over into the series title to add more drama and flare.

This is the result:

Behind the Scenes - Star Sword - Book Cover

Stock images from The Dollar Photo Club (Site now defunct):
katana and three images of the (same) model

Stock from Dreamstime:

https://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photo-bonfire-flame-fire-forest-autumn-flames-image34236555 – fire
https://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-meteor-shower-isolated-black-background-image49030556 – meteor
https://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-roche-rock-ancient-ruined-chapel-perched-top-rocky-granite-outcrop-known-as-located-mid-cornwall-dedicated-to-st-image32326080 – ancient ruins
https://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-image-black-smoke-red-flames-photo-special-nature-protection-action-intended-to-make-better-habitat-rare-heathland-image39123676 – lower fire

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Behind the Scenes – Sojourn: The Beastlands

A cover for Melange Books. For this cover, we wanted to match the style of the previous books, The Wildlands and The Deadlands. I kept the general placement of the titles and author name the same (though we did experiment with different placements), plus we kept with the general theme of the two characters walking on a path to a different destination. In this case, we used the same model imagery from the second cover, but I did a few adjustments to their images to make them seem a bit different (pushed them closer, adjusted the girl’s hair a bit, and flipped their images). We added a couple pieces of deserted imagery to add to the abandoned feel, and I used a lot of Photoshop masking in layers to get the various jungle layers to mesh properly and look natural.

This is the result:

Behind the Scenes - Sojourn: The Beastlands Book Cover

Behind the Scenes - Sojourn: The Beastlands Back of Book Cover
Stock images from Dreamstime:

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-jungle-green-thickets-mountains-malaysia-image56303604 – jungle
https://www.dreamstime.com/stock-images-abandoned-road-image16324304 – road
http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-tropical-rainforest-khao-yai-national-park-thailand-world-h-image68662437 – jungle overlook
https://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-abandoned-diner-photo-taken-off-interstate-i-usa-image56088809 – abandoned diner
https://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photography-abandoned-car-image23149927 -abandoned car
People – From the Dollar Photo Club

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Behind the Scenes – M.O.B. (Mean Old Bastard)

I based the style of this cover on the Matt Helm and Travis McGee series per the author’s request. While I still tried to modernize it, I applied several illustrative effects to the pictures using photoshop filters and layer styles. Originally I looked on Dreamstime and Shutterstock for stock photos that fit the main character of the novel, but they weren’t hitting the mark, so the author sent me a picture of his own (that he was free to use), as an example. I liked the look and asked if I could try working that photo into the design of the cover, and this is the result:

SBibb - MOB_Cover_Blog

MOB - Wraparound Book Cover

Photo of the man on the motorcycle provided by the author. Other stock images are my own.

I also formatted both the print and ebook editions of the book. For the ebook edition, I decided to use the silhouette of the man on the motorcycle as a break between section (whereas the print edition has extra line space between sections, and uses the silhouette as part of the chapter title). Since I wanted to try matching the title font to the chapters, I created all the chapter titles as images and used those in place of the typed titles in the ebook. However, the current previewer for Kindle wouldn’t render a transparent GIF properly in the iPad/iPhone option (rendered them as black, illegible boxes), so I created them as JPGs. They might look a tad bit funny if on a background color other than white (such as cream), but at least all the main devices should be able to read them. I plan testing a PNG file for transparency on a future project, but I wanted to make sure that the current file will be readable for everyone until I can test the file formats separately.

Buy M.O.B. for the Kindle or as a paperback.

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Behind the Scenes – Shadow Notes

This is a cover for Barking Rain Press. For this cover, the publisher wanted to stick with the blue and white color scheme, which plays a major role in the story. The author provided a few example covers of books with similar tones, which I used to get an idea of the design style: the style of scenery, the font and title placement, and the general mood of the cover.

This is the result:

Book Cover - Shadow Notes

Wraparound Book Cover - Shadow Notes

Stock images from Shutterstock:

http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-351762476/stock-photo-lonely-woman-walking-in-the-park-with-trees-at-snowy-day-snowfall-in-park-with-lonely-walking.html

http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-27596422/stock-photo-woman-with-psychic-pressure-in-a-corridor.html

http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-44825947/stock-photo-walk-in-winter.html

http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-156469889/stock-photo-frozen-land-in-winter-time.html

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