I am hoping to get my travel and collecting book available on Amazon.com by the first week of June. There are three fee digs I want to visit that are not open until Memorial Day, forcing my publication back date until at least then.
In one month I make a seven to ten day trip back to Northern California to check on some of my old prospecting haunts and to look at some new spots to visit or collect.
In the meantime, I am collecting new information, double checking what I already have, and reviewing photographs I have taken over the last two years in traveling throughout the Southwest.
The challenge with any book is to make it affordable and to work within the limits a publisher’s press presents. Color photos aren’t an option, only a few people could afford the title. That leaves black and white. Still not an easy choice.
I’m preparing for standard paper, Amazon doesn’t offer a clay coated choice which would present monochrome photographs well. Instead, I am transforming color photos into a black and white sketch style.
This will, I hope, get the spirt of places and people across in a way unique to my book. The photograph below comes courtesy of my good friend Rolf Luetcke of Sunshine Gallery and Gifts in St. David, Arizona. Rolf was a fifteen year resident of Bisbee and is a terrific mineral dealer.
He doesn’t have a website but you can find him here when you get to southern Arizona:
Sunshine Gallery and Gifts
1313 North Highway 80
St. David, Arizona, 85630
31°55.770′ N 110°16.865′ W
I have written about him at this website many times. The page linked below has good information on him and an interactive Google Map to find his store:
The before and after photos. First, color to black and white or monochrome.
I then corrected the distorted perspective as best I could and ran a Photoshop action to transform the image to sketch. I adjusted the sketch image and then added the caption. Not perfect but that is not the goal. (Don’t worry, there won’t be watermarks in the book.)
The glitches, oddities, and the lack of uniformity to my book’s layout may make it seem more authentic than what a professional design team could come up with. I am a miner and a rockhound first, not a graphic or design artist. The book will reflect that, even as I try to make it as presentable as possible.
Converted to black and white
Fixed up distortion as best I could, then cropped the image
Rotated the image a little more, then applied the sketch action and added the caption. Notice how the lettering above the door pops?
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