The New Book is Coming Along

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
520-586-4560

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:

https://southwestrockhounding.com/2019/04/01/a-destination-rock-shop-opens-in-arizona

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.



Original photo



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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A New Rockhounding Book

Welcome to a new site promoting a new book coming out in early 2020. The working title is A Beginner’s Guide to Rockhounding and Prospecting in the Southwest.

My name is Thomas Farley and I am a freelance writer living in Las Vegas. A longtime prospector for gold, I have in the last few years developed an interest in all rocks, gems, and minerals.

In my spare time I can be seen roaming the low and high deserts of California and Nevada, looking for agates, fluorescent minerals or uranium ore.

I have five Rock&Gem articles to my credit, so far, and I’ve penned multiple articles for Outdoor California. And an old article on gold for an American Heritage publication.

This site is simply a placeholder for Future Things. Visit my blog for everything I am working on now.

Thanks for visiting!