My new book (external link) will be in black and white to save costs. Color is the most expensive part of any hardcopy book or magazine. While my readers would certainly enjoy color, they would not enjoy paying for it. Not at all.
I’m experimenting with Photoshop plug-ins and some people on Fiverr to see what can be done in monochrome. Grayscale does not present well on inexpensive paper and print on demand presses.
A black and white photo looks good on a computer monitor because the image is backlit. Once put on ordinary paper, however, the image turns dull. Rather than have dull but realistic photos, I would rather present less accurate but more arresting illustrations. Impressionistic images that might better convey the spirt of the subject or the event.
Notice the transitions below.
The first photo is the original color image.
The next is the image converted to grayscale. Again, not looking bad on a monitor.
The next is my first attempt at using a Photoshop action called Pencil Drawing Effect by ShinyPixel. Only seven dollars. It’s a wildcard rendering in that you have no control over what it will produce until the software does its job. It’s then that you can start fixing things.
In this case I would lighten the dark cloud over the tent. And darken the light spot in the shade on the left. I really like the way, however, that it artistically portrayed the people at on the left and the funkiness it imparted to the dinosaur. I could work with this!
Here’s a corrected version with about twenty to thirty minutes of work put in. I know I could get faster.
Here’s another try. Oops, forgot to correct for the gray glow above the tent.
The next is what a digital artist on Fivver produced. What do you think? Interesting, but not as clean as what I am aiming for.
The next is an attempt to show the difference on copy paper between the standard photo and my first pencil sketch effect. I think with some practice I could produce an affordable book that is stylish enough to keep people’s interests. Wish me luck.
Note: This big dino has been sold, however, David and Susan Walblom might be able to hook you up with a different one. They were in Quartzsite this year at the PowWow (external link) and at Desert Gardens at space K 16-19. Here is their contact information:
David Walblom’s Lapidary Tools & Supplies
DWLTS@yahoo.com (currently disabled on my last attempt to use this)
P.O. Box 3415
Quartz Hill, CA 93586
Follow me on Instagram: tgfarley