Tag Archives: stock photography

Behind the Scenes – Lead Poisoning

This is a book cover for Barking Rain Press. In this case, the publisher had a couple images they knew they already knew they wanted to use (the family picture and the prescription bottle with the bullets), but they wanted the image itself put together. They mentioned wanting a picture frame on a mantel or nightstand, and we added in the cracked glass effect later. I added in some of my own textures to add the gritty feel, and tinkered with the coloring to add to the “Lead Poisoning” title effect.

This was the end result. 🙂

SBibb - Lead Poisoning - Book Cover

Stock images from Shutterstock:


Filed under Book Covers, Client Work, Photo Illustration

Cover Reveal – Elmo’s Sojourn

This is a cover for Melange Books.

Initially I thought this cover was going to be a bit more difficult to reconstruct from the proof image (since I start with a proof before creating the final), but again, the align layers function came in super handy, and all I had to do was some finishing tweaks to bring everything together. Once the basic pieces were in place, I went in and tweaked the lighting further, added in shadows and played with blending, and removed some of the distracting pieces from around the edges of the cover. Blades of grass and little star specks can distract from the center image if they stand out too much. Since we wanted a wormhole effect, this is also a case where I ended up using illustrations as well as photography in order to add to the science fiction look of the piece. Sometimes its helpful to look in the illustrated sections of the stock sites, and not just the photos. You never know what you might find that could be useful. 🙂

SBibb - Elmo's Sojourn - Book Cover

Stock Photos from: Dreamstime.



Filed under Book Covers, Client Work, Photo Illustration

Premade Cover Design and Stock Sites

Alert to cover designers using stock sites (nothing too horrible, just thought you might want to know):

I’ve been looking into the idea of doing premade book cover designs, and have thought about picking up a subscription plan at a stock site to do so. However, I was recently alerted to terms in several stock sites that make this a less feasible option. Subscription plans (at least at Dreamstime and Shutterstock) only include the basic or Royalty Free licences. Premade book covers are often considered “merchandise made for resale,” even if you plan to only sell them to one client. Different sites require different licences, so be sure to check with the site (possibly contact them directly, which I did), to check their terms of use.

I try to note any special terms (like number of copies permitted, and what an image can be used for) in my contract. 🙂

Just a heads up, whenever you’re planning on using stock sites, be sure to check their terms, and verify the terms that may be an issue for your work. For example, be warned that some stock sites don’t want their models being used on erotica book covers. You may want to go to a site specifically based on selling romance covers for models in this case. Same goes with “sensitive subjects.”

Either way, it doesn’t hurt to ask, and if you’re using your own photography or collaborating with another artist, premade covers shouldn’t be a problem. 🙂

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Filed under Book Covers, Business Ventures, Personal Work, Photo Illustration, Writing

Catrina’s Cowboy – Cover Reveal


Hello, there. Uploading another cover for Melange Books.


This is a bit different from my usual covers, in that only one photo was used (though I did do a bit of manipulation to it), and I used the color overlay and texture to add special effect to it. Photoshop CS6.


Stock Photo from: Dreamstime: http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photography-roundup-image12597472

SBibb - Catrinas Cowboy Cover

As a sidenote, since I’m wanting to get back into adding bits of insight I gathered from the project when I post these covers, I thought I’d share a few things.

With this being a single photo, I went about the process a bit differently than usual. The author wanted a picture of a working cowboy, so I ended up selecting a stock photo and choosing a single element to focus on (take a look at the original, linked above, and you’ll notice there were originally more cowboys in the picture). I also did some photoshop to edit the man’s appearance to make him look a bit more like the character she described in the book, then added special lighting and effects. Just because it was a single photo didn’t mean it couldn’t benefit from some editing, especially to give it a more romantic look (the book is a romance).

Not only that, but I also played more with text placement and creating a border overlay. I was reminded of how some covers will have that border around them, and wanted to play with that idea.

Anyways, I hope this has been helpful. 🙂

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Filed under Book Covers, Business Ventures, Client Work, Photo Illustration, Writing

Mercy – Book Cover Reveal

This is a book cover I recently completed for Melange Books. This one is for their anthro/furry line of books. 🙂 It’s slated to be released this November.

Stock from Dreamstime was used for the tiger and person walking, the rest of the photography used was my own. Photoshop CS6 and Lightroom 4.0.

SBibb - Mercy Cover


As a side note, I’m testing out the ability to schedule posts, so we’ll see if this works. 😀

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Filed under Book Covers, Client Work, Photo Illustration

TextureVault and Lens Sharpness

After much trouble trying to get a texture accepted onto Texturevault, and nearly giving up on it, I finally went into their forums to ask why my photos weren’t being accepted. I had sent in roughly ten photos over the past couple months, with everything being rejected based on too much noise or not being sharp enough. When I looked at my photos, I found that all of them seemed to have the same amount of noise, same slight blur, and I couldn’t figure out how to get it any sharper. The support on Texturevault forum suggested I try an ISO of 100, and I decided to finally look up how to test for lens sharpness (which I had been meaning to do for the past month).

I found this review (http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/lens-sharpness.htm), which seemed rather harsh to me, but I came out of it with one very particularly piece of information in mind- that lenses have a sweet spot where they will be at thier sharpest, not necessarily at the wide open apertures (which I typically like to shoot), and other apertures won’t be as sharp. Pushing a lens to its extreme will result in photos that “test the limits” and aren’t as sharp.

Keeping that in mind, I went out into the afternoon light and took a few pictures- all at ISO 100, but at 1.8, 10, and 22 apertures. Immeadietly afterwards I loaded the pictures onto my computer and looked at them at 100%. The results were surprising- I finally saw what my teachers and books have meant by Chromatic aberrations (1.8), my pictures seemed to be hopelessly blurred at 1.8 and 22, but at 10- they sharp. Not extraordinarily sharp, but definatly sharper. And there was no noise.


I chose the two pictures that were the best and submitted them to TextureVault. This time they were accepted. I am happy to say I now have a way to test for lens sharpness, and in the meantime, I’ve just got to take more texture photos and figure out how to make sales.


View My TextureVault Portfolio Here: http://www.texturevault.net/view_photog.php?photogid=1067

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Filed under Personal Work