I need more help.

This lion shot I considered for the book back, what do you think?

Kalagadi 442

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75 thoughts on “I need more help.

  1. This is an awesome portrait of the lion but I’m sticking with the Elephant profile for your back cover because it makes a strong visual statement.

  2. Oh my goshBulldog I just viewed your LION close up now..a MUST back page…the King rules……move over ellies I would just cut grass above dried twigs above his head and focus more on the lion himself. Can he be so perfect? Answer is an emphatic NO…! Hope your editor also opts for the King of the beasts as many of your fans do, a truly fitting tribute for the animal kingdom. Good luck with your head scratching. πŸ™‚

    • We have cropped and played and my Ed likes the lion as well, got more lion than grass… thanks Zita, I kinda like the picture now after following Vicki’s advise…

  3. Oh this is just about impossible! LOL! I love each one which doesn’t help you at all. I’m very fond of the elephants, but I’m sure they would be included in the book. The lion is truly majestic and would be a great back cover. I read the comments about the log and focus, but I honestly wasn’t distracted by it at all.

    • Thanks… I’m leaning towards the Lion now that we’ve played with the photo a bit… still we have time and my Editor must still give her input…

  4. hhmmm…you’ve made it a hard choice! For me, it’s a toss up between the lion and the elephant. (I liked them both)

  5. It is stunning! We are talking about returning to Kruger to the northern part of the park and I am already excited. What do you think it would look like if you cropped a little off the top?

  6. I like the lion better if the photo can be cropped to have the lion much larger in the frame. The light glaring off the log in front could probably be photo- shopped and the log could be darkened or otherwise de-emphasized. I’d probably put the lion on the front (the title and author’s name could go at the top of the photo where there is just brush anyway), and the back cover would have the elephant (you could use white lettering if black doesn’t show up well against the color of the elephant. You could also have two smaller photos on the back cover if you’d like to keep the one with the birds. I think more people are impressed with large animals than with birds and may be more likely to pick up your book if one of the bigger animals is on it the cover, but I could be wrong.
    Russ

    • I am fairly set with the front page photo… it has a special meaning to me and it will take a lot for me to change my mind… I’m likely to go with the lion on the back with the splurge over what the book is about… but thanks for your thoughts Russ… your interest and input…

  7. I hadn’t weighed in on the other shots yet..I liked the elephants for the back cover…..until I saw this. This is the one, my friend. People outside of Africa ALWAYS think of lions when they imagine visiting a park there. I think you should go with this wonderfully iconic image you’ve taken!! It closes out the book beautifully, and is a fitting wave goodbye to all who will read your book and then leave Africa to go back to their day!

    • Thank you so much… I loved the elephant and they were my first choice, but having now played with the lion, I’m pretty sure it will be the one… still got time to choose…

  8. Yes, yes, yes – !!!! After replying to your previous post then seeing this I do like it best of all I have to say – although this is assuming that this photo conveys what is inside your pages rather than what I said about the birds. But this is a beaut Bulldog…

  9. A portrait shot of a lion should also work well on the cover, but I would crop out the top and bottom of this particular photo. Consider a square format for getting up close and personal with the animal and achieving maximum impact.

    • I thought you might enjoy this photo, we have played a bit with it today and I’m very happy with what I see, unfortunately the elephant shot is as taken just cropped on the sides so I can;t get the eyes down further… but again thank you for your input… I am pretty settled on the front page…

  10. I love this shot…Asland:) Have you read the CS Lewis book the lion, the witch and the wardrobe…read them to our kids growing up. You captured a wonderful shot of majesty in the animal kingdom:)

  11. I don’t have anything to add to the other comments. It’s a great expression on the lion’s face that’s for sure! I think you should reconsider not having a picture of yourself though, at least on the inside front cover – don’t you feel more connected to a book you read if you see a picture of the author? Makes it more real and personal. Or maybe a picture of you and Linda?

  12. I’m glad I read other comments before adding mine two cents’ worth because I was going to say the same thing as Vicki about the top 25% of the lion picture. If you cropped it a bit, it would look magnificent for a back cover.

    • Thanks Anneli, I intend to play with it a bit and even send it to Doris for her to play with… now that I see it I quite like it… have followed her suggestion and it looks good on first attempt so I’ll play some more… thank you I appreciate your input…

  13. I still think you should take all of them and make a collage for the front cover and on the back cover a photo of you with your biography. πŸ˜€

    • No none of me…lol… that will put the people off the book right away… I’m pretty set on the front cover… I just love the photo and it says so much to me… the back could end with a collage, yet I’m going to play with Vickis comment and see how it turns out… Thanks again Sonel, but no pictures of the Bulldog…

  14. Much better animal pose for the back cover.

    I don’t know how to copy it & crop it to show you, so….. may I suggest you try cropping the top 25% off (leaving the eyes one third of the way down the frame).

    Then crop about 1/8th – 1/10th off the right hand side making the lion’s head very, very slightly off centre and part of the shaded end of his bottom in the right of the frame. I did it with two pieces of paper on my computer screen. Do the top cropping first and that will help you work out the crop for the right hand side. I was tempted to take 1/6th off the right hand side, but it places the lion’s eyes exactly in the the centre – I’m not a fan of putting the middle of a bird or animal’s head exactly in the centre. Sometimes the rule of thirds applies to an image and other times it looks better just slightly off-centre. An animal or bird rarely looks good in the centre of the frame. Although it does depend of the angle of the shot and how much you can see of the animal’s body – foreshortened or full length. Anyway, play around with a few variations to see what looks best. Half close your eyes and you will get a better idea seeing your photo through narrow eye slits.

    It’s always hard to decide how much background to show. More than once I’ve cropped a bare 1/12th off a side. You’d be amazed how much difference it makes.

    I often find if you draw two diagonal lines from each top corner to the opposite bottom corner and place the eyes, or head, or image subject, somewhere along that diagonal line, it works just as well as the ‘rule of thirds’. You don’t have to have exactly the traditional portrait size on the back cover either. You can have a bit of extra complimentary colour top & bottom. I suppose there could be a bit about you & content on the back cover too.

    I certainly think a lion posed like this is perfect for your back cover. The crop will bring it very slightly closer to you and remove the superfluous pale green grass on the top of the frame.

    I wouldn’t worry about the blurred log. I would increase the definition and contrast a wee bit more to make the lion’s face stand out more..

    Don’t forget to stand back from your computer and see what a shopper might see if the book was standing open in a shop window. The shopper might pick it up from a shelf and see the back from 15″ away or he might see the back from much further away. i always look at the back & front of a book before I buy it.

    Sometimes standing back 3, 4 or 5 feet from your computer screen might give you a better idea of how the image appears in a variety of positions in a shop. If you want to sell a book, the initial impact is by it’s cover. Make it grab attention. Unless I’m looking at the books by a favourite author on the shop shelves, I would be drawn by the cover, especially on a Nature book.

    Seeing an image on the computer screen is NOTHING like seeing it in hardcopy. I was only reading yesterday, in Moose Peterson’s book, CAPTURED – Lessons from Behind the Lens of a Legendary Wildlife Photograqpher, how much the hardcopy version of a nature photo changes when it is printed in a book (as opposed to the computer screen). Can’t remember what he said now. Was it something to do with sRGB, as opposed to Adobe RBG? Just can’t remember. Anyway your book editor & their art department will know. Hope this in depth critique helps.

  15. I understand the focus comments about the log so maybe some creative cropping and vignetting will bring more focus to this fella’s face. I imagine it would be okay to square this image since it’s for a book cover, right? What a gorgeous creature he is!!

    • If he comes to greet you, I wouldn’t bother running, that will just make him more hungry .. so honk the horn take your time cause he’s gonna get you even if you run…

  16. More partial to the elephants for the same log issue. The lion is gorgeous, though. Maybe if you cropped a bit. Not sure if that would work, though.

  17. I like it but prefer the elephants from previous posting. For me my eye is constantly drawn to the log which is slightly out of focus rather than the lion – as beautiful as it is.

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