I’ve been asked by several readers how my publisher was able to capture the photograph on the cover of The Secret of Wattensaw Bayou. They are surprised when I tell them that the photo was taken in my backyard! Well, sorta taken in my backyard.
Photoshop is an amazing tool. The background photo of the swampy red sunset was purchased from an on line image seller. The front image is a combination of computer magic and household devices. I dressed the model in 19th century clothing and then put him in front of my back porch light. My wife, Phyllis, then trained a red colored spot light on the young man from out of the frame. The photo, taken from the model’s back in low light, resulted in a nice red tinted out-line around his silhouette. He was then “lifted” from the photo frame and layered on top of the swamp photo.
Who is the model? Meet seventeen year old Jalen Lanier. Jalen was sixteen when he posed for the book cover. He is the son of a co-worker and was happy to play the part of Ephraim Wright, the main character of The Secret of Wattensaw Bayou, for the book cover. Jalen is a fine young man and I enjoyed working with him on two photo shoots to get the light just right on this shot. I appreciate his help and patience immensely!
I’ll be using a similar technique for my next book, The Archer’s Son. I already have a gorgeous background photo of a European Castle at sunset. A photographer in Russia has graciously given me permission to use his work. Now, who will be my young archer?