I’ve become a book cover!

Cover of "Tongue party" by Sarah Rose Etter
Cover of Tongue party by Sarah Rose Etter

Actually, I helped a piece of Jess Larson’s wonderful art become the central component of a book cover, but let us not quibble.

As patient, long-time readers might know/remember, Jess Larson makes very cool art, including a fantastic series of girdles from several years back. There was a showing of her girdles at the PRCA back in 2006, and I had the chance to carefully photograph the show, posting many of the results on Flickr.

Zip ahead several years, and one of these photos caught the eye of the folks at Caketrain as they were looking for ideas for the cover of a new book they were publishing: Tongue party by Sarah Rose Etter. Some e-mails were traded, etc., etc., and Jess and I both happily agreed to have our work (her girdle, my photo of it) used for their cover.

My original photo of Jess Larson's girdle as posted on Flickr
"A tongue tied in knots" (My original photo of Jess's girdle as posted on Flickr)

One of the unexpected little treasures that was waiting for us when we got home from Arkansas this week was my copy of the book, and the cover (pictured above) is really wonderful. I love the texture they added as the background and the way they’ve incorporated the text. I haven’t actually read the thing yet, but the pre-press blurbs certainly sound wonderful and I look forward to adding it to my summer reading list!

Thanks to Jess for making such cool art, giving me such nifty things to take pictures of, and being generous about the use of her art in this new context. Thanks also to the kind folks at Caketrain for seeing the work and getting in touch, and for making such a cool cover out of it all. This is another neat example of the value of sharing work on-line with tools such as Flickr; without that none of this would have been possible. I’m not getting paid anything beyond my free copy of the book, but now a whole new set of people will see Jess’s art and my photography, and that’s quite fine in my humble opinion.

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A neat use of some of my photos

So different from in the winter
So different from in the winter

When I came back from the holidays I had a very pleasant surprise waiting for me in my office mailbox: A 2010 calendar from Schloss Dagstuhl. Each month has a small day grid at the top, and one or two photos of Dagstuhl below; the photos for each month are actually the front of a postcard that you can separate from the calendar and use.

The cool part is that most of the photos are mine! This set on Flickr shows all the photos they used, although many of them actually look much better in the calendar. Their staff did a really great job of straightening, cropping, and adjusting the lighting on the shots that they used, and it really made the photos look really nice. Thanks to whoever did the excellent work! Christian Lindig informs me (see the comments) that the design work was done by Margot Behr. Thanks for the great work, Margot!

It was really weird when I first looked at the calendar, because I really wasn’t sure how many of the photos were mine. There were two or three that I immediately recognized as mine (like the image at the top), but there were quite a few indoor detail shots that seemed like the kind of thing that I’d take (like the dragon below), but which I didn’t really recognize. There were also several of buildings that could have been mine, but could have been taken by most anyone. Going through, them, though, I was able to determine that all but two were in fact mine. The cropping (and to a lesser degree the cleaning) that the Dagstuhl folks did often threw me as it sharpened the focus in cool ways that I hadn’t seen or thought of.

Iron dragon at Dagstuhl
Iron dragon at Dagstuhl

The Flickr set has the 13 photos they used, in the order that they appear in the calendar. (Three of the cards are composites of two photos, which is why there’s more than 12 photos.)

There are two photos in the calendar that aren’t mine, both taken in specific conditions that I’ve never been there for. One is a really cool panorama with a beautiful fresh coating of snow and the other is the grounds around the chapel in the summer.

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