How are Lee Child's book covers photo-edited?

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by jmmm, Sep 16, 2020.

  1. Hi all. I'd like to do a book cover in the style of one of Lee Child's, as a learning exercise. But I can't tell what has been done to them!

    All his book covers are on his site, here (make sure 'UK' is selected, not 'US'). Straight photos aren't usually used on mystery covers because that tends to make them look like nonfiction. So something has been done to these covers to take the photographic 'edge' off. And clearly they're composites - usually a background photo plus a figure photo plus a sky/cloud photo. But what else has happened to them?

    I'm guessing maybe a semi-transparent colour layer, maybe a semi-transparent layer with saturation beefed up, maybe a semi-transparent layer that has been blurred a little bit, but I'm guessing.

    I'd be grateful for any help!
  2. The backlit/silhouetted figure has obviously been layered in, because in most cases the drop shadow differs from the lighting in the rest of the scene.

    This alone gives an unsettling and surreal feeling.

    There's also a good deal of selective misting and shading to highlight the figure(s) and to give a contrasting BG for the text.

    I'm not into Jack Reacher books, so I'm just going by the rather fuzzy pictures I can see on the web.
    jmmm likes this.
  3. Thanks, rodeo_joe. I should have said that you can see a bigger version of the cover if you click on any of the covers on Lee Child's site, and can see a full-sized cover by going to any Lee Child book on Amazon and clicking on 'Look Inside' and scrolling up to see the cover, such as on this one.
  4. Interesting exercise. Keep us informed.

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