The making of Volume 3I have already put together volumes 1 and 2. (See above slide show). These, especially the 1st, was, as always was the hardest, as there is absolutely nothing to work from. It's a blank canvas! No photography style, no typography, no colour styles, no layout to work from, all this has to be designed before anything is done.
After weeks of pressing buttons in Adobe InDesign and sampling colours and shapes, then takingÂ test shots and placing these on a page, then selecting typography, all this can be mind boggling, as this has to look creative, yet be easy to the eye, and work within the constrains of the books 208 page format and suit all contributors and the readers.
I finally made a couple of mock up chapters, using Bob Mead and Teddy Patlen as guinea pigs. Then tweaked and edited these over a few weeks, then showed them to various critics for their opinion and tweaked them again. Finally, I was happy and could then use them to actually show to hopeful contributors. These are selected flytyers from around the world and are at the top of their game.
Anyhow, to cut a long story short, contributions came in for volume 1, and the process of putting a flytyers box full of flies and a biography together to make a 12 - 14 page chapter. had started, at last. Once 20 of these have been placed in the book and the cover photography has been shot, a foreword, contents and index has been written etc, it's a nerve wreaking process of final edits, then passing on the final artwork to your printer. It does not end there. A couple of visits to the printers to check the first colour proofs, then see the first pages come off the printer, then check the first book and dust jacket samples. Then it's a nerve wracking period waiting for the books to be delivered. And, when the wagon turns up, off loads 1000's of books, I open a box, take out a copy, flick through it and say to myself, "thank fxxk for that" and go for a pint. Job done.
Volume 2, gets easier, as the design concepts are all done in volume 1. It's then a matter of styling each chapter to suit the mood and character of the contributor and the style of flytying. Re-shooting the cover and the laborious job of indexing the book. I have been asked by many people how I put together a book and all the elements which make the printed pages. So, to start with, I am going to make a blog which explains photographic lighting , lens choice, and styling techniques. Then putting it all together on the computers. So here goes... Hope you like it...
Lighting a pattern for white backgrounds.Lighting a background so it's pure white ie CMYK values of 0000, can be a little tricky. It's best to get this correct on the camera as trying to cut out a feathered fly pattern in photoshop must be the hardest thing one can do. So, it's best if this is lit correctly whilst also lighting the pattern for its colours.
See the studio image (left) for how this is done. At the top of the photo you will see a large softbox. This is a 6000 watt bowens flash head. I can tweak the output on this so I have enough power to over exposes the white background without it putting any light onto the fly pattern. You will note that I have taped a white foam board to it, to stop any light spillage lighting the fly pattern. The hand held flash is a Nikon SB100. This is to fill in any background areas which the top light is missing. I will test shoot this and expect to get a silhouette of the fly pattern.
The fly pattern is then lit with 2 Dedo lights. These are tungsten lights that can be zoomed in and out to cover small areas. Perfect for this job. One isÂ providing a rim light from the back the other one on the left is aimed at a piece of foil. This provides a nice soft, saturated light which brings out the feathers colours when bounced back onto the fly pattern.
The fly pattern is mounted into a LAW vice for stability. The camera, a Nikon D3X has a 24 megapixel chip providing a huge file size which captures the finest feather detail. The lens I am using is a Nikon 105m Macro VR. This provides a nice working distance at 1-1 and is extremely sharp. The exposure is f7 at a 20th. The 20th of a second is exposed for the lighting on the fly pattern and the flash which provides the white background, flashes during this exposure time. This is what I capture, (See below). When it is printed in the book, one will be able to see every minute fiber detail on each pattern.
Once the test shot is made and checked on the back of the camera. I can simply shoot and swap the fly for another, and so on... and shoot all the patterns under the same lighting. These shots are for the Claudio D' Angelo chapter, which I am going to layout on a white background and have the text run around the patterns. As the background of the image is pure white (CMYK 0000) I don't have any issues of the white paper stock used for the book clashing with the white background image. (See finished image above).
Simple soft lighting.A simple technique I like to use is soft lighting for full bleed images. This allows the background to bleed off the page and leave room for text and pattern descriptions to be set over the image. As you can see in the photograph, I have a very simple lighting technique for achieving this result.
A softbox flash is positioned to light the bottom of the page (top half of the photo). This is again the 6 kilowatt Bowens flash head. You can see on the left of the photo that I have 2 cards. These are for bouncing the light back onto the set which gives this a soft yet crisp overall lighting. As the main flash is angled low to the fly patterns it creates a depth to the image with soft shadows.
Choose a background which compliments the fly patterns. In this case I have chosen a nice blue which has a bush stroke effect. I envisage a nice silver/blue colour will work for the text over this colour.
The camera is a Nikon D3x set to record RAW images. This provides a file size of 4032 x 6048 pixels at 300dpi, a 68mg file. This is approx. A3 in size which will allow me to float the image anywhere over the finished A4 size page. So, when it comes to putting the chapter together I canÂ accurately place text over the blue background, or reduce the image size to allow more text.
Have a look at the finished images. Although row res. for web, you can see from them what I intended to achieve from the offset.
Keep looking at this page as the next subject is how the photograph still life sets of fly patterns on location, in Wales and Scotland. Back in a week, (7th May 09) so see you then. Thank you.
Well, that didn't happen, sorry. I ended up shooting a feature for Trout & Salmon Magazine on the Welsh Usk at the Glanusk Estate. It was a truly wonderful commission. One of those shoots that we hope comes along every week. Wynn Davis (journalist for Trout & Salmon) and expert fly fisher Dave Mee, met Rhys Lleywelyn and myself at the Glanusk Estate where we were welcomed by Harry and Iona legge-Bourke. After a brief chat over morning coffee we set off on a short walk to the river Usk which runs through the estate.
Tiggy Legge Bourke teaching fly fishing on the River Usk, Wales. To read more and see more photo's click here...
Alternative way to photograph patterns with white or coloured backgrounds.I use this lighting method when I do not want a pattern in a fly tying vice. This is a very simple way of shooting patterns that need a pure white background (CMYK 0000). I need a pure white background so that I can lay the image onto the page and have no off-whites. I can then set the text where I need it next to the image. I have positioned a soft box to the right of the fly pattern. This has no diffuser inside which gives a crisper lighting effect. To the left I position a white card covered with un-creased Turkey foil. This bounces back an even illumination of light. I will place a pure white card under the fly pattern and then expose the image for the mid tones in the fly. This then produces over exposed white areas, just what I need. You can place another soft box on the left and achieve the same lighting, similar to a copy stand set-up. But I find this restrictive, as I will photograph all the books flies that need to be lit in this way and to keep reaching into the photo area, fiddling with the fly position (see the photo with the deerhair frog held in position with Blue-Tac), wiping away any loose particals etc, very awkward. Again, I will record all the images as RAW NEF files on the D3x. After up-loading them onto the computer, I will open them in Adobe RAW converter and tweak the settings. Such as; white balance and certain colour enhancements. Then open the image in photoshop CS4 and remove any marks which invariably come from dust on the cameras sensor. Have a look at the studio set up photo. The camera is attached to a sturdy Gitzo tripod with a quick release plate and synced direct to the bowens flash generator.
This (above) is what I photographed in the above studio set. Note how the whites are white. Note how some patterns have to be positioned with Blu-Tac (below).
Laying out pages in Flytyers of the World, Vol 3.
The images in the layout are the ones I shot in the previous installment. This is a screengrab (1) of my monitor layout with Adobe InDesign CS4 setup so that all my tool palettes are one the right hand side. When I need a tool it slides out into the monitor to reveal the tool or tool selections. You can see from this screengrab that I have the page palette displaying the pages within this chapter. On the left is a floating tool box and at the top are more tools to choose from. Many of these are for quick access as they are also within the palettes on the right.
The 2 pages displayed show the basic elements of laying out the pages. The black column on the right hand side is made in the master pages so that the continuity and registration remains the same throughout the book. Only the tyers name changes. Selected patterns are dragged from Adobe Bridge on from a second monitor. Then roughly positioned on the page. The red square contains the image of the pattern and the blue square is a rectangle shape tool of which I apply a wrap too, so the text flows around it and not over the pattern. The text is set into a 2 column text box with a pre-defined style of typeface, leading etc. Remember, these elements where designed before volume one was printed and then saved as masters which are applied globally through out each volume. (See the beginning of this page for more information on the original design concept).
Screengrab 2 & 3
After dragging all the photographs from Abobe Bridge onto the pages, which I shot in the studio, I start to get a basic idea of how the chapter will layout. You will notice that there is a lot of white space that the contributing flytyer, (in this case it's Wayne Samson) on pages 7 & 8. This now enables me to shuffle images about and make them larger. It's just a matter of making the pages pleasing to the eye and getting everything to fit correctly.
In this case I decide to move the 2 poppers on page 5 into the left hand text column. Make the 2 flies on page 3 larger, make the popper on page 4 larger, flip the popper on page 6, take the 2 poppers from page 8 and place them in the right hand column on page 8, take the streamers and salmon fly from page 10 and place them onto page 8. This leaves me space for a nice photo on page 10, which will break up the patterns and therefore make the chapter flow better. You will see now on screengrab 3 that it looks far better.
I have now exported all the pages as spreads to Adobe Acrobat Professional. This is the way my workflow will work when I eventually make the book; ready for press. At the moment though, these pages are still in the early stages of development. You can see all the pages laid out on the left. I will analyze these and make more layout adjustments in InDesign and re-PDF them again and again until I am happy with the layout.
These are the 2 leading pages of the contributors chapter. The main portrait is selected and placed on the leading page of the chapter. And, all the images of the flies are re-sized and placed on the right hand page for a sub menu. The page numbers will be placed into the yellow boxes at a later stage when the pagination takes place. Once these pages are completed the whole chapter will be emailed to the contributor, who then can make any alterations to his text and layout etc. Once all these are back from the contributors, the pagination takes place and the index and contents etc, are created. I will cover these topic in the next couple of weeks, so, keep watching this space and I hope your finding it interesting.