Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Possible Cover Images For My HDR Book. Help Me Decide?

Hi All

Here are two images that are under consideration for the cover of my HDR book - due out early next year.

Which one do you like best - the obvious HDR shot (left) or the more natural-looking HDR shot? Could you do me a favor and let me know here?

You gotta try to imagine type placed over the images.

Here is an article I wrote on HDR for PCPhoto magazine. Enjoy.

I'll also be teaching HDR at Photoshop World in Orlando in March!n

Next week, I will have an HDR gallery on the Digital Photo Experience.

Explore the Light,
Rick

43 comments:

Kari Post said...

I love the girl in the old room photo. Its so much more different than a canyon shot. And the story behind it is a good one too.

Julius Reque said...

Must say, the girl. Canyon shot, we've seen that a lotta times. Very wonderful shot, but lost its originality already.

Nicole Young said...

Hi Rick ... I really like both of the images but for a book-cover I like the canyon photo. I think it will stand out more on a book-shelf because of its simplicity. :)

Herbie said...

I prefer the more realistic image on the right, but if I was browsing through the books in a shop then the more obvious HDR image on the left would grab my eye first. Let the left hand image get them to buy the book then teach them why the right hand image is better.

Gary Simmons said...

I think a question has to be answered honestly first.... Who is your market?

If the book is to teach less-experienced photographers about HDR, then the image with the woman is best. It pops off the page, and gives a look that many will be after.

If the book is to teach more experienced photographers how they can use HDR to get better images, the the canyon shot is better. Experienced photographers tend to dislike the classic HDR look and would tend to shun a book with the woman shot on it.

Just my opinion. gs

Gary Simmons
flickr.com/gsimmonsonca

RB Jones said...

I think it comes down to the title and subtitle of the book. They should contrast with the image chosen.

The canyon strikes one like a cliché, but it will make sense to the reader after they've read about how HDR made that different than the old canyon shots. Will that help sell the book?

Well, it will if your market is folks who want to learn how to use HDR in ways other than the *obvious* HDR "look".

Marcin Petruszka said...

Canyon. I hate those obvious ones :)

Anonymous said...

Tough one Rick, the canyon shot is fairly common image and something we have seen without HDR. The shot of the lady is a bit of the cartoonish HDR variety so may be a bit over the top that way. You really need something that shows the magic of HDR with out the cartooish effects.

Sorry Brian

Kerry said...

The shot of the girl in the room is great. You should use that one for the cover of your upcoming book.

TeeDubbaU's said...

I would have to say the girl, mainly because that is what people expect from an HDR image. I love the canyon shot, and it would make a great book cover, but knowing the nature of your other books I think most readers would be expecting the girl photo... or even the red car photo you posted not so long ago. Good luck and looking forward to more of your work.

Luis D. Santos said...

The Girl wins. From a layout point of view, you have space both above and below the girl, without sacrificing the balance of the layout. And, the girl says more HDR than the canyon (not meaning the canyon shot doesn't look great).

Can't wait to see your new book!

Bob McCarney said...

Rick, you're right that the photo with the girl is the obvious HDR shot; but, if you are trying to sell a book on the subject, I think that is what most potential buyers would expect. They are both great photos.

Julien said...

The right one for sure !

Mary John & Katie said...

I think if you are doing a book on HRD I would go with the image of the woman in the room - it seems more suitable for such a book. They are both really nice though.

Prajit said...

The image with the girl is more type friendly.

Ed T. said...

I would go with the one on the left. Especially with type on top of the image, I think this one would look better.

~EdT.

Rope said...

I agree with Julius, while I very much like the canyon shot, I've seen it before. The girl shot is more of a stand out photo for me.

Go with the girl everytime!

Richard said...

The right one.

Although it isn't the most original picture, it puts emphasis on the fact that a HDR can look very natural. I believe there are plenty of people who think that HDR only creates the pictures at the left.

Carl Cox said...

Hi Rick!

Definitely the girl in the room. I'm just not feeling the HDR in the canyon... I'm not feeling the range in the canyon.

Stephen said...

Depends on the content but I think the left (girl) would stand out more to how so many people view hdr.

Michael J. Smith said...

After reading what everyone else has said it seems to be a toss up. So I say, why not go with both? Design the cover to show both images and the different looks you can create with HDR photography.

I'm not a huge fan of the obvious HDR images for for a book on HDR photography, I think it makes more sense to go with the girl in the room photo if you can only show one image on the cover. From a marketing stand point I think that image will draw more attention than the canyon photo.

Can you mock up an idea of what the cover would look like with each image?

Mike
www.magiclightphotography.com

Anonymous said...

Rocky shot with more natural look

Doug said...

Rick: Your blog is beating us over the head w/ HDR lately, but in my opinion, most of your images look more surrealistically artistic and stylized than what's real. I can appreciate it's an HDR style you prefer, but if you want to show what the capabilities of HDR are, as well as appeal to a wider audience, you should show both images side by side. The book could be called "The Art and Reality of HDR" The image of the girl shows the extreme artistic side of HDR and the possibilities of perhaps over-processing, while the canyon photo shows how HDR can make an unusable light situation look "real", just like you saw it with your own eyes. I think HDR can appeal to both mindsets, but if you use one or the other, I believe you'll lose the interest of half of your audience. I prefer the canyon because it looks real. The girl looks more like a "dark" painting or "album cover art". Good luck.

Mike Braaten said...

I like the woman on the left. That is one of my favorite of your photos.

Dan Milham said...

Go with the natural looking HDR. It has wider appeal to people just looking to make a photograph look great rather than create an effect.

Scott H said...

As a photo, the woman has more pop, but when one considers the needs of a layout person putting titling all over the image for a book cover, the canyon is going to better survive having part of it effectively cropped by the text, I believe.

Daniel Fealko said...

The Canyon shot would look great for a book cover. It's clean, colorful, and won't distract from the cover text. It says "Buy Me!"

Kitty said...

I do love them both and it would be interesting to see if they could do a cover with both.

If not, I think the room and the girl really say HDR. The canyon is gorgeous but more subtle and many people wouldn't catch on that it's HDR. Three months ago I would have never known that the canyon was also HDR and if I had wanted to learn more about the technique the canyon wouldn't have caught my eye.

So, if only one can be used I vote the room and girl.

Paul Godin said...

I'd have to go with the girl.

Bruce said...

i think you should use the shot on the left with the girl.

Gremlin666 said...

One on the left hands down...

I realize the one on the right lends itself to text more easily. But if the title were on the top... and the other stuff were on the bottom... text should be fine on the picture of your living room :)

I honestly think both photos are great... but the one on the left grabs my eye much quicker.

Lisa P. in FL said...

Hands down, I love the picture of the canyon.

robert said...

Hi Rick, I like both shots but would choose the girl for your cover. I think it would attract the viewer to it more than the canyon shot.

burfino said...

The left one is the most compelling by far.

Rick Sammon said...

From Steve Sullivan:
Steve Sullivan
I have to give my vote to the photo on the left. Yes, it looks more like the common HDR effect, but it feels much more intriguing and mysterious. Like, if I open the cover her face will be revealed on the inside cover. I feel compelled to open the cover to see the rest of the story.

bittuide said...

The girl over the canyon.

and to para-phrase Lily Thomlin;
Reality is for people who can't
handle HDR

Iain King said...

Rick,

The canyon shot looks far more natural to me. I think if you are aiming your book at experienced photographers they would appreciate the work that goes into producing an image like that. The shot of the girl is great as well as a more arty type of image. As a photographer I think that HDR is a fantastic technique that can be used to great advantage in many situations, but also think that too many people are now starting to use HDR too much and a subtle use of HDR is what is called for, hence my choice of canyon. That my 2 cents anyway.

Thanks.

Carolyn Fox said...

I would select the image with the girl IF you can get the type arranged so it looks right. It's definitely an HDR image and should draw the potential customer's eye to the cover. The canyon shot is nice, but much more commone that the other photo.

SusanK said...

I like them both - I think they show that you can do the entire range of HDR, and how different the outcomes can be. I would split the cover and put them both on there side by side.

Anita said...

I think the photo with the girl. It stands out the any persons eye, weather they know what HDR is or not. The canyon shot is nice, but can be confusing at first when seeing it.

Judith said...

Girl in the room for sure!

Loyce said...

Hands down; the canyon shot. Your book is about how to do HDR right--so you should show an image depicting HDR done right!

Dr Phibes said...

I'd go for the shot of the girl. If you are selling a book on HDR you need a cover that is an obvious example of what the book is all about so you can grab the attention of someone who may not be familiar with HDR. The canyon shot is still very nice but doesn't say HDR to the same extent as the shot of the girl.