The History of Tom Jones

I had an idea for a still life shot of a book and went to the used book store of my local library and there found a very suitable candidate — a pristine, boxed copy of The History of Tom Jones, an exceptionally scandalous book when it was written in 1749. The shooting of this image was somewhat complicated as I will describe below.

With a fixed camera and setup, I first shot an overall base image of the book with the pages opened about at the center. Then, in turn, I carefully selected six individual pages and tweaked each by curling the corners with a curling iron and by positioning each as desired. Each of these pages was individually shot and the lighting varied between them. The camera was triggered with a wireless shutter release. The lighting was with a florescent bulb in a diffused handheld reflector.  Below is shown the setup.



















Then, in Photoshop, the overall base image was placed on the bottom of the layer panel and the six individual pages above it, and with careful masking of the six individual pages (masking out those areas desired to be eliminated) the above final book image resulted. The table was individually shot and the window frame background manufactured and both composited in. My next blog post will further describe problems encountered in post processing.

One Comment

  1. Holly White August 16, 2011 at 12:29 am #

    This photo is simply fabulous! It’s sharp and creative and fun. It should have won every photography prize at the Ventura County Fair.

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