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Longleaf Pine Master Shot

Longleaf Pine Master Shot

June 2006 Chapel Hill, NC


So, late last night I posted about the two cover shots I have for books the Press is publishing. It was the gratuitous type of self-promotion I'm not very good at and prefer to avoid whenever possible. Still, I am proud to have the two images used (although, despite their being used I'm still able to enjoy my status as an Amateur, ifyouknowwhatImean) and enjoy nattering on about "isn't that one h3lluva pine bough? isn't it?" from time to time, completely in jest.

Still, I wanted to show the somewhat less-than-glamourous side of my contribution to the Encyclopedia's cover.

I was given the tips of a few longleaf pine branches that had been brought back to our part of the state by a co-worker who had been attending a conference in a part of the state where the longleaf pine actually grows. I simply needed to make the bough look reasonably appropriate without a proper background, lights or money for any of those things.

Longleaf Pine Reality

Longleaf Pine Reality

June 2006 Chapel Hill, NC


If my years living in the Great American South have taught me nothing else, they have taught me how to make do with what resources I have to work with. A stalk of bamboo from the rim of the side parking lot and a large paper clip/clamp resting in a large glass jar gave me a way to prop the bough in different angles. A tablecloth reserved for special occasions in a storage closet (that I'd happened upon a week earlier while setting up a projector) clipped to someone's window looking out that same side parking lot gave me a working backdrop, provided I didn't back up too far. (You can just make out the brickwork on the right in the second image) And, luckily, it was a slightly overcast day outside, so the lighting wasn't too bad.

I could've sworn I'd taken a long shot of the set up but I can't find it anywhere. Alas.

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Encyclopedia of North Carolina -- check out the long leaf pine image on the bottom!

The Encyclopedia of North Carolina

Release date: November 2006


It’s been years in the making, it’s all but consumed the lives of many people I’ve heard about and known for months and months (not least of which would be my friend deviseagnostic) and the printed proof I’ve seen is thicker than the thickest phone book.

And yet, what makes this incredible body of work so notable that lands on my blog?

Why, just check out that professional-looking long leaf pine bough image at the bottom of the cover.

Sure, [ profile] ruralrob might be taking photography classes from a noted artist in the medium and learning more about photography than I’m likely to learn for quite a while and, sure, [ profile] new_brunette might take some spectacularly wonderful images that have earned him compliments from a very hard to please critic as well.

I, however, get a one-third cover photo credit for the major work published by a pre-eminent University Press.

Oh, and waitaminute! What about this?

Rhetorical Occasions cover

Rhetorical Occasions by Michael Berube


How about that stack of books on the right hand side of the cover, eh? That is some stack of books and papers, huh?

Just look at that angle! Marvel at the sublime vanishing point!

In other words... yeah, I got nuthin.

Still, today I did meet Bill Powell, the editor of the above Encyclopedia. At 87, he’s a slight whisp of a gentleman with a sparkle in his eyes and a generous smile. I’d heard about him since I arrived at the Press and was honored to meet one of the most noted historians in the state.

I introduced myself and said that I was the IT Manager.

Powell smiled and with all sincerity and charm asked, “What’s IT?”

He instantly had yet another fan.

“You know, when I go to the [campus] library I still look for the card catalog! They only have these computers everywhere now,” he lamented.

“Well, sir,” I said. “When I was a librarian in the schools I made sure that every child I taught knew how to use the card catalog. After all, what are they going to do if the power goes out?”

He seemed to appreciate that point.

And, as for the top image, you know, it’s not a bad little tree, is it?

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February 2006 Chapel Hill, NC


I wish I could say my silence here as been due to long nights of tireless keyboard tapping as the Victorian novel has been taking shape, the story practically writing itself.  I truly wish I was falling asleep, slumped over my keyboard with my fingers red and raw, the keys making a very odd impression on my face throughout the night.

That would, however, imply that more than 200 words have been added to the manuscript.

See, last week The Boy returned for Spring Break, bringing the usual difficult weather with him.  For the first few days it was confined to him simply creating and leaving messes.  By mid-week it was clear we were "not meeting his needs nor expectations" and by Friday his face was less than an inch from my face and he was screaming at me, wanting oh-so-despirately for me to throw the first punch. 

Instead, we informed him that he was not to return to our home without an expressed invitation to do so.  And that such an invitation was not going to be forthcoming for the summer.

By Saturday the weight of his actions had settled in on him and he had a long talk with Bonn in the living room.  I'm glad they were able to discuss things and that he was able to apologize to her for his actions (although he didn't do so to me).  I'm also glad he knows he's not coming back here for the summer regardless of how positive their discussion was.

The day job side of things is being busy.  Trainers are here for the week on the new system that's going live on May 1st.  I'm sitting in on the training sessions because I'm Project Manager (woo hoo) and, thanks to several cups of very strong tea, I'm not snoring my way through the sessions.

The CoolPix is back and I've been taking pictures on my regular walks.  Such a nice thing to have working again.  In fact, I did a Stock Image-like shot for them that's going to be used as part of the cover image for a book coming out sometime this year.  I wish it was something more artistic, but I suppose a book cover photo credit is a book cover photo credit.



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