A few months ago, I wrote about taking photos out of the car window including a view in my rear view mirror. Today looking for some other photos, I found two of those. I had been asked to post them so people could see the results.
We were out west and that’s Shiprock you see in the distance of the one photo and the other is just a view. I was using a Zeiss Ikon German 35 mm camera, which I had for years. I used it all during my newspaper days because I liked the results better than the paper’s camera. Then a fingerprint was permanently glazed on the lens. I forget what they call that and I didn’t know it could happen. So I had to buy a point and shoot, which never took as perfect a photo as that Zeiss. Oops, just shows what can happen in the digital age if we’re not careful. In scanning the two photos, I forgot to change the default to jpeg on the second one, so it’s not supported for Word Press. It’s not much different from the first one, just a different angle and distance.
The Washington County Observer, being a small weekly paper, and it was back in the early 90s, we used all black and white film in a small 35 mm camera, then developed the pictures in a dark room. They were then hung around all over the place till the best shots were picked. Then the photo was screened for the newspaper. All old fashioned stuff.
Before I left the paper in 1999, we were using computers, but still not digital photos. If today one scans or copies those old photos, the screening is apt to show up in the finished scan. When I put together the book, Washington County, for Arcadia publishing, I chose the photos from old newspapers, took them to a shop over by the university where they were scanned by a Canon 500 color scanner, though they were black and white. The reason for the color scan was to brighten the contrast of the black and white and somehow take out the screening. Those scans were then numbered, a cut line added and sent to the publisher. Since there was no other text in that particular book, it was a fairly easy preparation, though the information used under each photo had to be spot on.
Oh, my, I don’t yearn for the good old days when it came to writing, in any form. Nonfiction historical books are probably the most difficult of any book I can think of to create. Even today, with digital photos that make that part of it so much easier, just the gathering of information, making sure the history is absolutely correct, then presenting it in a non-boring form so someone might want to read it, is so difficult. Compared to fiction writing, it’s a labor-intensive undertaking.
When I finished The Boston Mountains: Lost in the Ozarks, I requested of my husband that he shoot me if I ever agreed to do another nonfiction book. I was just so exhausted. I loved the traveling, interviewing, meeting so many nice people. But the creation of the book itself left me burnt out. There is so much more to nonfiction than the writing. I had done six nonfiction books by then, and have since gone to fiction. It was either that or commit myself.
After the first six novels written for Penguin in New York, I turned to setting my books in areas I’m familiar with and surrounding my fictional characters with characters based on all those fantastic people I met putting those early nonfiction books together. There’s always a certain amount of research for fiction, but I can make up so much of it. Still gotta get those guns and cars and airplanes and dog breeds and on and on correct or readers will get on me. But the stories. Oh, my the lies a fiction writer can tell.
My next book, The Pit and the Pinnance is #3 in A Twist of Poe Romantic Suspense novels set in Arkansas. Speaking of dogs, it has a darling pit bull introduced who will cause Jessie and Dal some problems, and a new kink in this couple’s relationship. These are sexy, dark, and gritty books for tough women readers. Not for the faint of heart. Look for it Mid-May. Meanwhile, if you haven’t already, why not take a peek at #1 The Purloined Skull and #2 The Tell-Tale Stone, both filled with a sexy love story, some dark suspense, and a gritty mystery.