Greenwood was located in the outskirts of Ohio, isolated from the rest of civilization they truly were off the grid. Everyone had a role in the town and they all relied on one another in order to prosper. The town was like any other, it had stores, houses and of course a school, but this town held a dark secret. Every year for as long as they could remember a child would vanish, no one ever knew why and nor did they question it. But they all knew it would happen, and 5 years ago that child was Alex Hail’s best friend. After the death of his mother his father seemed to disappear from his life, and after his friend vanished he truly was alone. Alex was the type of kid who never looked very far into the future, he’d make rude remarks at his teachers and wasn’t afraid to pick on the bigger kids, and they certainly were not afraid of him. It wasn’t uncommon for Alex to put himself into a dangerous situation, but somehow he always managed to talk his way out of it. One day at school Alex did just that, taunting Jonathan, a boy twice his size. But unfortunately for him, he wouldn’t be able to talk himself out of it. He runs down to the Fallen leaf lane, the last place his friend Timothy was found. Hiding in a pile of leaves he begins to hear the laughter of children and realizes it’s not Jonathan’s. After a flashback reminds him of when Timothy disappeared it becomes deja-vu. He begins to hear the sounds of laughter as the wind rages around him, but instead of running over to the pile of leaves that Timothy had been hiding in on that fateful day, he looks down to realize he’s the one in the pile of the leaves. He is not afraid, and he does not run, but instead, vanishes.
In my cover I wanted the reader to immediately get a sense of mystery. The main character, Alex, has alienated himself from the rest of society, including his peers and family, so in the cover I wanted to create a sense of isolation. The majority of the story takes place on an eerie street lined by trees, so for my cover I wanted to highlight the trees. I was initially going to have silhouettes of children playing, but the title of the book is “vanished”, so instead I decided to make the children “vanish”. As for the background, I didn’t want to use some pastel color, I wanted texture but I needed to keep the eerie tone. I felt the best way to do so was with a paper background, after applying this I decided to add some effects to the trees and title to make them look more like ink on the page.
A man stands on the edge of a mountain as he stares off into the distance, in one hand he holds a pencil, inhaling the fumes as he takes a hit, as his other hand hangs by his side. The man reflects upon his dull life, wishing for more, for an outlet to express himself and show where his imagination can take him. He seeks an empty canvas.
Before taking photos, I sketched out what I wanted to create, I knew I wanted my piece to utilize morphing. For this I decided what better object to morph to portray a canvas than paper. I took out a few sheets of paper from my backpack and crumpled them and then unfolded it to give the paper texture. The paper in my final piece was shot using HDR photography. After taking photos of the paper I needed my background, the only real criteria I had here was that it needed to have hills and mountains, and look beautiful of course. After finding the spot to shoot I set up my tripod and experimented with several different settings on my camera, I ended up angling my camera so you could slightly see the trail on the side. I then took some photos of my friend to later piece in. After gathering my photos I realized I needed something else to piece it all together and make it look almost “natural”. To do this I decided to take a pencil and burn one end, this would then be placed into the hands of my friend to give off the impression he was “smoking” the pencil like a cigarette. I shot the pencil in HDR to maximize the texture since I knew it would be small but have to stand out. In photoshop I cut out both my friend and the pencil and placed them on the background shot. Using the eraser tool I carefully eliminated some of the hills, I was initially going to remove them all but this ended up giving it a very 1 dimensional effect. After erasing some of the hills I then too placed the photos of the crumpled paper to fill in the void space, making the hills appear to be made of paper. Using filters to enhance saturation and exposure I was able to make the background much more vibrant like a painting, the filters were also used to make the texture on the paper pop out much more.