Dave's Photo & Travelblogue

Photo shoots. World travel advice. Tips on Munich & environs.

Demon’s Bane available on Amazon US

Hi all, I’m a bit slow with new posts this month as my family is visiting from the US. However I’ll have a lot more pictures for new posts afterward: Vienna, Christmas markets all across Germany and Austria, and lots more.

One unexpected (fast) piece of good news is that my book is now available on Amazon US (edit: also now UK and DE)! You can order via the links below to help support a starving writer:

Enjoy reading! If you find it a worthwhile read, I’d appreciate a review on Amazon. But please be honest; I don’t want any “Ohmigosh this is like the bestest thing I’ve ever read in my enTIRE life” reviews… hehe.

Happy Holidays…!
Dave

Posted 7 years, 6 months ago at 11:39 am.

2 comments

Demon’s Bane Book Cover Contest: Take Two

Two important things:

  • Here’s the (revised) prospective book cover for my upcoming novel, Demon’s Bane!
  • You could win a free copy of the book! To enter, just comment on this blog post by Nov. 30th, 2009.

I’m already including those who commented on the earlier post, which led to this total revision of the art. But I’d gladly appreciate further input from those who gave advice on the last cover… as long as you like this one more than the previous one… haha.

To view in higher resolution, just click on the photo (this is Version 1):

Demon's Bane Revised Book Cover

Edit: here’s a second version with the title moved into the infamous “blue space.” Is Version 2 better?

Demon's Bane Alternate Cover

Thanks to J. W. Parente, who provided the art that went into the stylizing cycle! Also to my artistic consultant Dylan, who is a Photoshop wizard.

To enter the drawing, which ends on Nov. 30th 2009, just leave a (non-spam) comment on this post to let me know what you think of the cover.  I’m still open to minor modifications.  Is it awesome?  Does it suck?  Is the text okay?  If you saw this cover in a bookstore, would you pick up the book and take a look inside?  The winner will receive an autographed copy of Demon’s Bane once the book is in print, sent free of charge anywhere in the world that has post.

Posted 7 years, 7 months ago at 12:13 am.

27 comments

Demon’s Bane Book Cover Contest

Two important things:

  • Here’s the prospective book cover for my upcoming novel, Demon’s Bane!
  • You could win a free copy of the book! To enter, just comment on this blog post by Nov. 30th, 2009.

Thanks to the six friends who are in the cover photo. Bob, Nadia, Jim, Chung, Zippy, and Mr. Excitement: I will keep your names a secret for your own protection.

To view in higher resolution, just click on the photo:
David Douglas - Demon's Bane Cover

This is a battle scene at night, lit up by a globe of magical light above the combatants.

To enter the drawing, which ends on Nov. 30th 2009, just leave a (non-spam) comment on this post to let me know what you think of the cover.  I’m still open to minor modifications.  Is it awesome?  Does it suck?  Is the text okay?  If you saw this cover in a bookstore, would you pick up the book and take a look inside?  The winner will receive an autographed copy of Demon’s Bane once the book is in print, sent free of charge anywhere in the world that has post.

The photo was taken in Munich with a Nikon D90, a Nikon SB-600, and a Vivitar 383.  You can see the Vivitar in the back with a red gel (a.k.a. the fireball). One subject in the photo is from the Taipei Zoo, although the wolf’s charred backside was only digitally damaged. No wolves were harmed in the creation of this cover. In addition, Bob was not shot with an arrow (which he then had to rip out from his own arm), and Chung was not mauled in the leg by a wolf.

I sincerely hope Nadia didn’t actually throw any fireballs at anyone after I taught her that spell.

Update: see the revised cover here! It’s an illustration instead of a photo.

Posted 7 years, 7 months ago at 10:00 am.

23 comments

Demon’s Bane – October Giveaway!

Alright, I am making good progress on the book.  Hopefully it’s available on Amazon in December or January (of course, the goal is to publish in time for Christmas sales).

If you’d like to enter the October giveaway for a free copy when it’s published, just subscribe to the newsletter on http://daviddouglasbooks.com/ via the link on the right sidebar of that website.  This freebie will be personally autographed by the author and shipped anywhere in the world!  The October winner will be chosen at random from newsletter subscribers.

To keep on topic, here’s how I made the header picture of the book website:

Photo from the Englischer Garten

Photo from the Englischer Garten

The photo was taken in the English Garden in Munich, and the light was perfect: a mixture of clouds and sun that provided this surreal setting.  Then I found photos of a lynx and a falcon at http://www.openstockphotography.org/ and cut them out using Photoshop’s “Extract” feature.  I added some mild drop shadow for the “new” objects.  Thanks to Dylan Masells for the awesome text effects!

Open stock photography uses photos from Wikimedia Commons.  Their claim is, “can be used by anyone, for any purpose” including commercial uses.  Excellent!

Posted 7 years, 8 months ago at 11:04 am.

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Taipei Zoo

I’ve been to a lot of zoos in my time.  Some, like the zoo + croc farm in Melaka, are a little sad… the animals don’t look too happy.  Others, like the San Diego Zoo, do a much better job with habitats, space, and overall quality of life for the animals.  I’m happy to say the Taipei Zoo meets the same standard as the zoo in San Diego, at least from what I could see as a visitor.

Leopard in the sun

Leopard in the sun

There were a lot of primates there as well, and their habitats were quite impressive.  Mostly I was going for zoom shots, trying to avoid too many hints that it’s a zoo instead of the wild:

Climbing a tree

Climbing a tree

You’ll notice I have a lot of shots of the big cats.  They had nice habitats, and all were posing for me, so why not?  I used a Nikon D90 and 70-300VR lens for all these photos.

Squinting tiger

Squinting tiger

Okay, this was Taipei, and it gets hot there in the summer.  I think it was in the mid-30’s Celsius (90’s in F).  I was glad to see the most sensitive animals were not in their “on-show” habitats; probably they were cooler non-visible areas.  But several of the animals were looking toasty, and not too happy about it.  (not the greatest focus, but I had to laugh at/with this poor guy)

Sorry, red panda... I don't control the weather

Sorry, red panda... I don't control the weather

Here’s a bird I don’t think I had ever seen before in person, only in photos and on cereal cartons:

Colorful toucan

Colorful toucan

This is a favorite, the lynx: I used one as a character in my book, Demon’s Bane.  The demon Shyama inhabits a lynx form.

This is a lynx, like the one in DEMON'S BANE

This is a lynx, like the one in DEMON'S BANE

I saved my favorite for last.  To get this shot I had to walk around to the back viewing area of the enclosure, and stand on some rocks by the path to get the right angle for a “natural” look.  Out of a dozen shots, one came out looking like a teenager’s portrait in the evening sun:

Friendly-looking lion

Friendly-looking lion

To sum up, if you enjoy good zoos, I highly recommend the one in Taipei.  The zoo is at the end of an MRT line so it’s easy to find.  There’s lots more to do in Taipei, so if you’re looking for a nice trip idea, go there!  You won’t regret it.

Posted 7 years, 10 months ago at 12:08 pm.

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David Douglas: Author

Yours truly is writing a book at the moment, full-time. In fact, it’s already completed and I’m looking for an agent or publisher. Let me know if you have any contacts in the publishing world!

The book is a fantasy novel called Demon’s Bane and is around 400 pages (112k words for those in the business). In case I end up doing Print-On-Demand publishing, I might do a cover photo shoot somewhere in Munich–perhaps in the Englischer Garten. The book website is here, http://daviddouglasbooks.com

Last week I did a photo shoot with a friend of mine, Udo Hartmann. He is a hobby photographer in Munich who does occasional paid shoots. If you’re interested to see more of his work, check it out here: http://www.udohartmann-foto.de/.  This post is for my cousin, who asked “where is the pipe smoking photo?”  I don’t smoke, and I don’t have a stodgy office to chew cigars in, so here’s the best I can do.
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Always check your surroundings.  I didn’t notice the sign next to me said something possibly offensive… Udo had to blur it out.

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Nice B&W conversion tool…

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We had to arrange something to block the glare off a parked car’s windshield so I could avoid squinting like a mole on a Brazilian beach.

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Here is my attempt at a “thoughtful” look.  Heh… you be the judge.

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Posted 7 years, 10 months ago at 6:33 am.

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