Photo Rehab Cover Makeover #4: The Invention of Solitude

Cover Makeover #4 and I am still interested. It’s kind of fun, and it repurposes old photos. A win-win, if you ask me. Yeah, I know you didn’t ask me.

Here’s what we are given as the original:


It’s The Invention of Solitude and here is a brief excerpt from Goodreads: “Paul Auster’s moving and personal meditation on fatherhood. The first section, ‘Portrait of an Invisible Man’, reveals Auster’s memories and feelings after the death of his father, a distant, undemonstrative, almost cold man. As he attends to his father’s business affairs and sifts through his effects, Auster uncovers a sixty-year-old family murder mystery that sheds light on his father’s elusive character.”.

This is an interesting book because it was originally published in 1982 and it is occasionally listed as fiction and other times as a memoir. It is, as far as I can tell, a memoir. There are a number of covers for different editions, and the above is a fairly faithful take on the first edition. Other covers play on different themes, so I felt pretty good about taking some liberty with the theme, concentrating on the title rather than the actual content. 

And, yes, this is yet another book I would never read. For one, I’m not a father. For another, my experience with fathers is not exactly something I draw on for anything but at best a neutral experience, and often drifting into the negative. 

Solitude, however, is something I valued even as a kid. I much preferred being out on my own, the company of others being a burden. Per my limited understanding, that makes me somewhat unique . . . but then, aren’t we all unique?

Solitude . . . as humans are absent in the vast majority of my photos I immediately resolved to eschew any representation of solitude involving actual humans. 

I could have used animals (ignore the caption; it was for another post) . . . 

I have lots of pictures of this place, but the buffalo adds an anchor to the picture. Something for the viewer to connect with.
I have lots of pictures of this place, but the buffalo adds something for the viewer to connect with.

. . . but, that’s not something a person can identify with; not many people wade through rivers in Yellowstone. 

I could use one of my many landscape shots . . . 

MISC_28AUG2010_13579-Processed_DIGI (2)

But, that’s a broken-down remnant of human presence. I know I can see me in a place like that (restored, of course, and with cable, internet, and a nearby Costco), but others might have difficulty associating it with “solitude” and may see it more as “lonely” which is a whole other thing (and one I’m not familiar with). 

No, I needed something evoking a person alone with their thoughts but that does so without the actual person.

I took this photo because the empty furniture looks inviting as a place for solitude . . .


. . . cropped it to the desired orientation . . . 


. . . added mood . . . 


. . . and I was nearly there.

However, there was too much texture, detail . . . too much distraction. Enter Topaz Simplify . . . 


Yeah! That’s what I’m talking about, but still too much color . . . enter Topaz B&W . . . 


Perfect! . . . or so it seems to me. Others might disagree.

Here’s the final product after processing it in Photoshop.

Cover Makeover 4 -The Invention of Solitude_DIGI

For them who need mood music to go with it . . . 

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ o o o o o o ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Amplified and drawn out
Amplified and drawn out

Astute persons might have noticed these doodles, and correctly surmised they hold some significance for me, and perhaps for humanity at large.  

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