An open book.
Since the launch of this blog, I've received a few comments about the design - all positive except for two. The first warned me that the header image was so large that it took a while for his browser to load the image and then it took a long time to scroll through to get to the content. This was a worry of mine from the start - I work on a MacBook Pro and/or on a 24-inch monitor, both of which have enough resolution to render the previous design wonderfully. The second criticism came from the designer of a very popular daily HDR photoblog (most of you can guess what site I mean). Said web designer felt as though my work was too close to his, presumably because both used old paper textures heavily. Plagiarism never my intent and the brand spanking new design having been a germ in my head for some time, I used the comment as motivation to re-do the header and post lead elements for The Golden Sieve. Long story short - both Mr. Webdesigner and I agreed the new look is much better than the previous design.
All the elements you see in the new header were hanging out on my bookshelf or cupboard. The open book is actually a 1950's era reprint of Lewis Carrol's Alice in Wonderland, the book on the bottom is a 1954 printing of Silas Marner (probably the same edition that Jean Shepard's "Ralphie" had to read for school in "A Christmas Story") and the red book is a 1906 print of the poetic works of John Milton. I included the Intelligentisia coffee mug as an homage to my favorite pushers. Click the link and buy one for yourself - this one has a really cool image of the Chicago flag on the opposite side. Everything else in the photograph was created with time and effort, photoshop and a bit of help from all the people who put wonderful, free photoshop brushes and fonts online for non-commercial use. Deviant Art and I are like this. Here is the photograph before any editing:
My cat jumped onto the seamless paper and into the light of my flashes after I had finished making the image I needed for the header. This is Poe: