music cd packaging


That’s what I am when I am asked to help fellow artists, in this case musicians, to photograph and create images and packaging to help them sell their CD.

Eric Miller and Ralf Illenberger are releasing a new music project on March 22nd at Relics Restaurant in Sedona and asked me to come by and make a photo showing them in their creation space. Of course, I asked what vision was in their mind and I headed for the shoot with all sorts of ideas on how I was going to light the scene. And then found them in this ‘closet-like’ space and had to start from scratch on what I was going to do. First we had to revisit the vision. Recreate working the feeling of working late into the night…  Possible moods to depict? Serious, fun, thoughtful, etc…

Small room. Large window. First task – make the sun go away by blocking the light from the window. 2nd task – find a way to light the scene. Used the wall to bounce a large strobe because there was no room for light modifiers. Note that the walls are painted reflective gold and deal with the color change that would occur. Add a small LED light from camera left to fill shadows and add detail. Find point of view. Choose a viewpoint outside the door looking in to give the viewer a sense of peeking in at these guys at work. Almost voyeuristic.

Process image for the mood I was looking. Change mind as experimentation led to processing a warmer gold tone image taking advantage of the golden walls. Sharp. But layers of soft at the same time. A little painterly kind of fantasy look.

To the design. Choose one working photo for the cover and add several additional photos to help tell the different moods of the story. Choose fonts. Design.

Show initial layout. Get feedback and more information. Refine layout. Retouch.


Move graphics and refine to create CD information. Send for final review of layout, spelling clearance and last minute tweaks.

Convert files for the printer. (repeat a couple times as we found a couple small errors and additions)

And here it is.

heart tree CD artwork

Heart Tree CD Jacket for Ralf and Eric

The capture was with the Lumix GH4 and the 12-35mm f2.8 Vario Lens. I ended up using just the 250 watt modeling light on the Paul C Buff White Lightning X-3200 light plus a little kicker fill from the Fiilex Brick LED light This is a pretty handy light to have in your quiver. Color balance and brightness is adjustable and the light is quite soft. Give you a nice WYSIWYG and doubles as a video light.

Yours in Creative Photography,     Bob

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