Here is another shot that could have been improved by ramping the back cover.
Ramping with a bookend or other object would have created a straighter line at the top of the pages and reduced the curvature of the left hand side. If I did not want to include both pages, I could have ramped the opposite cover to make the page I was shooting lie flat, then stood over it to achieve the same square edge effect as I did above.
One of the more physically uncomfortable shots to take is the head of the spine or a panel containing the title because that in order to take a square shot you have to stoop down to get on the same level as the book. Putting a book high up on a shelf can help, but let's assume you want to stay in the same place with the same lighting conditions. I can assure you my knees and back were in no discomfort when I took this shot.
The bookend also creates a nice angle to rest the base of the book on.
In this position I could stand comfortably in front of the book, match my camera angle to that of the spine, and easily snap a picture of the title. If you need a close-up of the publisher's name as it appears on the bottom of the spine, simply turn the book upside down, snap the picture and rotate the image with your photo software.
Here is one last tip. Unless you are fortunate enough to possess professional lighting equipment along with the talent and experience to use it properly, you will find yourself struggling with glare. This image looks pretty good, but there is some glare appearing along the most distant half of the cover.
Taking the shot from a higher position above the book can eliminate the glare. If you find this position uncomfortable, you can make the book come to you by using the double bookend configuration.
This allows me to stand comfortably and snap a picture with no glare.
Using Craig's technique of photographing the book from it's side and then rotating it to a standing position with my photo software, I was able to create the next image, an upright book without the troublesome glare. And without the back pain.
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