Category Archives: Sepia Photography

Down On The Farm – Sepia Tone

I go from bright colored hot air balloons last week to sepia tones this week. I like the age a sepia tone creates visually in photography. With the right subject, you see a very old vintage look making the photograph appear to have been taken around the turn of the century. The subject of this post is farms and farm buildings.

I’m starting with a farm I came across in Oregon one year. It’s nestled in a valley and the morning fog was just lifting creating a somewhat eerie look

The rest of these captures are in Iowa southwest of Cedar Rapids in and around the Amana Colonies (for those of you that are familiar with the area). This next shot is part of a large old stable.

From here we go to two different hay barns.

And end with an old abandoned farm…

Thoughts?

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Adding Age to a Photoshoot – Sepia Tone

To create that “old” or “vintage” look in photography I use the sepia tone. It immediately brings to mind an aged photograph. I like to use it with subject matter that would have or could have been seen in early photography. I thought that these covered bridges in Oregon were a perfect fit for that look. To age the prints even more, I used a rough texture adding that element of an old photo.

All three of these bridges are located in Southern Oregon just off Interstate 5 as it winds its way north from California heading into the  Williamette Valley.

 

 

Thoughts?

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Sepia Tone or Black and White?

When you go with a monochrome presentation of a picture, you are presenting a scene, structure or object in tones of a singular color. I use black and white presentations usually to create a mood. In a sepia tone presentation it usually creates a “vintage” look since we associate that color tone to old-fashioned pictures. To illustrate this, I chose three shots of a subject that I have done in black and white and sepia tone.

The first picture is of Cape Blanco Lighthouse along the Oregon coastline.

The second capture is of an adobe located on the grounds of the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas.

And the third shot is of a barn nestled in a valley in Iowa.

Thoughts?

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Covered Wagons or the Family Car sure has changed

I use the sepia filter in my photography for old vintage subjects to reinforce the historic look.  Today I am featuring two covered wagons I came across in Oregon when I was doing a photoshoot of covered bridges. They were on the grounds of a local museum and of course I couldn’t resist the opportunity to shoot them. Presenting them using sepia tone to duplicate the old chemical process in developing film seemed an obvious choice for the subject matter.

As I looked at these covered wagons, I couldn’t help but think how it would have been traveling cross-country in this type of transportation. To traverse across vast distances of landscape with your family and all your belongings for months, to start a new life blows my mind.

As a child, I can remember loading up the family station wagon, (mom, dad and four kids) traveling from the midwest to visit relatives in California. I can recall that we would always drive the desert stretch at night since this was before air conditioning was common in cars (ok…I’m old). We did eventually get a new station wagon during those years that had AC and us kids thought we were in heaven during those later trips.

I applaud our forefathers in the eastern parts of the United States and Canada that headed west in both countries with this mode of transportation. Some settled in the plains and others continued westward through the Rocky Mountains to settle in the far west of both countries.

(on a side note: for those of you that follow my blog…after two weeks as I write this, we just today finished unpacking all boxes from our move… it has been a grueling but wonderful two weeks. We have had the pleasure of “much” time with our granddaughter, our daughter and son-in-law!! After getting everything set up in the house, we now have a garage full of furniture and assorted storage boxes that will find their way into a storage unit. We downsized with the move, but have a number of “heirloom” furniture pieces from my wife’s family and mine that that we will use in our next move to Seattle in about three years. What I haven’t shared is that in May, my wife had knee replacement surgery and then during recovery found out a prior injury months before surgery was actually a bone fracture in same foot as knee surgery. Bottom line…she is now in a “boot”, but has she let that slow her down in unpacking, etc…nope!! Bless happy hour and wine…wine mostly me!!)

Thoughts?

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Vintage Sepia Photography – Featured Art Prints

I like playing with the sepia look in photography. It conjures up images of old vintage photographs. My wife and I had our picture taken in an old west jail years ago…they decked us up in clothes from the time period. It was done in the sepia format giving it that old look. That experience started my interest in the sepia look.

In my years of photography, I have turned a number of shots into a sepia format (example my Chichen Itza post from last year). I typically feature old items such as the old cash register and chair from another post. Today I wanted to feature three such pictures from my photo shoot in the Sharlot Hall Museum located in Prescott, Arizona.

The first capture is a desk and chair located in one of the log cabins. I like the two architectural elements together and felt that putting a sepia vintage look to them would fit the time period they represent.

The second print is of that same log cabin from the exterior.

The final capture is a pot belly stove located in one of the log cabins on the property.

Thoughts?

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Climbing The Pyramid When You Could – El Castillo in Chichen Itza

Sepia Mayan Pyramid – El Castillo as it looks without people climbing it

Chichen Itza came up in a discussion recently about how you use to be able to climb the great stairs of the pyramid all the way to the top. I was fortunate enough to have done that very thing when you still could. I’m not sure of the specific year when I did the climb, but it was somewhere in the very early 2000’s. My wife and I were down there with a group of people from work (annual reward trip). We were staying in Cancun and took a chartered tour bus to Chichen Itza. I love history, architecture and ancient ruins, so I was in my element. Of course I was not without my camera and took a ton of shots of the different ruins, El Castillo being foremost in my shoot. I was fascinated from a photography aspect of pictures with people walking up the steps of this famous pyramid.

Fast forward to 2007 and we were back down there with some close friends and our respective families. My girls had heard about climbing this pyramid and couldn’t believe their father who has a fear of heights actually did it. Imagine their disappointment when we found out you could no longer climb the pyramid. Due to an unfortunate death to a falling tourist in late 2005 and to the damage being done by the sheer load of people trudging up and down those steps along with the graffiti left behind by those same people, it was no longer permitted.

“Chichen Itza” El Castillo the day I climbed to the top

Those pictures suddenly started taking on a new element for me as something that will not be seen again. As I worked with them for my gallery I kept getting this circa 1930’s vibe and Indiana Jones feel from them. Sepia popped into my head and after converting them decided to add another element of that old vibe with some texture. What came from that process is these three captures converted to what I think looks like an old Indiana Jones element from that era (of course I realize he wouldn’t be discovering anything new in a place that had tourist climbing pyramid steps, but my vision of this look didn’t care about such details).

“Walking Up The Pyramid”   you can see people coming down using my technique and people walking down like it wasn’t an issue….but you get the visual impact of how steep those stairs actually are.

Now you can’t leave without me telling you about the wonders of that climb. I have a fear of heights such as the edge of the Grand Canyon (edge only), glass elevators that take you up more than 10 stories….I have some tolerance….ledges on mountains to name a few. I knew climbing the stairs wouldn’t be an issue as you are looking at the structure. I didn’t have any issues climbing to the top and was a little cautious about walking around by the edge at the top….ok…I stayed pretty close to the walls of the structure you see up there. The view is incredible and I was fascinated by the placement of the different windows in the top structure. Truly forgetting about how far up I was, it was time to come back down. You have no idea just how really steep and narrow each of those steps are until you go back down. For me it was literally too much to try and walk back down those steps…one trip or miss-step and you will literally fall all the way down (which is unfortunately what happened to the tourist I mentioned above). The best way is to sit down and slide your backside down each step.

I have toured the site multiple times and have learned new things each time. For more information about Chichen Itza – Wikipedia Here.   Chichen Itza is located in the middle of the northern tier of the Yucatan Peninsula between Merida towards the Gulf of Mexico and Cancun on the Caribbean side. Thoughts?

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Sepia Tone – Vintage Photography

I enjoy using a sepia tone for some of my photography, specifically if it will enhance the subject matter. The sepia brown tones originated with film photography as part of the process to develop the prints in the 1800’s. Today, we can recreate that same vintage look digitally.

I have attached two pictures I took at the Hollywood School House in Woodinville, Washington (just outside of Seattle). The school was established in 1912 and has been restored to its turn of the century charm. It is currently used for weddings and special events and is located in the heart of the Woodinville Wine Valley.

 

Both of these items caught my attention and I thought they would make great sepia tone photographs to highlight the aged vintage look they represented. Thoughts?

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