Tag Archives: historic

Subtle Softening Photographs of Covered Bridges

This week, in keeping with the theme from last week (a behind the scenes peek of how I digitally create these art prints), I wanted to share a technique I used with these three examples of covered bridges in Oregon. As I stated last week, I have been using Adobe Photoshop forever. I love the variety of features and flexibility it gives me not only with my photography, but also in creating digitally painted art.

The three prints I have attached came from a photo shoot I did a number of years ago in Oregon. All three look like three photographs of covered bridges and in reality they are. If you look closer, you will see that the edges and detail are softened slightly…ever so slightly to just give the prints a subtle softness. It’s a minor change I created by using one of Adobe’s filters. I started with the photographs in Adobe and eliminated any background “noise” such as electrical wires. In these shots that was about the only doctoring I did to the actual photograph. The next step was to soften them slightly, so I used their watercolor filter. In that filter you can control numerous elements such as pixel size of softness..type of softness and intensity. With numerous trial and error attempts, I settled on a level I liked. A subtle watercolor effect that you see more easily in the trees, but it also soften the edges of the bridges…again very subtle, but an overall softening.

Thoughts?

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Sharlot Hall Museum Two – Excerpts From A Photo Shoot

My last post was about a weekend getaway my wife and I did to Prescott, Arizona. The post focused on our visit to the Sharlot Hall Museum. I included some shots of the log buildings that are on the grounds of the museum and this week I wanted to include shots I took inside some of those log structures.


The first two photographs are of a kitchen and then a bedroom within the log Governor’s Mansion.

Sharlot Hall - Kitchen

Sharlot Hall – Kitchen

Sharlot Hall - Bedroom

Sharlot Hall – Bedroom


This third shot focuses in on the chair and chest by the bedroom window. Notice the chair, it folds up. What caught me eye wasn’t just the fact that the chair folds up, but the fact we actually have a similar chair from the same era that also folds up, but ours is a rocking chair. When we first got married (many moons ago), we were trying to acquire furniture and both of us still being in college (yes, I said many moons ago), we were willing to take anything. My parents remembered some old antique furniture stored in the attic and offered us anything we wanted. We did acquire a few pieces and the chair was one of them. I was told the chair was called a “wake rocker” and had been handed down from grandparents. I stripped it and reupholstered it and all these years later, it now sits in storage at our house waiting for one of our daughters to take an interest in it.

Sharlot Hall - Chair and Chest

Sharlot Hall – Chair and Chest


The rest of the shots capture other furnishings within these log buildings.

Sharlot Hall - Desk and Chair

Sharlot Hall – Desk and Chair

Sharlot Hall - Cabinet

Sharlot Hall – Cabinet

Sharlot Hall - Pot Belly Stove

Sharlot Hall – Pot Belly Stove

Thoughts?


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Sharlot Hall Museum – Excerpts From a Photo Shoot

A couple of weeks ago, my wife and I did a weekend getaway to one of our favorite Arizona towns, Prescott. We like Prescott as a getaway due to the fact that it is over 5000 feet in elevation and the temperature is a welcome break from the heat of Phoenix. One of the things my wife had researched and wanted to checkout was the Sharlot Hall Museum. On the grounds of the museum were the original structures of the first Governors Mansion for what had just become the realigned territory of Arizona. The other structures on the property also included original log buildings from the mid 1800’s, Victorian homes from a later error and a core museum structure with exhibits. In this blog I wanted to share a few of the shots I took of the log buildings (I keep wanting to say log cabins as most were of that size, but they were referred to as log buildings…whatever…).

The grounds were beautiful and you could wander around at your leisure. Most of the buildings had a docent to answer any questions and all of the different structures were furnished with original period pieces (another blog coming for some of those items).

We finished the tour at the Territorial Rose Garden next to the Governors Mansion. The roses were in full bloom and were beautiful (another blog with some of those shots).


This first shot is the original Governors Mansion built for the newly appointed capital of the realigned Arizona Territory by President Lincoln. I love the architectural details (no big surprise for those of you that follow my work).

Governors Mansion Arizona

Governors Mansion Arizona


 

The second capture is The Ranch House, which was built for the museum in the 1930’s to represent typical ranch houses from the 1800’s.

The Ranch House

The Ranch House


The third photograph is of Fort Misery (note the side of The Ranch House in the background). Fort Misery is the oldest log building associated with the territory of Arizona. Originally built in 1863-1864 along the banks of Granite Creek (two blocks south of the museum). It was disassembled and reassembled on the museum grounds in 1934. A trader from Santa Fe built it as a home and store.

Fort Misery

Fort Misery


The fourth and last shot is the Territorial Rose Garden on the side of the Governor’s Mansion. The territorial rose garden was created and planted in 1948. It was moved to its current location on the north side of the Governors Mansion in 1974. The move was so that the rose garden would be visible from the street aligning the museum grounds.

Territorial Rose Garden

Territorial Rose Garden

Thoughts?


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Scorpion Gulch – Excerpts From a Photo Shoot

I posted excerpts from a photo shoot that I did with my daughter a couple of weeks ago (Heritage Square: Phoenix, Arizona). As a continuation of that day this photo shoot was another stop we made. Scorpion Gulch is in South Mountain Park at the base of the mountain. The minute we came across this, we knew we had to stop. Scorpion Gulch was a store built in 1936 by William Lunsford. He also built his residence right next door. The property is located on Central Ave and is the main road to go into South Mountain Park on your way up to the summit. The buildings were first listed on the historic preservation register in 1990. For more information, click the Scorpion Gulch link to Wikipedia.


The first shot is the store itself. Located to the right of this structure is the remnant of the residence, which is the focus of this photo shoot.

Scorpion Gulch Store built in 1936 at the base of South Mountain Park in Phoenix, Arizona. The owner also built his residence which is located to the right of the store. The property was listed in the Historical Preservation Registery in 1990.

Scorpion Gulch 1


The second picture is the front of the residence. Notice the castle-like turret on the left. I love the stonework and the attention he gave to detail.

Scorpion Gulch 2

Scorpion Gulch 2


The next capture gives you an idea of the condition of the walls and obviously there isn’t a roof any more.

Scorpion Gulch 3

Scorpion Gulch 3


The building stretches back and around giving you unique angles and views. The wall on the right (which is really not in the shot) is the back of the fireplace on the next shot.

Scorpion Gulch 4

Scorpion Gulch 4


I fell in love with this fireplace; can you believe the size of it and the detail of the rock? As an enclosed room, I am sure it was stunning.

Scorpion Gulch 5

Scorpion Gulch 5


This and the rest of the shots are taken from the same spot, just rotating to my right. I am back at the front of the property with the store on my immediate left and the front of the house on my immediate right. The house stretches back on the right and then juts out in front of us creating a large “L”. I would assume this was a type of courtyard in its day. If you look back through the window and doorway combo on the middle right, you can see the fireplace from the prior shot.

Scorpion Gulch 6

Scorpion Gulch 6


This picture gives you a better perspective of just how far back the house goes. On the extreme right of the frame is the base to the castle turret we saw in the capture of the front of the house.

Scorpion Gulch 7

Scorpion Gulch 7


This last one looks back towards the front of the house with a very large and old Saguaro Cactus framing the shot.

Scorpion Gulch 8

Scorpion Gulch 8

Thoughts?


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Heritage Square; Phoenix, Arizona – Excerpts From A Photo Shoot

My oldest daughter and her husband live near us here in Arizona. She teaches and has been out on break for the summer. She has always had a love of photography and will periodically give me a call and suggest a photo shoot somewhere in the Phoenix area that she has been researching. She wanted to get together and do a shoot before she headed back to the classroom and her students. This go around, she picked Heritage Square in downtown Phoenix. Neither of us had been there and it sounded like a great opportunity.

Heritage Square is located on block 14 of the original townsite of Phoenix. The crowning jewel is the restored Rosson House Museum. The square celebrates the city’s striking Victorian past with restored homes and buildings of that era, some housing award-winning restaurants, others museums. The square also adjoins Science Park, home of Arizona Science Center.


The first shot was my suggestion to help her work with depth of field through aperture setting and shutter speed. The setting is between two of the restored homes looking towards the Rosson House.

Heritage Square 1

Heritage Square – Phoenix, Arizona


This second capture grabbed my attention because of the wrap around porch, typical for this style of home in this era.

Heritage Square, Phoenix, Arizona,

Heritage Square – Phoenix, Arizona


And of course what type of a reminder of the era would be complete without the carriage parked in front of the carriage house for the Rosson mansion.

Heritage Square, Arizona

Heritage Square – Phoenix, Arizona


My last two shots are of the Rosson House Museum. The home has been completely restored including furnishings true to the era.

Heritage Square, Phoenix, Arizona

Heritage Square – Phoenix, Arizona

Heritage Square, Phoenix, Arizona

Heritage Square – Phoenix, Arizona

Beautifully done, the square is a great addition to downtown as it celebrates the history of what we know today as modern day Phoenix. Many of you might not be aware of the history of Phoenix. The region has hosted many nomadic tribes dating back to 9,000 BC, but was actually settled in about 1 AD for agriculture. A canal system was developed within the first 500 years enabling agriculture to flourish. Agriculture today is still one of the major industries throughout the surrounding desert. For detailed information; Wikipedia, History of Phoenix, Arizona.

Thoughts?


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Sepia Tone in the Old West – Excerpts from a Photo Shoot

It seems to me that whenever I come across photo opportunities that are of the old west, my mind immediately thinks “What would this look like in a sepia tone?” The sepia tone gives photography an old rustic look since it dates back to the 1880’s and is a familiar sight from photography taken in the old west. Living in the Phoenix area, there are plenty of opportunities to capture shots from that time period. A couple of weeks ago, we had family visiting and decided we wanted to go up to Tortilla Flats for lunch. None of us had been out there in a number of years and thought it would be fun. For those of you that are wondering what Tortilla Flats is, it is a replica of an old west town (and I use the term loosely) that houses a restaurant,  saloon, ice cream parlor, gift shop and small museum. Tourist attraction, you say…absolutely but based on actual history. It was a stagecoach stop and originated as a camping ground for prospectors searching for gold in the surrounding Superstition Mountains. Needless to say, there are numerous “Old West” photo opportunities. I wanted to share a couple of shots that I took that day and walk you through my “sepia” process to create that old rustic look to the photos.

Both shots actually look good in color, but for someone who wants an art print of the rustic old west, they typically are looking for the sepia tone as they decorate a room around that warm earth tone.

Old West Mine 1

Old West Mine 1

The first shot is of a fake gold mine; the “Lost Dutchman Gold Mine” which is rumored to be loaded with a cache of gold somewhere in the Superstition Mountains. This setting is part of the “ambience” of Tortilla Flats and created a great photo opportunity.

In this second shot, I converted the photograph to a sepia tone using Photoshop. The look now takes on an age by using this color.

The last shot shows the sepia tone, but with a light filter darkening the edges, creating a focal point, depth, and drama completing the look I am going for.

Old West Window 1

Old West Window 1

This next shot is of an old wooden window partially boarded up (again… ambience for the setting) and a great photograph. I like the color in this shot as it pulls the wood grains out, but for purposes of an art print portraying the look of this era, I convert to sepia, which is the next shot.

And then doing the same lighting treatment as in the first series, I finish up with an art print that has a touch more drama to complete the look I was going for.

Thoughts?

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The Unexpected Vacant Building – Excerpts from a Photo Shoot

In continuing my theme from last week about coming across the unexpected photography opportunities in Jerome, Arizona, I have attached 7 shots from that same day. The classic car in a basement was truly unexpected, but it just kept getting better…..

Further down main street from the above mentioned car, I came across a vacant building. This wasn’t just any vacant building, but one that was open to viewing through large windows that were no longer there and doors with gates. The building was on the corner and the sidewalk wrapped around the front and descended down the side of the building towards the street below. Along the side of the building was a series of doorways going into what use to be establishments that were in the  building.

Vacant Building 1

Vacant Building 1

This was taken from the main level in the front on Main Street looking down over what looked like it use to be a ballroom. You can see the side street as it goes down the hill. Focus on the interior window in the left of the frame. The next shot is from down there in front of the gate across the entry.

Vacant Building 2

Vacant Building 2

The window I just mentioned is on the wall to the left, you can just make out the framing. This is the first of three-arched entries on the side of the building. This one obviously use to be a saloon.

Vacant Building 3

Vacant Building 3

Same location, but with my camera lens between the wrought iron bars of the gate.

Vacant Building 4

Vacant Building 4

This is the next entry down. Looks unusual to see greenery growing in what use to be the interior of the building.

Vacant Building 5

Vacant Building 5

Same entry with my lens between the wrought iron bars. Now you can see a large staircase with yellow tiles along the wall. If I were to guess, I’d say this was the side street entry to what I think was an old hotel. This entry would have opened onto stairs that took you up to the lobby which was located on the main level even with Main Street in the front of the building.  I’m just guessing because I truly know nothing of the history of this building, but it’s my blog, so I say it’s an old hotel 🙂

Vacant Building 6

Vacant Building 6

This is the third entry where there isn’t a door, just plant life. Again, I took this shot by sticking my lens through the wrought iron gate that was in the exterior archway.

Vacant Building 7

Vacant Building 7

This shot visually pulls us back full circle to the beginning. This is the window that I mentioned in the first photograph. This shot is looking back up towards Main Street.  As a side note; the wooden structure you see in the middle of the large room is not an old pulpit, but an outhouse with a moon carved into the front door….part of the ambience 🙂

So, when you come across the unexpected, takes tons of shots because you will want to figure out what you want to capture and from what angle to tell a story. In a case like this there are so many interesting elements with this old historic structure that has been gutted and cleaned up.

From this series, my personal favorites are the last and the first one in that order. Both present interesting elements from architecture to lighting and then both have a strong sense of depth. Thoughts?

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