Tag Archives: wild west

Sepia Tone For the Old West

As I have talked about before with sepia tone photography, the subject matter needs to fit the historic tone of this type of photograph. This week I am featuring four prints from the “Wild West”.

Tombstone Stagecoach


The setting is Tombstone, Arizona. The old stagecoach is now a tourist attraction for rides through historic Tombstone.

Old Mining Tracks

The setting here is Tortilla Flats, located east of the Phoenix, Arizona metropolitan area up in the Superstitious Mountains. Once a stage coach stop, Tortilla Flats is more of a tourist attraction with a great restaurant, small museum and gift shop all looking like an old west town including old wagons, wagon wheels and a replica of an entrance to a mine.

Old West Wagon

I used a sepia tone finish on these last two photographs, but then I pulled the original colors out through the brown hue. I then added a slight hint of texture to complete the old west look and feel to the photographs. The setting for these two old west wagons is Cave Creek, Arizona. Tourist shops are set up as an old west town. Throughout the town are actual old wagons, wheels, carriages and other western vintage items from the 1800’s.

Red Wagon Wheel

Thoughts?

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Tombstone, Arizona – Excerpts From a Photo Shoot

 

This past weekend, my wife and I did a road trip to Tombstone, Arizona with our oldest daughter and her husband. The four of us have been talking about going down to Tombstone for well over a year, as three out of the four of us had never been there. Tombstone is located in the southeast corner of Arizona and is about a 3.5 hour drive from where we live. We headed out early Saturday morning and spent well into the evening exploring Tombstone. I have to say even though it is a tourist town, I loved it. I like history and grew up hearing about the infamous shoot-out at the OK Corral and watched tons of westerns on TV and in the movies. There is something untamed about the US Wild West in that era and Tombstone epitomizes it.


 

Upon arriving, we found parking near the old Cochise County Courthouse, which was built in 1882. I love the architecture of the structure as it has been refurbished back to its original glory and now serves as a museum.

Tombstone 1

Tombstone 1


 

While I was taking the first shot, I couldn’t help but notice the stagecoach coming down the street. As it turns out this was one of the many we would see throughout the day.

Tombstone 2

Tombstone 2


 

I love the look of a stagecoach and couldn’t stop taking enough pictures. Can you imagine what it would have been like traveling cross-country in one of these? I remember cars before air conditioning and I thought that was tough…..

Tombstone 3

Tombstone 3

Tombstone 4

Tombstone 4

Tombstone 5

Tombstone 5


 

We wandered down Allen Street where most of the activity is. There are a number of great restaurants and bars up and down the street. This shot depicts the characters that re-enact the shoot-out at the OK Corral in the middle of the street drumming up business for the next show. It worked for us and off to the OK Corral we went.

Tombstone 6

Tombstone 6


 

The show was good and the actors interacted with the audience while really giving us a true history lesson and not just the Hollywood version. After the shoot-out, we wandered around the corral, which housed a number of historic recreations and exhibits. The row of adobe stalls lining one side of the facility (remember, it was a corral originally with numerous animals) caught my attention.

Tombstone 7

Tombstone 7


 

Each stall houses historic items such as these old carriages.

Tombstone 8

Tombstone 8


 

Back to Allen Street where we came across “Old Miners” drumming up business for the next “Tough Nut” mine tour. The Tough Nut mine is the original mine in the area where a large silver vein was discovered. Soon there were numerous mining claims close by, leading to the need for a town. In the vicinity of the mine tour, I couldn’t resist taking a shot of one of the many “brothels” that were popular at the peak of activity. Most of them were either tents or these wooden shacks, just large enough for a bed and little else.

Tombstone 9

Tombstone 9


 

The town is considered the best-preserved “Old West” town and the locals embrace the major industry, which is now tourism. Everyone is very friendly and they dress in the attire of that era adding even more to the flavor of the experience. That was a full Saturday for us and we had a full Sunday ahead at The Biosphere 2, but that’s another blog…….stay tuned!!

Thoughts?


 

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Wagon Wheels – Featured Art Print From my Sepia Photography Collection

The art print I wanted to feature today is from my Sepia Photography Collection titled “Wagon Wheels”.  This art print is a sepia photograph of two wagon wheels on an old west wagon. The wagon dates back to the 1800’s in the heyday of the “Wild West”.

I liked the wagon in this shot, and wanted to focus on the wooden wheels rimmed with steel. Notice the wood grain even in the spokes and throughout the back of the wagon. The original leaf spring can still be seen supporting the back structure of the wagon on the axle (not that they ever really made a ride smooth between the ruts in the dirt and the unforgiving wheels). The position of the wagon on a dirt street completed the look I was after for an old west art print.

Because of the subject matter of this photograph, my inclination was to convert it into a sepia tone print. Sepia photography is the brown color tones we associate with very old photographs. The look is a result of the technique used in developing photographic film during the 1800’s and early 1900’s. Today we can create that same look digitally.  My first step was to convert this photograph into sepia, which I did. I also liked the color of the wheel in the original shot, so I played with allowing some of the green to bleed through. I liked the effect with just a light touch of color. To finish off that old west look and feel, I added some subtle texture for added warmth. Thoughts?

I invite you to come into the gallery to view the new additions to the collection in Sepia Photography.
Please visit my main gallery: TheWallGallery (All domestic orders over $60.00 – free shipping!)
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