"Advertuers of Mr. Quigley Photography"

"Advertuers of Mr. Quigley Photography"
Welcome to the travels and adventures of Mr Quigley Photography

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Robbing The Stage Coach...stage coach robberies

Riding shotgun, here the stage gunner tries to
get a shot at the would be robbers.

Traveling by stagecoach during the late 1800's was equivalent to traveling on tour buses in today's world. It was the latest transportation technology. Only trains had it beat. Stage coach travel also presented many dangers to drivers and passengers. This came in the form of accidents (crashes) and hold ups or robberies. Although infrequent, sometimes passengers were killed.

Unlike Hollywood versions of stagecoach robberies the real ones occurred on foot rather than horseback. Special planning was given to the best place to commit such a robbery. Robbers would pick a spot where the stage was moving slowly usually up hill. They would hide their horses a fair distance away in case there were gunshots not wanting to scare off their horses. Here they would step out from behind desert trees usually armed with shotguns instead of handguns and stop the stage, sometimes firing warning shots. Sometimes an obstacle would be placed in the road thus requiring the driver to get out of his seat and move it.

Everything of value was taken from passengers
 during robberies.

 During the holdup everything of value was taken from passengers, personal effects, mail express, but most sought after were the Wells Fargo funds. Sometimes robbers took the horses that pulled stages using them to ride away on. To help stop stage robberies Wells Fargo and company assigned their own investigators to track down robbers. They were quite successful at it.

Especially desired was the Wells Fargo funds box.                                                

In my research of Arizona stage coach robberies one area was preferred by these bad men. Just north of Lake Pleasant above the ghost town of Gillette was a very popular location. More robberies were committed here then anywhere else in Arizona.

To be specific for those of you that are interested in this area...Lake Pleasant Park to Bumble Bee, along the Old Black Canyon Stage Road...this old 4x4 stage road can still be followed today.

The area along the Black Canyon Stage Road.

One stagecoach robbery I researched at the Sharlot Hall Museum in Prescott, AZ, stated that three Mexicans on foot stopped the stage and suddenly began firing into the coach. On board was William Thomas a merchant of the now ghost town of Tip Top. After having been wounded several times, Thomas fell to the bottom of the coach and was attacked again by the robbers only this time with knives, severely cutting him. As they robbed the others Thomas tried to crawl away from coach into the desert but one of the robbers caught him and put a pistol to his head. Every one pleaded for him not to shoot. He didn't although Thomas later died from all his wounds. One of the robbers was later caught and hung for the crime.

Because stage coach robberies became so prevalent
 and violent in Arizona the Governor enacted a law
 that robbers were worth more dead then alive.

The term "riding shotgun" comes from the second man who sat beside the stage driver armed with a double barrel shotgun loaded with buckshot. This gunman was an attempt by stage companies to stop robberies of their coaches.

Stage robberies are a thing of the past now
and spring wild flowers grow silently along an old stage road.

Camera information
Canon 1D and 40D and first generation D30 cameras were used along with a 28 to 70, 70 to 200 and 10 to 22  lenses. These images were taken over the span of 10 years.

Mark Q.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

New Book Release From Mr. Quigley Photography

Well after 7 years of working on this big book project we have finally finished our huge fine art coffee table book on mounted shooting. Included within, are over 10 years of beautiful unique images that illustrate this unique sport. I write about the game from my perspective and describe the lifestyle.

We released it at the CMSA World Championship and it was a big hit. The book retails for 89.95 plus shipping and each one is autographed and numbered. The forward was written by Jim Rogers the founder of the sport.

Chapters include guns and gear, a good horse, playing the game, the match, the shot, and spectacular crashes at the end.

 If you want a copy let us know.
Ride safe and shoot straight.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Capturing Desert Big Horn Sheep (Ovis canadensis mexicana) A photographic lesson

Is this a Ovis canadensis mexicana?

Because of all the interest we had on a older blog post "To catch an Elk" I thought that once in a while I would write about capturing wildlife while working at my wildlife agency job.
By the way thank you for the comments and encouragement! You can see that post by visiting our older writings.

So how does one capture a big horn sheep alive if one needs to collect biological information from the animal? Sheep typically live in remote steep canyons.... Well it can be done safely. Capturing sheep is an interesting and well coordinated process involving several game wardens, handlers, biologists, gunners and finally pilots.
Recently I helped with such a task on the job. This project involved several days and resulted in the capture of many animals both male and female. We staged on the side of a deep canyon called Kanab Creek... just outside Grand Canyon Park along a canyon point. This by the way is the same creek that flows through Kanab UT only as it nears the Grand Canyon it becomes a deep hole in the ground. Big mule deer, chucker's and big horn sheep live here. Another interesting point about this canyon is if you have ever watched the western "The Outlaw Josey Wales" the ending scenes were shot in the bottom of this canyon.

OK back to our topic. The way this capture process works is the biologist’s stage on the side of a canyon and waits for the hunters to bring the captured sheep back to the staging area.

The hunters consist of a helicopter with 3 individuals usually game wardens trained in this process. An experienced pilot is needed because one needs to fly close to steep canyon walls where the sheep are. Got to watch those long twirling blades against canyon walls you know. Also on board is a net gunner who fires a net gun while the pilot chases the sheep. This gunner is strapped to the chopper but hangs precariously out on the skid trying to get a good shot. These are single shot rifles powered by a 308 rim fire cartridge that propel a net up to 30 to 40 yards. Takes a bit of practice to become proficient with one. The third person is called a mugger and they sit beside the pilot. Their job, once the animal is netted is to be safely dropped off, on a nearby ledge and work toward the netted animal, hobble and gather up the sheep and carry it back and load it onto to the hovering helicopter. Male sheep weigh 125-300 pounds so at times this can be a difficult process for a mugger. As you can guess this is dangerous and exciting work. All this work utilizes radio commutations to make the process as safe as possible for all.

Choppers search for sheep from different herds, capture the animal and return it to the waiting ground crew. The ground crew unloads the sheep from the chopper and begins to collect the biological info needed from each animal.

Another ground person carefully reloads the net gunner’s gun, for the next round. Sometimes first aid is provided to muggers as they have a possibility of getting kicked by sheep. By the way no drugs are used in this process.
Hold on boys and girls!

As soon as the biologists work is complete the sheep is quickly flown back to the herd that it came from, and released. If you are not a wear big horn sheep have strong necks and heads. Big horn sheep have a strong large muscle (hump) on the back of their necks that aid males to charge and hit each other during certain times of the year. Since no drugs are used a large male can be combative. It literally takes two strong handlers to hold the animal down while it is being worked on.

                                                             Mugger kicked by a sheep.
Impressive Big Horn Sheep Facts

  • During the fall rut a crashing sound can be heard for up to a mile in western desert canyons. If you are in such a canyon it echos off walls. Its one of the coolest canyon sounds there is! Its the sound of rams clashing horns to establish dominance and breeding rights. Rearing up on their hind legs, both rams charge full speed toward each other hitting heads thus using their horns as battering rams. Although this hit is done with considerable force both animals are seldom hurt because of skull construction and those massive neck muscles mentioned earlier that absorb the shock.

  • Bighorn sheep live an average of eight years, but can live up to 16-18 years.

  • Growth rings on a bighorn sheep’s horns can be used to determine their age.

Kanab Canyon

Camera lessons
I used Canon equipment for this work. The camera I worked with was a 40D with a Tamron 18 to 280 lens on it. For a couple of shots I used a Canon 10 to 22 and a 70 to 200L lens. I used a dust protecting filter on the front of the lens. This particular 40D is covered with body armor... thus cuts down on helicopter dust. I set the camera to 400 ISO most of the time since I varied the f-stop and didn’t have the time to quickly change ISO. I worked off Aperture priority which allowed me to quickly change depth of field and create the look I wanted.
This is hard and fun work!
Thanks for reading!

Stay safe and please don’t try this at home….Mark

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Camofauge for Camera Len's

Pelicans hanging out in CO.

If you are a wildlife photographer and you use a Canon pro lens... well you could have a problem.
As you already know, Canon builds their pro len's, in the color white. When pursuing wildlife that see in color, like birds...these len's stick out like a soar thumb. Birds see in color better then humans and in some cases, with a heightened sense of sharpness and color. So here is a solution. Grab a can of black spray paint and walla... paint that pretty white lens black like Nikon's or others. Just kidding here guys.
 Another better solution is to buy a product called, Lens Coat. They make use full Neoprene Lens Covers that fit a variety of lens's. About a hundred bucks will get you one.

Photo by
Lens Coat Neoprene Lens Covers

They also make several other useful products for photographers.

What I do is to wrap my lens with a camo tape.

I use a different method that is cheaper and works well for bird photography. I like to wrap my len's in a camo type of duck tape. About $13.00 will buy you a roll, enough to do a couple of lens and other assorted wrapping. This is a soft, stretchy, reusable tape and will not stick to a lens only its self. It can improve your grip on a lens. It is mainly used by hunters for wrapping firearms. I use it myself for this purpose. If you want to try this method, go to a gun store and buy a product called McNett Camo Form. Here is the link.
It comes in different colors and I like their digital camo, similar to the pattern the military currently uses.

 Another is that it has a very unique smell. Yep it stinks! But in a few hours the smell goes away. Luckily birds don't smell well except for...kiwi's and vultures... that is.
Back on topic!
Again this stuff is self sticking but will not cling to your lens surface. It needs to be overlapped onto itself.

                              Measure the parts you wish to camo. Then cut out with a sharp scissors.

What I do is carefully measure and cut the pieces with a sharp scissors. I do this in parts.

                                                                    Wrapping the lens.

I next carefully cut out ahead of time, the little focus and dial windows that I will need to access, then I wrap those parts into place thus leaving the dials exposed.  Next finish the other portions of your lens and your done.

Remember to cut a hole for your tripod mount.

Check to see that you can zoom and focus as well as... use other controls on your lens. If you use tele-converters for your photography, they also be easily wrapped.

Tele-converters can be wrapped also.

I do recommend if you are a wedding photographer remove the camo before the wedding. Looks better for you. Take the pieces and store them in a zip lock bag and label the bag with a sharpie, as to what lens the camo goes to. Reinstall as needed. By the way I have no ties to McNett just in case you were wondering.

The finished look.

You can also wrap other photographic tools.

Have fun bird photographers and shoot well!  Mark

Monday, July 5, 2010

SASS End of Trail 2010

End of Trail 2010

What an event 2010 EOT was. The temps were nice and each afternoon we got a little rain. Well... maybe a good shower on the last two days. It made for good sleeping nights.

If you didn't make it... well you missed out.
As far as top gun...Bad Lands Bud won!

Everyone I spoke with had fun and were glad they came! Met many shooters from Oregon this year.
Watch for my story in and upcoming issue of Guns of the Old West magazine.

                                               Dumping those empty smoking shotgun shells.

Mounted shooting
Taking on the boys...go girl!

Southern Bell.

1911 games.

Taking a ride on the stage coach

Riding the steers.


                                                                  Where did they go....

Smoke em.

                          Riding my horse upside down ...Oh and got a place for my cowboy hat also.

 Next year is the 30 anniversary of EOT so make plans to be there.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

CMSA STETSON Summer Classic, Guthrie, OK

What a beautiful facility.
All images by Canon 1D's and 7D's. 70 to 200 L IS version 2 used for most images.

Last week we had a chance to go to Guthrie OK, for the CMSA Summer Classic. This event was held at the beautiful Lazy E facility. If you have never been in this part of horse country well simply said its beautiful! Gently rolling hills decorated with white fencing and beautiful horses... fill these pastures.

The Lazy E is one of the finest arenas in the nation.

Jessie Kuka wins overall!

Jesse Kuka was the top winner of this fulfilled mounted shoot! Her and Rock Clark were close but girls prevailed in the end.

Cody Clark breaks new world record!

Speaking of Rock Clark his son Cody broke a world record here and boy was dad proud!

Indoor arena.

The Lazy E arena is one of the largest indoor arenas in the nation. Its climate controlled and even the warm up arena is inside!

Got it!

Reaching back for the last rifle shot.

CMSA hosted a barbecue by the lake.

A beautiful small lake is next to the arena and we all had a fun time... country barbecue by the lake! The burgers were the best and there was so much different food! Ummmmm.....

Good food!

Got the balloon... but lost my hat.

A great place for a family portrait.

Come join us next year at this fantastic facility. You will love the beauty of the area and riding in this indoor arena. By the way it has some of the best dirt in the nation. I didn't photograph any crashes all weekend.
Not the norm for me.
 Ride safe and travel smart.  Mark