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Making of The Journey to the Tower

Welcome to our journey to re-create the Rider Waite Smith tarot deck. Our vision was to capture as much of the symbolism and imagery present in the original deck with a wink and a nod adding some modern whimsical touches of our own. We shot every image in the deck on Michael's Graphex 4"x5" black and white film camera. Friends became the characters in the cards, many a costume was made, props and sets were created. We often used print outs of photos clad onto cardboard or wood. For instance, the swords were all images of swords printed on paper then glued to paper. This trick, painting sets or props, and local goodwills for fabric and costumes made gathering components of the cards accessible. The backdrops were a mix of scouted locations in Sonoma and Marin counties, or different areas on the property we live at in Petaluma, California. Below you can see the process: create a set, shoot in black and white film, print out that image, enhance it with water colors, and then scan onto photoshop for final formatting.









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Michael Garlington
Natalia Bertotti
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