The beginning.

It was 1990 when I started to mess around with digital graphic arts on a state of the art Macintosh computer, the LC II, with a screen that rivals the size of a large iPad in 2018. I started graphic design on some new software called Photoshop 1.0. It came on floppy disks and it required a whopping 2mb of ram to run (that’s megabytes not gigabytes). For comparison notes, today’s Photoshop requires 2000 times that to just run, but more like 10,000 times that to run right.

By 1992, the software was really moving up in the world and by now, it would only take 1-2 hours to process a filter, and of course, the same time to undo the process if you didn’t like it. You had one undo, no layers, no nothing. I created my first image by taking a photo of a friends buck he had killed and a photo I took with my own camera of a backdrop and I bought the photo rights to the body of a deer from another photographer. I combined all three images into one to create my first image. Below are some of the first recreations from circa 1992.

The next step.

After a few years of working on images, I wondered what I could do with this new type of graphic art technique. I thought about doing custom images for people, but the cost of each one would make it un-affordable for just about anyone that would want one. It was my wife’s idea of making a calendar that got the ball rolling. In 1995 I set out to make the very first calendar. I started with my favorite animal at the time, the mule deer.

I spent months taking photos of heads and locating backdrops to use. This was a slow process due to the fact we didn’t have the internet to look things up or text someone about their heads, I had to do old school work with old school equipment. I would take hundreds of photos and get them developed and cross my fingers that I set the lighting correctly. No previews, no do overs, I was shooting film.

After most of the year spent in designing this first calendar, I was done and ready to go to print. Using the latest in software to design and layout these calendars digitally was a feat in of itself. I used a program called Quarkxpress for all the layouts. This was the high end software of the day and really pushed the envelope on how things were sent to printers. The printing process was complicated and expensive. The sale price of this new calendar in 1995 was $12.95. (That’s $21.45 in 2018 dollars).

I learned how to spell the word “Calendar” after I spelled it wrong on the very first cover. I spelled it Calender . . . with an E

Now what?

It took off and was an instant success, so much so that I sold my cabinet business that I was doing at the time so I could concentrate full time at this passion. Below are some photos of two of the heads used for the maiden voyage calendar. Keeping track of pictures back in the day took up a lot of space, both in computer space (very expensive for hard drive space) and filing cabinet space to keep all of the thousands of photos taken organized.

How was it titled and published?

We used the title, Mule Deer King’s as our main title and was published by King’s Outdoor World. This is when I started the company King’s Outdoor World.

Jay Ogden with his massive 42 inch mule deer from Utah

Dennis Wintch with his buck called Bigfoot. I giant 40 inch buck

Check out the images below way back from 1996 developed on dinosaur computers and software but was pretty dang cool at the time. You can check out the new mule deer calendar here.