Tonight, history will be made in Pomona (UP 4014)

Tonight, after a more than 50 year rest, Union Pacific “Big Boy” 4-8-8-4 steam locomotive will leave her home at the Los Angeles County Fairgrounds and begin a journey to the UP Steam Shop in Cheyenne, WY for rebuilding and a return to excursion service.  Big Boys weren’t actually the biggest steam locomotives ever built, but they are certainly big.  I wandered down to the Fairgrounds today with my camera phone, and I’ve posted a new gallery called UP Big Boy 4014 in the Trains section of The Frog.  They may not technically or aesthetically be the best photos, but hey – this is history in the making.  This gallery is about sharing the event and what it means. 

The rebuild is expected to take about five years, and then… I and thousands of others will get to see something they never thought they’d see in their lifetimes – a Big Boy under steam and running.

Credit must be given to The Rail Giants Train Museum / Southern California Chapter Railway and Locomotive Historical Society for caring for the 4014 for the last half-century.  Eight of the 25 Big Boys built by the American Locomotive Company (ALCO) in Schenectady NY are still in existence.  All were inspected by the UP Steam Crew, and the 4014 was selected as the best candidate for restoration.  Check out their website at  and don’t forget to pay them a visit when you’re in the area – there’s much more to them than the 4014.  And, of course, the Union Pacific Railroad is to be recognized for the initial donation of the 4014 and now, her second life.  Check out the UP at

If you’re not in bed at 11:00PM PST, and aren’t otherwise busy for the next couple of hours, you can head down to the Fairground and watch history being made.  Who knows… I might see you there! 

Caption This #1

It’s Monday – and that’s my excuse for forgetting something else we’re going to do in 2014 – “Caption This”. 

We’ll post an image, and see what you’ve got to offer up for a caption.  (Keep it clean – this is a family site and blog!

Here’s the first one…  Have fun!

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Enhancing the Frog

Well, we made it through the bulk of the holidays!  The Frog has been quiet for a while because everyone’s been doing their thing – and probably not worrying about what’s going on with the Frog.

Thanks to everyone for their questions, feedback, and comments.  They have been heard, and they will bear fruit in ’14.

The Frog has been busy behind the scenes, and thinking about what needs to be done to enhance The Frog in the new year. 

  • Obviously, adding to the Galleries is a given. 
  • There is a very mundane, but very important task that is underway, and that’s making sure every image has a unique caption so that if you have a question, it’s not about one of the five pictures of Yosemite Falls – it’s about Yosemite Falls #5. Once this is done, we’ll start adding to the site again.
  • We’re still learning about the site software and Facebook, and how they behave.  This should be the first post without the “spinning circle”!  We learned how to avoid a post looking like code on Facebook (our December 19th post).  We’ll keep getting better as the old Frog learns new tricks.

We’ve been sample shopping – picking up different things to verify quality and see how images behave on different media.  Metal prints are a fascinating but frustrating medium, as are iPhone cases – see our notes on the Products page.  We can say that white mugs and (white) metal water bottles exceed our expectations, as do most metal prints.  Standout prints on Fuji Pearl paper are, well, outstanding (sorry, couldn’t resist that one!).  All that said, we’ve been challenged in how to share these great samples with you – it’s harder than you think to photograph a metal print, and it’s pretty easy to understand that it’s hard to photograph an image that wraps around a mug or water bottle.  We’ll file these frustrations under the “cons” of being a web-based business as we seek a way to share them with you.

There will be a new feature that will hit the blog from time-to-time called “Howdjya do that?”  (Howdjya being the verbalization of “how did you” back where I come from).  I’m a self-taught photographer, so I don’t have many secrets.  Sometimes, the biggest problem is remembering just what I did so that I can do it again, let alone sharing it.  Laughing Frog Images is intended to be fun and shared, and part of that is helping others make their own great images.  So, every now and again (or when I can’t think of a topic!), I’ll pick apart an image and share what went into it with everyone.

We’ll wrap up this post with a sincere THANK YOU to those that have liked us on Facebook, and shared us with your friends.  We think we’ve got something worth sharing here – whether you’re just visiting to view the galleries, shopping for a special and unique gift for someone, or accenting a room with an image made yours.  Your sharing and support is and will be a big part of our success. 

The Frog wishes you and yours a safe, healthy and happy 2014.