TLRs reborn in Instagram?

TLRs reborn in Instagram?

As if I didn’t already have enough going on, my Marketing Advisor (Mike at Visceral Concepts) has finally convinced me to take on more things to do.

The Frog has taken another leap – and we’re now on Instagram at

While I don’t completely understand it, you can also find Laughing Frog Images by searching @laughingfrogimages as well.  Modern stuff…

Why did the Frog take the leap?  (Go ahead and groan, but I couldn’t resist that!)  Simple.  I can post from an Ipad or from my phone in a minute or less, and it’s about getting the word out about Laughing Frog Images and the great images and products we offer for sale.  I’m aiming for a post a day, and the same dry humor will be there, along with the stories and photography tips you’ve become accustomed to.

So, what’s with Instagram and TLRs?

It’s actually been fun preparing images in square format for Instagram – it’s like shooting with a TLR again!

Someone out there is saying “what’s a TLR?”

A TLR is a Twin Lens Reflex camera that most commonly made film images in a square format – typically 2.25″ x 2.25″.


I have two TLRs that I haven’t used in a long time – a Mamiyaflex and a Mamiya C220.  As I sit here and type this, I’m wondering why I haven’t.  They’re not convenient.  They’re best used on a tripod.  They have no exposure meter.  You have to focus manually.  The image is backwards on the focusing screen.  There are no zoom lenses.  You have to wind the film – there’s no such thing as burst mode.  Frames per second isn’t relevant – it’s frames per minute.  And, you have to think!

Yes, I love my digital SLRs, and my Icon – but the TLR – well, that’s photography!

So where’s the fun in Instagram?

Well, for starters, I have to reimagine image as a square image.  That means cropping about one third of the image and tossing it.  Sometimes,  the image is reborn with new meaning or context in the process.  Sometime, square is better.  It’s like looking at the shot all over again, despite the fact that I may have made the original image over 30 years ago.  Refreshing.  Provocative.  Fun!

Well I can’t say that the TLR camera has in fact been reborn via Instagram, I can say that its’ spirit has been rekindled.  It’s OK to think square again!

Sadly, not all is good.  There’s one drawback to all of this.  Instagram cross-posts to the Laughing Frog Images Facebook page, but it doesn’t cross-post to our Google + page.  I invite our followers and viewers on Google + to follow us on Instagram.



White Pass & Yukon

White Pass & Yukon.

The White Pass & Yukon Railroad is one of the more difficult railroads to ride in North America.  It’s isolated.  It’s arguably in the middle of nowhere.  It’s seasonal.  And it’s worth it if you can get there!

I’m not going to try to retell the story of the White Pass here.  You can do a search if you’re so inclined or just look at the pictures!

White Pass & Yukon GE #100, Skagway AK.

White Pass & Yukon GE #100, Skagway AK.

If you’re a mileage collector, it’s worth riding.  If you’re a fan of unique locomotives, it’s worth going.  If you’re just into scenery, it’s worth looking out the window.  If you like it when the weather changes 20 miles away, it’s for you as well.

I was going to say if you wanted to know what it was like to take the train from the coast of Alaska inland to work in the mines of the Yukon Territory, it’s for you as well.  And then I realized I’d be lying.  The passenger cars of those days weren’t so well sealed from the elements, and likely weren’t as comfortable either.  Heating would have likely been from a coal stove, and those stoves had a nasty tendency of turning wood-bodied passenger cars into bonfires on wheels.  Springs in the trucks would have been there to the point necessary to stabilize the car and not for the comfort of the travelers.

Toilets… Well, let’s just say that they lacked tanks and practiced a form of “direct deposit”!  (Before you say “ewww, gross…” about that – retention tanks have only come into mandate in the last 25 years or so.  Strange but true.)

That said…

Take a look at a ride on the White Pass by clicking here to check out the White Pass & Yukon Gallery on Laughing Frog Images.

Thanks for looking!