Flasks Now Available!

As part of our ongoing quest to have something available for everyone on Laughing Frog Images, we’re pleased to announce that seven ounce stainless steel flasks are now available!

Everyone has a favorite beverage, and this is a great way to enjoy it!

If you have to get someone a gift and you’re finding yourself giftipated (explained in a post last holiday shopping season), here’s something unique and different.

If you’ve got THAT family event, and feel like you need….  Well, we won’t go there, but hey – we’re trying to move product here!

Anyway, if for whatever reason a flask seems to be the thing for you or someone else, and you’d like to get that flask and make it special with an image of a train, lighthouse, or whatever, we invite you to shop the galleries on Laughing Frog Images and get the image you want the way you want it on a convenient seven ounce stainless steel flask.

So, how do you get this flask?

First, surf around the galleries on Laughing Frog Images.  When you find that special image, simply click “Buy” up at the top and towards the right.  You’ll see the following screen:

flask galaxy 6 iphone 6

Click on the Flask at the bottom, follow the instructions to make it your own, and a few days later – enjoy your flask or see someone’s face erupt into a smile when they unwrap it.

Happy shopping!

Messy Birds, Happy Squirrel

We have several feeders just outside of the kitchen table for our winged friends – suet, socks for the finches, and mixed seed for the masses.

The feeders serve as entertainment for the cats, and, I have to admit, me and my camera as well.

Occasionally, the birds are messy.  Don’t know if it’s because they are digging for that special seed or what – the birds don’t say much to me.

However, when the birds are messy, someone else is happy – and that’s the squirrels.  The birds’ mess means that they don’t have to do much to dine – they just have to show up.

DSC_7274 sq c&c 480wmHere’s Ethel posing for the camera while she takes a break from breakfast.  Actually, I can’t tell you if Ethel is a he or a she, but there’s a story behind the name that the guy’s might appreciate.

We have two regular squirrel visitors, one has a healthy bushy tail – and has been given the name Ethel.  The other one, well, it’s tail is kind of scraggly – proverbially speaking, like someone’s gone at it a bit.  So, that’s Fred.  If you don’t get the Fred and Ethel reference, you’re showing your youth, or you’ve never seen I Love Lucy…

This image of Ethel has been added to the “peaceful (for the most part) critters” gallery on Laughing Frog Images.  Look for more of Fred and Ethel to be added over time.

Wander on into the image galleries on Laughing Frog Images for a while and take a break from reality, and who knows, get something for yourself or for someone who deserves something unique and different.


Cloud first, train second

So, there I am in Portola, CA last August.

It’s getting late in the day, and I’m standing on the South Gulling Street Bridge.

The passerby are friendly, and not at all curious about someone on the bridge with a camera.  After all, this IS Portola, CA on the former Western Pacific (now Union Pacific) Railroad, and I’m there during 2014’s Railroad Days.  It’s not the first time they’ve seen this…

I’ve got sunshine, great light and this absolutely killer cumulonimbus cloud with an anvil in the distance against a great blue sky.

There’s a westbound grain train at the east switch (see the white dot about 1/4 in from the right and about 1/3 of the way up from the bottom) waiting to enter the yard.

WP_20140808_18_46_22_Raw__highres 1-1 for LFI copy 420 wm

I’m waiting.  The train is waiting for clearance.  I’m waiting.  The train is waiting.  We’re both waiting.  And waiting.

And as we’re both waiting, the cloud starts to dissipate.  I wait.  The train waits.  The cloud dissipates.

The cycle continues…

The cloud is now essentially formless.

And the train begins to move west….

C’est la vie…

You can find this image, and those of the train entering the Portola Yard in the Union Pacific – former Western Pacific gallery on Laughing Frog Images.

The 2015 Portola Railroad Days event is from August 21-23, 2015.

While in Portola, don’t miss the Western Pacific Railroad Museum.

Don’t forget to check out the Western Pacific Railroad Museum Gallery on Laughing Frog Images!

Camera and details: Nokia Lumia Icon 929, ISO 100, f2.4, 1/2000 sec, converted to jpg from a dng original.


Fine Art Posters added

Continuing the Frog’s quest to provide unique images for your perusal and purchase, we’ve just completed the first two fine art posters for Laughing Frog Images.

I’m drawing from the influences of other fine art posters that I’ve seen over the years – a monochromatic background, simple sans-serif title and description, and provocative black and white images.

Santa Fe 3751 Deconstructed 360w

UP 4014 DS Pomona 360w

The first two fine art posters are photographic deconstructions of two popular steam locomotives – Santa Fe 3751 and Union Pacific 4014.

The 3751 was deconstructed at the 2014 San Bernardino (CA) Railroad Days.  (There’s a full gallery dedicated to the photographic deconstruction of the 3751 on Laughing Frog Images – just click here to be taken there.)

The partially disassembled 4014 was further deconstructed at the Los Angeles County Fairgrounds prior to her departure for Cheyenne, WY and eventual return to service.  The “DS” in the title means “Departed Station” in railroad-speak – she hasn’t departed Pomona yet, but she did depart her display home of 51 years to the staging point where these images were made, so I’m not stretching things too much…

For both fine art posters, the original images were shot in color with a vivid bias to mimic slide film and converted to black and white using onOne Perfect Photo Suite software.  I’m not going to lie to you – I don’t remember the settings used for the 3751 images (guess I should keep better notes).  The images of the 4014 were converted to a profile that emulates Panatomic X, an ASA 32 black and white film formerly manufactured by Kodak.  This film was also known as “Pan-X”, and was a fantastic black and white film known for a great tonal range and minimal grain structure.

There will be more fine art posters to follow as the scanning progresses.  Off the top of my head, the subject matter is probably going to be steam engines and “vintage” trains as long as I stay with black and white images.  However, the fine art possibilities are probably endless as I scratch my head and ponder the image galleries and those to be scanned.

You can find the posters in the Posters – Trains Gallery on Laughing Frog Images, and make one or both of them your own in any one of several ways.

As always, “likes” and “shares” are most appreciated!


Oceangoing Ships

A by-product of a whale watching cruise out of Long Beach, CA is that you get to see a lot of ships.

That’s great if you like ships.  Most of the people on the boat went back to their smartphones and beer once we left the whales.

Fortunately, I like ships.

Besides the boyish wonder that ships hold, this day was provocative in many ways.  Questions that ran around in my head included:

  • Just what is in all of those container ships?
  • Why don’t we hear about container ships capsizing?  I’m sure that there’s solid engineering behind their design and loading.  But, they sure do look top-heavy.
  • I just have to wonder how often does a container simply fall off?
  • Just what was that shooting out of several vessels?  Bilge water? Ballast water?  Better off not knowing water?
  • Do we still make anything here?
  • How often do they break down?
  • What’s Plan B if there is a breakdown in the middle of the ocean?

I made the most of the day and created a lot of images.

There was a haze-smog that actually made a lot of them digital trash.  Makes me understand the push to use cleaner fuels and minimize idling in the ports. It’s one thing to hear about it and not give it much thought.  It’s another thing to actually see it as you can in the image below.  Now I get it. Now I understand the concerns.  Air is not brown by nature…

DSC_9442 United Banner 480

Anyways… back to ships.

There has been a new Gallery created within “things on or by the water” – simply titled oceangoing ships.  Somewhere in the files, there are more ship shots from here and there, and more images will be added to the gallery over time.

I invite you to sit back, check out some ships, and see what questions come to your mind.


Collage Gallery added!

Collages provide a means to show and enjoy a collection of pictures.

Some carry a theme, some carry a theme better than others, and some are just a random assemblage of what one likes.

Some folks like collages, some don’t.

For those of you that do – we’ll be creating collages from time to time and adding them to a new Gallery called Collages on Laughing Frog Images.  (What did you think we were going to call it?)

Our first collages are of the Gray Whales of Long Beach.

Long Beach Gray Whales 2015-03, photo background 480w

These particular collages are set up in a 2×3 proportion so they will print 12×18, 20×30, etc., and fit in readily available frames.  They’re a unique way to decorate a wall or room.  There are two versions of the Gray Whales of Long Beach collage – one with a solid black background, and the other uses am image from the collage as the background.  As always – the Frog strives to provide something for everyone.

If there’s a collage you’d like to see from our available images, just let us know.

Thanks for looking.


“Sunset” added to the Galleries

Based on comments and feedback, I took the .dng (RAW) file of “Sunset from an Airplane” and created a high-quality .jpg file.  Interestingly enough, the .jpg is almost identical to the .dng file – so what you see is what the camera’s sensor saw.

WP_20150514_19_16_17_Raw 480 wm

You can find the image here in the “sundowns, sun ups and things in the sky” gallery on Laughing Frog Images.


Laughing Frog Images’ 100th Post!

Well, here we are – post # 100 on Laughing Frog Images.

The Frog’s been a little quiet lately as life and the day job have been busy.  And, there’s been a side project that’s been taking up most of what spare time has been there.

It’s almost time to announce the first book!

It’s a 132-page all-color softcover book on a fallen flag short line railroad.  You’re going to have to wait for the formal announcement for all of the details.

I’d like to thank everyone who reads this blog and follows it on Facebook and Google+, and those who are following it after signing up on Laughing Frog Images to get every post.

I hope that everyone is getting something from the Blog, whether that’s photography tips or ideas, a laugh, or just some time away from reality.

As a small blog and gallery, I do appreciate every “like”, “share” and “follow”.  There is no budget for advertising – this all survives by social media and word of mouth.

The image galleries will continue to grow in terms of number and subject matter.  There’s just so much to scan, prep and post…  Like many, I underestimated the sheer magnitude of what I was getting into.  However, slow growth is better than no growth.

One of the focus areas will be adding to the steam engine galleries before the holidays because, well, who doesn’t like steam engines?  Gallery subjects will include C&O 614 during the Chessie Steam Special era, the East Broad Top, Cumbres & Toltec, Durango & Silverton, and others that I either don’t remember or haven’t found yet.  The images can help you with your holiday giftipation!

Once again, thank you so much for following the Frog and visiting Laughing Frog Images – it’s appreciated.

Stay tuned for the next 100 posts!



Fifi in pictures

Fifi is the only operable Boeing B-29 Superfortress Bomber in the world as of March 2015.

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I was privileged, honored, and fortunate to see Fifi at the Van Nuys Ca Airport as part of the CAF AirPower History Tour.  That event went beyond expectations, as I was able to watch (and smell) her start up (video here) and to see her fly.  I wasn’t able to take a tour, so that remains on my Bucket List, but in no way can I complain about the living history I saw that day.

All images were made in color using a Nikon D-90 and Tamron 18-270 lens.

Then, I did something different for this gallery.

Fifi is a product of the black and white era – black and white television, black and white newspapers, and (predominantly) black and white photographic film.

To maintain the spirit of Fifi’s era, I used two different black and white effects in Perfect Photo Suite 9 by on1 Software to create most of the images of Fifi that I’m sharing with you.

The first is a gritty and grainy effect that mimics how these images might have appeared to the readers of a 1940’s newspaper.  The second is a cleaner effect that mimics Kodak’s legendary Tri-X black and white film.

There are a few color images as well, and these are along the lines of a chrome slide film.

I’m curious to hear feedback about the black and white images, particularly which effect you like better and why.

Instead of placing these images in the Military section of the Planes gallery on Laughing Frog Images, I decided that it was more than appropriate for Fifi to have her own gallery – you can check Fifi’s gallery out by clicking here.

The Commemorative Air Force are the folks that keep Fifi going, and made that day and these images possible.  My thanks to all who make Fifi happen.

The “Recent” Page (new feature!)

Thanks to Michael at Visceral Concepts, the Laughing Frog Images web gallery and store has a new feature – the “Recent” page.

Somewhere out there, someone is saying “huh?”

There’s actually a very easy and logical answer to that question.

Until the addition of this page, a visitor or customer had no way of knowing what had been recently added to the Galleries on Laughing Frog Images unless I wrote a post about the new gallery or images that I had added to the site.

You’d all probably hate me if I wrote a post every time I added a picture to a gallery – this is a better way for everyone.

Now, by clicking on Recent at the top of the home page – you can easily see any gallery that’s been added, or that’s had images added to it.

recent screen shot crop

We hope this new feature makes your viewing and shopping experiences more convenient and enjoyable.