Nevada Northern Railway Video

I’ve uploaded a Nevada Northern Railway video of the 2018 Winter Photo Shoot.  Yes, it sounds a little odd – posting a video of a photo shoot, but things happen that way sometimes!

I’d known about the Winter Photo Shoot for several years, and for one reason or another (it’s in the middle of nowhere, it’s a long drive, etc.), I never went.  Well, this year I went!  Yes, it’s in the middle of nowhere – and it’s beautiful.  Yes, it’s a long drive – and it’s a beautiful drive.

So, why a Nevada Northern Railway video?

Well, for starters, I’ve started to shoot more video lately.  It’s easy these days.  I’m not pretending or advertising myself to be a semi-professional videographer.  I’m really just trying to preserve sights and sounds for myself and anyone interested.  And, it’s kind of fun as I learn and fumble around with video editing.

The second reason for the Nevada Northern Railway video is numbers.  I shot over 1700 images at the Winter Photo Shoot, and I’ve got a lot of screening and sorting to do – and hopefully, if I did things right, not a lot of editing.  I shot the videos, compiled them, converted them to black and white and added the title on my phone in a matter of minutes.  It’s scary considering that I haven’t completely figured out the Videoshop app yet.

Nevada Northern 40 and 93 ready to head east. East Ely, NV.

Nevada Northern 40 and 93 ready to head east. East Ely, NV.

I’m debating whether to post a color gallery or a black and white gallery or both.  Yes, I know, you can order a black and white by clicking a button in the ordering process.  If I purposely create a pure black and white gallery, I can emulate the film of the era and really give it the feeling of being there.  Being there (50+ years ago) is really what the Nevada Northern Railway Museum is all about.

So, if you’ve got a few minutes (about 17 to be more specific), click here to be taken to the video gallery and step back in time to the sights and sounds of the past on a copper hauling railroad in the middle of Nevada.

If steam locomotives are your thing, there’s more here on Laughing Frog Images.

More to follow on the Nevada Northern.

Don’t forget the upcoming March Madness sale!



Fifi in pictures

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

2015_03_22_DSC_9627 copy 400 wm

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.

Fifi Awakens

Wondering just what the title is about?

Well, now that I have your attention…

I recently had the fortune/privilege of seeing the only operable Boeing B-29 Superfortress bomber in the world (at least as of March 2015), Fifi.

2015_03_22_DSC_9455 copy bw mn 420

It was a strange day in some ways.

On one hand, there was the awe of what was the biggest and baddest bomber of its’ time.

There was the awe of watching her awaken from a slumber and prepare for flight.  The smell of unburnt fuel as the revolutions built, the puffs of sweetly acrid smoke dissipating into the air.  The vibration at my feet.

The realization that not only was I watching a machine, but one made for war.

As I said, it wasn’t just a “let’s go take airplane pictures” kind of day.  It was a day of reflection.

There were World War II Veterans there, including at least one who flew in one of Fifi’s kin, a member of a P-38 Ground Crew, and a P-51 pilot.  There were people of all nations and colors.

Many cheered when Fifi’s fourth engine reached full revs.  I wonder if they were cheering for Fifi as she is or what she represents to each of them.

It made me think of something related, but not.

My mind went to the the smiling boy I remember from across the street went to war as a young man, and didn’t come home.  I was probably reflecting differently than most that day.  I’ll stop there, because we all reflect upon war and loss differently.

But, let’s look at Fifi for what she is – an aircraft of a bygone era.  Technologically, the B-29 was at the leading edge of bomber design at that time.  And, I got to see her fly in 2015.

If you’d like to learn more about the B-29, click here for Wikipedia’s page, and here for Boeing’s page.

If you’d like to see Fifi as she awakens, click here to be taken to the Laughing Frog Images YouTube page or click here to be taken directly to the video.  It’s not the greatest video in the world, as I had to hold my phone above people, and try to keep it steady for about four minutes – so I apologize for the technical quality, but not the content.

I am working on a gallery of Fifi for Laughing Frog Images.  In the interest of being true to Fifi’s era, all of the images will be in Black and White.  There will be two versions of each image – one will mimic Kodak Panatomic X film (“Pan-X”), and one will mimic the grainy reproduction of a newspaper of the era.  It will be interesting to see what the feedback is on the two versions.

New Videos posted to LFI YouTube

As I was moving and archiving files this morning, I came across a series of short videos I shot on my iPhone while waiting for a train.  I was actually at the station a little early that day!  I had actually forgotten that I took these.  I was always a little leery about “cell phone video”, but I’ve since learned (evolved?).

It’s kind of funny to say that you took these videos on your phone – at least to those of us of a certain age who remember the first mobile phones were the size of a shoe box!

And to others, it’s as normal as a sunrise.

And, who would have thought you could share things with the world in a matter of mouse clicks and minutes?

These are all short video clips of normal things if you travel by train on the Northeast Corridor.  For those who don’t, this is a glimpse into the life of some commuters’ daily routine between Washington, DC and Baltimore, MD.

The Amtrak locomotives you see – the AEM-7’s – are nearing the end of their service lives, and within a year or two, catching them on video won’t be possible.  That’s what led me to post these.  They’re not the greatest quality videos – I get that.  But now, they’re memories.  And soon, they’ll be history.

These were all hand-held.  Yes, I know, I’m not using a tripod – but you can’t easily carry a tripod on a multi-city business trip.

You can check the videos out on the Laughing Frog Images YouTube Channel.



New Videos added to YouTube

There have been three new videos added to YouTube on the the Laughing Frog Images YouTube channel

Two are of the Conway Scenic Railroad in New Hampshire back in 2009 when they were still running their FP-9A units.  These engines are streamlined cab units based on a design that dates back to before World War II.  The Conway Scenic operated these units on the former Maine Central Railroad Mountain Division between North Conway and Fabyans, NH.  They were wearing out brake shoes on a regular basis, and as a result, they were traded to PanAm Railways for two freight locomotives with dynamic brakes (similar to the regenerative braking on today’s hybrid cars) to reduce maintenance and operating costs.  Take a trip back to the 50’s and listen to the sounds that defined passenger railroading for a generation.

Conway Scenic DSCF5290 320

The third video is a little more contemporary from 2011, showing a Union Pacific freight train with six SD9043MAC diesels in Sandpoint, WA on a train northbound from Spokane, WA to the Canadian Pacific Railroad in British Columbia.

UP Sandpoint CSC_5871

We invite you to take a few minutes to check them out.

There will be more short videos of New England railroading in 1994 added as soon as we figure out how to use the new video software we just acquired.

Happy New Year and stay tuned!