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!

 

 

The wild horses of Assateague Island

I’ve photographed the wild horses of Assateague Island, Maryland and Currituck, North Carolina.  These are two of the herds of wild horses on barrier islands along the east coast.  Actually, they’re feral, but that’s kind of a technicality, and we’re going to stick with “wild” because that’s how they’re commonly referred to.

I’ve been most successful on Assateague.  I have to admit that photographing these critters requires as much luck as it does skill.   Well, to be honest, maybe luck is actually more important.

A wild horse pauses to ponder its' next move on Assateague.

A wild horse pauses to ponder its’ next move on Assateague.  Click on the image to be taken to the Gallery.

Why do I say that luck might be more important?

The wild horses of Assateague have been there a long time, and have adapted to the sometime harsh realities of their island home.  Humans are (tolerated) visitors that they don’t seem to give two hoots about.

We’re limited to where we can go on the island, but it’s their home, and they go where they want, when they want.  Despite what we might want when we’re on a quest for “that” image.

You can go there and see 20+ horses in a day.  You can go there and not see a horse. When they’re in the brush, they can be virtually impossible to see and photograph.

And, they seem to have a tendency to rotate their posteriors to the paparazzi (that’s us humans)…

You can learn more about the feral horses of Assateague Island and the Assateague Island National Seashore from the National Park Service website by clicking here.

You can learn about Maryland’s Assateague State Park by clicking here.

You can also check out Wikipedia’s page on Assateague Island by clicking here.

If you get the chance to go, you can do just fine photographically speaking with almost any camera with a zoom lens.  Just remember to stay at least 40 feet away from the horses.  The images in this Gallery were taken with either a 28-300mm or 18-270mm zoom lens.  Obviously, the more time you can spend there, the better your chances of seeing the horses and getting “that” image.  For the best lighting, go early in the morning or late in the afternoon if you can.

And, for your enjoyment and photo art, you can check out Laughing Frog Images by clicking here.

Thanks for visiting!

 

Fall foliage is coming

Fall foliage is coming.  To some of us anyway.

For me, this fall means I get to watch my leaf turn!  Well, it’s not quite that.  There’s more than one leaf!

But it’s not like Pennsylvania where I’m from, or fall in New England.

One of my favorite places to visit in the fall is New Hampshire.  If you haven’t had the pleasure, put it on your bucket list.

Great food, real maple syrup, and color.  Lots of color.

Glen Junction Restaurant just posted on Facebook that their pumpkin pancakes start this Saturday.  With maple cream…

That’s really what got me going about fall foliage…

Colors can be different from valley to valley, and from the bottom of the valley to the top of the mountains.  It’s a good thing digital film is cheap!

There’s a gallery on Laughing Frog Images devoted to fall foliage in New Hampshire.  Coincidentally, it’s called fall foliage in New Hampshire.  There’s more to be added to that gallery, and maybe this will get me going on that.

The image below is of Silver Cascade in Crawford Notch along Route 302 in New Hampshire.

I’d love to tell you how hard I worked to hike in for this shot, and what it took to haul my camera bag and tripod in.  But, I’d be lying.  You can park along Route 302 and take this shot from the safe side of the guardrail.

DSCF5544 copy Silver Cascade 1x2 420 wm

This image was made with a Fuji S9000, 1/80s @ f7.1, ISO 80, in Fuji’s raw file format.  Yes, I used my tripod and a cable release!

Processing was done in Perfect Photo Suite 9.5, and it was cropped to a 1:2 format to remove the gray sky and rocks in the foreground.  It’s amazing what a simple crop can do!

There’s another image of Silver Cascade taken at about the same location in the gallery, but I left that in its’ original format so you can crop it yourself.

If all of this makes you think about a last minute trip to New England to check out the foliage, here are two posts from 2014 to check out:

A Week in New Hampshire

A Weekend in New Hampshire

And, if you can’t make it, do the next best thing and shop Laughing Frog Images.

Moonbeams

I struggled for a title for this post.

Beam me up.  E.T., phone home.  We’ll leave the light on for you.  I was all over the board with phrases from pop culture.

And then, simplicity hit me.

Moonbeams.

Sometimes, simple is better.

I suspect that each of you that looks at this image will see something different, and perhaps feel something different.

2015_07_04_DSC_0420 480 wm

Yes, this is in fact light from the moon.

It’s just after 11PM on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  It’s cloudy, but the moon is out there, fighting for a chance to be seen.

And I’m out there with a tripod and cable release seeing what I can make of it.

Moonbeams.

This isn’t something you see every day.

Apart from the occasional laughter of revelers on the beach, all you could hear were the rolling waves hitting the sand.

I wonder if the revelers saw what I saw?  All I can say is that I wasn’t fighting for space to set up my tripod…

I made over 20 images of varying durations in my attempt to capture the moment.

(Good thing digital film is essentially free!)

You can see pleasure boats far out on the horizon.  How can I say that they were far out?

Well, the exposures ranged from 10 to 60 seconds, and their light trails are not that long.  They were out there…

You can see the moonbeams coming through the clouds much like the rays of the sun poke through on a cloudy, rainy day.

You can see where the cloud layer was thinner or broken – that’s where you can in fact see the clouds back lit by the moon somewhere up there.

The water looks like anything but water.  That’s the result of the long exposures.  It’s probably not how you’d envision the Atlantic Ocean looking.

But after all, it’s getting towards midnight and these are long exposures to capture the moonbeams.

There came a time when it occurred to me that there was no one else out, and that it might be time to head in.

Hoping that the images captured the moonbeams as I saw them, it was time…

So, I packed up, folded up, and picked up and called it a night.

You can find the rest of the moonbeam images here in the moon gallery on Laughing Frog Images.

Enjoy.

If you’re so inclined, leave a comment as to which one is your favorite and why.

Technical details: Tripod, cable release, Nikon D7100, Tamron 18-270mm zoom, ISO 800, exposures from 10 to 60 seconds, f8.

Power versus Persistence

You might notice an unusual use of capitalization in the title of this post.  Don’t worry, it’s intentional.

Power versus Persistence tells a story.

All the way at the end of the paved road in Kauai if you’re headed counterclockwise lies Ke’e, and Ke’e State Beach.

That’s where the story of Power versus Persistence plays out.

It’s rough water there, and going in for a swim isn’t advised.  There are six different signs with infographics about all of the bad things that can happen to you if you go in if the surf isn’t enough to intimidate you.

But, if you’re a photographer, it’s safe.

One of the first things you see as you enter the beach by the Lifeguard Station is a very prominent tree.  Persistence.

And when you look to your left, you see the pounding surf.  Power.

You feel the wind.  Occasionally, you feel the spray.  And you see the tree.

And you wonder how the battle is going, the battle of Power versus Persistence.

DSC_6842 power vs persistence copy 600w

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Persistence wants to stay put and live out its life.

Power wants to control everything in its’ path.

And day by day, grain of sand by grain of sand, my bet is that Power will prevail over Persistence.

Persistence won’t let power win easily.  Persistence is fighting with every fiber in its’ roots.

Someday, when Power has moved enough sand, Persistence will fall prey to the laws of physics, specifically gravity and friction.  And Power will win.

It has been said that there is almost a haunting quality about this image.  Personally, I’d possibly make that association if Persistence were dead.

I see it as a reflection of a struggle among elements of nature.  If you want to go really deep, you could say that it is a visual metaphor of one’s struggle (Persistence) to hold course in what has become a complicated and fast moving world (Power).

It’s likely that each one of us sees something along the lines of just holding on and staying fast, and that’s fine.

If it’s true that a picture paints a thousand words, what would your words be?

Power versus Persistence is available in the coastal and beach scenes gallery on Laughing Frog Images.

Image made with a Nikon D5100 and a Tamron 18-270 zoom; RAW image file exposed at ISO 200 for 1/250 second at f8; processed in Perfect B&W / Perfect Photo Suite 9.5.

Ghost Crabs

In my mind, at least until I did my research, this post was going to be called “Sand Crabs”.

So, I did what any modern researcher would do and went straight to Wikipedia and typed “sand crabs” in the search bar.

And then, I realized, it wasn’t going to be called sand crabs…

I hadn’t photographed sand crabs at all.  I had photographed Atlantic ghost crabs (Ocypode quadrata).

2015_07_12_DSC_0831 copy 600w

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes, you do learn something every day…

Anyway… ghost crabs are entertaining and intriguing to watch.  One wonders if they are nervous, hyperactive, stressed, or all of these.

They’re fast.  They move sideways.  They always know where their burrow is.  They adapt when their burrow is wiped out by a wave.  They can move their eyes from a vertical orientation to a horizontal orientation.  They look like E.T. when their eyes are horizontal.  They eat seaweed and things we can’t apparently see.  They vary in color and I learned that they can change color.  They look at us like we’re strange as much as we look at them and think they’re strange.  They can run really fast when there are little kids with a sand bucket and scoop chasing them.

If you find yourself on an Atlantic beach and want to photograph Atlantic ghost crabs, here are a few tips.

Sit in a low beach chair.  If you can, lie on your stomach on a towel.  Use a long zoom lens .  Don’t move much – they don’t like that.  Be observant.  Be patient.  Shoot early in the morning or late in the day for the optimal low angle light – if you shoot in the middle of the day, you’ll probably find that everything looks bright and washed out.  And… have fun!

These photo tips will work for any crab on any beach you might find yourself on.

The Frog shot these images in Nags Head, NC with a Nikon 55-300VR zoom lens on a Nikon D7100 and then processed them in onOne Perfect Photo Suite 9.5.

There’s a new gallery on Laughing Frog Images dedicated to the Atlantic ghost crab.  If you guessed that it’s called Ghost Crabs, you’re right!

Want a unique coffee mug or phone case?  We’ve got you covered.

Or, for those with a warped sense of humor – how about a crab staring at people in your powder room or guest bathroom?  (I don’t know where that came from, but it’s reasonable for me to think that Mrs. Frog wouldn’t let me do that!)

Enjoy!

Pacific Sun Railroad

The Pacific Sun Railroad is a WATCO shortline that was established to take over local freight traffic from the BNSF on their former ATSF Escondido Subdivision and Miramar Branch.  Seems like it’s the stuff that the BNSF didn’t want to be bothered with.

As near as I can figure, the pictures in the Pacific Sun Railroad Gallery on Laughing Frog Images represent half of the railroad’s locomotives.

From what I’ve been able to find on the web, these are said to be former Western Pacific GP40s that have been upgraded to -3 standards. These workhorses are somewhere between 43 and 49 years old.  They’re working for at least their third owner – the Western Pacific was merged into the Union Pacific over 30 years ago.  It’s almost hard to believe that the 40-series Geeps have been around that long!  That means I’m…. never mind.

They’ve reportedly got two other units – said to be former Seaboard Air Line GP35s working for at least their fifth owner.  I’ve only seen these units in the yard at Stuart Mesa.

I’ve seen the GP40s working at night several times, and most often parked behind a fence at a transloading facility along Miramar Road.  This was the first time I’ve seen them in daylight and not behind the fence, so naturally that called for their portrait!  It was late in the day in nice light – the deep blues were starting to set into the sky.

Once again, these were taken with my Microsoft/Nokia Icon.  This is a .jpg image made from the original .dng file.

WP_20150528_17_12_34_Raw__highres LFI 420 wm

Here are two sites to check out if you want to learn a little more about the Pacific Sun Railroad:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pacific_Sun_Railroad

http://www.watcocompanies.com/our-services/rail-services/psrr/

Now, to get the GP35s…!

Thanks for looking.

Sunrise Done Different

Most of the time you see a picture of a sunrise, the photographer is looking at the sun…

Always having to be different, the Frog presents an alternative way to capture a sunrise.  Look the other way!

While on vacation in Hawaii (before you East Coast folks start, it’s closer to me than Boston is right now…) on the island of Kauai, I awoke to a very bright day (which is easy to do when you’ve traveled west).

I looked to the east, and the sun was hidden by a cloud layer.  No shot there…

But, as I looked to the west, well, here’s what I saw:

WP_20150209_07_27_39_Raw__highres 320

The mountains were in shadow, the clouds were lit by the sun, there was a faint rainbow, and the moon was still out!

Being 2015 and all, I did what most anyone would do – I grabbed my phone to take a picture!  I would have grabbed my camera, but the phone was closer and the rainbow was changing (for the worse) before my eyes as the sun rose behind me.

This image is straight from the camera’s raw file (Nokia Lumia Icon), and was cropped to a square image and converted to a jpg for posting and sharing.

I tried to play with it a bit in an editing program to bring out the rainbow, but as every action has a reaction, and the reactions were not favorable, I decided against that train of thought.

You can find the image here on Laughing Frog Images.

Thanks for looking!

Snorkeling at Lawa’i Beach

The Frogs took a snorkel tour with Aloha Kauai Tours to Lawa’i Beach on the south side of Kauai.  We’ve rented gear and snorkeled on our own in the past, but decided to try a tour and see if their equipment and the overall experience was better.  It was!  No fogging in the mask, no gagging from a bad snorkel, and we had wetsuits which apparently make it easier to be a human lump on the surface taking in the sights below.  Our leaders were Paul (All of them!  Unforgettable character!) and Nick.

The winds were out of the south and west, which was stirring things up a bit.  Many images looked OK, at least until you were looking at them at 100% – and then, you saw the suspended sand…  As a result, the initial sorting and selection process went very quickly.

Peace, Harmony and Coral: Snorkeling at Lawa’i Beach

Coral reefs are amazing.  If you’ve never had a chance to snorkel at a coral reef, put it on your Bucket List.  If you can’t make that happen, well, at least you’ve got some pictures to look at.

Coral itself is fascinating, and I’ve only had limited exposure to it.  Some of it looks like a human brain.  Some look like a tree trunk that’s full of termite tunnels.  Some look like rocks.  Some look like debris.  And it’s a living thing that fosters and supports all kinds of marine life.

Then, there’s the fish.  I tried to include at least one image showing every kind of fish we saw.  It’s like viewing things in a kaleidoscope, only the medium for the kaleidoscope is boundless, as is the motion of the colors.  There are a few images where you can in fact see the suspended sand – but this site is supposed to be a fun site as well as a commercial site, so they’re there for the fun and for you viewing pleasure.

What’s amazing is that among all of the species of fish, sea urchins, sea cucumbers, and coral was what we didn’t see: chases, pursuits, fights, or anything swimming around looking for a swimming lunch.  I don’t know if this was an atypical day at the reef, or a representation a typical day at the reef.

But, amongst the coral, there was peace, and there was harmony.

We humans should do so well…

You can check out Snorkeling at Lawa’i Beach gallery on Laughing Frog Images, and check out from your everyday for a bit…  Enjoy!

Sometimes you need a little luck #2

 

Getting images of seals on a beach in their basic form isn’t all that hard.

After all – they’re seals. And, they’re on a beach.  As I said, the basics aren’t hard.

Getting those really memorable photos of seals on a beach isn’t technically hard – it’s not much different than getting an image of a seal on a beach.  You generally just need to capture a seal doing something on the beach other than sleeping.  But that’s the whole point of why they’re on the beach.  To sleep.

Starting to see the challenge?

So, you sit there and focus on a seal and wait.  Or, you scout the seals and, using your best seal sense, try to figure out which one is going to do something photogenic and focus on that one and wait.  At least until you figure out your seal sense isn’t quite as good as what you thought it was.  Then, you start to scan the seals thorough your lens, because you know that’s going to work!

As either and/or both your feet and butt get sore from waiting, you realize that there’s only one thing that is going to work for you.  Sometimes, you need a little luck.

That’s what finally happened here when I caught this guy/gal moving in mid-nap.  A little luck had come my way.  I swung the camera around (Casio Exilim EX-V8) and captured this image.  This is a crop of the original – I had a pocket digital with me, and not my DSLR.

There are a lot of potential captions for this image – and each of us has our own take on that.  We can all relate to having a peaceful sleep ruined by things like an alarm clock, or someone making a loud noise.

There was noise, and this guy/gal wasn’t all that happy.  I’m not sure if I saw the seal version of flipping someone off before the eyes were again closed and it was time to visit Sleepy Town once again.

CIMG0839 4x5 320w

(Yeah, I know, that was an incredibly bad groaner, but if you’ve been following along on the blog, you shouldn’t be surprised by now!)

You can see the original image here in the Galleries on Laughing Frog Images.

Most everyone out there knows someone who deserves this on their coffee/tea cup – and we can help with that!

Thanks for reading.