Still croaking!

Yes, I know, the blog has been neglected this year. I hope you’re all still out there!

It’s been a very busy year with a lot happening in the day job and life in general.  For those of you that are on Instagram / Facebook and Google+, I’ve been posting there often @laughingfrogimages simply because it’s simple to do it from my phone wherever I am.

I’ve been working on some new galleries for a while.  One is of an epic trip to Manitoba to see polar bears and beluga whales while they’re still visiting Churchill.  I hope that continues for a long time, but things are changing and we opted to go while the getting is good.  Another is of night shots of trains dating back to the late 1970s.

It’s my goal to get back to blogging, if only once a week.  There are stories to tell of Churchill and of Manitoba, let alone individual images.

Just need some time and some life in my work-life balance.

Until next time, be well.

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 https://www.instagram.com/laughingfrogimages/

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″.

mamiya-c220

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.

 

 

More Metal!

There’s more metal on Laughing Frog Images!

Some of you may recall that there were some changes made in the available products here at Laughing Frog Images – and some of the metal print sizes were discontinued.  That was due to a change at one of the Frog’s partners.

Well, if you were disappointed like the Frog was, despair no more – they’re back!

aluminum art

Aluminum Art is available again in sizes from 5″x7″ to 30″x40″.

This compliments the Modern Metals available from 8″x10″ to 20″x30″.

To check out the image you want the way you want, simply choose an image, click “Buy”, then “Showcase”, then “Modern Metals.”

It’s hard to show you just what a metal print looks like. It’s even harder to tell you in the written word.

For what it’s worth, most of the prints that I have on display at home are metal prints because the color just “pops” (I don’t know if there is a better word and I can’t find a better word).

I have four 10″x20″ prints displayed in a bathroom.

People spend more time in the bathroom than you might think is normal because of them.

Seriously.

That’s something you just can’t make up on your own…

Want to know which ones?

Click here, here, here and here to see them.

Another great thing about metal prints is that they don’t need a frame.  They’re also bathroom and kitchen safe because they are metal!

Everyone needs more metal!

Enjoy!

 

It might be quiet for a while…

Hi….

Things are really busy in life right now, and will continue to be so over the next few weeks – so don’t be surprised if it’s quiet around here for a little while.

I am working on several new gallery projects, and none of them is small.

One is a gallery of a ride on the White Pass & Yukon from back in 2006 – and it starts out at over 300 images.

Another is a ride on Via Rail Canada’s Canadian from Toronto to Vancouver – that one starts with over 1000 images.

Then, there’s the eastbound and westbound journeys on the Feather River Express (two separate galleries that will have a bit of a twist).

They are all epic journeys in their own right, and even more so if you are a railfan.

All galleries will be in chronological order to give you an experience as close to being there as I can.

So… it might be quiet on the web but it won’t be behind the scenes…

I might sneak in a new small gallery or two in the interim to give myself a bit of a creative break.  We’ll see…

Until next time… Be well.

 

Happy Birthday Michael!

This is a happy birthday shout-out to Michael McNew of Visceral Concepts.

He’s the behind the scenes guy who makes Laughing Frog Images work on the web – which makes me look professional and put together.

Check out Visceral Concepts if you need branding, marketing, web services, IT support, and whatever else it is that he does that I don’t know or understand…!

Happy Birthday Michael!

San Dimas Rodeo 2010

San Dimas Rodeo 2010 is just what it says – a gallery from the 2010 San Dimas, CA Rodeo.

I’m not going to rehash everything I said about the 2015 event in a past post – just click here if you want to read about the rodeo and here if you want to go straight to the San Dimas Rodeo2015 gallery.

All I’m going to do is invite you to check out the San Dimas Rodeo 2010 Gallery if you’d like to check it out.  It’s a fun little diversion from whatever you might be doing…

Like the 2015 gallery, it’s all view only so I don’t run into any issues with releases, licensing, etc.  As such, all of the images are straight from the camera.

It’s here for your enjoyment – and hopefully, you’ll check out some other galleries on Laughing Frog Images and perhaps buy a print or two to make you smile when you look at it (or cover up a hole in the wall!).

Think this might leave a mark?

San Dimas Rodeo 2010. San Dimas, CA.

San Dimas Rodeo 2010. San Dimas, CA.

I’d love to say that I got this image because I’m such a fantastic and skilled photographer (well, I might be something close to that, or so some might say).

The reality is that to get an image like this, several things have to come together.  The right lens helps.  So does the right angle – as you can never predict which way a bull is going to go, the right angle is really a bit of luck.  The right lighting helps – I sat where I sat for optimal lighting, at least as long as the bull tossed the rider in the right direction, so perhaps the right lighting is a little bit of luck.  Timing – well, one can argue that’s either skill or luck.  Then, beyond the lens, and the lighting, and the timing, you need the event itself.  That moment in time where it all comes together.

That day in October 2010, it all came together for this perhaps once in a lifetime image.

Enjoy!

Not road kill!

Yes, it’s been quiet on here lately.  Amazing how fast a month can go by.

It’s not as easy as it seems it would or should be to work, do things around the house, do things with the family, run errands, etc., etc., etc., AND keep up with a web store and a blog.

At least not for me, anyway.

We’re not road kill.  Just busy.

I’m going to try to schedule a bunch of posts this weekend on a variety of subjects (actually, “last weekend” by the time you read this).

Whatever it takes to get y’all to “like”, “share”, “follow”, and buy  (remember, there’s a web gallery and store, too!).

Things are really busy at the day job – so I’ll apologize in advance if there are some more gaps in the coming months.

I could probably post daily if I won the lottery…  If there are any multi-million dollar winners out there who want to adopt a frog, give me a ribbit!

Be well!

Sometimes, your lens is too short

We’ve probably all been there before – you think you’re prepared for what you’re going to be shooting, and then reality decides to toss you a curve – and, sometimes, your lens is too short.

It seems that when this happens, it simply doesn’t matter which lens you have with you.  I’ve had this happen on days when I’ve had a 500mm lens and a 2X teleconverter with me.  It’s just the way things go sometimes.

In this case, I was on the north shore of Kauai, and there was what we think was a juvenile Humpback heading east and breaching several times.  Why, we’ll never know – but you can learn more about humpbacks breaching here.  Those of us that were there would prefer to believe that this was happy breaching on a beautiful day.

So, while us humans were there taking in the spectacle, jaws agape, I decided to pick up my camera a snag a shot.  And I did.  With an 18-270mm fully zoomed out.  Which was fine for the scenic images that I had planned to be shooting.  To say that the lens was grossly inadequate for breaching whales is a minor understatement.

Without cropping, the whale looked like a black dot on a blue rippled background.  So I cropped the image.  A lot.  Just to prove that I got a shot.  Notice I did not say “THE” shot, I said “a” (note the lower case) shot.

Is it a killer shot that’s going to grace my wall?  Nope, not even close.

Is it going to be my conversation-inspiring screensaver on my computer or phone?  Nope, not even that good.

So, why did I keep it?

Easy answer.

Because sometimes, it’s not about THE shot, or the quality of a shot that matters.

Sometimes, all that matters is that you got A shot that makes you smile and think back to what was happening at that moment in time.

And, sometimes, that’s all that really matters.

Sometimes, your lens is too short. A Pacific Humpback whale breeches near Kilauea Point. Kauai, HI.

Sometimes, your lens is too short. A Pacific Humpback whale breeches near Kilauea Point. Kauai, HI.

You can check out more whale shots here on Laughing Frog Images.

Thanks for looking!

San Dimas Rodeo 2015

The San Dimas Rodeo takes place every year 30-odd miles east of downtown Los Angeles, California.

It’s not exactly where you’d think there would be a rodeo.  Not that I understand why the National Finals Rodeo takes place in Las Vegas, but anyway…

San Dimas is perhaps most known for its’ role in the movie “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure“.  I would perhaps argue that it was a town on the Santa Fe Railroad mainline that is most relevant – it’s also the home of the Pacific Railroad Museum.  And, there are those who would postulate that it’s the Rodeo that makes San Dimas famous.

Regardless of your perspective, the Rodeo is a step back in time, perhaps to a simpler day, or is it a romanticized event that rekindles the Old West?  It’s a lot of things to a lot of people.  Regardless of the meanings and metaphors one can find in the event, it’s still men and women versus the animals and in conjunction with their animals.  Debates can take place of the virtues of talent and bravery – and which is really the most important factor, sanity versus insanity, and on and on.

For the spectators, it’s an event that evokes laughter, cheering, ooohs and ahhhs, gasps, and apprehension – and all of those can take place in the same minute.

For the photographers, the images evoke skill, concentration, trials and tribulation, pain and joy, strength and brawn, persistence and determination, and more.

 

A cowboy in the process of being tossed from a bull at the 2015 San Dimas Rodeo.

A cowboy in the process of being tossed from a bull at the 2015 San Dimas Rodeo. Click the photo to be taken to the gallery.

 

I’m fairly certain that perusing this gallery will be provocative.  Think about what you see here in the faces and the expressions and the images.

To learn more about the San Dimas Rodeo, just click here.

The San Dimas Rodeo is a PRCA sanctioned event.  Due to that, plus the fact that people’s faces are seen, and there are things like licensing and model releases and “stuff” to be dealt with, this is a view-only gallery.  None of these images will make it to anyone’s wall by my own, but they’re here for your viewing pleasure.