Octoberfest Sale!

It’s October, which means Octoberfest to many, and Laughing Frog Images Octoberfest sale to us!

Through October 31st, you can save 40% off everything except our books.

That’s 40% off of:

  • ready-to-hang canvas prints,
  • ready-to-hang metal prints,
  • paper prints, or,
  • framed prints.
Where will the road take you on a fine fall day? Zeeland, NH for fall foliage, perhaps?

Where will the road take you on a fine fall day? Zeeland, NH for fall foliage, perhaps?

Laughing Frog Images features a wide range of subjects for every taste, and a product for every budget.

Laughing Frog Images Octoberfest Sale is your opportunity to decorate a wall, or cover up that ugly patch you didn’t get quite right.

On a side note, we know you haven’t heard from us in a while, nor have the posts been coming on a regular basis.  The day job that makes everything possible has been quite busy the past two years  Maintaining a blog, a web gallery and store, and a social media presence are far more than I ever envisioned.  There are more galleries coming when time permits.  Time is the constraint here – it’s not will or want.  Instagram (and as a by-product, Facebook and Google+) is where I post most frequently these days, mainly because it’s convenient.  If you don’t follow Laughing Frog Images on any of those sites, I invite you do so.  And, if we can get a share out of you every once in a while, that’d certainly be appreciated as well.  I’m somewhat certain there’s a way to do everything I do for a blog post on a desktop on a mobile device – and if and when I figure it out, the blog posts will be more frequent.

Enough about that.

Click here and check out some pictures.  Relax and forget about all that’s going on for a while, and check out some leaves.  Or trains.  Or polar bears.

Most importantly, just simply enjoy!

Heceta Head Sunset

While I was shooting the Heceta Head Lighthouse from an overlook on the Oregon Coast highway, it was ridiculously easy to turn to my left and shoot the sunset.

At least when the clouds were being fairly cooperative, that is.

When it got to time for the sun to drop that last 15 degrees, it finally dropped below the clouds and then it was time to consume some pixels.

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The Heceta Head sunset shots were interspersed with Heceta Head Lighthouse shots – the same conditions that made a beautiful sunset gave me the killer light on the lighthouse, shore and water.

Several different images from those few minutes have made it to the sundowns, sun ups and things in the sky gallery on Laughing Frog Images for your perusal, enjoyment, and purchase.

Is there a trick to getting sunset photos like this?  I wish I could say there was, and that I’ll tell it to you for a price, but there really isn’t.

There is, however, the need to be able to adjust your aperture (bigger numbers are better) or shutter speed (higher is better) or both, which isn’t always possible on a point & shoot or smartphone or tablet.

In a nutshell – shoot a bunch, and change your aperture and shutter speed as you shoot.  You’re changing your exposure (like I did), which gives you the same subject matter in a number of different images.  If your camera/device lets you pick a point in the image for it to adjust/expose to – pick a bunch of different points and fire away.  Then, pick what you like and delete the rest.

There.  Lesson over.

Now go shop Laughing Frog Images!

Remember, we’ve got a 25%+ off sale on things associated with consuming liquids for the rest of October.  Check the blog for full details.

“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.

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

Enjoy!

Sunset from the back of a plane

When I fly, I tend to get a an aisle seat.  I’m not always sure why, because my head and arms are regularly hit with nary a tinge of guilt on the part of those striking me.

However, I might want to start rethinking that.

When I replaced my old cell phone from the Dark Ages (it was a flip phone with no keyboard…) with a new smartphone, I chose the camera first, and then the phone.  I wanted a Windows phone so I could manage this site in Internet Explorer, so that somewhat narrowed my choices, but they weren’t bad choices.  I ended up with the Lumia Icon, which has a 20mp camera, and also produces a RAW image in .dng format.  It takes phone photography to a new level that I won’t get into here, because this isn’t about a phone or a camera – it’s about a snapshot in time memorialized in bytes.

More importantly, the Icon gives me the opportunity to capture some fantastic images without having to carry a camera with me all of the time.

Here’s a shot from a window seat in the back of a Southwest Boeing 737.  We’re heading east over Huntington Beach at sunset. As we turned east, I noticed the sunset and thought “there might be a picture here…”

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You can see ships waiting to get in to Long Beach Harbor in silhouette from the setting sun, you can see the waves headed towards the beach, the blue sky and darkness separated by the rain clouds.  There’s a lot going on here.

This is the jpeg file straight from the camera.  I haven’t played around with the dng file to what I might be able to do with it.  I didn’t have time to go to manual and select the settings as I would try to do for a sunset – so I metered off of the clouds above the sun and hoped for the best. ISO 64, f2.8, 1/1250 second – all set by the Icon’s camera.

I ended up with a quality image of something fresh and different, and that’s what makes time behind the camera meaningful.

Shoot often and shoot well!

Smartphone Sunset

Here’s a little “how to”post.

I was at Ontario (CA) International Airport at sunset recently, and saw the sunset, and you can guess what happened next.

Out came my Lumia Icon, and I made a few images.  Let’s take a look at them, and talk about how you can make great smartphone sunset images.  Both images were shot on “auto” and are straight from the camera.

WP_20150311_19_02_52_Raw 420 wmDetails of the above image: ISO 80, f2.4, 1/40 second.

WP_20150311_19_04_28_Raw 420 wmDetails of the above image: ISO 64, f2.4, 1/12 second.

So – how did I get the “ooh, aah” first image and get a “so-so” second image?

Many (most) smartphones allow you to select a focus area by selecting the area you want the camera to focus on by tapping the screen with your finger.  This also controls where the camera meters (measures light)!  Proper metering is the trick to great smartphone sunset images.

In the first image, I selected the brightest area of the sunset as the focus and metering point.  As a result, the camera thought everything was really bright and reacted accordingly – this caused the camera to let in less light.  This made most of the image darker, and allowed the reflected color in the clouds to appear in the image.

In the second image, I let the camera decide everything.  The result is “blah”, at least to me.

The images are shown in the order they were taken.  There are 90 seconds between the two – I was taking images and metering off of different points.  The first image is the best of the bunch.

Next time you see a great sunset, try this!  It’s a way to control your smartphone camera for sunsets even if there are no control options.

(This simple technique will also work for sunrises.  It will also work with pocket digital cameras that allow you to lock on to a focus point.)

Remember, film is cheap these days.  Shoot often, and have fun.

This concludes your smartphone sunset lesson.

As always, shares and likes are appreciated, and don’t forget to visit Laughing Frog Images for your decorating and gifting needs (and your own indulgences).