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.


Sometimes, simple is better.

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

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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.


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.


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.

What does the Frog process with?

Another recent question was “what software do you use to process your images?”

My current image processing software is ACDSee Pro 8 available from ACD Systems.

I also have Corel Paint Shop Pro (came with the computer), Microsoft Photo Gallery (free for Windows 7 & 8 users), Picasa (free, from Google), an older version of Adobe Photoshop Elements, and Nikon’s View NX2 that came with my cameras.  Each of these is good – I’m not slighting any of them.  But I’m currently using ACDSee Pro 8.


I’m simply not that good at post-processing.  I can’t process an image file and take a cloudy sky and make it blue, or swap out a foreground, or anything like that.  I process very simply (for the most part) and stick to the basics, and they do the basics very well.

Disclosure: occasionally, I do find that I can pull off a mini-miracle with this software and salvage a slide or botched exposure.  These are adventures in trial and error, and always involve working with a copy of the image file and not the original file.  Sometimes, it can take hours to save an old slide – but it’s the only way.  It’s much simpler on most digital images.

Three key things that I really, really like about this software:

The Light EQ tool is absolutely fantastic when working with an image – you can set up to nine (9) individual tone bands when adjusting the lighting on an image.  When you’re working with old Kodachromes, that means you can bring out shadow detail very discretely, as well as tone down clouds and the sky.

I find the Hybrid tool for noise removal to be (1) fantastic and (2) equally effective with scans and RAW files.

And, the Sharpening tool is intuitive and easy to use.

Overall, the software is very easy to use as an image organizer and as an editing software.  And, it’s intuitive.  Very intuitive.  I find myself looking at the manual every so often, but you can be up and running in a short time without reading the manual.  One of the hardest things for me is establishing a consistent workflow, as I only seem to work on images on the weekends, and then, not every weekend.  I tend to forget workflows and processes once in a while.  I guess I could take notes…

So, if I sound like a commercial for ACD Systems, I guess I am.  If anyone knows anyone there who can hook me up with a sponsorship deal…  If anyone has any questions about how I got to ACDSee among all the other programs, please ask!  If you’re considering (new) processing software, it’s definitely worth a look.

Oh, before I wrap this post up, there’s one very, very, very important thing – you need a good mouse.

There’s a companion post to follow on what I call finishing software (a program that does not cease to amaze me).

Happy shooting / scanning and processing!





Gallery Spotlight: Fall Foliage

Fall foliage is happening in New England, Maryland, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and other places I’m not…  And can’t be, so…

The next best thing is putting the spotlight on the Fall Foliage Gallery at Laughing Frog Images!

This is Silver Cascade near Crawford Notch, NH.

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This image used a tripod, cable release, and a polarizing filter as have been discussed here on the Frog’s Blog.  The camera was a Fuji S-9000.  Most of the images in this gallery at this time used this equipment.

This image looks great on a white mug, and also on a white water bottle (it’s one of the samples I have that I’m still wrestling with how to post and share)!  And – for most of the regular readers, it’s cheaper than getting to New Hampshire to see fall foliage in person!  (Although a trip to New England in fall to check out the fall foliage should be on everyone’s Bucket List.)

Don’t forget that Laughing Frog Images gives you over 170 ways to enjoy an image that calls out to you, and in most cases, you control the cropping and the position of the image on the media.  There aren’t many photographers that give you some many choices and that degree of control.  We think it’s all about the image and how you want to enjoy it.

Holiday shopping starts in less than 60 days, so start browsing and planning now!  We’d like to help you shop for unique gifts this holiday season without ever setting foot in a store!