It’s Summer Sale Time!

It’s the middle of the year, and it’s summer, so it’s a good time for a summer sale!

Use code 19summer40 to save 40% on paper prints, frames, mounting, canvas prints and metal prints.

There is no minimum order, and there’s no limit to what you can save or how many times you can use the code.

Click here to go to the site and shop now!  Don’t forget, you can create and account and save your favorites if you’re not ready to order.

If you’re looking for trains, save a step and click here.

If you’d like to wander through the blog, click here.

Thanks for following the Frog!

 

Costa Rica

I’d always heard that Costa Rica was a wonderful place to visit – and everyone was right. We saw so much, and yet we saw so little. We experienced friendly people who are very proud of their Country.

I’d never done much in the way of bird photography, let alone rain forest photography.  For better or worse, I didn’t take the time to do a lot of research, and came back humbled in some respects.  Lessons learned and thoughts on the experience will be a blog post – if I can help someone to make their memories better, it’s the least I can do.

We had a fantastic guide for our group whose knowledge and enthusiasm for his Country and the birds was infectious. I have a new interest and perspective in bird photography as a result of this trip.

Click here to view the gallery.

Fly me to the moon.  Scarlet Macaws, Jaco, CR
Fly me to the moon. Scarlet Macaws, Jaco, CR

 

A limb is a pillow. White-faced Capuchin Monkey. Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica


As many of these images are crops from full zoom images, they’re not going to make huge prints. I envision these images in small prints in a group on a wall – hence, they’ve all be cropped to square format.

Blue iguana. Manuel Antonio National Park, CR

With the exception of a few images from an iPhone 7+, all images used a Tamron 18-400mm all-in-one zoom. The driving force behind this lens was to not be in a rain forest or on a boat changing lenses, or to be caught with the wrong lens on the camera. I purchased my 18-400 from Powell Camera after extensive research and deliberation (the lens and the process will be the subject of another blog post).

Dentist’s delight? American crocodile. Tarcoles River, Tarcoles, Costa Rica.


Identifying the birds and captioning the images took quite a while (bits of time over two-plus months to be exact). I used the following resources to assist: Bird Guide provided for our great excursion on the Tarcoles River by Jungle Crocodile Safari, Costa Rica Birding Tours, All About Birds, and Audobon. Where I wasn’t sure about the identification, there’s a question mark in the caption. Comments and corrections are welcome.

Wood stork in flight. Tarcoles River. Tarcoles, Costa Rica.



Contact Misty Travel if you’re intersted in a Costa Rica experience of your own.

Enjoy!

Of a new look and broken links…

A new look and broken links – what’s this all about?

Well, the Day Job has been something else for the past couple of years. (as in very, very busy)  You can see that in how much I’ve not been posting.  I can’t complain much, as the Day Job is good to me.  It’s just not so good to Laughing Frog Images.  I’ve managed to get in some time behind the camera here and there – it’s the sorting, processing and captioning that’s not keeping up.  In the grand scheme, I guess there are worse problems I could have.

In the “big news” category, I gave the Blog a new, cleaner look – mainly for the benefit of those using a smartphone to keep up with things.  The old color scheme worked well with the website theme and LFI logo, but it wasn’t great for every reader on every platform.  After searching new themes for a while, I found one that’s crisp and clean, and looks good on a desktop, laptop, tablet and smartphone.  I have to admit, I was quite proud of myself when I got it up and running smoothly! 

Or so I thought. 

I started to figure out that a lot of the links were broken or lost for some reason.  I’m sure there’s a perfectly sound technical explanation for what happened and why – I just don’t know what that is.  I’ve started to fix the links, however, I sense that it’s going to take a while to finish (as in someday).  If you find a link that’s broken, and you can’t get to something you want to see, please let me know and I’ll fix it as soon as I can.

I also moved the videos out of the site gallery and on to the Laughing Frog Images YouTube Page. It didn’t make much sense (to me, anyway) to have videos in both places.  That YouTube is optimized for viewing on all platforms reinforced that thought process.  I’ve got clips from 1994 that I’ve not finished editing yet.  They’re nowhere near the quality of today’s smartphones, and my video skills weren’t great – but you can’t see those trains anymore, so they’re on the list.  I’ll use the Blog to let folks know when there are significant uploads.

What’s (eventually) coming to Laughing Frog Images?

  • Scenes from and animals of Costa Rica
  • Nevada Northern Railway’s 2019 Winter Photo Shoot (first weekend)
  • My thoughts on Tamron’s 18-400mm all-in-one super zoom lens
  • My thoughts on Nikon’s AF-S DX 16-85mm VR lens
  • Railgiant’s 2018 Night Session

 

Cumbres and Toltec Gallery and Video

The Cumbres and Toltec gallery and video are the result of a fantastic afternoon and morning spent on the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad this fall.

The weather was nothing short of perfect.  There had to be one pesky cloud, and it compromised the shot at Tanglefoot Curve on Friday afternoon.  To go with the blue sky, there was snow at the top of Cumbres Pass and at Coxo.  Yes, that’s a teaser – you’ll have to go to the gallery to see the images!  Surprisingly, Mrs. Frog and I were the only ones there as the train dropped out of Windy Pass and Coxo.  Not complaining, mind you…

I spent the rest of the afternoon at the Chama engine house.  When the sun finally set, I called it a day and met Mrs. Frog at Foster’s for a chile-laden dinner.

Saturday morning broke clear and crisp, and made for an excellent shot at First Crossing.  We caught the train at a few more locations.  We had to turn back because reality in the form of the flight home was looming over us.

For those of you curious about the video, here’s the story.  I looked over at Mrs. Frog, handed her my iPhone and asked her to shoot some videos.  For a first effort, and without a tripod, I believe she did a great job!  One of the things about the video is the sound.  The sound on this is quite good, even capturing the echos in the valleys.  It’s great just to listen to as well!

Cumbres and Toltec doubleheader at First Crossing
Cumbres and Toltec doubleheader at First Crossing

If you want to see narrow gauge steam running much as it was until it was abandoned, it’s hard beat the Cumbres and Toltec.  Yes, the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge is a few hours away.  It’s a great ride as well – it’s just a little harder to view and photograph.  If you haven’t done either, put them on your list to ride and photograph.

Here are some helpful links for your visit to Chama:

Foster’s Hotel and Restaurant

Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad

Encanto B&B, Chama

Be sure to check out the Cumbres and Toltec gallery and video, and also our 2018 Holiday Sales!

 

Thanks for visiting!

 

2018 Holiday Sale Schedule

Here’s the Laughing Frog Images 2018 Holiday Sale Schedule!  We’re going to keep it simple this year – a sale within a sale, and just two sale codes.

From November 22 to December 24, save 40%* on paper prints, frames, canvas prints and metal prints.  To take advantage of our 2018 Holiday Sale, use code 2018holidays.

Ellis River above Glen Ellis Falls. Jackson, NH. White Mountain National Forest.
Ellis River above Glen Ellis Falls. Jackson, NH. White Mountain National Forest.

If you’re a pre-planner and follow schedules well, this is the sale for you this year.  From November 23 to November 26, we’re combining Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday into one event within our 2018 Holiday Sale.  Save 50%* on paper prints, frames, canvas prints and metal prints.  Use code 2018supersale.

Port Huron and Detroit Alco S-2 60 at the roundhouse.
Port Huron and Detroit Alco S-2 60 at the roundhouse.

* Please note that the discount does not apply to books, shipping, or applicable taxes.

Nevada Northern Railway Alco 2-8-0 93 on a photo freight at East Ely, Nevada.
Nevada Northern Railway Alco 2-8-0 93 on a photo freight at East Ely, Nevada

Why shop at Laughing Frog Images instead of at “the other picture place”?

We allow you to choose your medium – paper, standout, metal, or canvas.  Each makes a different statement.

We allow you to convert a color image to black and white or sepia if that’s what you want.  Each tells a different story.

We allow you to choose the size you want.  There’s nothing like seeing an image you like that’s too big or too small.

We allow you to choose the aspect ratio you want – square, rectangle, or panoramic.  Perspective and proportion can make or break an image.

Our image, your way.

If you have any questions about any of the images, or how to make a print your own, please send us an email and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

If you’re not buying for yourself, or for a gift, just forward this to “that” someone along with the link to the image you want.  It may not be a subtle hint, but it’s a hint nonetheless!

Thanks for looking, and happy shopping!

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!

International Polar Bear Day

My humble contribution to International Polar Bear Day.

We’re with Lazy Bear Expeditions on a Zodiac in Hudson Bay watching these two and their Mama relax on the rocks north of the Fort.

In retrospect, thinking back, it was a complex day.

The photographer in me is silently cursing, because this otherwise ideal scene is horribly backlit.

The human in me is realizing a dream come true in seeing this family lounging in the sun.

The adult in me realizes how lucky Mrs. Frog and I are to be there.

The adult in me worries about the cubs and how they will fare in a changing environment where things aren’t changing in their favor, and can’t help but feel helpless about it all.

The child in me thinks they’re cute and cuddly.

The adult in me recognizes they are a natural and efficient killing machine.

The child in me is awestruck to be in Hudson Bay.

The blogger in me thinks it looks good in black and white.

Two polar bear cubs lounge on the rocks on the coast of Hudson Bay north of Churchill MB.Two polar bear cubs lounge on the rocks on the coast of Hudson Bay north of Churchill MB.Two polar bear cubs lounge on the rocks on the coast of Hudson Bay north of Churchi
Two polar bear cubs lounge on the rocks on the coast of Hudson Bay north of Churchill MB.

I can’t say enough about Churchill.  Beautiful, unique, special.  If you want to go, it’s not the easiest place in the world to get to, nor is it necessarily an inexpensive trip.  But it is perhaps the trip of a lifetime and well worth whatever it takes to get there.

i hope to be able to go back, and I can’t decide if that would be a late fall trip when the polar bears gather to go out onto the ice or a winter trip hoping to see newborn cubs.  One can dream (and save).

There are more polar bear images and more of our Manitoba meanderings in the Manitoba gallery on Laughing Frog Images.

Thanks for stopping by and spending a few minutes.

You’re also invited to subscribe to share in my photographic and sometimes philosophic meandering through life.

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 worst family photo you never took?

Here we are in the 2017 Holiday Season, and I’m thinking about the oft-dreaded family photos and family photography again.

This is the fourth time around for the main points of this post. I’m posting it early this year so you’ve got some time to let it sink in, or perhaps share it with “that” person.

I think that family photography relevant every holiday season, and you’ll probably see it every holiday season as long as this site is up.  It will change as I change throughout the years, no doubt.

Hopefully, maybe, possibly, it may inspire someone out there.

The topic of family photos is relevant not just during the holidays, but every day…  I’m reminded of that as Papa Frog is not here this Christmas.

It’s a bit of a history lesson, and a life lesson.  Enjoy.  Ponder.  Reflect…

**************************************************

What’s the worst family photo you never took?

If you’re thinking about the worst family photos you ever took, go back and reread that last line and think about it.

It’s probably the time of year, besides wondering what to write about, that led me to this topic.  We have a “family photo wall” that’s set up something like a family tree.  All of the family photos are in black and white – as most of the originals were.  I have yet to find a good photo of my Great-Grandmother to put on our family photo wall.  That still bugs me.

And then, there’s a song I haven’t heard in a while that always puts me in one of those melancholy, reflective, contemplative moods – “Time Passages” by Al Stewart.  Take a ride on the Wayback Machine and check out this video on YouTube of Al and Shot in the Dark performing the song back in 1978 when it hit the radio waves: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mRKyGhgoNE8

So, where am I going with this?  Isn’t the topic family photos?

Well, way back when, some families were great with taking family photos during the holidays – or any time for that matter- and some weren’t.  Some stored their family pictures well, and some didn’t.

All things considered, if you go back let’s say 50 years ago – family photography was a lot more complicated than it is today.  There were flashbulbs to load in the flash gun, and then exposures to calculate and settings to set on the camera.  Fast forward to the Instamatic camera that took 126 roll film and flash cubes!  An absolutely (well, almost) people-proof system that while easy to use, unfortunately didn’t necessarily take great pictures – but preserved memories to stimulate the mental hard drive nonetheless.  And then the 110 roll film cameras became a brief rage because they were small.  Never mind that so were their negatives, which meant that their practical use was limited.

Fast forward a bit to 1976 and Canon’s AE-1 35mm film camera.  It was the first “camera with a brain” (a microprocessor) and it forever changed amateur photography.  Load it with film, put the lens on the automatic setting, put the flash on and set it to automatic, set the shutter speed to 1/60 of a second – and indoor family photography changed again.  (My AE-1, passed down from my Father, is a few feet away as I rewrite this.)

41 years later, we have digital cameras in our phones as well as DSLR cameras that represent the great-great grandchildren of the AE-1.  Most people are using digital instead of film these days.  The cameras have great metering systems, automatic flashes, flashes that adjust their brightness for the scene, red-eye reduction settings.  It’s actually pretty easy these days to take a good (great?) picture.  Maybe it’s not so good for professional portrait photographers, though.

In the old days, you had to wait days or hours to see if the pictures were good or not.  More often than not, if you weren’t happy with your results, you didn’t get a chance for a “do-over” until the next family gathering.  Even then, you may not have been able to catch the picture again.

Perhaps the best thing about digital photography is that you can look at your picture seconds later and see who had their eyes closed, or mouth open, or who was making a funny face or obscene gesture.  If you don’t like what you got – yell at everyone (politely, of course, because it is the holidays) and take the picture again.  And, repeat as necessary…

Filum is practically free in the form of memory cards.  No – that’s not a typo.  It’s film as my maternal Grandfather called it.  It’s Pittsburghese.  Don’t believe me?  Look it up!

And – no more having to spend $3.00 extra per roll for 1-Hour processing of your 4×6 prints.

So, where am I going with this?  Well, I’m almost there now.  Thanks for bearing with me.

OK, I’m there now.

Here goes:

Take pictures this family season.

Lots of them.

Get ‘em with their eyes closed, or with that glob of gravy on their chin.

Get ‘em when they’re groaning or while they’re sleeping.

You could even get ‘em when their smiling. (Hopefully that’s with an image you got from Laughing Frog Images 2017 holiday sale!)

Just get ‘em.

That way, you can always talk about the worst family photo you took.

It’s better than lamenting about the photo you never took.

That could well be the worst one…

Oh – I almost forgot – this post could be a great pre-holiday gift for someone you know.  Don’t be afraid to share it.

 

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.