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Giant leap for frogkind

Giant leap for frogkind

May 24, 1981. During the annual International Jumping Frog Jubilee, Denny Matasci cheers on his frog, E. Davey Croakett, in what clearly is a giant leap for frogkind. Sadly, Davey’s jump fell short of victory.

Croakett won the 1976 competition with the then-world-record 20-f00t, 3-inch jump. In 1981, Croakett, like many aging champions, croaked, failing to place.

Nearly 40.000 attended the 1981 contest in Angels Camp, Calif., watching 2,675 frogs a-leaping. ABC’s “Wide World of Sports” jumped in with a 1o-minute segment.

Los Angeles Times photographer Bob Chamberlin spent an entire day shooting frogs. He isolated the frogs from the crowded site with a 400 f/4.5 telephoto lens.  Using a Nikon F2 film camera, Chamberlin exposed Tri-X film at 1/500th a second.

“I concentrated on getting a tight shot,” Chamberlin says, “with shallow depth of field.”

Chamberlin’s frog image won a 1982 National Headliners Award.

“I had a fun free trip to Atlantic City,” Chamberlin says.

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