Posts by Larry

Facebook vs Google Plus

It seems hard to believe there is any possibility of someone trying to compete with Facebook.  Google, however, has decided to give it a go. If you haven’t heard of Google Plus (or Google+) it is basically the company’s attempt at creating a newer, better Facebook.  I wasn’t too interested in another Facebook, but got curious and decided to check it out.  As you can see, the basic page looks a lot like the familiar Facebook page. The biggest difference comes into play when you start adding friends.  GooglePlus has a system called Circles where you create subgroups of all your contacts.  This was always a tricky part with Facebook.  You had 100 friends, but only 6 or 7 were actually friends.  The rest were co-workers, acquaintances, old high school chums, long-lost family members – and even just strangers that you didn’t want to hurt their feelings.  With G+ you create groups (called Circles) like Friends, Family, whatever you want.  When you add a new person to your network, you decide which groups they belong to and you add them to those Circles. Now when you post pictures from the party you attended last weekend, you can decide who sees
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Cheering on the Texas Heat

Six months ago, my kids were playing in the snow.  Kinda rare for Texas-but it happened.  My how things have changed. Today is the 41st CONSECUTIVE day of 100 degree weather.  Think about that for a minute…over a month with it getting to be over 100 every day.  The last time the Heat was this bad in Dallas was during the NBA Playoffs. The weird thing is -at this point, I’m actually rooting for another day or two of hot weather.  I mean, as long as we have been miserable this long, we might as well get an award for it – right?  Now they are saying there is a chance of rain Friday night, which would probably break the streak.   Here is the question… do you take the rain or still cheer for the record?  Am I crazy to still be kind of wanting to break the record?  Not really sure why it would be a sense of pride, since I didn’t actually have anything to do with it – other than the numerous aerosol cans I have sprayed into the environment during my life.  I guess it is just kind of a badge of honor. So which are
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Finding Inspiration for Photography

Photography has always been both a science and an art.  You have to have at least a little bit of both the technical skills and the artistic skills. It is easy to improve your technical skills.  You can research new techniques online, buy a few books on exposure – heck, you could even spend an afternoon reading over that 300 page manual that came with your new DSLR.  If you are willing to put in the time and effort, you can definitely improve your technical skills.  And you should! However, it is the art side that we are all interested in.  It is the part that gets us excited and makes us want to get better. To that extent, I decided to put together a few quotes on creativity to help get your brain in creative mode this week.  Let them sink in and see where it takes you.   “Every artist dips his brush into his own soul and paints his own nature into his pictures.”   Henry Ward Beecher   “A hunch is creativity trying to tell you something.” Frank Capra   “Creativity is allowing oneself to make mistakes, Art is knowing which ones to keep.”  Scott Adams  
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Free iTunes Gift Card

The Summer of Free Stuff continues with another fun event.  This time, we are giving away a $15 iTunes Gift Card!  Download that App you’ve been wanting or the latest Glee album – whatever floats your boat. Entering couldn’t be simpler.  Oh sure, I could just automatically put everyone in the world’s name into a hat and draw one out.  That would be easier for YOU, but kind of time consuming for ME.  This is kind of a compromise. All you have to do is: Follow @larryphoto on Twitter. Simply tweet “Just entered to win an iTunes Card.  Just follow @larryphoto and retweet. http://bit.ly/mYoooT ” Now be honest… that’s pretty darn simple, huh? But what if you are one of those over-achieving types?  Maybe you like having a slight edge over the competition.  Hmmm… ok. If you fall into this category, just leave a comment below telling me that you have done Step 1 and Step 2 from above and simply ask for another entry.  You don’t even have to say “please” or use flowery words – but it sure would make things more fun for the other readers.  By leaving this comment, you will be granted an EXTRA entry
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Should You Un-Friend Social Media?

I have a love/hate relationship with the whole Social Media thing.  I love catching up with friends on Facebook or screaming at the universe on Twitter – but sometimes it gets to be too much.  You have to step back and ask yourself if it is right for your business. One of the weird things about being a professional photographer is that there is a very fuzzy line between work and play.  For example, if you spend your Thursday night trying out a new Photoshop technique – is that fun or work?  Kinda both.  What about doing research for that next camera you are wanting to buy?  Technically, you are working – but it is also something you love.  That’s the great thing about being a photographer. Social media is something that falls into that category for me.  Things like keeping up a blog or updating your Facebook page could both be considered Marketing (and thus, work) but they can also be enjoyable.  Like most things in life, the key is moderation.  You have to dedicate just enough time to social media to get results, but no so much time that it becomes a part-time job. A good plan is
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Ten Questions: Gail Nogle

It is time for the second installment of the “Ten Questions” series.  This time, I decided to focus on my friend and mentor, Gail Nogle.  Of the many masterful photographers who have guided me through my career, Gail is at the top of the list. So without further introduction, here are Gail’s Ten Questions: 1.  If someone had never heard of you and you had to show them ONE of your images to illustrate your style, which image would you show them?  A – I would show the image of my Mother/Baby –  because I feel it is my most creative work so far and took me 4 years to perfect. 2.  When you weight the pros and cons, has digital been a good thing or a bad thing overall for photography?   A – Overall it has dimished the legacy of the art of photography. 3.  If you couldn’t be a photographer, what would you be?   A – I would be a sailor and travel the high seas looking for adventure!! 4.  You always say, “If you don’t ask, the answer is always no.”  When did you come up with that philosophy? A – When I realized that
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LOST in Oahu

Heather and I just got back from spending a week on the island of Oahu.  When we found out that a great deal of ABC’s LOST was filmed there, we decided to drive around and find a few of the locations. It was amazing how they were able to make one small island look like so many different places! Truly incredible. We started out across the street from our hotel- at the Honolulu Convention Center, which was used as the Sydney Airport. Next up was Hurley’s house: After that, we stopped by Sun’s house… After a little searching, we found the creepy forest place where Charlie was hanging and where Kate hid from the smoke monster Another highlight was a round of golf on Hurley’s golf course… After all that activity, we decided to hike up to the famous waterfall. Luckily, the dead body had been removed from the bottom of the pond Since it was just up the road, we decided to drop by Mr. Ecko’s Nigerian village. A short drive away was the crash site – but the wreckage has long since been removed.  It was still a pretty cool place. We finished up with a visit to
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Ready to Launch?

Could you use more visitors to your website or more customers walking in your front door?  If you are struggling to get the word out to potential clients, you might want to consider a more “space age” approach. Last week, I was lucky enough to get my hands on a copy of Launch by Michael Stelzner.  The book equates marketing a business to launching a spaceship and the focus is on helping you create the “fuel.”   I’ve been a fan of Michael’s Social Media Examiner website for the past year or so and found it have a great deal of info, so I knew the book was a safe bet as well!  The book is very easy to read, as Stelzner has broken the information down into pretty simple parts. Now the whole spaceship theme was a bit of a blessing and a curse – at least for me.  At times, it got a little repetitive – but it DID help to keep things straight.  For better or for worse, you were constantly reminded of the big picture and how each component contributed to the goal.  What I really liked was how the book provides several specific examples of how
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The Oasis

Over the next few weeks, I wanted to share a few of the images that I entered at this summer’s International Photographic Competition.  I will try and provide a little background on the images, as well as talk about how they were created. First up is an image called The Oasis. I created this shot of Central Park while vacationing in New York.  I’ve always enjoyed infrared (IR) photography and thought this would be an ideal setting for that type of photography.  I also shot this scene in color, but didn’t feel that it had the same impact as the IR image. Rather than using Infrared film (ahh.. those where the days), I photographed the scene with my IR-converted Nikon D70.   The IR look gave the image a very timeless, yet surreal, look.  I loved the contrast of how the giant man-made buildings towered over the idyllic, natural scene below.   I guess that is what makes Central Park so cool in the first place.  It is a quiet oasis in the middle of one of the busiest cities in the world. Although I’ve tried using IR filters or even Photoshop filters, actually converting your camera to record infrared is really
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Twitter First Impressions

Do you tweet? If you haven’t experimented with Twitter yet – you really are missing out on something entertaining.  Sure, it can become a huge time-killer – but can’t you say that about most fun things if you do them to excess?  TV, drinking, browsing the internet… same thing.  Yeah, you’ve got a few people updating that they are standing in line at the grocery store, but there are also TONS of really interesting folks out there.  With over 200 million users, you can’t spend a lot of time screening people- which is why the profile picture is so important.   I don’t know about you, but my motto is…. “when in doubt, go by the profile pic” As a photographer,  I thought it made sense to start keeping an eye out for good and bad profile pics and recognize the really good ones.   To accomplish this, I’m going to have a “Twitter Profile Pic of the Week” contest.  To make mine different from other “of the Week” contests, I’m not going to do it weekly.  Let’s face it, I’ll never keep up with that.  However, it has a nice ring to it, so I’m using it in the title.  I
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