Posts by Larry

Social Media and its Impact on the Entertainment Industry

Guest Post by Brian Testa From a Renewed Bingo Setting to Instant Photo Sharing Capabilities Social media has already made its presence felt in the photo industry with more technologies that cater to portability and ease of access. Although the DSLRs are still a must for professional shutterbugs, casual camera users are leaning more on tiny devices with simple settings and instant sharing capabilities. And of course, given the scope of social media’s presence, photography is not the only field affected. Much like photographers, bingo enthusiasts are also influenced by social media. In fact, social media allowed the present generation to enjoy the iconic pastime. Before the present bingo industry found its rebirth online, it enjoyed little to no audience at all. Most of the hobby’s devotees were from Europe. But outside the continent, you’ll barely find a country where bingo halls are frequently visited. In the past, bingo thrived in a maternal setting. This is arguably one reason why the game remains tied to stereotypes of women as bingo’s target audience. As far as the current setting is involved however, a women-centric audience is no longer the case. A renewed online platform acts as a substitute for anyone who
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Have Phone Makers Gone Crazy?

Last year I wrote a post about the Death of the Point and Shoot where I talked about how the Point-and-Shoot camera was going the way of the dinosaur. I mean, really- when was the last time you saw someone shooting with one? It makes sense really. Why carry along an extra camera when you can just use your phone? Nokia Goes Crazy Recently, Nokia has decided to take this concept to the extreme.  They have come out with a 41 megapixel camera on their Lumia 1020 phone. Really?  41 megapixels? Well, lets start with the obvious:  I don’t care if a camera is 100 megapixels, if it is shooting through a lens that is 8mm wide.  It just doesn’t work that way.  Even if it did, do you really need a 10MP image of your kid blowing out candles at their birthday party? Camera vs Phone Whether or not it takes good pictures is not my point.  I’m sure it does just fine.  My question is, how far will it go?  How long do we have until someone comes out with a DSLR body that has a phone attached to it.  I mean is that REALLY that far-fetched?  In
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Social Media Made Easy

Ready To Take Your Social Media To The Next Level? Still struggling to get your social media program working properly? If you are like most people, you spend hours and hours online “marketing your business” with very little to show for it.  Don’t worry- help is here! A while back, I wrote an ebook called Social Media 101 that outlined my basic strategy for keeping up a social media presence- without investing hours of your life.  It all comes down to streamlining the process and using the right tools.  The book sells for $20 but I figured I would go ahead and give people a chance to get it for free.  All you have to have is a Twitter account.  Of course, if you are interested in social media, you almost certainly have one of those, right? Get The Book Free Here’s how it works.  Simply click on the Pay With A Tweet button below.  It will prompt you to send out a tweet- telling your friends about the free ebook.  Once you have done that, you are able to download the ebook.  What could be easier?  I’ve been using Pay With A Tweet for the past couple of years and
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The Ring Light Portrait Revisited with HDR

I’ve been a big fan of photographing with a ring light, since I picked one up at a convention a couple of years ago.  It gives a very distinctive catchlight in the eyes and can really have striking results. I decided to try something slightly different last week. I had seen some folks online doing HDR-type images with their ring lights.  Basically, they would bracket exposures and combine them – just like people do with landscape HDR images.  I figured I would give it a whirl and tried out a few look. Take One This first image was done on white seamless paper.  I placed the model right in front of the paper and had the ring light a couple of feet in front of her.  It was essentially lighting the subject and background the same. The blue eyes really jumped out against the plain background. I took the image into Topaz and filtered it with Adjust and ReStyle, getting this cool retro look.  It reminded me of a 70s album cover. Definitely a unique look. Against The Wall For the next image, we moved against a white wall, resulting in a little bit of texture in the background.  We
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Get out of AUTO Mode

Are you still struggling to get nice images with your point and shoot?  Does your iphone camera completely baffle you?  Help is on the way. For years, I have put on photography camps for kids and every year I have people ask- “What about the parents?” This year, I decided to put together a small, one day workshop on photography basics. When and Where? The workshop will take place at The Westwood School’s high school campus on Monday, July 22 from 9am to around 3:00. Who Can Attend? This workshop will be geared toward beginner to intermediate photographers.  If you are using Program or AUTO on your camera, this is for you!  The class size will be very limited to ensure everyone has plenty of time to get their questions answered and get comfortable with their equipment.   We will cover topics like: *  Getting better pictures- no matter WHAT camera you own! *  Understanding the basics of exposure. *  When to use aperture-priority vs shutter-priority *  How to get better images with your iPhone camera *  How to work in all kinds of lighting situations I’ve taught HUNDREDS of pros over the past few years- but you don’t have
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One Day Photography Workshop

Big News! This summer I will be offering something I have never offered before:  a one day, hands-on photography workshop.  I’ve spoken at photography conventions across the U.S., but never actually done this type of class.  If you have been wanting to improve your photography skills – this is your chance! Who Should Attend? This workshop will be geared toward Intermediate to Advanced photographers.  I’m looking for people who are ready to take their photography to the next level by really learning lighting and posing. What is Planned? I will have a complete studio setup and discuss why I set my lights up the way I do.  We will have multiple photo shoots and everyone will get a chance to photograph the models with their own cameras.  Its a great chance to build up your skills and add a few nice images to your portfolio.  You will come away from this workshop with an understanding of how lighting affects photography and how to use it to create stunning images. When and Where? The workshop will be Tuesday, July 23rd at the Westwood School’s high school campus on Midway – just south of Beltine- in Addison, Tx.  We will start at
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I’m On The A-List

Well, some kind soul nominated me for the Dallas A-List so I figured I may as well play it out. As most of you know, I’m not a huge self-promoter.  I’m going to post the link and hopefully droves of raving fans will head there and vote.  Hey- it could happen??? So get out and vote.  Tell your friends to vote.  Drop by the library and use their computer to vote.  Whatever you have to do-get it done. Thanks in advance for your unending support!!   BEST Portrait Photography
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How To Take Better Photographs

Do you want to get better at photography?  It doesn’t matter if you a seasoned pro or a brand-new-just-bought-a-camera newbie.  We ALL want to get better.  Here’s your chance. Viva Mexico! This fall, I’m taking a group of photographers to Riviera Maya, Mexico for four days of photography in a fun, relaxed environment.  It doesn’t matter if you have a $5000 DSLR or just your iPhone – the concepts we go over will apply to everyone.  We are also keeping the group really small, so I will have plenty of time to work one-on-one with each photographer.  It is going to be an incredible trip! The Hotel We will be staying at the El Dorado Royale in Riviera Maya.  I spent a few days there earlier this month, scouting locations for our trip.  This place is absolutely first class!  The rooms are beautiful, the food is incredible and the service is better than being at Disney.  Trust me- it is a phenomenal location, so be sure to bring a friend or spouse.  They can lounge on the beach while we create some dazzling images. Relax! Don’t worry, it won’t be all work and no play.  Far from it!  We are
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Is Klout Really Worth The Effort?

Klout is one of those polarizing forces on the Internet.  Some people swear by it -others think it is a joke.  If you are unfamiliar with Klout, it is basically a website that tracks your social media interactions and calculates a score showing how “influential” you are.  The exact formula they use is about as secret as Google’s ranking algorithms.  In other words- who know!??? Any Benefits? When I started with Klout, I saw two potential benefits.  One was a way to benchmark my social media efforts.  Even though I don’t understand WHY my score goes up and down, it is an interesting way to track your overall progress.  After all, if your Klout score is going up, you are interacting with more and more people online and doing a better job of getting your message out there.  For as little time as it takes, I think it is worth monitoring your Klout score.  The key is to just not get obsessed with raising your score.  Just monitor it like you do anything else. Perks? The other interesting potential benefit for me was Klout Perks.  The concept is that your Klout score qualifies you to participate in various perks – which
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The Great Cover Up!

BIG NEWS! This month, I was thrilled to have one of my images grace the cover of Professional Photographer Magazine.   The lucky image was “School Spirit” – a senior portrait I created a few years ago that made it all the way to the PPA Loan Collection.   As if the cover wasn’t exciting enough, they also did a great story on how I approach senior photography – and all portraits for that matter.  It was a seven page article with a bunch of my favorite senior portraits featured.  I’ve been fortunate enough to win my fair share of awards over the years, but having a cover story was definitely a new high! THE INTERVIEW I never realized just how stressful it is to be interviewed for an article like this – especially one that you know will be read by all your peers.  You worry that you will say something wrong or come off sounding like a knucklehead.   Fortunately, the story was done by the incredibly talented Stephanie Boozer.  We had a great talk and I felt like she really understood what I was trying to say.  It was a huge relief.  We spoke for a few
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