Friday, June 14, 2013

Google+ - THE Social Media Site For Photographers


After spending some time with +Matt Kloskowski  and +Pete Collins  of Kelby Media fame back in March, it became readily apparent that I should check out Google+. Both of these guys raved about the site, not only as a way for them to post photos and information about their current projects and goings on, but also from the standpoint of learning all kinds of new stuff.

For quite some time, I was strictly a Facebook social media kind of guy, posting my images on my personal page as well as having created a separate page for BaselineShots Photography. After a while, the number of my "friends" grew to where it is now and the number of "likes" for my BaselineShots page also grew. But Facebook isn't a vehicle for learning anything. I was intrigued by some of what Matt and Pete mentioned about Google+ in terms of a quick, easy way to pick up valuable insights into photography, lighting, and other stuff from photographers much better than yours truly. Could it be? A social media site similar to Facebook that is photographer driven?

Yep. Hello, Google+. It is everything they said and then some.

A screen shot of the page that has posts from people I follow
I set up my Google+ page by creating a profile, uploaded some images, and began to navigate my way through the features offered. I searched out "communities" that involved the kinds of photography that interest me and joined them. I then searched for photographers whose work I consider to be top notch, i.e. Joe McNally, Moose Peterson, the Kelby guys, Jeremy Cowart, Glyn Dewis, Frank Doorhof, Rick Sammon, Joel Grimes, etc. and added them to a very select group of people I wanted to "follow". That makes it easy to keep up with their posts - you simply click on a tab (Following) and all their posts appear on a page (see screen shot above).

By periodically visiting my "Following" page, I can see what Moose is up to, what new tidbits Glyn Dewis has thrown out there, or what new technique Joel Grimes just dreamed up. I've learned more from these kinds of posts than I could possibly describe.


The flip side is that as time has passed, people have started following me by adding me to their Circles. It's flattering to think that anyone places enough value in what I have to say about photography that they would add me to their "Following" circle but the group has been growing. Since Google now owns Blogger (the program I use for this Blog), it's inordinately convenient for potential readers of my dribble to find it. When I go to publish a blog post, it automatically posts not only on Blogger but also on my Google+ page and in the news feed of anyone following me.

If you're a photographer and you haven't taken advantage of Google+ you're really missing out. Do yourself a favor and check it out. It's the best, free source for improving your photography and learning new, valuable techniques.

Got The Green Light To Shoot The Aircraft At The Valiant Air Command


Yeah, baby. I received a phone call yesterday, followed by a confirmatory e-mail, from the Valiant Air Command giving me the access I requested to photograph the aircraft at their museum on Saturday. The C-47 Skytrain is scheduled for a flight at 10:00 am so not only will I be able to shoot it inside its maintenance hangar, I will be able to shoot it as it's rolled out, fires up the engines, taxis down the runway, takes off, and flies.

I now have to finalize the other aircraft I want to shoot on this first visit, and other than the C-47, the B-25J Mitchell is a definite. If time permits, other aircraft that might be thrown into the mix include the ME208 Messerschmitt, a really cool F-86 Saber Jet (R) and an F-14 Tomcat (L). Really looking forward to this as a pre-birthday, Father's Day treat from me to me.

Hoping The Spousal Unit Can Take Time Off To Come To Vegas For Photoshop World...


I'm waiting to see if the Spousal Unit can take some time off from work to come with me to Photoshop World in Vegas. If so, looks like we're off to Vegas in September. In trying to decide whether to take advantage of Scott Kelby's invitation to attend, I just didn't feel right about coming home and telling her that I was off to Vegas for a 5 night boondoggle without taking her with me so I've decided to go only if she can come. I've been to Las Vegas more times than I can remember and she's never been. Although it's not high on her list of places she would like to go (the glitz and faux opulence is not her style), round trip air fare to/from Atlanta is $350.  Both the Luxor and Excalibur hotels (right next to the much more expensive Mandalay Bay, which is hosting the conference) are offering blow out room rates that would allow both of us to go and spend less than $1,000 for flights and hotel. We could dovetail the trip with a Labor Day weekend jaunt up to our cabin (1 1/2 hours north of Atlanta), drive down to the Atlanta airport on Monday to fly out, fly back to Atlanta Saturday, spend the night at the cabin, and drive home Sunday. That would make for a fairly inexpensive, unexpected  getaway and I think she'd enjoy it.

I've tried to tempt her by offering to take her to her choice of shows in Vegas, not to mention that she can pick up some great insights into Photoshop and Lightroom by attending some of the PSW classes offered. She is learning how to use these programs for her job duties so it's a win-win. Now it all depends on whether she can get the time off.

That wraps up the week. Stay thirsty, my friends.

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