Long exposure guru Larry Marshall
About three years ago I was introduced to Instagram, a place where you were supposed to share pictures of your food and brag about how epic your life is. I never got into that exact use of Instagram, instead I quickly found a great community where people where sharing beautiful photography. This inspired me to pick up my camera again and start learning how to use it. One of the first photographers I followed on Instagram was Larry Marshall. I still remember how excited I got the first time he "liked" one of my photos.
What differentiates Larry from many other is his interest in teaching others. Few people share as much information about their images as Larry does. EXIF, locations and detailed explanations of the techniques used follows nearly every image he shares. Looking back at it today, Larry is one of the reasons I fell in love with long exposure photography, that ultimately led to me learning the camera and finding my passion in photographing.
I have had the pleasure to ask Larry some questions around his photography, this is what he said:
Big parts of your portfolio is images taken with the use of long exposures, what is it about this technique that triggers you?
- I like shooting long exposures because it sharply captures the stationary elements of a scene while incorporating the moving elements such as clouds and rushing water. The resulting images are surreal, very different from what you actually see. Long exposures are particularly effective for travel photography because most people tend to take the same types of images on their travels. But with long exposures, I can get a different look.
I remember when I first started using Instagram, you already had a significant amount of followers and influence in the photographic community. You actively promote other users through your featuring page, and also often give detailed advices on photography to your followers. Has the use of social media in any way influenced your photography or thoughts about the medium?
- First off, my presence on Instagram is not about the number of followers, its about helping to promote other photographers providing tips and my camera settings to help bring other’s photography to a higher level. Social media is just another tool that every photographer should be effectively using. You need a presence on social media, especially photography related sites, in order to get your name out so that others can see you work. For many photographers, including me, photography is a business. Without a social media presence, few people will ever see your work, no matter how talented you are. I have been fortunate to have gotten a lot of jobs through my social media presence.
I personally love your abstract trees series and it’s artistic look. This is quite different than rest of your portfolio, but still includes experimenting with the shutter. Could you tell us a little about the idea behind these shots?
- Actually, the first abstract image that I took many years ago was by accident. My shutter was open when I camera slipped on my tripod because the head was loose. When I saw the resulting image, I thought to my self “now this looks cool.” So I started experimenting with different shutter speeds and motion of my camera. I learned that ignored to get exactly what I was happy with, I had to follow a certain set go guidelines that I learned by trial and error. I affectionally call these images “Office Art” because they are something that you see in the hallways of many businesses, because they are easy on the eye and make you stop and look at them. One of my Aspen tree photos is actually my top selling images.
If you could teleport to any location right now, where would it be?
- I would have to say Indonesia. But I don’t really have to teleport because I’m going on a three week trip there and am leaving tomorrow. This is a paid trip that I landed through social media. So a presence on social media can really pay of.
What would your top 3 advices be to a person who is just getting into photography?
- My advice would be to start off with a basic used camera and read the manual, follow and ask lots of questions from the photographers that you like, and develop you own style.