Fresh Beat: Artist manipulates rainbow to make photographic art

Laura Hall
Larry holds a photo of Annie after it comes out of the printer. This shows the contrast between the original and manipulated photo.

Larry Beat marches to a drum that only he can hear. He is a man of many cities, many countries and many talents.

You might find him in his Bad Habit’s Lounge Studio, Artwalk on the Harbor on the third Sundays of the month or out and about working his professional skills to capture the best of the area with his digital photography.

Monday through Friday he can be found in Destin working as administrator of the Planning Division of the Community Development Department for the city of Destin.  Wow, that was a mouthful wasn’t it?

Larry has been an artist for more than 50 years, starting his artistic ambitions as an 8 year old attending art classes at the Toledo Museum of Art. Here he found how to work with color and perspective. 

A career with the Air Force took him to Germany, Philippines, Las Vegas and finally to Hurlburt Field, where he retired.

Larry is the type of guy you like right way. He greets you with a firm handshake and the calm but devilish twinkle in his eye makes me suspect I could write several articles about him.

I am particularly interested in the mesmerizing colors that bounce all over his digital photography and I want to know how it is done.   

“The name of my studio, Bad Habit’s Lounge, was borrowed from a dusty old honky-tonk, GI tavern near Clark Air Base in the Philippines,” Larry says. 

He gives me an inside look at how his inner visualization is played out in his high-contrast digitally manipulated photos. It reminds me a bit of Andy Warhol mixed with a psychedelic high of whirling colors.

Photograhper Laurie Kane helps me by taking a picture of my Cavalier King Charles spaniel, Annie. We take this picture to Larry at his Bad Habits Lounge Studio and watch as it changes from a plain, ordinary photo into a bewildering hodgepodge of exciting, heart pumping colors.

The digital photo of Annie is pulled up onto his computer and Larry begins the transformation using Cannon Zoom Browser software. The magic and artistic training then begins as Larry uses the software to manipulate the color as he works back and forth as well as up and down on the saturation, hue, contrast and brightness scale.

Larry operates one of the two Cannon printers to bring the picture to life. The one he uses to print Annie’s picture contains ten color cartridges — red, two blacks, green, yellow, gray, magenta light and dark, cyan light and dark plus green. This allows the use of a mind-bending array of colors. 

Annie’s photo has been tagged with the name, “Mardi Gras Dog” so look for her when you see Larry during Artwalk on the Harbor.

Larry can be reached at

Laura Hall is a longtime Destin resident. She writes about gardens and other local topics, sometimes with her dog Annie is tow.  If you would like to be profiled on a future column, contact Laura at