Photofocus | Create Keynote or Powerpoint Templates with Ease in Photoshop

I was recently asked to create a Powerpoint template for someone and soon realised that with a few Photoshop techniques creating, editing and creating individual assets was a breeze. To keep the whole thing as flexible as I could I used Artboards, Smart Objects and Create Assets.

In this video I show you how to make three slide template, a main slide, a ‘blank slide’ and a slide for an image. Should you wish to create more then this technique allows you to do it in seconds. I hope you find it helpful!

Source: Photofocus | Create Keynote or Powerpoint Templates with Ease in Photoshop

Photofocus | Mirrorless Camera Maniac: There’s An App For That

Most mirrorless cameras include wifi and the ability to work with a smartphone app, and most mirrorless photographers I talk to aren’t maximizing that connectivity and the included functions. The cameras themselves create the wifi, so you don’t need to connect to wifi wherever you are. I highly recommend you get used to using your app and let it help you work better. Here are some of the things I do regularly with my Lumix cameras and the Panasonic Image App.

Whether I’m sending pictures I just took of my kids to my wife or sharing pictures I just made with a client, I use this function daily. More and more, people want their pictures immediately and I find that sharing one during the shoot satiates the need for immediacy and gives me more time to finish the rest before sharing. It’s waaaaaay better than taking a phone picture of the back of the camera.

The trick with my camera/app combo is that only JPEGs can be transferred. Fortunately, your camera can create a JPEG from any RAW file you’ve shot, and also allows you to put some finishing touches on the photo. I often use my camera’s RAW processing tool to create a black and white JPEG of a photo and I share that with the client. This both trains my clients to like my black and whites, and it allows me to not be concerned with perfect color correction.

Continue reading “Photofocus | Mirrorless Camera Maniac: There’s An App For That”

Instagram direct messages now support web links and different photo orientations | TechCrunch

Instagram’s Direct feature just got more generally useful as a messaging option, with support added for external web links, and the ability to send photos and video in their original portrait or landscape aspect ratios without cropping. The first is really far more important than the second, mainly because it means users have less reason to go seeking other messaging options outside of Instagram.The links feature also includes inline previews for websites you paste the URL for, and the new photo and video treatment is much more in keeping with how people actually capture and view media on mobile these days. The updates are rolling out now to iOS users, and will arrive on Android soon. Links are supported on both platforms as of version 10.22.

Instagram Direct is a popular feature among the social network’s user base – there are 375 million monthly active users on Direct alone as of last count, a fresh number shared publicly in April. It’s a far cry from Facebook Messenger’s 1.2 billion monthly actives, but that’s still one of the biggest messaging apps in the world, and a product worth iterating on in order to help it capture even more market share.

Source: Instagram direct messages now support web links and different photo orientations | TechCrunch

Virtual Reality – Another Perspective

Wandering in the Underworld

Black Basalt Beach - Lighthouse

It’s overcast and windy today. Looking out to our backyard from the kitchen window this morning, I was reminded of being in Mendocino or Fort Bragg, the Northern California Coast. When I see the wild roses and green vines growing over the old wooden fence, the weedy lawn, the flat grey sky framed by the fence and telephone poles on either side, I feel like I’m there. In memory, for a moment, I’m there.

A few months ago I dreamt I was in Mendocino. I knew I was dreaming as I looked across from a perpendicular side street to the horizon before me. I couldn’t see the ocean, just the open meadow in front of Front Street that is the beginning of the Mendocino Headlands State Park. The land drops off here to rocky cliffs and sea spay below. Then there is nothing but open ocean for miles and miles, as far as the eye…

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Kultivate Magazine – June 2017 Issue Preview!

On June 1, 2017, the next issue of Kultivate Magazine will be published. This issue will feature 2D and 3D artist Slatan Dryke. Inara Pey has stories on the last exhibition for UWA and an update VR and MR. Veruca Tammas brings a voyage to the La Vie sim. Myra Wildmist comments on the competitive nature of art. We also have several photo essays: Amy Beebe covers Summer art, while Illyra Chardin brings you a secret garden photo series, and Falbala Fairey offers summertime fashions. Rounding out our photo essays is Paradox Messmer with abstract fashion imagery. For our fashion division, The Edge, Eleseren Brianna presents Haute RP Couture, and The Edge stylists present their June 2017 stylings.

Kultivate Magazine-June 17 (1).png

Kultivate Images of the Day: 5/2/17 to 5/7/17

Below are our images of the day for 5/2/17 to 5/7/17:

Image by Anouk Lefavre
A Yorkshire Tale
Image by Jen Zalivstok
ᗪOGGY ᖴᗩᗰIᒪY
Image by Pamela Stipes
Born to be Wild!
Image by Wicca Merlin
Image by Pan Aeon
endless horizon
Image by Flubs
Image by Will Corrigan


♥ Royal Flush ♥
Image by Chris Morrisey

Costa Blanco in Second Life | Inara Pey: Living in a Modem World

Caitlyn and I first visited Costa Blanco in January 2017, but I didn’t get to blog about it at the time, so a re-visit seemed in order.

Designed by Gabrian Lascelles (Gothicgaylord), the region is described as “situated in the southernmost province of Sweden, and is connected by weather and theme with Bretagne in France.” It’s an interesting description, and the general environment for the region has much of a feel of being suited to either southern Sweden or Bretagne (or even here in the UK!). However, the design of the region throws in multiple elements – a Mediterranean style villa by the landing point, for example – such that Costa Blanco has an eclectic feel to it which makes exploring interesting and offers many opportunities for photography.

The aforementioned landing point is in the north-west part of the region, directly outside of the villa. Grapes are growing on the vine here, as a cobbled drive leads down the slope of a low hill to where a scattering of farm outhouses and barns sit. Some of these have clearly seen better days, as their boarded windows and doorways can attest, while the tractors sitting in and around them also speak of age and hard-working lives. Given the way the hay is baled, it would seem this is still a working farm, but the overall impression is that the focus is now more on providing stables for horses, than working the land….

Source: Costa Blanco in Second Life | Inara Pey: Living in a Modem World

Keepsakes Contest and Travelling Art Truck

Million Happy Endings

There are two time sensitive things you have the opportunity to enjoy during the week ahead. One is the Wanderlust Art Truck parked in Maryport through the 28th and the other is a Keepsakes Contest with a deadline of June 1st.

The truck is parked at A Little Piece of Art. On the grounds are a cafe, The Pixel Gallery and a club called A Heart Shaped Box.

The Glass Jars Keepsakes Contest is offered by Art Oluja:

“My vision is to keep this *Easy, Fun, and Inspiring* so here are the guidelines:

1. The theme of the contest DOESN’T NEED to reflect the LEA11 Glass Jars exhibit specifically,
but more importantly, its about how you relate to the concepts of DREAMS, MEMORIES, TIME. Be creative, be authentic, have fun. 🙂

2. Your choice of expression, whether its a poem, story, snapshot, scanned artwork, 3d piece (not too big…

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show #150: sexual harassment at the [vr] workplace…

Time for another Drax Files Radio Show Hour

the drax files radio hour [with jo yardley]

show #150.jpg

an allegation put forth by a former employee at silicon valley start-up upload vr of sexual harassment and gender discrimination and just a whole bunch of really awful behavior by the two co-founders [and other men] at the company shocked the emerging neo-vr movement possibly more than oculus’ co-founder palmer luckey’s supporting of donald trump’s presidential campaign last year.

drax discusses the matter of systemic discrimination of women [not only in the tech sector] and some ideas how to grow past the “boys club” culture which is seemingly omnipresent in  many industries [yes, not only at FOX news…] with guest Patty Rangel, long time Second Life resident, artist and thinker:

read on folks:

  • our guest patty rangel:

patty presents philip patty presents philip

  • some more context on the upload case:

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New Kultivate Summer 17 Commercial!

Kultivate invites you to a summer of art! Check out our new commercial, featuring the work of Sandi Benelli, Lead Kultivate Artist in Residence:

Black and White Women in Second Life | Inara Pey: Living in a Modem World

Now open at Nitroglobus Roof Gallery, curated by Dido Haas, is Black and White Women, and exhibition of photography by Christower Dae.“Chris likes to explore, experiment, is curious and loves making pictures. Photography for Chris is immortalizing avatars in ambiguous attitudes,” Dido states in the liner notes for the exhibition. “His dedication to the avatar portraits, to the capture of those expressions that a skin can offer by giving (according to many people) a soul to the avatar and its personality begins.”

The result is a series of stunning avatar portraits presented in black and white, focusing on the female face. Presented in the familiar large format for Nitroglobus. However, these are no ordinary portraits. Each offers a considered, unique moment in time captured in the life of each subject; that all are presented in black and white services to heighten the beauty within it.

Each of the images is perfectly framed to offer a story; what that story might be is left entirely up to us: there are no visual clues within the pictures themselves; those which do offer any background do so in soft focus, ensuring attention remains on the face before us. Shown in close up, every detail of each face is presented to us: the brush of freckles across a cheek, the reflection of light within an eye, the spread of eyelashes, the fullness of lip – all are beautifully captured and rendered.

I’ve seen many images of avatars in Second Life, both through exhibitions and via Flickr, but Black and White Women is one of the more remarkable sets of such studies I’ve seen. The natural cast to each is – to repeat myself – genuinely unique. This is an eye-catching exhibition, one I recommend visiting.

Source: Black and White Women in Second Life | Inara Pey: Living in a Modem World

Project recreates cities in rich 3D from images harvested online | TechCrunch

People are taking photos and videos all over major cities, all the time, from every angle. Theoretically, with enough of them, you could map every street and building — wait, did I say theoretically? I meant in practice, as the VarCity project has demonstrated with Zurich, Switzerland.This multi-year effort has taken images from numerous online sources — social media, public webcams, transit cameras, aerial shots — and analyzed them to create a 3D map of the city. It’s kind of like the inverse of Google Street View: the photos aren’t illustrating the map, they’re the source of the map itself.

Because that’s the case, the VarCity data is extra rich. Over time, webcams pointed down streets show which direction traffic flows, when people walk on it, and when lights tend to go out. Pictures taken from different angles of the same building provide dimensional data like how big windows are and the surface area of walls.

The algorithms created and tuned over years by the team at ETH Zurich can also tell the difference between sidewalk and road, pavement and grass, and so on. It looks rough, but those blobby edges and shaggy cars can easily be interpreted and refit with more precision.

The idea is that you could set these algorithms free on other large piles of data and automatically create a similarly rich set of data without having to collect it on your own.“The more images and videos the platform can evaluate, the more precise the model becomes,” said a postdoc working on the project, Kenneth Vanhoey, in an ETH Zurich news release. “The aim of our project was to develop the algorithms for such 3D city models, assuming that the volume of available images and videos will also increase dramatically in the years ahead.”Several startups have already emerged from the project: Spectando and Casalva offer virtual building inspections and damage analysis. Parquery monitors parking spaces in real time through its 3D knowledge of the city. UniqFEED (on a different note) monitors broadcasted games to tell advertisers and players how long they’re featured in the feed.

The video above summarizes the research, but a longer one going deeper into the data and showing off the resulting model will be appearing next week.

Source: Project recreates cities in rich 3D from images harvested online | TechCrunch

Photofocus | Don’t Miss this Free Business Course for Photographers

Contracting for Creative Pros with Seth Polansky

This course is free until 7/1/17In this course—specifically designed for creatives—professor, contract attorney, indie film producer, and musician Seth Polansky explains how to protect yourself when presented with an industry contract. Media and entertainment companies spend billions of dollars every year on creative talent. Get an overview of the types of contracts that you can expect to see, the situations in which a particular type is used, and the specific red flags inherent in each. Seth discusses NDA, work-for-hire and contractor agreements, and proposals, quotes, and SOWs.

Topics include:

Why do you need a contract?

Types of contractsAsking for an NDA

Work-for-hire and contractor agreements

Proposals, quotes, and statements of work

Licensing agreements

Delivery and payment terms..


Source: Photofocus | Don’t Miss this Free Business Course for Photographers

Suzen Juel Resistance in SL

Through Owl's eyes...

34611530836_58834eaaf7_b @ White Chapel Londen LEA

Singer, Songwriter, Musician, Artist

Totally wild Suzen Juel!

 Suzen grew up with a family of French Musicians Artists and Writers, no wonder she was playing guitar by 13 and expanding. Suzen’s first CD came out in 1989. She began performing in Second Life in 2005 with her 6 string guitar. Being one of the first Indie artists to perform in second life she has seen the music scene grow

While expressing her artistic side and emotions through her music, words and art it emerges as a tapestry of color and sound.

Suzen’s musical style is powerful, bold, sensual, earthy and wild!

34490307252_86cd3e3e3f_h Peacock Gallery

Suzen Juel aka Juel Resistance also shares her Art in second life.

She did a LEA build in 2016 I got the chance to ask her a few questions in this blog post.

  • “Suzen you are obviously passionate about your music…

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Lovely stories and music at The Magic Tree on Tuesday…

Ce Soir Arts - Be inspired tonight!

Tuesdays (and often Wednesdays) are favourite times at Ce Soir Arts. This time out, Tuesday has the spotlight. Here’s what’s happening:

At noon, the Poet Laureate holds court at The Magic Tree, with a lovely selection of poetry and song. Russell Eponym, known far and wide as a premier poet and musician, always brings some of the very best in prose, poetry, and music for us to enjoy. His selections are always outstanding – and delivered with a special panache and skill. His Thought for the Day is inspiring and he’s been sharing from Richard Templar’s excellent book The Rules of Life – along with reading us through Robert C. O’Brian’s engaging Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh. We are riveted to our seats and leaning in to see what will happen next! You’ll be into it in no time – and will be delighted…

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Mysteries, magic and monsters

Inara covers this week at the Seanchai Library

Inara Pey: Living in a Modem World

It’s time to kick-off another week of storytelling in Voice by the staff and volunteers at the Seanchai Library. As always, all times SLT, and events are held at the Library’s Second Life home at Bradley University, unless otherwise indicated.

Sunday, May 14th 13:30: The Thin Man

New York, 1932. Nick Charles, a retired west coast private detective, and his wealthy socialite wife, are in the Big Apple for Christmas. It’s a place where Nick is perfectly happy getting drunk in their hotel room or in speakeasies. Which is not to say the couple are unhappy; far from it. They enjoy witty repartee and banter with one another, and Nora is every inch Nick’s match in wit and intelligence.

Things change when Nick is visited by Dorothy Wynant, the daughter of a former client, businessman Clyde Wynant, who has apparently vanished ahead of his daughter’s wedding. Nick reluctantly…

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Artwalks and Tinies in Second Life | Inara Pey: Living in a Modem World

Raglan Shire, Second Life’s Tiny community once again throws open its doors to people from across the grid as participating artists and visitors to the Annual Raglan Shire Artwalk.

This year marks the 12th Artwalk, and forms part of Raglan Shire’s tenth anniversary celebrations. The event offers an opportunity not just to appreciate a huge range of art from both the physical and digital worlds, but to also tour the Shire regions and enjoy the hospitality of the Raglan Shire community.

Running through until Sunday, June 18th the Artwalk present 2D are along the hedgerows of the Shire’s pathways and on the tree platforms overhead, while the central park lands offer walks among pieces of 3D art.

A non-juried exhibition, the Artwalk is open to any artist wishing to enter, and has minimal restrictions on the type of art displayed (one of the most important being all art is in keeping with the Shire’s maturity rating), and spaces for artists are not assigned. All of this means that it offers one of the richest mixes of SL art displayed within a single location in Second Life. Wandering along the paths and between the hedgerows, a visit to the Artwalk becomes a matter of discovery – although it is very easy to lose track of time when exploring; as such, more than one visit may be required to appreciate / see all the art on offer…..

Source: Artwalks and Tinies in Second Life | Inara Pey: Living in a Modem World

Kultivate Images of the Day: 4/26/17 to 5/1/17

Here are the images of the day for 4/26/17 to 5/1/17:

Image by Holly Portland
Crystal Garden Estates
Image by Ornella Batriani
Le problème Frenchtouch
Image by Arno Planer
Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do.
Image by Skippy Beresford
Is the way i am!!
Image by Kimeu 007


"Life is a long preparation for something that never happens..."
Image by Amouk Lefavre

Summer’s colours and sensual moods in Second Life | Inara Pey: Living in a Modem World

Now open at DixMix Gallery are two new exhibitions which, although not in any way intentionally paired, offer studies in the two most popular forms of Second Life photography: landscapes and avatar studies. Between them, they feature the work of Lam Erin and Tintin Tuxing.For Colours of the Summer, Lam Erin presents ten images of landscapes within Second Life, the majority of which have been tinted / enhanced with colours associated with summer – notably gold, yellow and green – but which should not be taken to be simple photographs of summer scenes. Rather, these are studied pieces, carefully processed to present a range of responses and perhaps suggest certain ideas for narratives behind them.

In particular, each of the pieces is marked by a broiling, active cloudscape; a dramatic, even foreboding, cast to the skies which even in the more restful images among the ten (such as Autumn Trace and Italian Countryside) adds an edge to the picture. They serve to make us reconsider each image after we’ve first cast our eyes over them, drawing us into the narrative behind the scene presented. Sometimes this can be direct – such as the brooding sense of a rising storm in Neverfar, through to a more subtle reminder that the ship lying calmly at anchor in Bal Harbour can have a capricious mistress with the seas on which she sails….

Source: Summer’s colours and sensual moods in Second Life | Inara Pey: Living in a Modem World

Photofocus | Photography Marketing: Creating Brand Engagement Through Instagram

Instagram is a constantly evolving tool, and one that has changed drastically over the past year. Now, more than ever, it’s important to follow some simple rules when posting to the social networking platform that can help you engage with not only your fans, but potential clients.

Tag Businesses and Locations

This might sound obvious, but oftentimes, it’s overlooked. Mention your clients or potential clients by tagging their Instagram accounts in images that feature them or their products.

On my recent trip to North Carolina, I stopped at several bars and restaurants, as I have a passion for shooting food and drink. Once I processed these images, and prepped them for Instagram, I made sure to mention the official Instagram account for the business. This made them not only aware of the image, but also made them look at my photograph. Doing so can create the potential for them looking at more of your photos, and potentially hiring you for an upcoming job.

Likewise, it’s important to tag locations. Even if you’re at your home, tag the neighborhood or district you live in. Doing so will make it so your photo is seen by people who are searching for location-specific images. And sometimes, these could get the attention of potential clients.

Use Applicable Hashtags

Just like tagging businesses and locations, be sure to use appropriate hashtags in the caption or comment of your image. This spreads your image across anyone looking for a specific type of image.

In my experience, it’s better to use hashtags that are more specific. When using a generalized hashtag with thousands (or millions) of photos tagged to it, your image is bound to get lost in the shuffle.

More is not always better here. Instagram allows you to use up to 30 hashtags in a post, but if you put hashtag after hashtag, you might annoy your followers, as it seems spammy. Instead, pick relevant hashtags that will draw an audience to your post

.Consider Creating a Series of ImagesSomething I’ve recently discovered is the advantage of creating a series of images. For me, I typically post three images over the course of one or two days. This helps my audience not only know what to expect, but it lets my account be more known for a certain type of photography, instead of a hodgepodge of images.Use a SchedulerIt’s helped me tremendously to use a schedule website like Buffer or These tools allow you to upload your images, apply appropriate captions and hashtags, and schedule them for publication. When your image is set to be posted, you get an alert on your phone, and then your post is copied over to the Instagram app.Why do this instead of just post directly on your phone? It allows you to think more in-depth about what you’re posting, and come up with a plan.

Keep Up On Your Comments

When you get a comment from a follower on Instagram, be sure to thank them and reply back. Likewise, if you get a direct message (that little envelope in the upper right hand corner), answer it! Being responsive with your audience and engaging with them shows that you care about your photography.

That’s not to say you have to say “thank you” to all those spammy comments though. Instead, remove those and report the profile to Instagram.

Source: Photofocus | Photography Marketing: Creating Brand Engagement Through Instagram

Snapchat’s new eraser lets you ‘Photoshop’ stuff out of photos | TechCrunch

It’s Snapchat’s turn to copy Instagram while also staying one step ahead of its competitor. Today Snapchat launched a slew of new creative tools, several of which mimic Instagram’s features, including the option to remove the 10-second time limit on viewing photos that still disappear once closed. But Snapchat’s new option to let users erase real-world objects from their photos shows it’s still pioneering the visual communication format.As Snap adds more creative tools, it’s now organizing them all down the right side of the screen for easy access.

Here’s a breakdown of each of the new Snapchat creative features:

Limitless Snaps – Now you can select the infinity icon in the Snap photo timer so friends can look at the Snap as long as they want. It will still disappear once closed, though. This could be useful for sharing important information like an address via photo. Instagram already allows limitless viewing of ephemeral Stories and Direct Messages.

Looping Videos – You can tap the looping icon on the right side of the Snap composer to make your videos loop over and over, which is great for short videos or highlighting a particular moment. This gives Snap an animated GIF-style feature to compete with Instagram’s Boomerang.

Draw with Emoji – You can now use an emoji as a drawing brush. Select one from the creative tools on the right, and instead of a pen tip’s color, you’ll see a trail of that emoji as you draw. This takes the pain out of drawing with emojis by sticking them on one by one. Instagram actually tried something similar back in December with its Candy Cane holiday brush, but currently only offers more traditional marker, highlighter and neon brushes.

Magic Eraser – You can now select and remove objects from your Snaps, blurring their surrounding to cover the empty spot. Just select the Magic Eraser icon, paint over the object you want removed, and Snap will “Photoshop” it out automatically.Now the question is how long til Instagram offers a Magic Eraser and emoji brush of its own……

Source: Snapchat’s new eraser lets you ‘Photoshop’ stuff out of photos | TechCrunch