Kultivate Magazine-August 2017 Issue Is Now Available!

The August 2017 Issue of Kultivate Magazine is now published!  This issue will feature Sansar via an excellent article by Inara Pey, three photo essays by Illyra Chardin, Sandi Benelli, and Wicca Merlin, a great article by Myra Wildmist on who is an artist, and commentary on the behavior of models in the Second Life fashion industry by Stav Gracemount. This issue also features an exhibition on Bryn Oh at the Serena Arts Center and a visit to the Marfa sim by Veruca Tammas. To round off things we have The Edge stylists who have presented a variety of Summer and fun fashions for you. Click on the cover below to view the issue:

kultivate-august17

Kultivate Magazine-May 2017 Issue is Now Available!

This issue will feature artist, fashion model, and the Best in Show winner at the Kultivate Spring 17 Art Show, Sabine Mortenwold. Artist Kody Meyers is also featured, along with The Key’s Live Music Venue owner Liz Harley. Contributor Veruca Tammas discusses copyright and creative commons, Sandi Benelli has a photo essay on trees, Inara Pey has two features on the Butterfly Conservatory and the Edge Stylists present their May 2017 stylings, and Edge Stylist Tiszo Cioc presents a unique photo essay. Click on the cover to view the May 2017 issue:

Kultivate Magazine-May 2017

Kultivate Magazine’s April 17 Edition is Now Available!

On April 1, 2017 the next edition of Kultivate Magazine will be published (and no it is not an April Fool’s Joke)! This issue will feature artist Giovanna Cerise, the Rosehaven Sim, a preview of the Kultivate Spring 17 Art Show, The Grand Canyon in Second Life, live performer Melenda Mikael, a discussion of Flickr & art, a cyberpunk photo essay by Wicca Merlin, a photo essay on cityscapes and city streets, The Edge Stylists present their April stylings, and an article to help you produce a fashion show. Click the cover to read the issue:

Kultivate Magazine-April 17

 

SL Photography: Using a 300mm telephoto lens

Kultivate Contributor Myra Wildmist is back with another SL Photography tutorial. This time she discusses how to use a 300 mm telephoto lens.

In real life, a telephoto lens is often used to in situations where it’s difficult to get close to your subject, such as sports photography or wildlife photo.

Getting close to your subject in Second Life, isn’t usually an issue. The likelihood of being mauled by a tiger in SL is fairly low.

That doesn’t mean a telephoto lens doesn’t have uses in SL. A telephoto lens still gives your photographs that zoomed-in-from-a-distance appearance, which yields an appealing, real-life effect, especially if your subject is an action scene or animals.

Settings for a 300mm lens

For my 300mm lens, I’m using the specifications from the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 300mm. Open your Phototools (Alt-P). Select the DoF/Glow tab. Check the box by Enable Depth of Field (DoF). Use the following settings:

View angle – .143
FOV- 8.2 degrees
Foc Length – 300
f-number – 2.8-22 (Recommended range.)

View angle, FOV (Field of View) and Foc Length (Focal Length) are the important settings. These three settings “attach” the lens to your camera. Once they’re set, there’s no reason to adjust them, again, until you want to return to your default.

View angle is the the FOV expressed as radians.

The f-number controls the depth of field effect. Lower numbers yield more bokeh, blur.The range of 2.8-22 is a physical limitation of the real world lens. It’s just a recommended range in SL. If you want to mirror the effect you get with the Nikon lens, stay in this range; however, feel free to go outside of the f-number range if it fits your purposes.

WARNING: Do not fuss with View angle, FOV, or Foc Length, once you set them for a lens. These parameters are all dependent on each other and should correspond to the specs of the lens you want to use.

Settings for other popular lenses can be found in my previous article, Simulating Popular Lenses in Phototools.

Sample photos taken with a 300mm lens:

antelope
Antelope in the wilds at TerpsiCorp art sim
windmillbunny
Bunny on windmill at Bryn Oh’s, Hand
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Portrait taken with 300mm lens. That’s another Bryn Oh installation in the background

 

Kultivate Magazine’s March 2017 Edition is Now Available!

The March 2017 edition of Kultivate Magazine is now available! This issue features CasperTech Owner, Casper Warden; LaurieC Alexis, Co-Owner of The Keys Live Music Venues & Management Group, artist Nils Urqhart, The Ciottolina Rooftop Gallery, Builder’s Brewery, the Somewhere Sim, March stylings by The Edge Stylists, and two photo essays by Ilyra Chardin and AmyBeeBe. You can click on the cover below to view the issue:

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SL Photography: Leonardo knew a little about portraiture

Kultivate Contributor Myra Wildmist is back with another tip, this time on how to create the perfect portrait:

If you want to be an artist, you have to look at art.

If you want to learn how to create a great portrait, look at the work of those who have already done great portraits.

Remember those portraiture hints I gave you last time?

Those hints didn’t spring from my brain like Athena from Zeus’ thick skull. For years before I took up Second Life photography, I  looked at the works of artists, great and small, and read quite a bit about art. My ideas about what makes a good portrait – e.g. a profile photo – were formed from all that reading and from looking at the work of other artists.

The techniques for creating a good portrait have been understood for hundreds of years. You need look no farther than what is arguably the world’s most recognizable painting, Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, to realize this.

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[Image: monalisa.png, Caption: Leonardo could take a great profile photo. © RMN, Musée du Louvre]

Almost all the portraiture techniques I mentioned in my last post, can be found in da Vinci’s portrait of Mona Lisa (Thought to be Lisa del Giocondo):

  • Mona Lisa fills the frame, almost as if Leonardo used a telephoto lens.
  • In my opinion, the eyes are the focal point of the painting. The viewer tends to see the eyes, first – She’s looking at you!
  • Leonardo used his bokeh.
    Of course he didn’t have photographic lenses or know about depth of field blur effects, but look closely at the background. You almost have to force yourself to look at the landscape surrounding the Mona Lisa. The background compliments the Mona Lisa, but it’s barely noticeable. That’s essentially what bokeh does – it compliments the subject without detracting from it.
  • Leonardo used light and shadow to bring out his model’s face.
  • And, of course, the Mona Lisa is doing something special. She’s smiling that world famous smile.

It’s safe to say, Leonardo da Vinci knew a little bit about portraiture.

If you want to improve your art, look at art. Look at the work of artists who came before you. There are lessons to be learned from every artist, great and small. You just have to show up for the lecture.

References:

Mona Lisa – Portrait of Lisa Gherardini, wife of Francesco del Giocondo,
The Louvre

 

SL Photography: 6 ways to take a great profile photo

Kultivate Contributor Myra Wildmist is back with more ways to enhance your SL Profile Photo:

Time to get fancy.

Last time, in the article, Taking your profile picture, I focused on the technical aspects of taking a profile photo – changing your image size, changing your lens settings, etc. In this article, I’ll focus on more stylistic issues, things you can do to take better portraits.

A creative disclaimer: Art is a creative process. There are no hard and fast rules, and great art often breaks accepted rules.The following “rules” are meant to help you take better portraits. If you follow them, you’ll probably end up with a good or even great profile photo. But feel free to break them.

Continue reading “SL Photography: 6 ways to take a great profile photo”

Kultivate January Issue is Now Available!

The January 2017 issue of Kultivate Magazine is now available! This issue features a two part series on Bento, one by Inara Pey and one by Eleseren Brianna. This issue also features Kess Crystal, Mainland Bridges, 2017 New Years’ Resolutions, 2017 Second Life Predictions, Colt Jonstone, Mr. SL 2017; and over 40 artists from Kultivate are featured! Very special thank you to Anouk Lefavre for the cover image. Click the cover below to view the issue:

kultivate-january-cover

Kultivate Magazine’s January 2017 Issue Preview!

On January 1, 2017 the next issue of Kultivate Magazine will be published! This issue will be a special edition issue and will feature over 40 images from the great artists of Kultivate. The issue will also feature  Bento from A to Z (everything from bento heads to the technical know how), CasperTech, Mr. SL 2017, The Abstract Lines Art Gallery, Mainland Bridges, January 2017 Edge Stylists’ Looks, New Year’s Resolutions, & 2017 Second Life Predictions. Very special thank you to Anouk Lefavre for the cover image:

january-17-issue-cover

The December Issue of Kultivate Magazine is Now Available!

The December issue of Kultivate Magazine is now available! This issue will feature 3D artist, Haveit Neox, Ghee Co-Owner & Top Model Beatrice Serendipity, poet Kile Koba, Seanchai Library’s The Dickens Project, Baycity , Winter Art, DSA Aircraft, The Wastelands Sim, the new Linden Labs experience, Horizons; and a year review of Kultivate’s fashion division, The Edge. Click the cover below to read the issue:

december-2016-windlight-cover

Kultivate Magazine’s December Issue Preview!

On December 1, 2016, the next issue of Kultivate Magazine will be published. This will be our last issue of 2016, so we made sure it is full of stories for you! This issue will feature 3D artist, Haveit Neox, Ghee Co-Owner & Top Model Beatrice Serendipity, poet Kile Koba, Seanchai Library’s The Dickens Project, Baycity , Winter Art, DSA Aircraft, The Wastelands Sim, the new Linden Labs experience, Horizons; and a year review of Kultivate’s fashion division, The Edge. Below is the cover of this packed issue:

december-2016-windlight-cover

SL Photography: Taking your profile picture

Kultivate Contributor Myra Wildmist is back with another photography tip. This time she demonstrates how to take your profile picture in Second Life:

Today, we’re finally going to take a profile picture. Yay! I’ll walk through this step by step, hopefully making it easy to understand. If you have any questions or need help, feel free to contact me in world – I want everyone to take the best profile pics your system will allow.

Continue reading “SL Photography: Taking your profile picture”

SL Photography: The problem with SL image defaults.

Kultivate Contributor Myra Wildmist is back with another SL Photography Tip, this time she discusses what is wrong with SL image defaults:

Before I move on to portraiture and profile photos, it’s worth taking a look at the default sizes and aspect ratios of the images used throughout Second Life (SL). These have been gone over by others in numerous blogs and forum post, but I think it’s worth reviewing.

To its credit, SL allows you to associate an image with almost everything you’d want. You can put an image on your land, your profile, your profile picks, and lots of other things. That’s really nice and handy – a picture is worth a thousand words, and all of that.

Continue reading “SL Photography: The problem with SL image defaults.”

Kultivate Magazine’s November 2016 Issue is Now Available!

The November 2016 Issue of Kultivate Magazine is now available!  The following topics are in this issue: Inara Pey explores 360 Panoramic Photography in Second Life, Veruca Tammas explores the Outer Garden sim, Ilyra Chardin has an Autumn Art photo series, Kamille Kamla interviews poet Cortes Guitterz, The Edge Stylists showcase their November stylings, and Stavaros discusses avatar proportion. Our spotlights this month are on Zuri Rayna, The White Gallery, and Spookyboo Puddleglum. Very special thank you to Spookyboo Puddleglum for our cover image:

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Kultivate Magazine November 2016 Issue Preview!

On November 1, 2016, the next issue of Kultivate Magazine will be published! The following topics are in this issue: Inara Pey explores 360 Panoramic Photography in Second Life, Veruca Tammas explores the Outer Garden sim, Ilyra Chardin has an Autumn Art photo series, Kamille Kamla interviews poet Cortes Guitterz, The Edge Stylists showcase their November stylings, and Stavaros discusses avatar proportion. Our spotlights this month are on Zuri Rayna, The White Gallery, and Spookyboo Puddleglum. Very special thank you to Spookyboo Puddleglum for our cover image:

november2016-kultivate

SL Photography: Wide-angle effects

Kultivate Contributor Myra Wildmist is back with another tutorial! This time she demonstrates how to create wide-angle effects:

In our last few articles, we’ve been focusing on wide-angle lenses – the 20mm and 24mm lenses. As I mentioned, since they open of the field of view (FoV), widen it, they’re great for landscapes and capturing interiors.

Continue reading “SL Photography: Wide-angle effects”

Kultivate Magazine’s October Issue is Now Available!

The October 2016 issue of Kultivate Magazine is now available! You can click the cover below to read the issue. This issue features the art of Sandi Benelli, photographer Amy Beebe, Potomac Homes Owner & Creator, Winter Loxely, Bird Art, Live Performer Ceci Dover, Charity in Second Life, Wanderlust Bench Art Park, the Sarawak Sim, and Faster Pussycat and Bender owner & designer, Honey Bender!

Kultivate Magazine-October 2016.png

Kultivate Magazine's October Issue is Now Available!

The October 2016 issue of Kultivate Magazine is now available! You can click the cover below to read the issue. This issue features the art of Sandi Benelli, photographer Amy Beebe, Potomac Homes Owner & Creator, Winter Loxely, Bird Art, Live Performer Ceci Dover, Charity in Second Life, Wanderlust Bench Art Park, the Sarawak Sim, and Faster Pussycat and Bender owner & designer, Honey Bender!

Kultivate Magazine-October 2016.png

SL Photography: Simulating a 24mm lens

Kultivate contributor, Myra Wildmist, discusses how you can simulate a 24mm lens in Second Life:

Last time we looked at how you could use Firestorm (FS) Phototools to mimic a 20mm wide-angle lens. This time we’re going to look at simulating a 24mm lens.

Lenses between 20-24mm in focal length are considered ultra wide-angle lenses. In real life, they’re often used for landscape, architectural, and interior photos. In Second Life, they’re useful for the same tasks, plus they’re good for capturing an entire sim.

Continue reading “SL Photography: Simulating a 24mm lens”

Kultivate Magazine’s October Issue Preview!

On October 1, 2016 the next issue of Kultivate Magazine will be published! This issue will feature the art of Sandi Benelli, photographer Amy Beebe, Potomac Homes Owner & Creator, Winter Loxely, Bird Art, Live Performer Ceci Dover, Charity in Second Life, Wanderlust Bench Art Park, the Sarawak Sim, and Faster Pussycat and Bender owner & designer, Honey Bender! Very special thank you to Sandi Benelli for the cover images below:

Kultivate Magazine-October 2016.png

Simulating a 20mm lens in SL

Kultivate Contributor Myra Wildmist is back with a new tutorial. This time she demonstrates how to simulate a 20 mm lens in SL:

Last time, I showed how to change your Phototool settings to mimic different types of lens. I’m going to review this, again, because using different lens isn’t at all intuitive to people in Second Life. It’s very confusing, in fact. But if you learn to do this, it’s a very powerful photography technique.

You can mimic any real life lens in Phototools by looking up the tech specs for the lens you want to use. For the 20mm in this example, I use the AF-S NIKKOR 20mm as my guide, but the specs from any 20mm lens will do fine.

Continue reading “Simulating a 20mm lens in SL”