Home For the Holidays Photo Challenge!

home for the holidays photo contest.jpg

The second annual Home For the Holidays Photo Challenge is back and with a combined total of 5,000L’s! Continue reading for guidelines and entry requirements:

Prizes (Winners will be announced on December 23, 2017 via Flickr messaging and in SL):
1st Place: 2,000L’s & image published on website and in Kultivate Magazine
2nd Place:  1,500L’s & image published on website
3rd Place: 1,000L’s & image published on website
4th Place: 500L’s & image published on website

Entry &  Contest Guidelines:
1. Entry is 100% free
2. To enter, take an image of your home or someone else’s home that has Christmas/Winter Decorations either inside or out. Your avatar should be included in the image, after all it is Home For the Holidays…
3. You can have family and friends in the image. Be Creative & Use your imagination!
4. Upload your photo to our contest group: https://www.flickr.com/groups/kultivatephotochallenges
5. You are allowed to upload exactly ONE image to the group, so choose your best one
6. Images are reviewed before they show up in the photo pool, so please be patient
7. All images must be moderate or pg/g in rating, no adult images
8. All images must be 100% your intellectual property and taken by you
9. Editing in Photoshop or GIMP is fine
10. You must include the slurl of where you took the image in the Flickr description
11. You have until 1159 pm Flickr time on Wednesday, December 20, 2017 at 1159 pm to enter your image. We will use the time stamps that are provided on Flickr.
12. By submitting an image to our Flickr group, you give us rights to publish the image if you win the contest.
Images that do not meet these guidelines will be deleted from the group.

Judging Criteria:
Your image will be judged on the quality, incorporation of the location, and creativity of the image.

Participate in Kultivate Magazine’s December 2017 Issue!

You can participate in our Kultivate December 2017 issue by either submitting an image for our end of year image photo essay or by submitting a second life prediction for 2018, a new years resolution, or a holiday recipe. To submit images: https://www.flickr.com/groups/kultivateartphotography/ and to submit the other items: https://goo.gl/forms/gQUnLGVHXtDIWbY93

Image Guidelines:

-All images have to be submitted via our flickr group (url above)

-All images must be of your own intellectual property

-All images must have been taken in 2017

-Images that are offensive, contain racial or illicit material will not be published

-Only pg/g or mature/moderate images are allowed

**The deadline to submit all items is December 1, 2017**

 

Kultivate Magazine-November 2017 Edition is Now Published!

Welcome to the November 2017 issue of Kultivate Magazine! This issue will feature The Edge Stylists as they celebrate their second year in existence, the Khodovarikha sim, Animesh in Second Life, the Aspen Fall Sim, the United State of Mind Exhibition, and a photo essay by Euridice Qork. Click the cover below to view the issue:

kultivatenov17.jpg

Scare Me Silly Photo Contest Winners!

We are pleased to announce the winners of the Scare Me Silly Photo Contest:

Scary-me-silly
1st Place Winner: KαTrΙn0 HεαvεN
scare me silly haunted house 2017
2nd Place Winner:  Xia Decuir
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3rd Place Winner: Tayren Theas
scare me silly
4th Place Winner: Chic Aeon

Congrats to our winners and thank you to our entrants and judges!

 

Kultivate Images of the Day: 10/5/17

Below are the images of the day. Join our Flickr group to have an image considered for our image of the day: https://goo.gl/4kmn77:

[Too Good At Goodbyes]
Image by Ali lavarock
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Image by Twain Orfan
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Image by Ornella Batriani
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Image by Holly Portland
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Image by Lunaneska Blackheart

Kultivate Images of the Day-10/2/17

Below are the images of the day for 10/2/17:

Summers Wind_003
Image by Jeff Goodnight
Image by Carisa Franizzi
Lay me down...
Image by Clary Congrejo
37360082586_10de2dbdab_b
Image by Ramsa Luv

The Brilliance of a fall time sunset ...
Image by Tori Resident

Join our Flickr group to have an image considered for our image of the day: https://goo.gl/4kmn77

Kultivate Images of the Day: 8/25/17

After a long hiatus, the Kultivate Images of the day have returned! Check out these 5 images:

36611334702_89e897f448_b
Image by Wicca Merlin
36386799530_76264451ef_b
Image by Twain Orfan
Ammos Home 2
Image by Cate Vogel
If I do not stick a sword I can not protect you. If I put a sword I can not hug you
Image by Wanted By Your Style
Reaching out
Image by Kit Boyd

Join our Flickr group to have an image considered as our image of the day: http://goo.gl/c5HfuX

SL Photography: The problem with profile photos

Kultivate contributor Myra Wildmist is back with a new tutorial! This time she discusses the problem with profile photos:

Do profile photos look stretched or compressed to you?

You’re not alone. There’s a good chance a large part of the Second Life (SL) community sees your profile photo wrong.

The problem is Firestorm (FS) – and probably some other third-party viewers – or rather the way Firestorm handles profiles.

profilephotos.png
FS profile pic on left. Same pic as it appears in LL viewer

 

The problem: Linden Labs web profile photos use a different size and aspect ratio than the Firestorm profile photos.

Several years ago, Linden Labs (LL) revamped their profile system and went to web profiles. When they did they changed the default sizes of profile photos. Before transitioning to web profiles, profile photos were a weird size and a non-standard aspect ratio – 178×133 pixels, almost, but not quite, a 4:3 aspect ratio.

[Note: Using standard aspect ratios is super important for ease of use and ready sharing of images. You can read more about aspect ratios in this article.]

When LL went to web profiles, they changed the default size of profile photos to 300×300 pixels. 300×300 pixels has an aspect ratio of 1:1, a standard aspect ratio that lends itself easily to the SL default upload size for snapshots – 512×512 pixels, which is also a 1:1 aspect ratio.

Firestorm maintained the old, legacy profile and didn’t migrate entirely to web profiles. By default, Firestorm uses the legacy profiles which means your profile photo has to fit into the old legacy size of 178×133 if you want it to look nice on the Firestorm profile view.

The problem: Linden Labs viewer uses 300×300 pixels for its profile photos while Firestorm uses the legacy size of 178×133.

When you look at a profile pic made for LL profiles in an FS profile it will appear stretched out, but when you look at a profile pic made for FS in the Linden viewer it will appear compressed.

Why did Firestorm continue to use legacy profiles?

If this is an issue why did FS stick with the legacy profiles?

  • FS legacy profiles are faster. Web profiles take longer to load.
  • Web profiles sometimes fail to load, at all.
  • Legacy profiles are better organized and have a couple more features (e.g. online status) than web profiles.

Unfortunately, while there are good reasons to continue to use the legacy profiles, it does create this problem with the profile pictures.

It is impossible to take a profile photo that looks good on both LL and FS viewers.

Because of the difference in aspect ratios, LL profile photos will look bad in the FS viewer, and FS profile photos will look bad in the LL viewer. FS will stretch a profile photo that looks good in the LL viewer, while an image that looks good on FS will look squashed in the LL viewer.

Is there a solution?

Is there a solution to this discrepancy between the two most popular viewers?

The best solution would be for Firestorm to change the default size of the legacy profile pictures. The burden is really on Firestorm since the legacy profiles use a non-standard aspect ratio for their profile photos.

Aside from that, there’s not much you can do. You can use web profiles in FS (Avatar – Preferences – User Interface – check “Use web profiles by default”), but, as mentioned, they’re a little slower among other things.

What format should you use for your profile picture?

Should you use the Linden viewer dimensions or the Firestorm viewer dimensions for your profile photo?

This might seem like a dilemma, but it’s really not. Make your profile photos for the LL viewer.

Advantages of taking a profile photo that fits the LL viewer:

  • It’s a standard aspect ratio. You can easily use your profile photo elsewhere without it looking distorted.
  • More people use the LL viewer, so more people will see your profile photo correctly.
  • If an FS user wants to see your profile photo correctly, they can just click on it. That will bring up another window showing your photo in the 1:1 aspect ratio (This doesn’t work with your profile photo, though.).
  • You can easily use a SL snapshot without having to crop it to fit into the weird FS profile photo dimensions.

For these reasons, even if you use the FS viewer, use a 1:1 aspect ratio for your profile photos.


1:1 aspect ratios sizes. Some examples:

72×72 pixels, 300×300, 512×512, 1024×1024, 2048×2048, and so on. Just make a square.


Want to take better profile photos? Check out these other articles I wrote:

SL Photography: Taking your profile picture

SL Photography: 6 ways to take a great profile photo

 

Are your Flickr images art?

Can one make works which are not works of ‘art’? – Marcel Duchamp

If everyone isn’t beautiful, then no one is. – Andy Warhol

 

Are your Flickr images art? Are your social media photos and images art?

Recently, I asked a friend of mine to submit some of her Flickr images to an art exhibition in Second Life. To my surprise, she declined because she didn’t think her work was good enough, that it wasn’t art.

Her perspective is not an uncommon. Posting on Flickr, Facebook, Instagram or wherever is one thing, but declaring your work as art… Well, that’s quite another. Whether it’s insecurity, modesty, or you have a too high opinion of what art is, something stops you from declaring your work as art.

This isn’t a phenomena exclusive to the many photographers or graphic artists on the Web. It’s just as much an issue with anyone who hasn’t had their work formally anointed as art, and in some cases, even established artists.

Norman Rockwell throughout his life insisted, “I’m not a fine arts man, I’m an illustrator.” Just as with my friend’s work, some people disagree with Rockwell’s assessment.

So what makes something art? Does it have to be anointed by the amorphous art community? Does it have to be exhibited in a gallery? Do academics have to give it their snooty seal of art quality approval?

If you say it’s art, is it art? If I say it’s art, is it art?

Yes. (Don’t you love short answers? Article’s finished. See ya. Kidding.)

If you say it’s art, it’s art.

From the most mundane snapshot of your cat to the crassest closeup of your genitals, if you proclaim it’s art, it’s art. Who am I to argue?

Art history is filled with examples of artists who insisted their work was art before anyone was ready to accept it as art. It is not our place – no matter what we might think of your work – to tell you whether your work is not art.

Marcel Duchamp was trying to make exactly this point with The Fountain. In 1917, Duchamp anonymously submitted an upside down urinal entitled, The Fountain, as a work of art to the Society of Independent Artists, a society which Duchamp helped found.

[Image: fountain.png, Caption: Replica of the Fountain by Marcel Duchamp]

Duchamp did not reveal he was the creator and the urinal was presented to the board as being from new artist, R. Mutt. The urinal was rejected as art and never formally displayed. The only surviving photograph of it was taken by Alfred Stieglitz.

The Fountain would later be accepted as art and seen as one of the seminal pieces of 20th century art. Hurray for Duchamp.

There are two important things to take away from this story:

  1. The Fountain was rejected and never exhibited.
  2. It was submitted anonymously.

The original Fountain was lost and never exhibited. It never saw the formally saw the inside of an exhibit room of a gallery or museum (It might have been photographed by Stieglitz in his gallery, but it was never exhibited.).

Context does matter. Formally displaying a work in a gallery or museum does have an almost magical transmogrifying effect – what was once a simple painting of a soup can takes on a whole new meaning once it’s hanging in a prominent New York gallery.

If special people say it’s art, it must be art, right?

But this never happened with The Fountain. It never got a gallery show. Except for a few friends of Duchamp’s, who were probably in the know, it was rejected and relegated to the store room.

Duchamp was, of course, challenging the notion of what art is. In particular, by submitting The Fountain anonymously, he was avoiding having the work accepted simply because he had done it. He wanted the work, as challenging as it was, to be accepted as art not because the approval committee said it was art, but because the artist had said it was art.

So if you say it’s art, it’s art.

Duchamp would agree with you.

Note: If you want to learn more about The Fountain, read the Tate Museum article referenced below. The Wikipedia entry is a bit of a hash.

If I say it’s art, it’s art

But what if you don’t think your work is art?

Too bad. If I say it’s art, it’s art.

If I’m a gallery  owner or a museum curator or an art critic, you might be more likely to accept my word on it. A knowledgeable opinion is a little more likely to sway yours. At the least, you’re probably more receptive to them.

But what if I’m nobody with no art background, but your work “feels” like art to me?

Maybe I just like the pretty colors in your photo or something about your work really connects with me. Maybe I think what you’ve presented as a casual snapshot of your dog sleeping has a deeper meaning.

Is my response and opinion valid?

Of course it is. And there’s more proof from art history.

In 1953, Robert Rauschenberg exhibited a series of canvases called the White Paintings. (Follow the link to see the white paintings.) The White Paintings are plain canvases painted entirely white. Rauschenberg intentionally wanted them to look as plain as possible.

Why?

Because he was making one of the most revolutionary points in art history: Every one of us brings our own experiences with us when we view a work, imbuing what we’re seeing with a meaning special to us. Whether its Michelangelo’s David or Rauschenberg’s blank, white paintings, that meaning is personal.

Every one of us, sees a work differently because we are all different.

If I see art in a plain, white canvas or in what you think is just another snapshot of your sleeping dog, then it’s art.

Duchamp once asked, “Can one make works which are not works of ‘art’?” I think he meant the question rhetorically.

Our lives are art. How you document that art is up to you, but what you post to social media and the work you post on Flickr is very much art.

 

Sources:

Norman Rockwell: Artist or Illustrator?,  Abigail Rockwell, American Illustration, http://americanillustration.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/15.08.25_AbigailRockwell.pdf

Fountain, Marcel Duchamp, Tate, http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/duchamp-fountain-t07573

Marcel Duchamp: The Readymade As Reproduction, https://www.moma.org/interactives/exhibitions/2010/originalcopy/intro05.html

Alfred Stieglitz (1864–1946) and American Photography, Lisa Hostetler, http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/stgp/hd_stgp.htm

White Painting [3 panel], Sarah Roberts, SFMOMA, https://www.sfmoma.org/artwork/98.308.A-C/essay/white-painting-three-panel/

 

 

 

 

Photofocus | History of Photography: Photos as Propaganda

As photography evolved, one theme remained fairly constant in the public’s opinion: seeing is believing. People generally regarded photographic prints as evidence of truth and reality. Steadily becoming more mobile, photographers tended to photograph scenes of current events wide, because as much visual information as could be jammed into a photo, the better the photo was considered. A tight crop didn’t give the viewer nearly as much information to digest as a wide shot. It was believed there was more truth and accuracy in wider shots than close ups.

However, despite advances in technology, many photos still took multiple seconds to expose. This limited how much a photographer could successfully capture of live events, particularly ones involving lots of moving people such as war photography.

Up until the mid-1800’s war was something romanticized and fantasized about. Unless you had been to war,  you didn’t know what it looked like. Cameras offered a glimpse into what it was like and given the public’s opinion that photos = truth, many officials in power began to realize they had a great PR tool at their disposal. If they financed a photographer’s work, they could pay him to bring back images that support the views they’re trying to perpetuate. In short, photos were (and still are) a stellar part of propaganda machines.

Continue reading “Photofocus | History of Photography: Photos as Propaganda”

Kultivate Magazine’s Second Anniversary Issue is Now Published!

I am pleased to say that our second anniversary issue, is now published and is available for you to read! This issue features artist Bryn Oh, Anouk Lefavre, Stavaros Gracemount, Veruca Tammas, Ilyra Chardin, Inara Pey, Haveit Neox, Kiana Writer, Lanai Jarrico, Marcus Lefavre, Fnordian Link, Heidi Halberstadt, GinPhx, Beatrice Serendipity, Sandi Benelli, Hikaru, Enimo, Caledonia Skytower and over 50 images created by the talented artists of Kultivate Magazine! We hope that you enjoy this issue and we apologize to the lateness of this issue. Due to real life issues, this issue is a few days late but worth the wait!

Kultivate Magazine-July 17

Day #3 @ Kultivate Magazine’s Anniversary Summer Weekend!

Anniversary Summer 17 Poster

 

Today is the last day of our anniversary summer weekend and our lineup is:
12pm to 2pm slt-Bollywood Art Ball (international)
3pm to 4pm slt-Storytelling with The Seanchai Library
4pm to 6pm slt-rave party, Bishbox, & Decocrate giveaway with DJ Paradox

**the exhibition hall, the hunt, and shopping areas are open 24/7**
 slurl: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Water%20Haven/138/139/23

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”

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

Spring Sensuality Exhibition Press Release!

Copy of Art Exhibition Flyer Template

SPRING SENSUALITY EXHIBITION PRESS RELEASE

DATES: May 5 to May 7, 2017

LOCATION:  http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Water%20Haven/162/156/3820

WEBSITE: https://kultivatemagazine.com/spring-sensuality-exhibition/

Kultivate Magazine is pleased to announce it’s first annual adult themed art exhibition: The Spring Sensuality Exhibition! This show will feature 3 days of sensual and adult themed art by over 30 artists and photographers in Second Life. The 3 days will feature live performers and a special Sunday Spring Sensual Ball.

Participating artists (in alphabetical order): artandsoul Constantine, Beatrice Serendipity, Booyakashaka Resident, Bri Graycloud, ByrneDarkly Cazalet, captainofmysoul, Catalina Staheli, Glitterprincess Destiny, Greg Paslong, Honey Bender Laperrier-Auer, Isis Desmoulins, JolieElle Parfort, Kacey Macbeth, Lanne Wise, Lucia Tophat, lulyboop, Lyekahgood Nighbor, Marcus Lefevre & Hikaru Enimo, Miele Tarantal, Myra Wildmist, Paradox Messmer, Pipit Peacedream, Ramsa Luv, Ricco Saenz, Slatan Dryke, Talligurl Resident, Timaaj Resident, Tintin Tuxing, Tisephone, Tiszo Cioc, Umshlanga Barbosa, Veruca Tammas, and wintergeist.

About Kultivate Magazine:
Kultivate Magazine is a publication about the cultural aspects of Second Life. The goal of Kultivate Magazine is to support art, culture, photography, music, and fashion. Kultivate Magazine consists of the magazine, The Edge and The Edge Gallery, The Windlight Art Gallery, The Red Gallery, The Kultivate Bailywick Gallery, The Kultivate Select Gallery, Ristorante Ivanna, & The Tribute and Crown Pub. Kultivate Magazine is proud to be the media partner and primary sponsor of Team Diabetes of Second Life, an official and authorized team for The American Diabetes Association

For More Information:
https://kultivatemagazine.com/spring-sensuality-exhibition/

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 Images of the Day: 3/28/17 to 4/1/17

Below are our images of the day for 3/28/17 to 4/1/17:

J & Faye
Image by Alli Lavarock
tea time .... and  ♥ HAPPY EASTER TO ALL OF YOU ♥
Image by Flubs
KeyToHisHeart
Image by Ruby Ornamental
#236
Image by Loco Oppewell

 

Saint Tropez
Image by Sandi Benelli

A different Saint Tropez in Second Life | Inara Pey: Living in a Modem World

Hear or read the words “Saint-Tropez”, and the chances are your thoughts will turn to the French Riviera, blue Mediterranean waters, yachts and sun-kissed bodies. While there is a beach at Saint Tropez in Second Life, it’s probably not the kind you’re going to want to spend time visiting for a spot of sunbathing; nor is the boat lying next to it the kind of vessel which adds sleek lines and glittering decks to the scene.

Here, however, is something entirely different. A region with a very coastal feel to it as well it is a life style away from its physical world namesake. While it may have a little beach of its own, this is no Mediterranean playground with gleaming yachts and golden sands promising sun-bronzed looks. Which is not to say it is any the less interesting to visit. Rather the reverse: Siant Tropez has a defined look and feel of its own which make it an interesting curio to visit.

Continue reading “A different Saint Tropez in Second Life | Inara Pey: Living in a Modem World”

Photofocus | Perfectly Clear Complete Version 3.0 – A Quick Look

It’s come a long way since those days, and it has made that journey in no small part because our team here at Photofocus (particularly Rich) have decided to chip in and work with the software developers to make it even better.The combined efforts of the Athentech team and the Photofocus team have yielded a program by photographers FOR photographers. It’s slicker, more powerful, and faster. In my opinion, it is better in every way.

The new Face-Aware Exposure helps with automatic exposure fixes.If you get a chance to look at the new version the first thing you will notice is a new user interface. It’s preset driven but can be infinitely customized. It is friendly, faster and easier to use than ever and is no longer as portrait-centric as it once was.

Continue reading “Photofocus | Perfectly Clear Complete Version 3.0 – A Quick Look”

Kultivate Images of the Day: 3/21/17 to 3/27/17

Below are our images of the day for 3/21/17 to 3/27/17:

Pale Moonlight - The Mill_014
Image by Jeff Goodnight
32853144823_3da497653b_b
Image by Sorcha Tyles
Above it all
Image by  Myra Wildmist
Portrait Staubi
Image by Engelsstaub Resident
33621784606_dc3d5695fc_b
Image by Kawaski AL
Maison de L'amitie
Image by Ornella Batriani
Sailors Cove West
Image by Reylenne

 

Join our Flickr group to have an image considered as our image of the day: http://goo.gl/c5HfuX

Kultivate Images of the Day: 3/5/17 to 3/9/17

Our images of the day from 3/5/17 to 3/9/17 are:

Pillar of Colors
Image by Tisephone Resident
In the shadows
Image by Kath Rise
All of our emotions are our babies. Treat them tenderly, care for them. Be with them. Understanding and compassion will ultimately transform them.
Image by Skippy Beresford
Dust in the Wind
Image by Kira Balestra
I Am Mine...
Image by Sophia

 

Join our Flickr group to have an image considered as our image of the day: http://goo.gl/c5HfuX