Wednesday, 30 November 2016

178: A walk around 3Bears

 I was trying to think of an interesting place to take some photographs -- to show off my neat new winter jacket -- when I realized I live on the very scenic sim 3Bears.
  Not only is it my own back yard, I noticed that the 3Bears guys have got some nicely designed little houses and installed them in attractive, friendly neighbourhoods. There's a lot to be said for starting your SL in a place like this,
with just over a hundred prims. You have a place to change clothes, rez your purchases, decorate a little, and install a piece of sex furniture with 700 combinations in the menus ;-)  That's all you need when you're starting out.
  The little brownstones here are a very nice space, 117 prims for L$350 a week. I rather liked the boathouses here, 146 prims for L$440 a week, because there's a boat dock at ground level and one big room above. It's actually more effective to have a single room than two floors, if
you have a strict prim allowance; you can focus your decoration more effectively. Less, as they say, can be more.
  I'm not sure about the effects of the recent prim upgrades; we tenants haven't seen any effect of it yet, but I've sort of been expecting it.  Mind you, I'm not sure of the conditions defined by Linden Labs. The 3Bears folks know better than anyone at this point.
  The gentlemen at 3Bears are easy to get along with, responsive to your needs,
and have a nice taste in public decor. Talk to Galileo Bear-Michalski (galileo.michalski) and tell him I sent you. He will be surprised, because I decided to give you this little tour on my own; 3Bears doesn't pay me, I just think you might enjoy these little houses. If nothing else, you can wander around and take some pictures, but Gali will help if you have questions.  Enjoy!

Sunday, 13 November 2016

177: Woodbury Falls

Tonight I went and took some pictures at Woodbury Falls; I got the idea from a listing in the Destination Guide. Very cool build and I had some spooky fun!
You can find the link here.

176B: "Travel" (2 of 2)

And in this, the second of two little photo shoots I had some fun with, I was riffing on the theme of "Travel".  There are some amazing sims out there; they make it easy.

176A: "Patterns" (1 of 2)

Tonight I went out and did two photo shoots that I thought came out rather well. I thought I'd share a few shots with you.  I just did what came to mind ... in the first instance, the shoot below about "Patterns", I just tried to pack as many patterns into the shot as possible.  The second shoot will be next, "Travel".

175: Follow the Rule of Thirds for better pictures

There's a Facebook group to which I belong called "Snap... Do It!" (found here) that has a fun premise. The group's admins post 15 challenges twice a month -- words and phrases like "Animals" or "Falling Leaves" -- and then the group's members create and post Second Life pictures as they're inspired by the challenges.
  One such challenge recently was listed, "Headshot using Rule of Thirds". Now, I'm not very experienced with photography in real life; I gather that the
Rule of Thirds is well-known as a basic photographic axiom, I'd just never heard of it before. So I looked it up in Wikipedia and tried to experiment with it.
  My fellow photographers in the group seemed to have never heard of it either, frankly. There were quite a few headshots submitted, but once I read up on the Rule of Thirds, it seemed as though very few people were using it. So I thought I'd prepare a little tutorial piece here that may help you take better
pictures. It's certainly helped me look at my own visual composition more carefully before I take the shot!
   The Rule of Thirds works like this. Whenever you're composing a visual image, in your mind you can take two vertical lines and two horizontal lines and divide the image into a kind of tic-tac-toe board -- like the black lines on white background you'll see in this post.
There's some scientific research to suggest that the viewer's eye is attracted to the places where the lines cross (see the image with percentages). So if you want to make a more interesting image, you put things at those crossing points that you want the viewer to see, and they will look at the picture a few extra seconds. There's another couple of principles that go along with it. In terms of photographing people, you try to put the eyes along the top horizontal line (see the picture at the top of this post),
and the vertical line of the body down one of the vertical lines (see the third picture from the top, of the man on the phone).
  At the end of the pictures to the left, I've put my own entry in this category to the "Rule of Thirds" challenge in my Facebook group. I knew I wanted to have a photograph that had strong horizontal and vertical lines, so that I could play with the idea of dividing up the image, and I wanted to try to line up the topmost horizontal line so that it went
through my eyes, as it were. So the first one is the unprocessed shot and the second image is one where I went into Preview and, using a primitive annotation tool, added some lines to approximate the Rule of Thirds grid. The measurements are absolutely not exact.
  I don't think I did so bad, all things considered. I hit one of the vertical lines pretty much exactly, and the top horizontal line is not too far from my eye-line. With a little practice I'm sure I'll get better.
  As I discovered in my brief investigation of this concept, as you get to be a better photographer, there's a bunch of people who suggest that you should break the Rule of Thirds rule ... play with it, subvert it, joke with it so that other photographers will be amused by your approach. That's going to take a little more experience than I have at the moment. The one thing I do know is that I'm not going back to the "basic selfie pose" that you see at the end of the images here. Yes, it looks like me, and yes, it documents a moment and an outfit (and my crazy new hat and hair! LOL) but I could have made it a lot more memorable with the Rule of Thirds.