Saturday, July 26, 2014

LUMIPro Chats With Peep Sideshow!



LUMIPro Chats With Peep Sideshow!
Interview conducted by Sammie Ansar

This month I had the pleasure of chatting with Peep Sideshow! She was so amazing to work with. Come rain, shine, or crazy differences in time zones we had an amazing time chatting. She is one of the most down to earth people I have come across in Second Life. I hope you all will enjoy the interview as well...
Memories In The Attic
Sammie: I am so excited to have the opportunity to interview you! So first question… How did you hear about Second Life, and what got you started?
Peep: I learned of Second Life when I was in another virtual world. That world, Utherverse, was limiting in what you could do so some friends and I came over to SL. I never looked back.

Sammie: What are some of the things that you love about Second Life? What keeps you coming back? 
Peep: What I love most is the sheer creativity. I am constantly in awe of the creations of some of the residents, whether it is fashion, home & garden, an immersive sim or music. I have often said the only limitation in Second Life is your imagination.

A Thousand Years
Sammie: I understand that same feeling. I just wish I had more imagination! :) You are so involved in blogging and photography… How did you get started?
Peep: I have always loved photographing in Second Life from the very beginning. I really sucked though lol I stumbled upon a few blogs early on - Strawberry Singh, Chic Aeon and FabFree. I was so amazed by the images and information in those blogs that I just kept working on the photography without ever considering a blog. Eventually a few friends encouraged (badgered) me to start my photography business in Second Life. My blog was born as a way to publicise my business. 

Sammie: Lets talk about your blog first… Pics by Peep is just amazing, what do you enjoy most about blogging?
Peep: I am not a creator in Second Life at all - I can barely edit! My blog is my attempt at sharing my creativity with other residents of Second Life through staging and creating an image. But most of all what I love the most is the friendships I have forged via my blogging. I have met people through my blog I probably never would have otherwise and my life is so much richer for those friendships.

Mannequin
Sammie: Don’t worry you are not the only one who can barely edit. Sometimes I have to get help. I never thought of a blog as a means of self expression it almost makes me want to start one.
Peep: “DO IT!!!!” :D
Sammie: What advice would you give to someone interested in starting a blog?
Peep: Always blog what you enjoy, credit what you blog (clothing, props, location, poses) and never beg a creator for review copies! I would suggest that if you are only getting into blogging to get free stuff you are blogging for all the wrong reasons. Although I do blog for a few designers and events I spend far more on what I blog than what I am gifted. Have no expectation of being given items to blog and if you are fortunate enough to be chosen for or asked to blog for a designer or event, be grateful for what you are given.

Sammie: How has blogging changed for you over the years?
Peep: I’ve only been blogging for about a year and a half but it has changed during that time. It did start as a showcase for my business, but I wasn’t quite sure what I was doing! Over time it has become my exploration of Second Life - through fashion, home and garden, information, the occasional tutorial and if you look closely, an insight into the person behind the page.

Sammie: Do you have any inspirations when it comes to blogging?
Peep: In terms of people, I have been inspired by other bloggers such as Strawberry Singh, Rwah Resident, Caoimhe Lionheart, Wendz Tempest and Alexa Maraville. I am also inspired by the fabulous creators of Second Life. And often I am inspired by my mood. It is sometimes easier to express myself through a photo and a few lines of text than actually speaking the words.

And when it's gone
Sammie: I understand that feeling completely, I am not always good at expressing myself, and photography lets me do that.  You take some amazing photos; how did you get started?
Peep: Lol Well, I would argue the amazing part, but I really did start just taking snapshots in Second Life. I have always been amazed by this virtual world and I wanted a record of not just the beautiful landscape but the incredible characters who inhabit it.

Sammie: Why do you take photos now? Are you trying to say something to the world?
Peep: I take photos as a form of creative expression. When I do a portrait it is with the intent of making the subject I am photographing feel like they are the most amazing person in the world. I try to get to know a bit about the client before I start shooting so I can try to portray their personality, a sense of who they are. My belief is that a picture is not just a photograph; it is a perfect memory brought to life. I don’t know that I am trying to “say” something to the world, but if you look at one of my photos and it doesn’t evoke some sort of emotion or feeling, I have failed.

Sammie: I understand those feelings as well. I think sometimes we get so close to a photo we wonder what others will get from it. What advice would you give to new photographers in Second Life?
Peep: The best advice I can give is to just keep trying new things out. I know my first photos were terrible, but I didn’t give up. I learned to use the custom settings in the Snapshot menu, bumped up my graphics settings to the highest levels my computer could handle and dived into Windlight - which opened a whole new world to me and just drove my passion for photography. I had an innate understanding of composition, but I have kept on tweaking and trying different things (although I have to say I tend to use the Rule of Thirds more than anything else). And don’t get discouraged if you don’t have mad Photoshop or GIMP skills. There are simple web-based post-processing sites you can use - I still use PicMonkey.com along with Photoshop. And there is no rule that says you have to post-process at all, so don’t let that hold you back.

Trust
Sammie: Do you have any photography inspirations in either Second Life or Real Life?
Peep: In terms of people who inspire me, in addition to the bloggers I mentioned earlier I have to include Skip Staheli and Moos Hultcrantz. My other inspiration is a beautiful location. I love to wander around sims and shoot the wonderful beauty that can only be found in Second Life. I am not a photographer at all in Real Life, but I do find myself mentally framing a shot when I see something that inspires me.

Sammie: So how about we talk about the hud that brought us together, LUMIPro! How did you hear about LUMIPro, and what made you decide to purchase? 
Peep: I blame Colleen! She mentioned it several times on a forum we both belong to. I had been trying to find a lighting system and a pose system and LUMIPro ticked all the boxes.

Sammie: I know Colleen loves LUMIPro! I think we all have our own special love affair with LUMIPro. :) Do you have a favorite LUMIPro feature?
Peep: Do I have to just pick one??? I guess I have to say my favourite is ability to pose and light my subject anywhere. It allows me to venture away from my studio and not have to worry about rez rights.

Cheri & Tim_024
Sammie: Oh a new studio! Will it be open to the public, and if so, what can be found there?
Peep:  Yes! I have always had an open showroom so people can see my work and pick up information and a gift card if they want. I even have a gift available - my one attempt at pose making lol.  I will have my studio up in the air, though, so my clients can be assured privacy. There is nothing worse than having someone drop in to gape at you while you’re being flipped through a dozen poses!

Sammie: Have you tried the new beta? What do you think? 
Peep: I have and I LOVE it! The one thing I found tedious about the previous versions was only being able to manipulate one lighting feature at a time. With the new slider system I find myself experimenting even more with lighting (one of my favourite things about photography).

Sammie: If you could pick a new LUMIPro feature what would it be?
Peep: The only thing I can think of is the ability to store camera angles. I hate when I need to move something in a shot and lose the perfect camera angle I had!

fri.day Poses Villa
Sammie: I have a sneaking feeling that is something that will come in the future. You have always been an amazing supporter of LUMIPro what would you say to someone who might be wondering if the hud is worth it?
Peep: First, go to the LUMIPro World Headquarters and try it out. Second, check out the LUMIPro blog and Flickr account to see some of the amazing photos people have created using it. Third, know that the support is fantastic and you get lifetime updates so you never have to purchase a new version. And last of all, save up and just do it!

Sammie: Now that we have discussed both your passions, and of course LUMIPro, do you know of any good resources for people breaking into the photography/blog world?
Peep:  I would recommend the SL Blogger Support blog ( http://www.slbloggersupport.wordpress.com) and in world group for bloggers. Even if you’re not a blogger they have a great resource page for bloggers which includes a section on Second Life focused photography tutorials. Strawberry Singh also has a similar page on her blog. http://strawberrysingh.com/  But if you are in the inworld group you can always ask a question - the bloggers in the group are very helpful and there is almost always someone online who can help you with a SLurl, a location, where something came from, when an event opens and on and on and on. 

On the inside, looking out
Sammie: I saved for mine, and I think it was the best investment I made. So tell us what does the future hold for Peep?
Peep: I have had some big changes in my Real Life which has forced me to take a short hiatus from my blog. I am also in the process of moving my showroom/studio, so I’ve been a bit slow to get photos taken. But I have every intention of getting back to a regular schedule soon (although sadly, I probably won’t be able to blog daily). I can’t imagine a time, though, when I am not spending time in Second Life and sharing my virtual life on my blog :)

Sammie: One last question, even though I know the answer, would you recommend LUMIPro? 
Peep: Not only would I, I HAVE! I recommend it to anyone who is serious about photography. I know there are other systems out there, but LUMIPro is the complete package, so no need to look further :)

Cast Adrift
You never know who I might interview next! So until next time happy shooting!

Check out Peep’s links here:

Peep’s Blog: http://picsbypeep.com/
Peeps Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/peepsideshow/with/14019715193
Peeps New In World Studio: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/5th%20Avenue/102/172/21

Monday, July 21, 2014

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Photography in Second Life with LUMIPro



Are you a photographer in Second Life either commercially or as a hobby?  Your choices for lighting are either fixed studio lighting, rezzed prims, or using the sun and windlight.  Each solution works, but the complexity and time makes it more of a struggle than it should be.  LUMIPro is a HUD which takes a completely different approach to photography lighting that works equally well in the studio or in the thousands of amazingly designed sims across the grid.  It even works in zero rez and zero script sims!   It not only manages lighting for up to 4 av's it also manages eye position and independent posing.  It can remember your favorite lighting settings as well.  The wonderful thing about this is that they can be recalled anywhere, anytime, and with any model.  Want to use Windlight well these features work extremely well in conjunction with windlight as well.  The "projector" lights allow casting shadows assuming your computer graphics chip is capable of displaying shadows from the sun.

LUMIPro has been on the market now for 3+ years and has thousands of happy customers including some of the top photographers, artists, and machinimists in second life today.  Updates for life are always free and as we speak there is a beta enhancement that is available to existing customers through the sales studio kiosk.   No need to wait for the next update as you'll be the first to get it when it releases.  The SL owner group is quite active and discusses everything related to photography from the HUD to great sims, to props to how to price and display your work.

Check out a quick video demo of the hud in action.  http://lumipro.blogspot.com/2012/02/shoot-in-4-minutes-l3-demo.html.  Or a sample of my machinimist work at  https://vimeo.com/78859043

Here are a happy customers feedback on LUMIPro
    [12:55] Skip Staheli: your hud is fantastic... really  <3
    [20:48] Aoki Parker Miyagi-Karter: absolutely love your hud.  Made everything amazing for me and my store ads
    [12:23] mollybloom100: I did want to tell you personally Stefan that your lighting system...set me free
    [09:39] Creoleman Tiratzo:  The help button taking you to training videos and the PDF manual is brilliant.
    [14:18] alecat Breda: had not one minute regret about  buying lumipro ;-)  we're grateful for it!!! without it i am useless
    [15:31] Calypso Sparrowtree: BIG hugs for making such a phenomenal tool that I cannot live without! <3
    [10:57] Stefan Buscaylet:  I wish I had one of these RL!


Check us out !  We have a fully functional demo you can play with at the sale studio.

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Phenomenal/246/177/1501

also check us out on your favorite social media:

http://lumipro.blogspot.com/
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Phenomenal/229/148/1501
https://www.facebook.com/LUMIProSL
https://plus.google.com/u/0/100216792835062533832/posts
http://www.flickr.com/groups/lumipro/
http://lumipro.blogspot.com/2013/10/press-release-lumipro-announces-33.html
http://lumipro.blogspot.com/2013/01/lumipro-32-tutorial.html


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

What The Critics Say .....


Here at LUMIPro we love getting feedback and reviews from our customer base. It is always helpful even if it is good bad or indifferent, it just means we take a look at the next development point and try to make improvements where possible based on what our customers tell us.

So today, I'm going to share some reviews on LUMIPro as well as some stunning photos from the LUMIPro Flickr pool.

~Regina...the birth of the Chess Queen~
~Regina...the birth of the Chess Queen~
~Xiu~


Stream lined for productivity.

My first review was rather harsh. so Im rewriting it.

now that Iv used it with more than one model.. i see the benefit to this system. i can get the models to add the lights.. accept the animate there avatar, then i send them for coffee . while i do my thing.. and with this system.. everything you need to controls the models are under one hud.. it makes everything so simple.. and faster.... The feature i like.. is you can take your model to the sim of your choice.. and get the pic you want. perfect lighting perfect pose. and it can be done so quick..
EdaAulder


The Wishbringer
The Wishbringer
Domitalia Jinx


A MUST HAVE
Seriously, I don't even know what more I could say or add that hasn't already been posted regarding the LUMIPro. I was skeptical because of the price tag but after I tested this baby out at the main store, I saw the potential and took the dive. Now that I have had the Hud for a while, I just could not imagine SL photography without it. My setup times have been cut by more than half. I have eliminated the need for pose stands and no longer have to worry about the permissions on poses to add it. This is one time where I cannot say enough about this product. If you are serious about SL Photography - you must have it. Just say yes, take the plunge, and smile because you won't regret it for a moment.  
joshuadrew


I looked in the mirror today, and was found wanting
I looked in the mirror today, and was found wanting
Wendz Tempest

Beyond Words

I really don't know how to say this. This thing is beyond words. I feel like i'm actually taking rl photography equipment into sl and I barely know how to use the thing (i've had it for two days). This thing is the best thing that's ever happened to my sl photography path. The customer service is beyond what i expected. Not only is the creator at your service but he has reps here to help when he's not and a group to join who has experience with it. 7000L is of freaking cheap for this thing! If you're serious about sl photography GET THIS!
sajaST 


Great photo tool!
Great photo tool for lighting & effects. 
Only lacks pose organization. Separating male from female is nice. but loading of pose notecard lists like so many Dance HUDs is needed. Nice documentation online helps with the complex options available. Would have given it 10 stars is more pose organization.
Samual Wetherby 



Wet
Wet
Peep Sideshow Darkward

Worth every L$ and more
Unquestionably the best tool for photography in SL. It carries all your poses, has a ton of lighting options, adjusts the model's eyes...

Jeez, I'd have to put the hud on to remember all it does. lol

If you take photos inworld, YOU NEED THIS HUD! :-)

Lil Lowey


Best investment you can make in photography
if you are into photography in SL, and, like me, do most of your shoots "in world" this is invaluable. It really is a studio in a HUD. It is a bit of a learning curve at first, but the documentation for it is top notch (a rarity for alot of SL products) and they always are helpful if you do run into an issue.
Jackson Redstar


Will you play me a song?
Will you play me a song?
ToxicSyn

My new essential HUD
I was looking for an in-viewer solution for lighting as I've been doing all my lighting in post processing. I was so impressed I thought I'd leave a review (and I never leave reviews... I know it's bad!)

So, after reading the PDF instructions and watching a few of the creators YouTube video's, I've found it's become the only HUD I need for SL photography. The lighting it's self is set up to work as if in a studio, with 4 typical sets up to start from. There you tweak and edit until you're happy. It's easy to use and extremely powerful. I was happy just having quick and easy set ups to swap between a butterfly and the Rembrandt set ups, for example.

However, there was so much more to LumiPro. With the projectors, eye gazer tool, and pose organisation tools it has become an essential step to my photography. The Projector tool was an especially pleasant surprise. There's a video on Stefan's YouTube channel where he demo's this feature and shows you how to edit them. By using a black and white texture you can create all sorts of fantastic effects.

Best of all, because the lights are wearable item's and you have complete control over the light they produce, it's easy to work with a green screen. For anyone who doesn't know, the point of the green screen is to make it easier to remove the avatar from background since the human skin has no green hues. So when working with light in viewer, if any light is projected on the green it changes the saturation making it harder to cut out the green. LumiPro limits this because the lights are so close to the avatar. If any light spills over you just have to turn down the intensity or move the green screen further away.

In summary, the LumiPro is so powerful, you won't need anything else other than this and a good Windlight to take a decent pic.
Tomko Galicia

LUMIPro HUD V3



Thursday, July 10, 2014

LUMIPro Spotlight !!




summer heat

Summer Heat by Charlie Namiboo



Memories


Memories by Elle Dommage


Fighting Artist's Block 2 of 6



Fighting Artist Block by Rhys Scurlock


Waiting

Waiting by RB Parker



A Day of Many Wonders by Boris Twist


Sunday, June 29, 2014

LUMIPro Spotlight



While Stefan is busy banging on things and cleaning things up for the upcoming HUD updates, lets see what the LUMIPro users are up too!



Creepy Crawlers

Creepy Crawlers By Jordy Zipdash


salt on my skin

Salt on my Skin By Charlie Namiboo


Every Breath You Take

Every Breath You Take By Peep Sideshow Darkward


~Twilight Ride~

Twilight Ride By Xiu


Demon in Purple 1

Demon in Purple By Kirsten *BB* Smith



Step Danse Project By Boris Twist


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

LUMIPro Chats with Wheeler Oppewall



LUMIPro Chats with Wheeler Oppewall

Interview conducted by SamoanHoneyPot AKA Sammie Ansar

LUMIPro Media Manager

There are so many wonderful things I get to do, because I work for LUMIPro, but I have to say one of

my favorite things is getting to chat with all of our wonderful users. I recently had the pleasure of sitting

down with our very own Wheelerwood Oppewall, and here is some of our interview:



How did you get started in Second Life?

Wheelerwood Oppewall:I read an article when I was at the dentist office, became interested and

more less been here ever since.

Really an article at the dentist office? It almost makes me want to ask what you were

having done. Do you remember the name of the magazine?

Wheelerwood Oppewall: No, that was close to 8 years ago, sure it was some science based

magazine,since that is what I read mostly.



How did you get started in Second Life photography?

Wheelerwood Oppewall:I had known of shooting in Second Life for a long time, but early in my

Second Life career I was doing other things on the grid. I met Bianca Xavorin in June of 2012 when I

had returned after a fifteen month break from the grid. She took me to her gallery. At that time Bianca

was shooting most of her work in a Dogme style of photography. Her work was a huge influence and

meeting her changed my course within Second Life.

So besides being inspired by Bianca; why did you get involved in Second Life photography?

Wheelerwood Oppewall:It was an another form of creative outlet and to keep up on Photoshop work.

Can I ask what were some of the other things you were doing in Second Life before

photography?

Wheelerwood Oppewall:I had a music venue/gallery early on in Second Life, but that more less became

a full time job, so I pulled the plug on it in 2008.

So does music ever inspire or influence work? I am curious since you used to have a music venue.



Wheelerwood Oppewall: Yes it does, very much so I have music on all the time when I am editing.

Did you get more out of Second Life photography than you expected?

Wheelerwood Oppewall:I go into everything with no expectations. For me when I am doing a shoot or

an edit. I just try and focus on the task at hand. I think when you go in with a set plan, you are not open

to things that can come up. Yes you need some road map, but at the same time, you need to be open to

things as well.

Does the end result that comes out of the edit process ever surprise you?

Wheelerwood Oppewall: Every once and a while something will pop up that I will enjoy, but the

bottom line is the model in the image is the one that needs to be pleased.

How would you describe your photography style and do you feel it says something

about you?



Wheelerwood Oppewall:I try not to do just one style. Personally, for me the shooting the same style

over and over is just being lazy and not exploring. You have to take chances, and sometimes the

chances results in producing crap, but that is how your work moves forward and doesn't become stale.

Now if I was to have to put my work into a slot that still really isn’t easy for me. There are many artist

both in Real Life and Second Life who influence my work. Raphael for color, the 18th century Dutch

masters for light play, Salvador Dali, and Android Jones for pretty much everything else. Within Second

Life there are many artists who have had an impact on my work. Bianca as I mentioned earlier, Meryll

Panthar, Freyja Merryman, Caoimhe Lionheart, Asia Rae, Koey Brown, Addison Strenton, Skip

Staheli, Dido Hass. Prettyp Rexen, Thati Boucher, Vaz, Harper Beresford , Benjamin Glenddale, and

Cenedra Ashbourne. I could go on and on about my influences in here, but these artist work are my

benchmarks.


Do you prefer Second Life or Real Life photography?


Wheelerwood Oppewall:Real life. It’s more of a challenge for photo editing. Perfect skin is rare in real

life.

What are some of the benefits of Second Life photography versus Real Life

photography and vice versa?

Wheelerwood Oppewall:In Second Life the weather is always perfect, I can control where the sun is,

the skin isn’t a mess, and if something or someone gets in my way I can just de-render. The down side

of Second Life is the on going technical issues. Personally I can’t compare Real Life photography to

Second Life photography; except the rules of composition. Real Life photography is a completely

different from my perspective.


What are some of your favorite Second Life activities (besides photography)?

Wheelerwood Oppewall: Shooting pics is pretty much my primary activity within Second Life, pass out

Photoshop advice when asked,. look for a good suit, and keep out of peoples drama and pissing

matches.

I think everyone can agree that with Second Life comes drama. If you like helping

others learn ever thought about teaching a photoshop/photography class?

Wheelerwood Oppewall:I get a lot of the same questions about Photoshop. How I light , doing fixes,

so I am tossing around the idea in my head about doing a blog that would be Photoshop based.


So lets talk about LUMIPro...

How did you hear about LUMIPro and what made you decide to purchase?

Wheelerwood Oppewall:I came across it by accident on Marketplace. I decided on the buy because

everything I feel I needed (lights, and avi control) was in one unit. I like to keep things simple.

Do you feel LUMIPro has improved your photography in Second Life? And has it made Second Life

photography easier?

Wheelerwood Oppewall: With the ability to be able to control the lights as well as the avatar I would

say yes it has made it much easier. It allows me to focus on the shot and do my work much quicker.

No there isn't a time element; but at the same time, I don't want a model having to stand there while I

am “gooberin'" with lights. Improvement on my work... Yes completely.

You have always been a big LUMIPro advocate; What are some of your favorite classic LUMIPro

features and why?

Wheelerwood Oppewall: Well I can’t say one thing is my favorite feature since everything ties in with

each other. I like the fact that I can completely light up a sim or bring the light down to a soft glow as if

one candle is in the room. My primary use for the LUMIPro is a pose controller, correcting skin tones

and setting the eyes. I tend to light the models in my shots very flat since I find SL shadows to be pretty

much garbage and I get much better results with shadows in editing. Yet if I need to do some type of

shadows for effect I will use the projector to do this. I can do this with the Gobos that are already a part

of the LUMIPro projector, attaching a projector to my own avatar, or placing a prim shape between

the projector and the model and using is as a light cutter to get the shadows that I am I might be looking

for.


With the release of the new Beta, there is a lot of talk about the new features people

would like to see, what are some things you would like to see in the new release?

Wheelerwood Oppewall:I have had a chance to “test” the Beta version and I will be talking to Stefan in

the near future and toss out my thoughts on it. Features I would like to see in upcoming version are

many. I would like to see numerical read out on what your settings are for the intensity, radius and fall

off. The Beta Version now within the new interface has sliders that you can control the level with. Along

with these sliders I feel controls that would allow you to move the level up or down in “one” and/or

“five” units at a time for more accurate light adjustments would be very helpful, especially when working

in a laggy sim. Lock controls on the hud for the Projector instead of clicking the actual projector to lock

the unit would be very handy. Personally when I start the edit process I open the image in Adobe

Camera Raw to check balances, etc. When I shoot in my studio I rez a color balance card and take a

photo of the subject for color balance and levels on location shoot well don’t happen. I would so love if

LUMIPro had a feature that would Rez a color level card with RGB, CMYK, along with gray scale

near the modelfor this exposure/color test shot. A built in digital color meter would be a nice feature as

well.


What would be your advice to people out there who might be thinking about getting

into photography?

Wheelerwood Oppewall: Study photographers who’s work you admire. Don’t steal from them. Study

how light and shadows interact with each other. There is an art side and of course there is a tech side of

shooting with in Second Life. Just like in Real Life you have to have your settings correct on your

camera. Know your editing software as much as you can, it frees up the creative process when your in

post-production. Photo composition is the foundation of your photograph. A weak composed photo...

well is a weak photo, so learn as much as you can about photo composition. I strongly believe that in

Second Life the model does the work on the grid and I do mine in post-production. Models spend

hours and a great deal of lindens on their art form. They are not just some one standing on a pose ball

while you snap pictures. Treat them with respect. Most importantly take lots of bad pictures the more

you take the better you are going to get.


And Of course last but not least...

For all the Non-Owners out there reading this; would you recommend LUMIPro and

why?

Wheelerwood Oppewall: Yes, because it works

Well there you have it! This was another interview I had a fabulous time doing! I can not wait to chat

with more of you. Don’t forget to check out Wheeler’s links I included below. Until next time... Happy

Shooting!

Check out more of Wheeler’s photography here: Wheeler's Flickr

And of course don’t forget your LUMIPro links...