Copycats – Flattering or Annoying?

I haven’t posted anything to Flickr in a few weeks, but while I’ve been neglecting my own stream, I have been paying more attention to others.

What I’ve noticed is some people who seem to be copying the styles of other popular SL Flickr photographers.  Not that that is necessarily bad, or that they are doing it to cause problems for the other photographer.

I guess I find myself taken aback because when I see a photo, I think it’s by the photographer I associate with that style, and then realize it isn’t.  Doesn’t mean the photo is bad, just that it feels – wrong?

I don’t want to name names or point fingers, because again, I don’t know that there is any malicious intent behind it.  Maybe they just really like a particular photogs style and want to try and emulate it.

But I have to wonder if those photogs are flattered or frustrated by the copycats.  I know in at least one instance, the original photog felt frustrated because the copycat was not only copying the style but the content of the photo.  Which, again, could be a way to build your skills, but certainly comes across as disingenuous.

Have you had anyone copy your photos?  How did you feel about it?

Second question: What is with all the photos that appear to be taken portrait, but then turned to landscape when posted to Flickr?  I end up tilting my head trying to make sense of the images.  Is there a memo I missed somewhere that said this is the new ‘thing’ in photography?

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I Need More Time!

Time-Flies
Image Source: empower-u-academy.com

Time has gotten away from me again and I haven’t been able to spend as much time in SL as I had hoped.  I need to carve out some time just so I can play around with the new BakesOnMesh stuff.

I did see that Maitreya had some sort of update, so I logged in quickly last night to pick it up before it disappeared from notices.

It’s not a new body updated for BoM as I had hoped, but a relay that will allow Maitreya body owners to use BoM with the current body (I think?).  I’m still waiting to hear about a Firestorm update for BoM, but since they just issued an update recently, it may be a while.

Which means if I want to play around with BoM, I will have to use the (gasp of horror) official LL viewer.  Honestly, I’m sure the official viewer is great.  It’s just that I’ve used Firestorm for so long that using the LL viewer is nothing but an exercise in frustration for me, because nothing is where my brain thinks it is! 😛

After reading the post on the Maitreya blog about the relay and the likelihood of an update soon (read: not likely), I may actually go and purchase one of the SLink bodies, because a BoM update for it has already been released.  I already own SLink hands and feet, so I can purchase the body, get the BoM update for all of it (I think) and be on my merry way.

The hitch in that plan is that I’ve deleted from my inventory any SLink mesh items I’ve bought in the last several years.  😦   I still have my SLink shoes (because – shoes!), but most mesh clothing items made for bodies other than Maitreya went in the trash bin.  I may have original purchase boxes that I can dig out and rescue, but I’m not even sure about that.

I am sure that I have a ton of boxed system skins, tattoos, and clothing layers, so I may be doing some digging through storage anyway to locate those.  We’ll see how much free time I can carve out this weekend to do just that.

Permanent Jazz Hands?

I don’t know if anyone else has noticed this.  If there is a fix I’m missing, let me know.  I’ve gone to a few dance shows in SL and I’ve noticed a weird trend – what seem to be permanent jazz hands on some dancers.

I’m assuming it likely has something to do with bento hands and non-bento animations, but I’m not sure.  It is distracting, however.

Most dancers in RL keep their hands in a relaxed ‘dance position.’  There are exceptions depending on the type of dance, of course, but that has been the standard position I’ve seen when using mocap dances in SL.

With the advent of bento hands and bento animations, things seem different.  I’m wondering if it’s a conflict of priorities with a bento hand HUD (my mesh body/hands came with a bento HUD, I’m assuming most do), and a bento dance animation.

To be honest, I haven’t really bought many bento dance animations.  When bento first went live, it seemed like most of the bento dance animations were just updates of animations I’d already purchased, albeit with the new bento hand movements included.  For most dances, given that hands were in the default ‘dance position,’ I couldn’t justify repurchasing a bunch of dance animations just to get hand movements that most audience members wouldn’t even notice.

With some animations, like for certain bellydances, or others where the hand animation made a difference, then it would be worth it.  But the jazz hand thing really bugs me. 😀  Maybe it’s a conflict with bento hands and non-bento animations – but then you would think that the default hand position would kick in, not the jazz hands.  Or maybe this is something weird in my personal settings – in which case, for the love of dance, can someone share what I need to change?

I mean, I like jazz hands, don’t get me wrong, but not in every dance. 😛

Bakes On Mesh Has Arrived

Image Source: http://www.darrickbynum.com

The new Bakes on Mesh viewer is now live (if you use the official SL viewer).  Those of us who use a third-party viewer will have to wait until an update is released.  So those who are already using BoM will probably look strange to us until then.

There are several really good blog posts out there already about how to use BoM, but what it essentially boils down to is the ability to use system layers (remember those?!) for skins, tattoos, makeup, clothing, etc. – even with your mesh body.  I’m not going to explain it all here in detail (for that, you can read more here, here, and here).  I haven’t actually tried BoM myself yet, so I don’t want to hand out bad information.

If you use a SLink body, an update for use with BoM is available.  I haven’t yet heard about update for any other bodies or heads, so we will have to wait for those creators to update.  I’ve used my Maitreya body for so long that I don’t think I even have other mesh items anymore, so I really hope it gets updated.  If it doesn’t, I may have to switch over to SLink.  I did keep my SLink hands and feet (and shoes!), so I’ll have to wait and see what happens.

There are some issues with BoM, so don’t expect it to work perfectly right out of the box.  Hands and feet are known to cause issues, so I’m hoping that by the time Firestorm updates for BoM, most of the bugs will have been worked out.  Fingers crossed!

Bakes On Mesh

Image Source: xelerus.de

I saw a blog post today that said that the new Bakes On Mesh viewer would be released soon, perhaps Monday.

I don’t use the Official Viewer, so I am assuming that a new Firestorm update will happen soon after.  Once BoM is live, I expect content creators to issue updated mesh bodies to accommodate the new options.

I know that SLink has said they have updated versions ready to go, I can only hope that Maitreya will follow soon thereafter.  I have noticed that with my purchases recently, I have received textures that are labeled as BoM textures for some of the items.

BoM is supposed to help reduce avatar complexity, and therefore, I hope, the lag that is sometimes generated because of it.   I don’t expect it to go away completely, however, since lag can be caused by a whole host of factors, some of which can only be changed/controlled by the end user.

And, unfortunately, many people don’t take the time to educate themselves about what might be causing their lag, finding it easier to blame something else for the issue.

I have gotten into the habit of derendering people as I travel around SL.  It’s amazing how much faster you can get around then. 😛  Of course, I am generally either shopping or taking photographs, so I don’t need to interact with others for the most part.  For those who spend most of their time in social settings, I’m sure things can get frustrating.  Let’s hope this BoM update makes things better for those people.

Erebos Harbor

With limited time in SL this week, I turned to the Photogenic, Rezzable Sims list from Blogger & Vlogger Network (BVN).  I found Erebos Harbor on the list and it looked intriguing, so I headed on over.

The sim has a lot of paths with twists and turns, so you can find lots of hidden places, like this stunning waterfall.

The harbor where you arrive is gorgeous, with boats bobbing the water behind you as you land.

Make sure you spend some time exploring – the scenery is well worth it!

Working out the Timing

Image Source: reallifeinbroomfield.blogspot.com

As I return to blogging and photography, I find myself looking at stats again.

Not my favorite thing. :/  Mostly because I’m not doing this for the stats (thank goodness!), so sometimes it’s easy to get bogged down in the details and forget the bigger picture.

Since resuming posting here and on Flickr, I can’t seem to get a handle on when to post things.  Some posts/pics do well with early morning posting times and others do better with a later publish time.

But I have yet to figure out when the best time to post is for me.

I generally schedule my posts to publish because I tend to write in batches.  I won’t have anything to post one day and then the next I have 3 or 4 posts rattling around in my brain that I have to get out.  So I have been playing around with the posting time to see what gets a better response.

After looking at stats again today, I’m stumped.  Perhaps it’s because most of this is aimed at SL folks, who tend to be all over the world, which means all different time zones.

Perhaps it doesn’t matter.

Yep, that’s the answer I’m going with. 😛