MEMBERSHIP: Focus on Umshlanga Barbosa

Don’t worry. You’re not the only one who has no idea how to pronounce his name. But don’t be fooled by his humble British charm. Underneath his shape-shifting, this guy is a Renaissance man, and we’re very fortunate he has taken a leading role in TSFTG and FOCUS Magazine & Gallery.

Angela: Hello Umshi and thank you for agreeing to be interviewed today, especially by ME! 🙂

Umshi: The privilage is all mine, thank you for asking.

Angela: We usually always start with an icebreaker question so here it goes: If you could have lunch with anyone in the world from any period of time, who would it be?

Umshi: My father. He passed away when I was 7 so I would like to get to know him.

Too Cool for Cats

Angela: Aww hugs! Great answer.

Umshi: Thank you.

Angela: So, you are a pretty prolific photographer in SL. What kinds of things inspire you?

Umshi: Mainly songs. I get inspired by the music – a line from a song or the title – and usually an image pops up in my head. I have to try and recreate using myself, surroundings, etc. made affordable by the wonders of SL.

Angela: You have been in SL since 2007, but only in Flickr since 2016. How did you get involved in SL photography to begin with?

Umshi: I was making avatar shapes and needed to advertise. A friend introduced me to Flickr and showed me the basics. I just enjoyed it so much that I don`t bother with the shapes anymore. I just taking pics and socialize.

Angela: In your 12 years in SL, what is a memory that stands out for you?

Umshi: Ha! Is this a PG magazine? Just kidding. 🙂 For 9-10 years all I did was build constantly. When I finished an epic build like a castle or a galleon and it`s all boxed-up in a rezzer and it pops-out with all your scripts working etc., that is a very satisfying moment.

Angela: So when you take a picture, do you have a routine?

Umshi: No. I do like to use all that’s available to me as and when its needed. I do shoot RAW also. It depends. Most shots 1 am using all windlights, camera tools, photo tools, and then I try to choose which appeals to me most. Sometimes, its the raw – the 1st shot. I dont have a favorite routine though but I do love B&W pics.

Angela: How did you learn about SL and what motivated you to join in 2007?

Umshi: I was on a train to London and someone left a glossy at my table. Inside was an article about a Chinese lady who was the 1st to make a million dollars from SL making clothes, I think. So I thought I needed to check that out., I’ve not quite made my 1st million yet though 🙂

Angela: If you could change something about SL, what would it be?

Umshi: The lagg monster. More powerful servers to make the game more slick. SL itself is about freedom to do what you want, be who you want to be – from the beautiful to the darker sides – so I`m all for live and let live. Whatever floats your boat in here. Let’s just get it working more smoothly please. Was working fine 12 years ago before broadband, so why are we still suffering in this day and age?

Technicolor Pachyderm

Angela: Is there anything you would like to say about the group?

Umshi: Just about groups like TSFTG. I love the fact people like yourself and Patrick lend yourselves wholly committed to help others, whether it`s showcasing someone’s art work or getting some more accomplished people together with enthusiasm, sharing knowledge, and helping others. I have been involved in the past in building schools similar and love what you two are doing here with regards to photography. Knowledge and experience should be shared to encourage others creativity. Thank you both for that. I know the hard work you both put in and also others within the group.

Angela: Thank you, Umshi!

Umshi: No, thank you!

Angela: My last question was going to be how TSFTG has affected your SL, but you seem to have answered that!

Umshi: Ohh hugely! Like a new family and new chapter in my SL journey. So many wonderful people here and the photography has been amazing to view in the Flickr group. Some really talented people here who`s work I greatly admire, But
even some of the newer members, the creativity inspires me to keep on clicking.

Angela: And you are a moderator for the TSFTG Flickr group! Do you have any other groups of your own?

Umshi: Yes, I have several. “You are Cordially Invited” which is a more selective artsy group – not for snapshots – and “Show Me Your Stuff” which is a free for all anything goes group.

Angela: Do you consider yourself an artist?

Umshi: A piss artist maybe. I sing, play several instruments and build guitars in RL.

Angela: Wow! You are a man of many talents! You are a luthier in RL?

Umshi: I am, clever lady. 🙂 I have have a proper job, but I luthier at home in my spare time. I have many guitars out there by nearly-made-it guitarists. No super stars but have repaired a few for some UK stars. Not whole builds. And I still play and sing like a strangled cat though.

Angela: I doubt that! Have you ever thought about singing in SL?

Umshi: Excuse my French “fk that!” I play okay on my own, but in front of an audience I suddenly seem to be wearing boxing gloves.

Angela: Hmm. So what kinds of guitars do you build?

Umshi: Lately I have been into Cigar Box guitars. They sound so freaking awesome to me. Very raw and basic.

Angela: That is just amazing! Thank you so much for this interview, my friend!

Umshi: Thank you for asking. Though I got washed and dressed for this. I thought it was in voice with a piccy at the side, like doing a phone call for a chat show! I could of stayed in my board shorts and string vest.

Angela: Aww, you mean Skype?

Umshi: I got a face for radio anyway. 😉