I’ve not considered myself an SL photographer in many years, as I don’t really consider what “we” (as a general group) do in Second Life as “photography”. Graphic manipulators, masters of editing and in some cases…Artists, are more apt terms. Photographers, no.
I know I’m excessively guilty when I take snapshots in SL, especially of other avatars, of saying to myself, “I’ll fix it in editing.” when hair and fingers disappear inside of mesh items or shooting against a greenscreen. I use exorbitant amounts of filters and textures to get images that feed whatever mood I happen to be in. On avatars, I spend hours using the liquify and pen tools to fix all those jacked up wrists and shoulders, using dodge/burn and curve masks to create light and shadow, and adding backgrounds and visual effects.
I decided this morning to go back to my RL photography roots and do a series, maybe once a week, maybe less, of SOOC shots in SL. SOOC, or Straight Out Of the Camera, is basically, what you snap, is what you print.
I want to re-train my “eye” to line up shots instead of being lazy because I plan to crop it. To also take advantage of the multitudes of pre-made Windlight settings, and mesh them with the basic shaders & time of day sliders to move shadows around. Overall, I want to use it as a self-education tool to make my base shots better BEFORE any Photoshop editing.
For my first SOOC series, I revisited the Roche sim. I’d been there before, several years ago and was surprised to see a lot of things had been added, particularly around the landing area. Something else I’m going to do in this series is display the shots in the order they were taken. I’m not sure why, but for some reason, it feels important to me. The ONLY thing I’m doing in Photoshop to these snaps is adjusting the size since I normally take snaps at around 4000×3300. While that size helps to smooth out all the jagged pixilated edges, its not feasible to use in a blog or on Flickr, so I reduced them down to around a 1024 size.
If anyone feels like joining me on my journey back to the basics and do some SOOC shots in Second Life, I’d love for you to leave your link to your blog or Flickr in the comments so I can check them out.