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How can I start taking professional photos in SL when I'm short of Lindens?


HumbertoOliver
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The "pro" items are nice, but you can do the exact same thing for free, just without some of the handy bells and whistles.

Create your own backdrops.  Just rez a big flat prim and texture it with the background you wish, or make it one solid color...pure blue or green, and set to full bright, to use as a chromakey to remove all background and just leave your subject to composite in Photoshop.

Create your own lights.  Rez a sphere, go to the Options tab of the build window, and enable Light.  Adjust distance and falloff and light color as desired.  Then shrink the prim to any handy size and make it transparent.  It will still cast light.  It can be attached to your subject as a facelight or left free-floating to use as a studio light.

Many poses can be found for free, or at low cost.  Several pose makers often sell sets of poses in the 60 Linden Weekends program.  Poses can be used directly by your subject, or put into a poseball (you can make poseballs for free, just drop a poseball script into a prim, along with an animation or pose.)

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The "pro" items are nice, but you can do the exact same thing for free, just without some of the handy bells and whistles.

Create your own backdrops.  Just rez a big flat prim and texture it with the background you wish, or make it one solid color...pure blue or green, and set to full bright, to use as a chromakey to remove all background and just leave your subject to composite in Photoshop.

Create your own lights.  Rez a sphere, go to the Options tab of the build window, and enable Light.  Adjust distance and falloff and light color as desired.  Then shrink the prim to any handy size and make it transparent.  It will still cast light.  It can be attached to your subject as a facelight or left free-floating to use as a studio light.

Many poses can be found for free, or at low cost.  Several pose makers often sell sets of poses in the 60 Linden Weekends program.  Poses can be used directly by your subject, or put into a poseball (you can make poseballs for free, just drop a poseball script into a prim, along with an animation or pose.)

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Aside from the hardware that you mentioned (all of which is unnecessary), the important tools for taking good photos in SL are your windlight settings and your viewer.  By adjusting windlight, you can get the precise lighting and atmospheric conditions you want.  There's a large selection of settings that other photographers have made available embedded in your viewer, and you can customize your own.  You can take excellent photos with any of the current viewers, but many photographers like the Black Dragon viewer (formerly known as Niran's viewer), which is optimized for visual work.

You should probably start lurking in the Art, Music, and Photography forum too.

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Most important is your pose hud and poses. You can use a free on or, if you use Firestorm, you can use the built in one. Poses are what's going to cost you some. However, check out events such as Collabor88, The Thrift Shop, various gacha events, etc. You can usually find really nice poses there that are relatively inexpensive. Please don't use the old, worn out set of free poses that have been around SL for years. I can look at a picture and recognize the poses. The studios are just extras that can help, the main thing is to invest in poses. 

There are many places around SL that you can take pictures and actually have poseballs out you can use or you can use GIMP to take your poses against a plain colored background then insert them into areas you've collected pictures of as well. You will want GIMP, which is free, for cropping and adding lighting effect. 

I'd recommend exploring the Black Dragon viewer as well. It's made for photography with all the tools the viewer has, including the ones hidden in the debug menu, on menus you can use, though with that, you'll have to use the AO with your poses in it.

Good Luck.

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