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How does your avatar look today ?

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Posted (edited)

I've had a great day, starting out with shopping, then clubbing for a while, then Breakfast Club, then the beach.

Three changes of outfit and ending up with my old faithful corset dress!!!  ;)

I needed a cheer up, because I'm full of cold!!!!

The first image is at the apartment. The other two are at a beach sim (sorry I can't remember which one until I'm back in world), which has a huge marina attached. I couldn't resist firing up the Windlight and grabbing some photos. I didn't manage to bag a yacht owner though. Very disappointing. But I'll be back so they are not safe!!!

It was Bumrose Beach...…"Ooo-err! 😜

 

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Edited by BelindaN
Beach name added
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Robed

   So, white background... I don't know. Maybe it's because I'm used to working with darker images, this felt a little awkward.

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1 hour ago, Orwar said:

Robed

   So, white background... I don't know. Maybe it's because I'm used to working with darker images, this felt a little awkward.

Well, I like it: the contrast of the dark and light is nicely marked, and the touch of colour from the hair really stands out. Oddly, I also like the subtleties of Neph's skin tone here.

I've decided that I like dark backgrounds when I want to focus on the warmth of skin tones and softer colours, and the white background when I want a starker look. I actually think, in line with that, that Neph looks sort of scarier in this than she might have emerging from a darker background.

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3 hours ago, Orwar said:

Robed

   So, white background... I don't know. Maybe it's because I'm used to working with darker images, this felt a little awkward.

Got to say and I have been up way too late and am so going to regret it I like the dark background way better 

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19 minutes ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

Well, I like it: the contrast of the dark and light is nicely marked, and the touch of colour from the hair really stands out. Oddly, I also like the subtleties of Neph's skin tone here.

I've decided that I like dark backgrounds when I want to focus on the warmth of skin tones and softer colours, and the white background when I want a starker look. I actually think, in line with that, that Neph looks sort of scarier in this than she might have emerging from a darker background.

   I'm pretty cloven still. Comparing the shot with black and white backgrounds side by side, I notice that where my attention falls differs greatly - with the white background, her entire contour and all contents therein are pretty equally grabbing, it helps the outfit stand out. On the black background, it's much more muted, it takes quite a bit of purposeful focus to see where the backdrop starts and the robes begin, and the absolutely first thing that draws my eye is the face as that's where you've got the most noise. With the white backdrop, you still do get quite a lot of draw to the face due to the hair colour being so starkly different, but the draw somehow feels artificial - though that's probably because I over-analyse it.

   It also felt more difficult - or at least unusual - to highlight with a white backdrop as, well, with Neph's complexion, suddenly I don't just highlight her features and where I've put light on my subject; the tones in the backdrop are so close to her skin tone that editing their contrast alters the backdrop along with it. And I can't be bothered to mask it.

   Most of all though, there's the general atmosphere of the picture. SL photography to me is about expressing myself, whether it's expression of an emotion or an idea - it's not really an ideal tool to do so at all times, as relies heavily on someone else first creating something through which I can project my message, and quite frequently, I'll see something I like and want to take a picture of just that; an object that appeals to me. My personal favourite pictures in my portfolio are the ones with more allegorical undertones (or overt criticisms) though - but it's been a while since I had the time or energy to make those. This one I made almost exactly a year ago:

 

In the Rain

   I even wrote a little limerick to go along with it:

Everything that once was will soon wane,
entropy rules a lethargic reign,
so take your last breath,
and embrace your death,
I'll be waiting for you in the rain.

   ... Maybe not a great limerick, but the subject itself isn't the focus, the theme is. It's an attempt to express a want for acceptance of the inevitable, the subject has various attributes of various personifications of death, such as Thanatos (the Hellenic deity of peaceful death, often depicted as an attractive, winged man), the Grim Reaper (the black coat) and the Scandinavian adaptation of Satan - Fan, the devil in human form who strikes deals for souls with mortals, and then comes to collect them (and has a small pair of horns on his forehead, often hidden under the brim of a hat). The mask makes me think of silence, the way it covers the mouth in a pretty invasive and aggressive manner, as if nothing can or will be said - which ties in to the rain represents the tears that wash out and distort, the way it's taboo to speak ill of the recently deceased. I hate taboo with a passion (and being a slave to social convention in general), and this specific issue certainly isn't an exception; if you've failed to garner my respect and affection in life, why should I care for you in death?

   Looking back at what I actually wrote when I first posted it though, I can't help but sigh at my cowardice - apart from the somewhat cryptic poem, I felt obliged to excuse myself somehow for making this picture. In reality, I was torn between grief and fury at the time, as someone had the audacity to bring up someone recently deceased in conversation with me, knowing that our relationship had been outright hostile, and then being outraged when I bluntly confessed that I didn't care. It was absurd, really - if someone bullies me throughout my childhood, and then ride a drug rush into an early grave; if I were to muster any emotions at all, why shouldn't they be joyful? My honesty cost me a friend, which forced me into grief anyway, which made me feel cheated, which made me furious. But I suppose it's easier to say 'oh look what I found in my wardrobe' than 'YES, HE'S DEAD! FINALLY!'. Also it was during that period that I was trying to learn to add rain to my pictures, so it was a nice distraction, too.

   Anyway, that was quite the detour from the subject. In short, I perceive the world as a dark place - and indeed feel that most of my pleasures in life derive from something dark, and so it comes natural to me to use darkness to express myself, hence white backdrops feel awkward. But from an entirely photo-technical perspective, yes, it does lend clarity and focus to the subject.

Just now, Laika Ravikumar said:

Got to say and I have been up way too late and am so going to regret it I like the dark background way better 

   No need to feel regret for having an opinion! I agree, I think I simply work better with darkness.

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3 hours ago, Orwar said:

Anyway, that was quite the detour from the subject. In short, I perceive the world as a dark place - and indeed feel that most of my pleasures in life derive from something dark, and so it comes natural to me to use darkness to express myself, hence white backdrops feel awkward. But from an entirely photo-technical perspective, yes, it does lend clarity and focus to the subject.

It shouldn't at all surprise me that your aesthetic is so closely tied to your "world view," so to speak. I have to admit that mine isn't, except in a sort of very general way (I associate white background and particular aesthetics with the fashion industry, which has a whole range of really complicated ideological associations for me). I probably should be more conscious of the ways in which my aesthetic choices reflect my values: in my first 3 or 4 years (longer, if I count Laskya's blog from 2013-2014), all of my creativity was overtly political: I ran a women's bookstore, and created three self-proclaimed feminist exhibits, plus a resource centre for victims of sexual and physical abuse. In my own defence, I've been really focused on learning the technical ropes of photography, and it's only recently that I've started to give serious thought to the ways in which my pictures could or should reflect my feminism. I haven't worked that one out yet.

From a more purely aesthetic perspective, it's interesting how the particular different contexts and subject of our pictures change the "meaning" of the backgrounds and shading. For my own pictures, as I've suggested, I think that darker backgrounds tend to result in a softer look, whereas the white backgrounds are "stronger," more stark, and even maybe more forbidding. But then, darker shading in my pics takes a different form than it does in yours: black means something different in association with Neph's look, and yours, than it does in mine.

All of which is to say that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to this, and that photos can be expressions of who we are in very many different ways.

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In fairness to myself, it has to be said that I do sometimes ask myself if I have any idea what I'm doing.

Owl-in-the-Arcade-(B&W)-Blank.png

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Personal Log: Just done with dermal scrub Number two. Ow.

Note to self: When pranking someone, make sure you mark the bottle with morphing solution.

End log.

212634232_personallog_001.png.79dccf7431b889c48cdb20d629cf9d2b.png

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8 hours ago, Orwar said:

In the Rain

 

 

I still love the pic.

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I have a love of Greek Mythology.  Probably why I do so many pics like that. lol  

MY NEW SHINY - alpha.tribe.1.png

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5 hours ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

In fairness to myself, it has to be said that I do sometimes ask myself if I have any idea what I'm doing.

Owl-in-the-Arcade-(B&W)-Blank.png

I love this one, Scylla! 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Eva Knoller said:

I love this one, Scylla! 

Thanks Eva!

The owl was an uncooperative little diva: I had to take more than a dozen shots to get her where I wanted her.

She's going to start behaving, or there'll soon be a new entry for "Stuffed and Mounted Great Grey Owl" on the MP.

Edited by Scylla Rhiadra
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8 hours ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

.

.

.

All of which is to say that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to this, and that photos can be expressions of who we are in very many different ways.

OK, as much as I am enjoying admiring and learning from others pics, I've really enjoyed this conversation too. Thanks for starting it, Orwar!  Except for one of my images which was motivated by a recent experience - which really turned out kind of disappointing because the image failed to express what I was trying for -  I haven't really given much thought to why I create any of the images I do...I just 'did it' because it felt good and I could fill in the justification for it later.

  I am about to begin a long term project in which the images will play a minor role but now even in that I will be thinking about this much more and have no doubt it will add more depth to my images - if only to me :)   Thank you!

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