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JessieHoo

Some basic questions of photographing

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Hello everyone, I am new to photographing but I start to love it. I mostly use the Flickr add on in firestorm, but I sometimes use snapshot as well. As I shot more photos I have a few basic questions:

1. How to fine tune the camera angel, shift the camera position and zoom? I use firmstorm’s built-in advances phototools camera controls but still I often cannot get the subtle adjustment of camera I need. 

2. Which lightning system for taking pics is best?  I am considering to buy one that is particularly aimed for photographing purpose. And that should be easy to configure. I do not want to take a long time changing the oritention and position of the light source evertytime. And I do not want the person being photographed to wear it. So it should be either worn on me (the photographer) or Rez in world, and only requrires a little adjustment before providing light to the person being photographed. 

Thank you very much!

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Have a look at some of strawberry signh's tutorials: https://strawberrysingh.com/tutorials/ she is good at covering alot of the basics. Also alot of tutorials on youtube. And if you can rezz you can easily make your own local lites, if all you are needing is lighting. There is nothing wrong with a model wearing lites though and is a good option if rezzing isn't availble

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You definitely want this: https://marketplace.secondlife.com/p/CTS-Skylight-Manage-WindLight-Presets-and-Camera-Angles/13686298

It works for any viewer.

As for tips: I always use the Snapshot tool, never the FS Phototools - I find them far too limiting. The above HUD works on any viewer and there are several HUDs that also will work on any viewer. I use a few animation posers for body and face and do all my "effects" other than lighting in post-process with ON1 Photo Effects (Photoshop is so way overrated LOL)

PM me here or in-world and I'll be happy to pass details like which HUDs I use and other tools. I've done professional photography in RL and so I tend to follow the same type of workflow for SL Snapshots. And by *not* using FS Phototools I always have a pristine original I can change in many different ways and re-change in many different ways and re-re-change...

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I forgot to mention - look up Wrenoir Cruise in world. She runs a multi-week photography class that covers nearly everything you need to know about SL photography, along with general photography topics such as composition and lighting

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Thank you, I searched Wrenoir Cruise but cannot find the person with that name. Can you be more specific please? Thank you:)

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   1: I prefer using my mouse to set up the camera angle, it's much smoother and more subtle than the buttons. In Firestorm (and I think the standard viewer, too), you can control your camera in a variety of ways; Alt will set your cursor on the focus of your camera and allows you to move your camera closer/further and from left to right. Ctrl+Alt is similar, but moving your mouse up/down will move your camera up/down rather than moving closer/further. Ctrl+Alt+Shift will pan the camera, i.e. locking its angle but moving it up or down and side to side. It may take some practice to get it just right, and if you want to just fine-tune you can use the Firestorm Cameratool to save/load camera position in case you knock yourself too far from where you wanted it. I don't use any HUDs or such, whilst I'm sure having a bunch of different save slots (Firestorm only has one, and saving a new one overwrites it) might be handy for some things, that's the only feature I'd want to pay for - and in my style of photography which is one scene, one angle, one frame, I have no use for it. If I were a 'live' photographer (event photographer) I might have used it, but... I don't do events. I like shooting people, but I don't want them around me when I'm working!

   2: There is no tool more powerful than the ones you already have, it's an issue of whether you want to get into learning them or if you want a HUD to hold your hand and walk you through it. The Windlight editor is by far the most powerful and versatile lighting tool in SL, and you can compliment it by using spotlights and pointlights. I personally prefer just working with SL/Firestorm, I don't like having more HUDs and windows open than I have to. Scripts and texture data traffic should be kept to a minimum when you work to avoid lag and crashes (even if I 'can' bump everything to 11 and run several Firestorm windows to put two avatars in frame at once without crashing with my rig, I find it distracts me in my work flow).

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1 hour ago, Orwar said:

I prefer using my mouse to set up the camera angle, it's much smoother and more subtle than the buttons. In Firestorm (and I think the standard viewer, too), you can control your camera in a variety of ways; Alt will set your cursor on the focus of your camera and allows you to move your camera closer/further and from left to right. Ctrl+Alt is similar, but moving your mouse up/down will [snip]

 

Do this, THEN: use CTRL+Arrow keys; CTRL+SHIFT+Arrow keys; CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+arrow keys to pan, rotate, crab your camera and fine-tune your shot in a true *composition*.

I believe Firestorm phototools and other HUDs (other than pose-helpers) or "studios" actually hinders, rather than helps. Though my workflow is to always snap a clean, pristine image and highest resolution then work on effects in post, including bokeh, defocussing, vignetting, and any stylizing filters, etc. This way you have a lot more room to experiment and even the ability to create a variety of looks for the same picture.

The short end of it (my comment) is that in-world HUDs or "tools" or "widgets" are all gimmicks more or less, other than poser HUDs or the LumiPro HUD for lighting tricks (Which I feel is grossly over-priced as everything it can do can be done manually, including projectors). The point is: You can take amazingly-awesome snapshots without spending a single Linden Dollar on *anything*.

Edited by Alyona Su
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2 hours ago, Alyona Su said:

Do this, THEN: use CTRL+Arrow keys; CTRL+SHIFT+Arrow keys; CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+arrow keys to pan, rotate, crab your camera and fine-tune your shot in a true *composition*.

   Didn't know you could do that! I'll have to try it out.

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24 minutes ago, Orwar said:

   Didn't know you could do that! I'll have to try it out.

Among the most common mistakes most amateur photographers make is the "bullseye" shot: Subject at the dead center of the image. In SL you more or less cannot avoid this as you alt-click the subject. So how do you "crab-left" or right to put your subject off-center? Those key commands are how you do it. :D

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