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SL Vogue! How Do You Do Fashion Photography?


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@Bagnu In RL we mostly deal with only the camera when taking an image. The most we can do with environment is position our self or subject and wait for the light or whatever to change. We may choose to use filters or go indoors (or not) and add lights.

In SL we control the world's environment. So just as digital photography added a new dimension to post production the viewer and virtual world add a new dimension pre-production.

Once our thinking changes about tweaking the environment I think lots of possibilities open up.

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I don't consider my photos to be fashion photography per se, but I do shop a lot and enjoy getting dressed up and taking pics of my avatar. I also really enjoy exploring, so my photos are usually take

I am really not sure if I do take fashion photography. I just take pictures of my avatar, or my friends, and clothing is a part of the overall composition and often plays a very important role. It all

To me, this equates to the type of pictures I do when I am blogging.  For me, my priority is showing off the outfit to its best.  I tend to take my pictures as close up as I can without cutting out to

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2 hours ago, Nalates Urriah said:

In SL we control the world's environment. So just as digital photography added a new dimension to post production the viewer and virtual world add a new dimension pre-production.

This is the part that has me confused. How? I have used Poser and 3DsMax, and with those it's straightforward. I even started a thread on realistic photography in SL to ask questions.

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54 minutes ago, Bagnu said:

This is the part that has me confused. How? I have used Poser and 3DsMax, and with those it's straightforward. I even started a thread on realistic photography in SL to ask questions.

For now WINDLIGHT (mentioned earlier). Eventually (maybe) EEP which is new and not really embraced on the grid yet.   I have some OLD tutorials on this. Some videos were redone since 3009 :D happily.      --- Still old and I know more now LOL, but a start.  

https://chicatphilsplace.blogspot.com/2009/09/windlight-settings.html

 

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In SL the environment is controlled in two basic ways. The land owner sets the environment for their land. Everyone sees that environment.

The other is our personal environment which we can set anywhere. Our settings override the landowner's settings but only we see the 'personal' environment we set. Think about sailors and pilots traveling from region to region. The constantly changing environment is REALLY annoying. Fortunately we can override all settings in those regions and ignore the servers' calls to use the local environment and stay with the single setting we want as we fly across SL.

EEP - Enhanced Environment Project is across the grid and now a part of the whole grid. The Linden's Viewer has already changed over, which makes it 'official'. Firestorm has their beta version of an EEP viewer, 6.4.?. I would guess you use Firestorm. So if you are going to start playing with Windlight/EEP, I suggest you use either the Linden or the Firestorm Beta viewer and learn EEP. I don't see any point in learning how to use Windlight controls that are rapidly disappearing. Firestorm changed little in their Phototools but it is EEP.

The Linden's viewer is the least photographer friendly... (IMO) and some third-party viewers aren't any better. Their thinking, the Lindens, is to keep things simple, as in fewer controls. Firestorm and Black Dragon put more controls in the user interface making it easier for us to tweak the visual render. With Firestorm there are the Phototools. In Black Dragon there is a machinima panel has has similar controls. 

I think Firestorm has a better set of tools with a practical arrangement/user interface. I find it easier to use but that may be because I learned its user interface first. Black Dragon has a more "logical', from a technical viewpoint, arrangement. Also Black Dragon (BD) exposes and adds features not available in other viewers. BD is made for the author's, NiranV, use. So it isn't as user friendly as I would hope. But, it is clever and innovative. Check one of NiranV's posts on Black Dragon. And this thread: Making Avatars Look Good inBlackDragon! Share Your Hints and Advice! and there are a number of links to tutorials here: BlackDragon Video Tutorials on Photographing in SL.

The current big advantage of using BD is the POSER. This is a built-in tool that allows you to move/adjust your avatars pose.

 

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The statue I am standing on is phantom. I used the BD poser to position my avatar.

BDPoserA.jpg.b6a1ea9db333acf716d7b9683d690bbe.jpg

In both of these I positioned the avatar for the snap. In the blue-skin one and several on Flickr I tweaked the facial expression.

I think you can see the POSER adds a dimension not currently available in other viewers. I think the POSER is the reason more photographers have recently started using BD.  However, the Lindens have talked about adding the poser to the default viewer. When they do I suspect they will ad some server side support. Something only the Lindens can do.

Check out the tutorials and have fun. :) 

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22 hours ago, Nalates Urriah said:

When they do I suspect they will ad some server side support. Something only the Lindens can do.

HA. HA. HAH. Hah...ha.... 😢

There is no server side support going to be added.

And i could have easily gimped the Poser to the point of uselessness without their help.

Don't look forward to the official implementation, IF it will ever be implemented it will be in such a way that its original premise is long gone and forgotten and its merely another useless tool that is quickly forgotten about.

I'd choose server side synchronization above exporter every day, but they have chosen the greater evil.

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When i do a pic for a blog post the clothing is the most important but I like shooting 'in world' in different sims and not in  studios or staged sets. But I would have to say without a doubt Using BD poser is nearly a must! Find a decent starting pose then the poser to just get the arms and hands right, or even to make major pose adjustment. And then finding the the right WL setting

I'm in heaven! Free cake and wine!

 

Just another day in paradise...

 

 

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2 hours ago, Bagnu said:

I had never heard of Black Dragon before.That poser tool sounds incredibly usefull!! Is it possible to keep IM"s across BD and Fierestorm???

Yeah, the built-in power is very helpful..also the graphics and the detail is better in black dragon. 

And yes, it is possible to keep IMs across black dragon and firestorm, I change my viewers all the time<33

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On 8/4/2020 at 10:35 PM, shiviex said:

And yes, it is possible to keep IMs across black dragon and firestorm, I change my viewers all the time<33

Could you please explain how???

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On 8/7/2020 at 5:09 PM, Bagnu said:

Could you please explain how???

Ugh.... it is possible to have the IM for all viewers pile up in the same place and thus have the IM history so the content from all the different viewers' chat shows up in all viewers. That is NOT the default. Each viewer uses its own chat log folder. So, what you chatted in FS is not visible in BD. All the same friends and groups as that is system level connections. But, the chat is stuffed in text files saved by each brand of viewer in a viewer specific place.

Example: C:\Users\[windows_login_ID]\AppData\Roaming\Firestorm_x64\[avatar_name]

In Firestorm the control is in Preferences->Network & Files->Directories. You can change that so it points to the file location for Black Dragon or change BD to point to Firestorm's.

I haven't tried it. I think it should work without problem. But, I won't try to guarantee it.

Be aware that as chat files grow and increase in number the viewer slows down and requires more memory. About once a year I archive my chat files leaving the chat log folder empty. I think I see an improvement in speed. But, I haven't actually clocked it. Also, my chat files get big and there are lots of them... (currently 90MB in 280+ files) I suppose big and lots are relative terms likely to be quite different for different people. 

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Queen of the May

In general, in putting together my own fashion shots, I've tried to keep the background for the pics fairly minimalistic in order to focus attention upon the garments themselves. The backdrops have also been deliberately "stagey," again to underline that the focus should be upon the outfits, but have also been designed to give the style that I'm highlighting additional depth and meaning.

This pic is a bit of a departure in that sense. It still features a fairly sparse and artificial backdrop -- a tree, some grass and flowers, and a smoke machine -- but I've used the lighting to produce a more dramatic effect. The trade-off is that the garments themselves are, perhaps, not as easy to see as they are in some of my other fashion pics. But my sense of this particular outfit is that it's as much about the "vibe" that it communicates as the detail.

I've also added a bit of irony and incongruity -- this too seemed to me to be suggested by the Asteria outfit itself.

Model-12-Blank.thumb.png.b03271ce219eb7dcf7b3d47db65b481b.png

Essenz - Mallorca Sandal Heels
Essenz - Mallorca Ankle Bracelets
Asteria - "Lady Faith" Pencil Skirt
Asteria - "Lady Faith" Top
Asteria - "Lady Faith" Gloves
Secret Poses - Sunflowers Crown

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what I do is looking at the outfit I want to blog, find a way to portrait it in an appropriate, hopefully different and sometimes funny/quirky way to portrait it, setup the scene, style the outfit , write up my style card (listing everything that´s seen in the picture), prepare the post, hop over to BlackDragon and let the fun begin:

- Poser  to adjust an existing pose or do one based on the AO or SL stand

- windlights adjusted until I see fit

- angles

- projectors (LumiPro and/or further ones, might be bought ones or selfmade glowy balls

- play with BD´s graphic settings (colour correction and whatever I see fit)

- take the pic - in 4k usually these days - save

then add pic to blog, finish it up, upload to Flickr, release blog, release flickr, PR - NEXT

I try to make my pics portray my own style in every pic I take so the designers have a nice lil change, it´s a bit different from other bloggers maybe using the same outfit in parts (I´ve recently noticed colleagues using several items in a pic a couple of hours after I released mine and I love how similar yet different the pics are)

It´s not a big secret that I do not use anything post editing-wise. I did some pics of the hud added to the pic or something like that with paint.net a while ago but I stopped doing that, really.

 

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Why-Wait-Blank.thumb.png.9897bd443d246ec15f014568b19a72fd.png

So, haven't done one of these in a while . . .

What would I say about this . . . .

When I do my fashion pics, I generally try to employ a palette of relatively limited range so as to highlight the colours of the garments. I don't want pretty red flowers in the background drowning out the pink top I'm wearing. Here, I've chosen an almost monochromatic background, with hints of a cooling blue, to compliment the almost all-white outfit. I've chosen a darker setting for the same reason.

The mini-narrative here, such as it is, has been designed once again to associate the outfit with a particular attitude -- here, perhaps, a sassy and not entirely socially acceptable one. The movie poster (Agnès Varda's Les Créatures, from 1966) hints at a feminist theme, but also establishes an historical epoch against which the garment is meant to be read. What I'm wearing here is emphatically not something that would have been worn in 1966, but it contains enough references to the styles of that period that this might seem like a sort of neo-60s look. Maybe?

FAENZO "Goddess" (Sand)
//Ascend// Molly Jacket (Ivory)
[LeiMotiv] Pyra Classic Boots
Kibitz -- Medula Choker (Copper)
[amicale] -- Soulful lingerie
[Carol G] Breast Black Rose
Kuni -- Azzurra Hair

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5 hours ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

contains enough references to the styles of that period that this might seem like a sort of neo-60s look. Maybe?

I was only a little girl in the '60s, but between the hair, the short hem-length and those boots - that definitely spoke '60s to me.   

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And because I seem to be on a roll at the moment, fashion pic wise . . .

Unusually for me (because I get stuck in ruts), I've done this one in portrait. It means a busier pic, but I tried to keep the background noise to a minimum, and held off on throwing every piece of Bauhaus-inspired furniture I own into the pic: I had to settle for a staircase and floor lamp.

It's also a darker pic than usual, but I think the important bits, and the overall effect, comes through?

Bauhaus-Blank.thumb.png.9f3ed28db957b8a2858daaba634fbaa6.png

Addams -- Abby Leather Jacket
Addams -- Andromeda Top (Black)
Addams -- Pegazo Pencil Skirt
Friday -- River Boots (Storm)
Zibska --Dalena Deux Headpiece (with Orbit)
[MJN] -- Essentials (g5) (Lipstick)
[Carol G] -- Breast Black Rose
Zibska -- Noir Pack 22 (#08) (Eyeshadow)
Tram -- J0214 (Hair)

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I've played with the idea of blogging off and on for years because I definitely have a certain affinity for putting outfits together and like to share. The place where I find I have the most trouble and what keeps me from moving forward with it as a hobby is sheer laziness and also not having found my voice so to speak with pictures. What I have found is bloggers who I respect have a certain style to their pictures that is uniform across all their work. I am still in the phase of just recklessly hitting  buttons in my editor and  so my results vary wildly. So if I ever look like I know what I am doing that is strictly on accident. So in the future, I think I definitely want to work on putting some more thought into my pictures stylistically and just in general. I also would like to inject more humor as that is more representative of me as person.

I will try to post a picture here when I am able to take something.

Question for anyone: How long does it normally take you to take a picture and edit it?

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I am not a blogger in the traditional sense, in that I have no sponsors and my blog is very rarely updated. :D  But I *do* post my clothing credits on my Flickr pics for anyone who cares to look. You can start that way, @Laurel Aurelia, by just posting credits on your Flickr pics. (Sorry if you already do it!)  It's pretty low effort, and if you don't feel like doing it one day, then so be it!

I too suffer from not really having a defined picture or editing style, beyond preferring realistic situations and surroundings. It takes me usually a half hour to set up and take pics and anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour plus to edit. Sometimes I leave and come back to an edit if it is not working for me at the time.  I also spend a good bit of pre-photo time seeking out picture locations as well. 

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38 minutes ago, Laurel Aurelia said:

The place where I find I have the most trouble and what keeps me from moving forward with it as a hobby is sheer laziness and also not having found my voice so to speak with pictures. What I have found is bloggers who I respect have a certain style to their pictures that is uniform across all their work.

Well, laziness is why I'm not an actual fashion blogger -- which is to say, I take these pics, but that's more because I'm interested in fashion photography than blogging regularly about new releases, and so forth. Fashion blogging in SL is hard work, at least if you are going the normal route of finding merchants as sponsors, and posting regularly. And you tend to have to start, as I understand it from my friends who fashion blog anyway, from "the bottom" (i.e., smaller stores) and work your way up, which means that you are also somewhat restricted as to what you can do. If you're blogging for a store that produces crap, for instance . . . well, you need to work hard to get that crap to look good.

As to consistent style and "voice" . . . I'm still working on that! For my photography generally, actually.

43 minutes ago, Laurel Aurelia said:

I also would like to inject more humor as that is more representative of me as person.

Yes! Concept! Humour is good, and makes for more compelling pictures! I think, anyway.

44 minutes ago, Laurel Aurelia said:

Question for anyone: How long does it normally take you to take a picture and edit it?

That depends a lot on the pic, and how you are doing it. I make my own backdrops, from a combination of things I buy for them, and (often) things I make myself from prims. That can take a while, sometimes. And just putting together an outfit can easily be an hour or more (although sometimes much less). I tend to set up as much of my shot as possible -- backdrop, lighting effects, pose, and so forth -- in Firestorm, and then take the actual pic in Black Dragon. Sometimes the taking of the pic is almost point and snap, but I generally fiddle with a lot of details once I'm in Black Dragon, changing angles, moving the lights around, and so on. And then editing . . . the amount of time I take in editing has been vastly reduced since I started using BD for pics. Often, I only have to crop. With Firestorm, it would often be a process that might take an hour or more, fixing the lighting and colour and such.

So, long story short . . . anywhere from about an hour and a half to up to six hours or so, depending on the pic.

You definitely need to post some shots. They don't have to be perfect! I'm working through this as I go too. And you can maybe benefit, as I have, from comments and responses to them!

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22 hours ago, Eva Knoller said:

 

I too suffer from not really having a defined picture or editing style, beyond preferring realistic situations and surroundings. It takes me usually a half hour to set up and take pics and anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour plus to edit. Sometimes I leave and come back to an edit if it is not working for me at the time.  I also spend a good bit of pre-photo time seeking out picture locations as well. 

 

I have had an active SL flickr account since 2017, but all my stuff from that era was on a different account. Thankfully, I still have all my old pictures, and at some point I want to reattempt some of them for fun and mostly my amusement. One thing I detest about blogging an outfit is writing out credits because it is often very tedious work, and if I try to add some html , Flickr seems to HATE it. So even if I write it in notepad and paste it, I ultimately have to spend some time fixing it in that weird little window.

Most of my pictures take me 30 minutes tops from start to finish. I maybe take 1 or 2 shots then I am off to my editor. Most of the time I crop an image and play with the color a little bit. Sometimes I have to fix things like a clothing or hair glitch I didn't see while taking the picture. Sometimes I get a little big for britches and attempt a style I thought was cool, but with varying results.

I definitely think you have a style Eva! Your colors and editing seems very consistent across your work which I love. Not that there is anything wrong with doing it my way perse either. I am just a Virgo to my core, and I would like it be a bit more uniform in style and dimension.  For me it might be easier if I try to settle on general size for pictures right now. All my pictures are  MASSIVE, and while I love a big picture, if you  leave them too big, people end up having to click multiple times on them and  no one needs to look that close at my mesh nose hairs.

@Scylla Rhiadra I definitely need to get into using Black Dragon more. I love how materials look in Black Dragon and have heard great things about the poser.

 

Edited by Laurel Aurelia
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22 minutes ago, Laurel Aurelia said:

I definitely need to get into using Black Dragon more. I love how materials look in Black Dragon and have heard great things about the poser.

Yeah, I have a love-hate thing going with BD. It's by far the best viewer for photographs, and the poser is absolutely brilliant. But it's also a really frustrating viewer to use sometimes.

There's no question, though, that it has improved the quality of my pics, and to some degree that amount of time it takes to make them.

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The last time I went in, BD automatically noped out  (crashed) so I need to do a little research on what is going on there and familiarize myself with the controls. It honestly feels like going from a point and click camera to an actual SLR  . Tons of new shiny buttons , but lots of opportunities to turn something on/off that will either wreck or make an amazing photo.Thankfully all fixable things I just need to take the time to educate myself . Have there been any guides you found especially helpful when taking your BD pics?

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