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Khalessii

Thinking about photography.

17 posts in this topic

Hiya,

I am new to SL and have been searching for a job that I would enjoy.  Photography peeked my interest and I have looked into it a bit. I took a couple of my own pictures and touched them up a little in photoshop. one a self portrait another more of an enviroment picture.

http://imgur.com/ZVfly - now one big thing that bugs me and im quite sure im doing something wrong, is the shadows on her face. No matter of editing was making that look right at all.  I have been seeing a lot of portraits that do not have this issue at all. Their faces look pretty much flawless. Am I doing something wrong with my lighting settings? Or maybe the shadows, but right now I don't have shadows on because for some reason shadows make me lag like hell, even though I can have pretty much everything else pumped up to ultra.

http://imgur.com/9rbuS - starting to think I might be better at these types. but what I am here for really is to ask what you all think.

Also I want to know if photography is even something that will be a good paying job if a person can get good enough with it. I really do not have the first clue about how well other photographers do or how I would run a buisness of my own if it ever came down to it.  Truth is just about any job in this game makes me nervous due to the face that I am very nervous about talking with people (probably going to take me a half hour to post this even). But I would like to overcome that or I wouldnt be in a very social game trying to get a job :)

But I'd like to get a better idea of if photography might be the path for me or if I should look into something else.

 

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For the face shadows I have heard many people use a face light, an invisible prim with the light ON in the features tab, then you wear it on your nose so the face is less shadowy.

The most common thing I have seen is people using photography in stores. People take pictures and set them up in a little store as a gallery and sell them. Some try to advertise that they do custom profile pictures but I have no idea how well that works. But if you start with a little store and the photography does not go well you can change the items in the store and sell something else any time you want to.

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I agree with Freecilla. A face light would do wonders for your face. Also, you could adjust your windlight settings for the same effect. The shadows of our avatar's face are notoriously bad, which is why facelights even exist. Your second photo is lovely, actually both are. You have the talent and desire and those are two important ingredients. Photography in SL is much like art in RL, in fact, it is. There are many many photographers in both worlds. Each one eventually finds a niche or doesn't. Some photograph persons, some places, some landscapes, some for magazines, some for dramatic art, some for home decor, the many lists go on and on. So, can one succeed as a photographer? Of course, many do. As with most things, it is not always about how good you are, but how your work is received, by whom, and when. Think of the terms, starving artists, discovered, big break. As you can see, so many factors go in to becoming 'good enough.' 

Commercially, you can work for a photo studio, build up contacts and eventually branch out on your own if you want. You can even start out on your own if you prefer, just let people know you take pictures. There is so much you can do with photography and if you love it, I say go for it. 

Here are some helpful links:

Windlight Settings

http://juicybomb.com/2010/04/22/gogos-updated-windlight-tutorial/

http://strawberrysingh.com/tutorials/

Here's my flickr if you want to check out some of what I've done:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/charolottecaxton/

So, dive in! You can't ever take too many pictures :)

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Thank you both for your replies ^ ^ It has made me wish to keep looking into sl photography.  

I also knew about the face light, more like knew that it existed, since one of my shapes came with one, but being the noob I am, I did not really understand its purpose other than possible annoyance, like when I saw a woman walk by me with a face light that nearly blinded me lol a bit of an over exageration but still, it was bright.

I suppose I should of figure it would be good for photos. Lack of sleep makes me fail at putting 2 and 2 together.

Anyways, thank you again xD

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You are correct, too bright of facelights are a major source of annoyance for many. Also, depending on different computer and graphics settings, what might look ok and subtle in one person's viewer, may be bright and offensive in another's. The better facelights let you change the settings, you can keep it dim for general use or turn it up for photography lighting. Some also let you change the colors of the light which is very useful as well. You can also make your own face lights, especially for photography. You would rez a sphere, shrink it, make it be a light, choose its color and intensity, make it invisible and position it wherever you want. Combinations of these light sources can be fun and produce interesting results.

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Heya Khalessii,

your both photos are lovely! And if you like to take photos, go for it! 

And now few tips lol, go outside, somewhere near water, focus on your avatar and open your enviroment editor. Play with all sliders and try all presets. You can't break anything;) Just take many snapshots, practice.

Learn about human proportions, watch how the light reflects on real people. Learn as much as you can about light. That will help you with shadows.

Learn how to draw hands and feets.

Learn about perspective.

When I take my photos, I do it without shadows, and later I draw them (still learning lol)

Also, if you want to become a photographer and take photos of other avis for lindens, remember, every photo you make will be a custom work. Be prepared to listen carefully what a person wants to get, to ask tons of questions, and to deal with picky people. 

Make yourself a Flickr account and post your photos there. Actually post your photos on every place you can think of:)

And good luck! Let us know about your progress!

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Very nice work! You are certainly off to a good start.

Facelights can be an annoyance, but can also be very helpful with photography. If you search just a little, you can find facelights that adjust their "brightness" and are very subtle. These can be very handy, especially when shooting pictures indoors where Windlight is not as easy to use.

Learn to use windlight and make the sky your lighting tool! I could not urge you enough to vist the webiste of Strawberry Singh wich was provided in one of the previous posts. Her tutorials are very helpful.

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So I looked at some of those links, messed with my windlight settings like mad and went out and took more pictures and also made a flickr account.  Here is more: http://www.flickr.com/photos/72917055@N07/?saved=1 another self portrait is in there too. I think I worked out a lot of the shadow problems, but there is probably still room for improvement I'm sure. by the way I did not use photoshop on any of those ones.

I'm honestly thinking what I'd enjoy doing more is taking pictures of places and things rather than people. Perhaps its my social anxiety talking, but it would be nice if I could make a cozy profit off those kinds of pictures.  One did mention about setting up a shop with the pictures I take. Would that really get anywhere? I wouldnt really know where to set one up or where to really advertise.

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I allready added you on Flickr and can't wait to see more of your work! 

And about your idea to go with taking pics of places and selling them. Honestly, I am not really sure you could make a nice profit out of it. Imagine you're searching for some pic, would you go search it inworld and pay for it or would you just simple download some nice background from thousand of free sites? 

You can make amazing photos and set a shop somewhere inworld, but thats just a tiny effort, I think you need to spend too much time on advertising your place and bringing customers in. And thats only taking the time you would usually spend on doing more pics or some other things lol. Maybe try with Marketplace shop first and see how that goes? 

I'm not saying your photos are not good, they are great!, but sl is full of shops with great items, shops that are usually empty. I would not want you to pay the rent for something that will hardly pay off. But if you want, try it for a month and see. 

One idea I had, don't know if you will like it or not, but maybe you could try and make backgrounds for photographers? For example, I had one client who wanted to make a pic of him sitting at some office. But every office photo I found was not right. So I spent 2 days teleporting from place to place inworld and searching for some offices. Would be much easier if I could just buy that photo.

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Yeah I've thought about how I may not make much of a profit off my idea.  In a weeks time I'm sure I haven't even explored 1% of what sl has to offer and I already find a lot of stores have very little people in them. The most high traffic shops ive seen so far are clothing, hair or animation stores. I have looked into what it takes to do those as well and it makes me wish I had that much talent. Sure I know some of the skills it takes to do some of that stuff (I'm in a college program where I've learned photoshop, programming languages, photography, and 3D) but I do not think I'd be able to compete with some of what I've seen out there already.

Although the backgrounds idea is not a bad one either. I don't honestly know if there are any other buisnesses out there that sell backgrounds alone, but maybe if I did that it might be a big thing amongst photographers. If it makes their lives easier, I'd be willing to help.

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With Windlight, you don't truly have a need of facelights.  I have not worn a facelight since 2008 and most of the older, more established photographers in SL will tell you that it's unnecessary.  Learn how to work your Windlight.  If you need a light in your studio because you honestly cannot get the lighting right any other way, rez a prim and make it into a light.  There are tutorials on blogs and on YouTube to show you how to do this.  

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Please do not adopt face lights. They are annoying and unnecessary if you use windlight properly. There are several tutorials that cna help you. 

 

Strawberry Singh has a tutorial linking you to several WL settings you can download and install.

Here's a directory of tutorials that can help. When windlight came in 2008, that was the end of the need for face lights. Few people use them anymore and they are generally perceived as rude and impolite to wear in public. 

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Windlight eliminated the need for facelights long ago.  But windlight settings that work for landscapes may not work so well for avatar portraits. You have to find which ones work best for the situation. There are tons of windlight presets available for download if you do a google search. 

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I wouldn't recommend face lights really, they're more tacky than anything. Good windlight settings (there's even neutral settings where you get even lighting with no shadows!) would take care of any weird lighting you get in photos. Generally, setting the sun to dawn/sunset and adjusting the sun East/West angle helps a lot. The links mentioned already (strawberry singh's blog  &  gogo's blog - juicybomb) are great sources.

Luna Jubilee's blog also has really great photography tips in the Boot Camp section: http://lunajubilee.com/category/bootcamp/

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Facelights really need to die a quick death. There is nothing more ridulous than seeing someone tp into a store with their face surrounded by annoying facelilghts. They simply are not needed. As the poster above me stated, use your windlights. Learn how to tweak your SL settings to get the light you need.  

There are several fashion bloggers that have created windlight settings that work wonders for photography.

Here's one of my favorite bloggers, she has instructions on how to install more windlight settings

http://strawberrysingh.com/tutorials/windlight-settings/

 

She also provides links to other fashion blogs with even more windlight settings.

 

 

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Lol, in defense of the poor little facelights, I will say that a nice one in the right color, correctly positioned and set to dim, combined with a windlight setting, can add to and enhance an avatars look. A facelight that is half of a sphere, where only the flat surface is a light source and is pointed towards the subject, will help to remove or hide the somewhat unattractive lines of some avatars' faces. Using a face light in a dark setting can also draw attention to the avatars face and produce a soft glow effect. A light that has a color of brown works well in lighting a face without the annoying face glow so many hate.

Although... I am in total agreement that loud, bright facelights are a total annoyance and produce the opposite desired effect. The problem most persons encounter, I think, is that they do not realize how bright their facelights are in other person's settings. Because windlight is seen only in the persons viewer who set them (notable exception is parcel windlight settings, which too can be overridden) a face light that may look subtle and lovely to the wearer of the facelight may be glaringly harsh and obnoxious in another's settings.

So, for photography, whatever makes the picture produce the desired effect, use. Facelight, windlight settings, light sources, combinations of those elements or none. For just walking around shopping or whatever, dim and subtle if at all. 

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