Second Life Pure Photography Flickr group FAQ

Please note that this FAQ is a work in progress. Time is limited and I’m doing my best to keep on top of SL and RL. Thanks for your patience. I invite your questions and potential answers to help me complete this.

Q: What is the Second Life Pure Photography group about?

This group is about celebrating pure, unretouched Second Life snapshots and sharing the technique for how something was created. It’s about learning, sharing and pushing our limits and the limits of the technologies surrounding second life. You can find the Second Life Pure Photography Flickr group here:

Q: Who can join?

Anyone who enjoys SL photography, has a desire to learn, share and is willing to put in the work of creating a good post that will allow people to reproduce how they have achieved a particular image.

Q: What kind of images will be accepted?

Any image that is out of the ordinary. While we appreciate your snaps of your favourite avatar sitting on the beach, the ones that really interest us are those that have a greater level of technical and artistic merit. If you think your image has this, post it, but a requirement is that you post the details of this photograph. If you cannot express technically what makes this image superior to the average snap shot, then consider finding an alternative way of treating your subject.

Additionally, while some tasteful nudes may be accepted, we would place a special emphasis on the word “tasteful”. Consider that if you would not want a strange man showing this image to your 6 year old child, it’s probably best kept for a group that specializes in such things.

Q: Can I take of picture of a texture that I’ve created and uploaded in world?

You may, if it is part of your image. An example would be that you have created custom textures for a build, and the build is part of your image. On your build’s texture, I see no limits. Please remember though that this is not a work around for taking a good photograph. Photoshopping an image, rezzing it on a prim frame and taking a picture of that frame in-word would not count.

Q: What kind of images will NOT be accepted?

Any image that has had ANY post-processing other than cropping for ratio, resizing, rotating, slight simple monochromatic framing, and subtle signing. That means that colour changes, blurs, filters, non-native shadows, ANYTHING that you’ve added with your favourite image editor that was not originally part of what your client was viewing when you took the image disqualifies the image. Remember: you will be describing in detail how the image was achieved, and if none of the members a can reproduce it, it might be removed from the stream.

Additionally, this is the one core rule of the group: pure SL photography. We hope that we never run into the situation, but if we can reasonably ascertain that the image was retouched, it will be removed from the stream.

Q: Can I touch up that odd joint, just to make it look a bit better?


Q: Can I just play with the levels, just to bring the highlights up, just a touch?


Q: Can I sharpen or blur to give the image just a bit more depth?


Q: Can I clone or–

Was it originally as you saw it on the client? Then no!

Q: Touchy aren’t we?

Too much coffee. Sorry.

Q: How come my image was removed? I think you are mean, heartless, have no taste and are an all around meanie!

I understand, and you should never take it personally. Consider it as creative feedback–essential to all of our learning curves. Most of of us take hundreds of snapshots to get that occasional rare gem. Also, I think it’s better to get turned down for aa few middle-of-the-road images, but get credit for that one outstanding piece.

There are many groups on Flickr that post rules and regs and being pure, but then let things slide, so they never really get the chance to get the real cream of the crop, those who work hard at their pics, those who challenge themselves to push the limites. Keep submitting, one day you’ll find that technique, or vision that will make people’s jaw drop, and we look forward to that. And when you do, the bragging rights are all yours!

Q: Well, then what specifically are your criteria? How do I know whether my image cuts the mustard?

Now this is an excellent (and difficult) question! There are three kind of criteria: 1) Technical 2) Artistic and 3) Subject matter. Please note that I am currently putting together a list of more or less measurable criteria, and your feedback or pointers to such reasonable lists are appreciated.

1) Technical issues deal with composition, lighting, perspective and such. They also deal with, well, technique. Have you created something absolutely new and unseen in SL photograpy? Have to done something in a way that completely changes the way that we look at using a technique?

2) Artistic issues are more difficult to define, but there is an overall aesthetic component.

3) Subject matter differenciates itself by its novelty, or original perspective. An example would be a scene where emotion is palpably transmitted, that strikes you at first glance.

I will make the final determination myself. In the end, the very hardest part will be for me to turn people down. I know it’s hard on the ego to have an image turned down. Mine are turned down very frequently (does *always* count as “frequently”?). But if were are to choose among the very best of the best Second Life photographs, it does no on honour to belong to a group where that standards are low.

As of 2008-08-27, most photographs of better than most quality are being accepted, but once we’ve hit a certain limit (as of this date, undertermined) we will be replacing photos, and the competition for the best will begin.

1 Comment

  1. Fran said,

    March 17, 2009 at 7:39 pm

    Hi, I’m really interested in this idea. I’m just not quite sure how I stand regarding copyright. If I take a snapshot of my avatar, etc. in a public building created by a SL user, am I free to post that on Flickr, etc.? In other words, do they have any copyright over a picture of their creation (the enviroment) being reproduced? Thanks.

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