The Perfect Opportunity

So, I’ve just finished building my garage photoscene earlier, it was fun, I showed it off at Show ‘n Tell and that’s it, right? Noooo! Time to watch newbie S&T (don’t ever miss’em, some of these “newcomers” really kick butt–mine any way) and there he was: Large. Ponderous. Character just oozing outta him. TigerChub Torok. Big as life and twice as fun. As fate has it, he was a perfect model for this photoscene. I just had to grab it, and then moments later, Blu Laslo, in her boots and T-Shirt popped in. What a fun combo it was! About 124 shots later (yes, I’m not kidding. Told’ja that most of my shots don’t make it) here are some of the better ones.

Some of these shots are not perfect, arms intersecting with buildigns and such, but so what! The human element was so strong that I just had to include them.

Could Blu possibly have been looking in a better direction? Makes it seem as if there were a fourth party.

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Interview with Brace Coral, founder of New Citizens Inc

Quite Oh: is teleported to Brace Coral’s home…
… and lands deep into the ocean

Quite Oh: Sploosh!

Brace Coral:  welcome to Teh Shack!

Quite Oh: Thank you. Is this TEH shack!? :)

Brace Coral:  Have a seat where ya like

Brace Coral:  Uh… the Brace Luv Shack!

Brace Coral:  lol

Quite Oh: :)

Image of Brace Coral and Quite Oh at Teh Luv Shack

Image of Brace Coral and Quite Oh at Teh Luv Shack

Quite Oh: Well thanks for taking the time, Brace. I’m doing a series of  interviews on the whole of the NCI crew on my blog, and as founding member, many of us thought it appropriate that you be the guiney-pi… er, first member interviewed.

Brace Coral:  My life is an open book! Read the rest of this entry »

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: http://www.flickr.com/groups/sl_pure_photography/

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How to create the dynamic mirror water effect

There are certain classes of people in the world. Most of us, despite how we like to think of ourselves, are common. We live our lives, ordinarily, fullfilling our personal wants and desires and keep on keeping on. Then there are those, who in a particlar area, try to push the limits. Finally, there are those who push those limits and share what they know, selflessly with the world. Zonja Capalini is one such person.

She’s a wonderful photographer, does interesting machinma and seems to be an all round nice person. And best yet, she’s actually humble. Nice combination.

So why doeth thou gusheth thusly, Quite? Because Zonja helps people learn. We all sink or rise together, when when you find an individual that is of the latter group, I think they should be noticed and in a world where negativity often overrides positivity, they should be publicly appreciated for their actions. Sunshine is free, spread it around!

I created the Second Life Pure Photography Flickr group, and joy! She signed up, and posted one of her pics. The picture itself is wonderful, but what struck was was that she freely gave instructions on how to reproduce it. That’s the step above I’m talking about. Most people I meet figure out a little technique, then hoard it and try to sell it for as much as they can while remaining secretive about it. Those are the s(t)inkers of the lot. Zonja is a swimmer.

/me stops torturing metaphors and aphorisms now.

Zonja seems to have a thing for mirrors. As SL has no native mirroring mechanism, Zonja has gone about trying to reproduce them in as many ways as is seems feasable. Check out Zonja Capalini’s tutorial on creating the Dynamic Mirror Water Effect and when you’ve taken your photos and had your fun, send her a thank you note.

Spread the sunshine, baby!

Terror!

A female cyborg is under attack from a menacing alien!

A female cyborg is under attack from a menacing alien!

Dramadramadrama. What will our heroine do?

I’ve been dying to figure out a way to add some guts and drama to our AVs. Part of the problem is that we have a face that’s as placid as a Hindu cow. We can use Yadni’s emoter HUD that makes use of the built in facial animation to combine them, but the default expressions are very cartoonish–fine for when SL first started, and given the technical limitations, I can understand it. So what to do?

Steal ideas from comic books! And by the way, for people searching for terms like “steal second life clothing”? STOP IT. Sweet Mary, when you translate the linden costs into real life costs, a full outfit might cost you one or two dollars! Get a LIFE you cheap thiefs!

Sorry, /me steps off the soap box.

So, what do we do? We find ideas in comic books where the expressions are deliberately exaggerated. This one reminds me of the 1950’s detective comic books.

Photography Tip: A trick about photographing facial expressions. What looks stupid at one angle can look perfect in another. This facial expression, for example when viewed from the front or above gives our model ginormous doe eyes. Not quite what we’re looking for, but from below one does not see the full scope of the eye, and thus we have a slightly wide-eyed fearful look that is somewhat more realistic.

SL Pure Photography Flickr Group is born!

I’ve created an open group on flickr.com for pure Second Life photography. Here is the group’s charter.

About Second Life Pure Photography

The mission of this group is to raise the bar on Second Life photography, to really push our vision, skills and technique in taking in-world photographs. It is to entice, challenge and celebrate Second Life artistic photography that is "pure", meaning that it has zero post processing beyond cropping for aspect ratio and resizing. We want to raise the bar on Second Life photography.

Inspired by the Best of the Best Second Life photography group, we will be limiting this pool to an as-of-yet undefined number of photographs of the very best, most stunning and realistic photos possible, using The Way of the Purist. Probably 1000, and each will have to compete for it’s place.

When you post an image, tell us HOW you did it. Give us the specifics of the implementation of the technique so that we can reproduce your effect. Some people may fear giving away what they consider to be a secret. Consider it otherwise: you are demonstrating your skill and originality and crediting yourself as someone who is learning and moving beyond the common screenshot. Each thing you learn, share and teach raises your status as a photographer.

While we are very impressed by the creativity and technical skill that so many here posess in using image editors to retouch images, none of these images will be accepted. These are better suited to digital art groups. Filters, effects, cloning, blurring or any other technique used to enhance a photograph that was not 100% generated in-word and taken as-is will be disqualified. It if wasn’t generated in your client, it doesn’t fly, and sadly we will disinclude it from the pool.

This group may have artful nudes, but consider that if you wouldn’t want your neighbour to show it to your 5 year old daughter, this is probably not the place for it.

FAQ to come.

I have not yet put the final details in place, but, for the moment it’s there. I look forward to seeing how people push the envelope and the challenges to my own sense of vision of skill. Let’s have fun and learn!

SL Pure Photography Flickr Group can be found here.

Photographer’s Find: Imperial Elegance Despair Poses

Hello… My name is Quite Oh, and I’m an animationaholic…

The voice of a hidden group pipe up in unison “Hello Quite!”

My story is simple. I’m a Second Life photographer, and I try to take pictures that go beyond “screenshots” to raise them to a level that can be referred to as “photography”. When I first started, I didn’t like the way my avatar walked or stood. Then someone introduced me to poses. That was the beginning of my downfall. Suddenly, I could move like a real person, and it felt good. But then as time moved on, I found that it just wasn’t enough, I needed more! The poses that were available were mostly glamour poses, modelling poses, but what I want to do is to take images that tell a story!  That’s when I started getting hard core. I started taking glamour poses and ratting and grunging up my AVs, putting them in the right environments, then started taking shots that excluded or included only parts of my avatar that came close to expressing what I wanted it to.

Today, I got another fix: I discovered that Imperial Elegance has a series of despair poses.

Despair! Oh Joy!

Imperial Elegance Despair Poses

Imperial Elegance Despaire Poses

Our facial expressions in Second Life are quite limited (Yadni’s Emoter Hud help) but lack in subtlety or nuance, that leaves us with body language. A good picture is not just a good picture because it’s “pretty” or technically correct, but because when you look at it, it triggers that inner sense of recognition and empathy. A good picture puts YOU in the picture. That’s why I was so delighted to find this series of poses. At L$50 they are definately well priced, and the whole series, consisting of 12 poses goes for L$500.  I consider this to be a good find.

The poses include three sits, one lie, 7 stands and one OMG I’m going to die collapse on the ground.

To boot, Sai Pennell, the creator and owner of the store is giving away a free animation overrider for females, which is yet another reason to visit the store. I support those who support newbies.

Yay Sai Pennell for creating emotional poses! Good Job!!! XD

Do you know of any more emotional poses? Please let me know!

A reminder of Luis Royo

Image of a female cyborg amongst the ruins of Midian City

Image of a female cyborg amongst the ruins of Midian City

This is a very Luis Royo image to me. Beauty, ugliness, apocalypse, culture. No matter how I set my graphic card’s settings, however, I just was not able to get rid of the anti-alising on her hair. That’s annoying. Not my best work, but who said that a picture has to be perfect to evoke emotion and imagination?

Oh who am I kidding? This was an excuse to experiment with Windlight, me having just acquired a video card. /End confession.