Posts Tagged ‘second life photography’

This is a current list of my top ten Second Life places to take pictures. Slurls are attached to the names of each place. Each description also contains a link to a picture I have taken of it previously on my own stream, feel free to click through to get a feel for the place. Also consider dropping in donations to the tip boxes on site, or to the land owners directly, to keep these places alive 🙂

Here they are, in no particular order:

(1) Chakryn Forest: Any list without this place would be incomplete. One of the most popular places on this list too (the popularity was no doubt boosted when Torley Linden decided to use it in a recent tutorial.) It is an amazing forest, with little (and big) wonders hidden all over the place – you should be prepared to wander around to find the best it has to offer. There are existing pose-balls but you can also rez whatever you might need there for your shot, so make the most of it. Suits tranquil or magical shots in particular. I’ve written a  previous post specifically about this place as well.

(2) Zero Style: One of those places that almost any lighting and angle will create amazing and memorable pictures. It has more than one attraction on site but the one you’ll come across most often in others’ pictures is the house in the field. Thankfully it’s not too popular just yet and even when people are hanging about you can usually avoid them appearing in your shot due to the long grasses. This is the one other place on the list that I’ve also done a previous post about.

(3) The Far Away: One of the most well-known picture locations of Second Life – seen people on a train-top, or standing in an endless field of wheat? That’s this place. Even my current header picture of this blog is shot there. This place is hardly ever empty, expect to have to come back a few times before you’ll get the chance to shoot yourself on the train (right click sit on the train will put you in the train-top pose). There are other special options here though too – the flying through the wind-mill (pose ball in its lower ruts), and the desk set-up off to the side with the flapping plastic bag caught in the barbed wire. Even though your background is provided for you here, lighting will still very greatly effect the end image, so remember to experiment.

(4) The Nameless Isle: Beautiful eerie place, with the generous option of being able to rez on site. To get the most out of this place you’ll need to fly to the base circling the island, look for the glow and have a good wander around the coves and whirlpool areas. Quite a magical place that will effect your mood. Dark and beautiful. I often find there’s people in the way of the shots I want to take here though due to its popularity, so take your patience with you 🙂

(5) Silvanus Forest: Sister forest to Chakryn forest. Lesser known and used (in my experience of going to both), but still quite popular. Particularly noteworthy for a giant statue of a “knight”, and an amazing waterfall area with a very special tree beside it. Explore around that waterfall area to find the hidden cavern which is also lovely. Quite good for fantasy-style shots. Overall has a similar feel and beauty to it as Chakryn does. Ability to rez here too.

(6) Templum Ex Obscurum: Be prepared to investigate little nooks and crannies to get the most out of this place. You’ll need to get into the heart of the underground temple to get the best shots. Lovely use of light, and a sense of fantasy and forgotten places. Explore the rest of the island to find other good potential shots too – like the light-bushes, and well placed trees on cliff edges.

(7) Rez: Another place you’ve no doubt seen pictures of: The train tracks that run through water, the broken bridge, and the ruined house (also sunk in water). My recent experiences here have been unfortunate ones – of people leaving behind items that griefed me, and an oddly increasing number of men going there to pick women up, which manages to ruin the special tranquil and lost feel of the place. Even as I write this from the location someone is begging me to give them lindens to buy something, and won’t leave me alone even when I said no (ending in a tirade of verbal abuse in IM after I left the sim, great). Besides that growing down-side though, still worth a visit. The picture for Rez is attached to this post, but here’s a link to the original location on my stream too.

(8) Error: One of my new favourite places. Good for dead / deserted shots. Beautiful islands even from a distance. Lovely locations across the sim, including bridges and piers. The owner is often on site and is very friendly, so remember to thank him for his amazing creation!

(9) Kowloon: Fantastic for street and city shots. Lots of good alley-ways and roof top locations. Dark, dirty, real. Have a good scout around to make the most of it, but be mindful of the fact that some people live on the sim too – I’ve received the “private residence” warning unexpectedly more than once in my wanders.

(10) Lost World: Beautiful location with many worthy backdrops. In the eerie / fantasy / magical category. Made up of well laid-out forest, water-ways, and interesting buildings and ruins. The location name says it all.

Please feel free to let me know what you thought of these locations – the good things, and perhaps the problematic aspects too. I’d love to see links to any pictures you take as well 🙂

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Zero StyleEvery so often you come across a location in Second Life that looks stunning in almost every sky setting, and where each subtle change of angle and focus seems to tell a different story. Zero Style is one of those places. I think it’s one of those special locations – like The Far Away – that every Second Life photographer should visit at some point. I’m so glad I made the time to check it out, you will be too 🙂

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One of the old unused pictures I processed today

One of the old unused pictures I processed today

Every Second Life photo shoot I do ends up consisting of around 10 to 50 shots. I normally choose to process only one of those shots for public viewing. The rest sit in my picture folder until I am ready to dump them. I dump them when the picture I chose to process has fulfilled its role – such as the client has accepted the picture as what they required.

More often than not I desperately want to process more than one of the shots; I change the sky and sea settings and angles constantly during the shoot, so the range is wide enough that the pictures can come out very differently. There are two main reasons I don’t process more than one: (1) I like the picture to stand out on my Flickr stream, if there are two similar ones they both lose impact, and (2) it is very time consuming to get a picture to the level that I am happy with. I used to find it frustrating that it took me so long to work on such tiny details, and used to look for a quicker fix, but now I see it as part of my own style and accept that this is the way I do my pictures.

Today I found some time to dig back through my “waiting to be dumped” group of pictures, and worked on bringing out in them something unique or improved – something to distinguish them from the original picture that was published for that shoot. The top three pictures of my stream right now are all in this category, and in the description of each picture I have provided a link to the original shot I produced.

Not only is it satisfying to go back and do what I wanted to do those weeks or months ago, it also brings back memories from the shoots themselves: The people who were present, how long the shoot took, the difficulties, the emotions, the jokes, etc. All my pictures carry some memory for me, it is rare that I explain the full motivation, intent and meaning behind my pictures. But today I realised something new: That processing an old shot resurrects variations of those memories, separate from those encapsulated in the original published picture.

Doing my Second Life photography has been a constantly evolving learning process: I learn new techniques, and I learn new things about my subject matter, and especially about myself. This is just the latest in a long list of ongoing unexpected lessons.

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