Something I hear a lot is that in order to be a good photographer in SL, you must have mad Photoshop skills. While Photoshop can definitely be used to enhance your photos, I wholly disagree that if you don’t have or don’t know how to use PS, you can’t produce great photos in SL.
My dear friend Harlow Heslop has issued a challenge- Unedited: A blogger/photographer challenge. For this challenge, you are able to use any windlight setting but may not enhance the photograph in any way. It is a fantastic way to test your photography skills and think of new ways to take photographs that don’t need to be altered. Here are a couple of my entries so far:
One thing I have learned that is really important to SL photography is angle. Some angles tend to distort your images, and no amount of editing will be able to fix that. Hold Alt while left-clicking to zoom, Ctrl+Alt+left click and drag will rotate and change angle, and hold Ctrl+Alt+ Shift to reposition your frame. I also learned from Harlow’s Tips & Tricks on Photography Composition that you can zoom in/out/return to original distance by using Ctrl+ 8,9, or 0. This allows for zooming with less distortion. I never knew!
Lighting: Use windlight. Try different settings, change time of day, and just see what happens! I never use default settings any more. If you have the capability, play with lighting and shadows. There are so many possibilities. Even if your video card does not support shadows and lighting, you can still get neat effects using different lighting techniques.
Posing: Your avatar will look different photographed from different angles, especially in different lighting conditions. Make sure that the pose you choose is flattering for your particular avatar, or helps you create the desired effect. Don’t be scared to try something new.
Background: What is behind your avatar? Does it enhance or take away from your shot? Be aware.
My last idea for capturing photos that don’t need editing: TAKE MORE THAN ONE SHOT, and never be afraid to try new things. Take a shot, change your angle, take another shot, change your lighting, take another shot… Just keep going until you get just what you were going for.
*For credits, click image. Credits are listed in the image description on Flickr.