Since I joined SL in 2009, (my AVI is not as new as the Rez Date might suggest), I have tried my hand at many things to help make my experience better and enjoy every minute I spend in this virtual world... This is what I have discovered.
From Role Play to being a DJ, as well as trying my hand at clothes designing, being a model and a doctor (helping families to give birth to the new generation of SL Interactive babies), I have indeed tried many things. Of all the employment types I have tried what I found I enjoyed the most was, and still is, photography. It has become my first love. I'll be honest that I am pretty sure I missed my calling in RL in the field of photography; but here in SL, like so many of us, I can be who I want to be. So I have and (so I am told) do produce some amazing pictures. I have had my own photography business, working with well-known creators to create striking images to use in their stores and on the Marketplace, I have been the photographer for quite a number of SL weddings and helped to celebrate, through pictures, many events and special celebrations.
Now, don't get me wrong, I am not the world’s best and I am always learning new techniques, but it is something I enjoy and the added bonus for me is that I find it helps to relax me. Personally, I have never been very creative or expressive. But with all the technology at my fingertips; from tools in the viewer I use and, of course, software like Photoshop, as well as many online tools, I have managed to unlock a whole new side of me.
They say a picture paints a thousand words and I think, in SL, that’s especially true. Memories, and the photos that go alongside them, last a lifetime. Of course, in SL terms, a lifetime is much shorter than that of the real world. But the images, whether you go for the professional look or just take a snapshot of the moment, can allow a scene to unfold time and time again.
Over the last 10 years as Linden Labs and 3rd party viewers have advanced in technology, so have the picture tools. Simply changing how the sky or sea looks, adding different lights and shadows or dictating your focal point can make the most simple picture look great. If you have a creative mind, and can find that award winning angle to take a picture from, then the world, as they say, is your oyster. Of course if you’re not familiar with all these tools, they can look pretty daunting. But the best way is to explore the options and see what you get. Some of the contrasts can take your breath away, others will make you crease up with laughter. And, if you’re a fan of YouTube, there are plenty of video tutorials.
Personally for post-picture processing (ppp), you can’t beat Photoshop. Also if you’re after a freebie product on the internet try PicMonkey. If you have even the basic knowledge of ppp, again YouTube is your friend here, you can alter and clear up imperfections to make even the dullest picture look special or give that almost perfect picture the most stunning finishing touches.
If you think you can’t create amazing images, think again. Second life is there to enjoy and have fun. There are some really amazing Sims out there; created not only to look beautiful, but to make amazing back-drops to your pictures. If you search Marketplace, or look at various companies via the SL search, you can, indeed, find some bargain poses at some amazing prices to help create that brilliant image.
So pick up your camera, get out there and explore. Above all else, create fun memories you can share with everyone, even if they weren't there!