Archive for the ‘Lights’ Category

To start taking great pictures in Second Life, there are a few simple things you can usefully use, but they are not essential – you can get by with very little if you know how.

  • Pose Stand – there are some simple inexpensive, or even free pose stands available, but you only need them if you intend to take pictures on your own land (or somewhere you can rez the pose stand).  If you intend to try to take pictures in public areas (parks, gardens etc) then you probably wont be able to use a pose stand anyway. Later in this series I will introduce you to some of pose stands available, and even advanced pose systems which enable you to pose avatars anywhere were scripts are allowed.
  • Lights – for many photographs either outdoors or indoor you don’t need artificial lights – you can use the sun or the moon to provide your lighting. Eventually some artificial lights might come in useful – I will get to them in a later post. Don’t go out and buy expensive light systems on tripods with reflectors – although they are an essential part of a real life photo studio, in Second Life lights are much simpler, and with an expensive system with reflectors etc, you wont get any better pictures, and you will use a lot of prims for nothing.
  • Camera –  There are shops in SL which will try to convince you that you need to spend a lot of L$ to get a camera and tripod to get the best pictures : let me tell you right now they are wrong. Every Avatar in SL has a pixel perfect camera every time they log in – it is the “Snapshot” button, that is all you need.
  • Post processing – Although you can take snapshots direct to your Secondlife inventory it is often better to save your image to disk and use some simple post processing on the image before uploading it back to SL. This allows you to add simple effects, borders, text etc.  I use GIMP (which is completely free to download at, and any examples I give will use GIMP, but you could easily other tools (Photoshop, or even pixlr ).

So now that you know everything you don’t need 🙂 lets look at what you do need :

  • A wander lust – a willingness to roam the grid looking for interesting places – I use the destination guide to search for places to photograph.
  • Helpful friends – people willing to wander with and sit on pose balls.
  • A good viewer – I use firestorm  normally, but I will do my best to show you how to do everything in SL Viewer 3.0 as well.

In the next post i will walk you through taking a simple photograph of an outdoor scene, what settings to use to get a good result.

Over time this series will expand to cover studio photography and a number of simple techniques in Second Life and in GIMP to make great pictures – and make those pictures zing.