Last week I asked for suggestions and thanks to readers, I had some new blogs to explore. I want to encourage you (Yes, you!) to let me know about bloggers and photographers that you like. It’s hard for every fish to get noticed in the ocean of Second Life® and new fish that haven’t been around long enough to be on a feed really depend on word of mouth to get attention. Someone who has been noticed by lots of people is the posemaker Del May. Del May poses are known for having a strong point of view. They are emotionally evocative and can take you from heart-piercing tender moments to the agony of someone in extremis. The thing is, Del May shoots the most amazing photos for the vendor pictures. Her photos would have pride of place in any gallery in First or Second Life.
This is Flourish, a photo demonstrating a couple’s pose at the Del May store. It takes my breath away, but then so do the many other photos in Del May’s Flickr stream. I don’t know which comes first. Does she come up with an idea for a photo and then make the poses needed for the photo or does she make the poses and then figure out a way to photograph them as great art? One way or another, her pose-making and her photography combine into stunning artistry that enriches anyone who sees it.
I love this photo from Callia Pearl for her Callia Chu LookBook. She is a genius at cropping pictures to give us unique angles and views. She forces us to fill in the pictures, to complete the story. This one really drew my attention because it’s such an elegant example of highlighting shoes which are most often shown with a serviceable catalog-style close-up without any attempt for artistry. That’s not bad, I do that, too, but it is wonderful when someone takes an extraordinary approach like this. The way she used shadows to add visual interest and depth is pure genius. One of my complaints about shadows is that often they add nothing to the photos, but in this care, the shadows make the picture.
I like this picture from Randi Lenroy of the inaccurately named Daily Roo. I think she’s on summer vacation and is more of a monthly Roo at the moment. The styling of the outfit fits the setting so perfectly and the picture has the kind of grim moodiness that she wants to convey while still highlighting the clothes. The picture makes me want to log in right now and check out that sim. I hope that she regains her blogging inspiration and gets closer to being a Daily Roo again.
I defy anyone to read Catherine Fairport’s blog and not smile at how perfectly she matches her photos with quotations, such as this one with its “Good things come to those who bait.” I love the angle on this picture and the subdued coloring. The composition is rich with movement, the blades of grass draw our eyes, the pose is dynamic and her look out of the frame suggests there is someone else just out of the frame that she’s looking at. The fish add a surreal element that I love. I suggest looking back through her blog, besides many fabulous photos including one of a frog and one through a window that I also wanted to include, you will enjoy the shimmering wit that guides her choice of quotations.
I love the humor in this picture from Mokatana Boa for her blog Moka’s Way. The poses she chose project attitude, the kind of ready-for-anything attitude that she needs to pack up and head for the big city to seek her career in music. She’s got her cigarette and her hat and her attitude and she wants you to know she’s tough, she can take it and she can fake it until she makes it. But the genius in this is the little details that reveal that she’s tough on the outside, but not on the inside. The nostalgia of the old pink and white suitcase, the naive tenderness of the owl necklace and the old favorite shirt. I love pictures that give us the ingredients for an entire story as this one does.
Ambre Carami’s photos are strong and bold and this triptych from her most recent Tumblr post is a perfect example of her style. In this triptych she gives you everything you need to see the quality of the outfit but flirts with you by showing bits and pieces. She chooses perfect little slices to show what she wants to show. I love that she uses different angles for the panels so you get a fuller impression of the outfit and much more to interest your eyes and draw you in. The eyes look directly at the viewer or into the frame. This is a new blog and I hope it continues for a long time.
This picture, along with the others in Yannick’s Sands post on Hogwarts for French Fucking Fashion is a fabulous example of thoughtful composition. He used depth of field to focus on the avatar whose clothes are being highlighted while keeping the other avatar in the picture. I love the kinetic energy in the photo. The pose and the angle add a sense of movement. The angle adds to the geometric elements draw your eyes up toward the second figure and her angle and her eyes bounce you back to the main figure. It’s beautifully done. The blog is in French, but an English translation is provided beneath each paragraph of text.
I love this picture from Steffy Ghost of Pratukessaibas. It’s a whimsical, fun composition. I like the angle, shot from above, for the balloon’s eye view, so to speak, but with a pose that has her looking straight up into your eyes. Her face is right in the sweet spot in terms of composing using the Golden Ratio and the balloons make a wonderful frame.
I love this duotone photo from Galliano Boucher for his blog. He was advantaged by using the Tableau Vivant Platinum skin that let him control the colors in the clothing and keep everything grayscale instead of doing it in photoshop, but I think it’s even more brilliant to style a duotone than to achieve it through photoshop. In addition to the brilliant styling, I like that he make the background simple – because the fabric has so much detail. He poses just off center and looking into the frame which is an ideal placement for the subject and the pose makes him look contemplative and thoughtful – giving us something to build a story.
I love this picture from Tact Arida for his blog, Tact. Thanks to the recent release of the brilliant new Editorial Hair from Lelutka, we are seeing lot of windswept poses on the feeds and many of them are fun and great to see. A lot of them, though, require us not to notice that while the wind blows the hair madly about, it leaves the trees, flowers and grass alone. Tact Arida, by stripping the setting of all that wind-resistant foliage lets us enjoy the wind without wondering about its magical physical properties. Of course, the photo has all the hallmarks of Tact Arida’s work, innovative and fun styling, strong, yet simple composition and obsessive attention to the details that create a persona and a mood in each picture.
I like this picture from Liane Boomhauer for We Are Bad Influences. I like the background with its strong horizontal thirds of leaves, sky and shrubbery that echo the colors in the beautifully styled outfit. I like the desaturated colors that match the dreamy mood of her pose with closed eyes. This and the others in the post are beautiful compositions that show how powerful restraint can be.
I love the sweet romanticism of this picture from Effigy Krasopani of Lady Picture Show. The lighting is so beautiful and warm as though from a candle on a table beneath the window. The picture sets a mood and tells us a little story about being snug and warm on a cold, wintry night. There’s something pensive about her look, as though she is listening carefully, hoping to hear the welcome sound of her love coming safely home on the treacherous roads.
This picture from Laverne Unit for her blog The Laverne Unit is a study in geometry. She places herself in the center which can make a picture static, but counterbalances that with the geometric drama of the background. Our eyes look for geometric shapes and most particularly for triangles and diagonal lines. This picture gives us a triangle at the top and bottom from the angles of the floor and ceiling. Besides the obvious shape of the circles on the wall, our eyes form patterns with them leading diagonally toward the center where the subject is standing. To add to the power of geometry at work, there is her pose forming a strong triangle with her legs and the the more subtle but very effective triangle of red – the pockets and the streak in her hair. Whether planned or instinctive, this picture makes full use of our pattern-making biological compulsion to the fullest.
I love this picture from Gidge Uriza for It’s Only Fashion. I love chiaroscuro photographs and opting to do the photo in black and white really emphasizes the bright light and the deepest shadow. The face is positioned beautifully and the details fade away from the sharply focused center. I always hesitate to include photos from my personal blog – even though they are done by my blogging partners. However, it would be unfair to them if I can’t include their pictures when I like them as much as this.