While those of us who are members of the Second Life® community know that the real attraction and power of SL is the human connections we make with other people from all around the world, it is the creativity and imagination of the sim builders and landscapers that best translate to our friends in our first lives. Certainly, when trying to show off SL to people who know nothing about it, I head for the landscapes to give them an idea of the richness of our world.
Fanette Crystal’s pictures feel more like paintings with the addition of texture layers that add depth and history to them. They feel as though they were painted decades ago, not snapped on a computer in this century. This picture demonstrates many of the great basics of composition. You can see the rule of threes at work with the division of the landscape into thirds, water, land and sky. There’s the power leading line of the beach drawing your toward the ship. I love the quality of the light in this picture, the milky sun through the clouds. It’s simply stunning.
Here is another fabulous landscape from Fanette Crystal. The water horizon follows the rule of thirds. There are five subjects that form a strong line leading your eyes and also follow the rule of odd numbers. Texture layers again add a feeling of history and age to the work. The colors are intense and intensified by their deep saturation, likely achieved through layering. It’s a stunning work and one that I would love to see in a large print on my wall.
I love this photo from Absencen. His lighting is always magical. His pictures always feel snapped on the fly, casual glimpses of a well-lived life. More than anyone, he makes Second Life feel real and immediate with his photos.
This photo from Darla Elena Caroline Mill is adorable and tells a story. She makes effective use of the lines of the road to create depth and energy in the photo and the sunlight and shadows add more dimension and interest as well. I love the picture but I think her feet look cold.
James Schwarz cracks me up with this one and with his entire series. I love how fully he adapts the sensibility of the Real Housewives series with the subjects posed in over-dramatic amateurs acting like models poses, the tight and shiny dresses and above all else, the prim. The prim just makes me howl with laughter.
I love the casual ease of this picture from Evion Ember for Another Damn SL Blog. I love seeing blogger/stylists overcome the challenges of styling with mesh, successfully layering and mixing and matching. This is a master class in styling. The background gives us depth and a story and provides a beautiful setting for the picture. Although she looks straight ahead, her body is oriented toward the frame, keeping our focus within the frame.
This photo from Annie Galicia is another great story-telling photo. I love the long-suffering expression on the dog’s face, probably a common expression for all the dogs who double as pillows. She did such a great job positioning herself and the dog and then framing the picture with her body forming a long line that parallels the line of the rugs. There is a lot of triangular geometry at play and our eyes naturally love triangles.
Linda Reddevil puts so much life into this photo. I love the intensity that is played out on so many levels – the intensity of her pose, her facial expression, the colors, the sunlight on her face. This is one of those photos that just grab you and refuse to let go.
Neva Crystall always manages to make her photos so complete with layer upon layer of set dressing. In the foreground with have the sled and the telescope. In the middle we have the subject, the campfire and the tree and in the background the car, the kitchen and in the distance the countryside. It’s so rich in detail that there’s an element of “Where’s Waldo?” inspecting to see every detail and not miss anything. But always, there remains a discipline in composition and color so the pictures are not overwhelming or frenetic.
I love the naturalness of this picture by Ilanit Orsini for her blog, mischievoussred. I love how she seems to be looking for something. This breaks the rule that says the subject should look into the frame, but it works because looking out of the frame is the story of the photo, the search for something unseen.
This photo from Till Hapmouche for It’s Only Fashion makes stunning use of sunlight with the diagonal lines crossing the planks on the floor and framing the subject. This demonstrates ably how an incomplete snap can have more visual impact than a full body shot. We don’t see the rest of the subject, but for that reason we are drawn to the photo, imagining the rest and lingering over it.