Saturday, 3 January 2015

096: Walking around Scribbled Hearts

Quite by accident I saw a few photographs of Scribbled Hearts, a sim that it seems was created and is maintained for the benefit of photographers. Well, I thought I'd have a look and fire off a few shots ... since it was a winter sim, and seemed quite starkly monochromatic with a few dots of natural orange and yellow colours, I had an old orange D&G puffy from a few
seasons ago that I wanted to show off in a fashion-shoot kind of way. So I put together an outfit and jumped in for a few minutes, expecting to get maybe a handful of shots for a blog post. You know how this story goes. I was there for two hours, brought in my boyfriend Alex Thaub to take a few couples shots (well, hell, he is a handsome beast, isn't he? LOL) and a good time was had by all.
And I feel like a much better photographer at the end of the process!
     I think one of the most extraordinary things about this sim is that it seems designed for simple, everyday photographers like myself, who don't use Photoshop or fancy poses, or know much at all about Windlight. Ordinarily in other locations it seems like I work for many, many minutes to get the right
shot, trying to get the right combination of spontaneity and composition and lighting and location. As I said to Alex yesterday, "OMG, you just sat in that chair and the photograph is composed." I didn't have to do anything to tinker with what already looked like a great picture. And the whole sim is like that -- crying out for photographers and models to just go wander around.
     So if one of your new year's resolutions is to become a better photographer, check out Scribbled Hearts (SLURL is here). It's definitely a pleasure to have such beautiful backgrounds to work with that it makes you a better photographer!

     As an aside, I wanted to talk a little bit about my philosophy of taking Second
Life pictures -- which has been evolving lately as I do more and more of it, and enjoy my efforts more as I learn better how to do it.
     When I started this blog, I decided that I was going to show people the same kind of photographs that they take themselves -- or, rather, snapshots. My inspiration for the blog was about a year ago, when I found a box of old Andy 
Warhol's Interview magazine issues from the 80s at a garage sale. I was fascinated by Warhol's philosophy of interviewing, which for me boils down to (1) print exactly what people say, word for word; (2) take a lot of Polaroids and hope for happy accidents; (3) keep it spontaneous and real.
     In Second Life terms, what I've been working at is trying to make my
photography relatable to the viewer because it's really the same kind of snapshot you take to amuse yourself or document events and parties and outfits. I don't bugger around with Windlight, for the most part, or even change the sun position; I try not to use poses. Most of these photographs are action shots, done by putting my av in place and then waiting until the natural movements of
my AO produced something model-like. Any poses I use are built into the things I find in my locations.
     So believe me, folks, you can take pictures like this yourself. There's nothing fancy going on; I don't even use the advanced camera controls. Certainly I envy more skilled photographers with folders filled with poses to use, and who are smart enough to figure out
Photoshop; there's some extraordinary photographic work going on in Second Life and I learn from it when I see it. But my ambition is to bring you the same kinds of pictures you would have taken yourself, if you'd been there -- maybe just a little bit better, as I learn what works and what doesn't. Over the next year my ambition is to improve my photographic skills, especially
composition, but you won't find me getting all "fancy pants". I take snapshots and I'm proud of it!

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