Self Portrait · Technique

And The Sunlight Plays In the Shadows

Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance.
~ Carl Sandburg

Shadows. The play of darkness on light. It gives a realism to Second Life photography that isn’t always – or easily – captured.

Because I work in a two-dimensional medium (a game or graphic representation of life), shadows are created artificially. Sometimes they are a texture that is added to a building or a setting. In other cases, they are created by the Windlight settings we select. For those unfamiliar with Second Life (or even those who are, but live in the standard Second Life day/night cycle), Windlight is the ability to create lighting and atmosphere settings. You can change the sky, the position of the sun, the clouds, and even the water. This is not a tutorial on how to create or even use Windlight; but it is a tool that allows the inhabitants of Second Life to create a mood for a particular setting.

When I am doing a photo shoot, I will cycle through a variety of Windlight settings, often taking multiple shots of the same pose, in the same position, just to derive a different quality in the picture. Sometimes they work; sometimes they don’t. As any photographer knows, often what you envision in your mind’s eye doesn’t translate to the image that is produced.

This photo is one that I took utilising the artificial shadows incorporated into the build. The play of the light and dark gives this shot a different feel than if it was taken without the shadows.

1 Southwest1_0011

And this photo, using the same pose but adding a Windlight setting that incorporates shadows, gives the image more realism (well, except for the duck on my shoulder 😉 )

1 1Southwest1_0101a

And the sun comes out, with lightness balancing the dark, to play hide and seek with shadows.

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