Windlight Settings Meme: I’ll Know It When I See It

StrawberrySinghHeadshot + LumiPro Lee Filter Catalog Bright Rose 0.4
StrawberrySinghHeadshot + LumiPro Lee Filter Catalog Bright Rose 0.4

I kind of giggled when I read the questions that accompany Berry’s meme challenge this week. Most of them can be answered with “I don’t know.” I’ve mentioned in the past that I don’t save the metadata for my photos, so knowing which Windlight setting I use is kind of a mystery…even to me. I will do my best, though, to answer the questions with more than just, “Why are you asking me?”

I, like Berry, have done very little editing of my photos, other than cleaning up the edges a bit. I haven’t made any adjustments to the lighting or shadows at all. WYSIWYG with these pics (which is a far cry from what you usually see here!).

Here’s what we were asked to do:

Meme instructions: Answer the following questions about windlight settings and share some that you’ve created yourself. Don’t forget to leave a link to your post in this meme’s comments.

1. Do you use windlight while taking pictures? If not, why not? I can answer this one – Yes! I am obsessed with it. Thankfully, in the Firestorm viewer I can easily access their extensive collection directly from the Quick Preferences so it’s as easy as scrolling through them.

2. When taking a closeup snapshot for a profile picture, which windlight preset do you use most often? Sighs. Here we go. “I don’t have a clue.” OK, I can tell you which groups of settings I tend to use, but I normally get my angle set and then do several shots using various Windlight settings. I use the Luna Jubilee, and Strawberry Singh presets that I stole downloaded from Berry’s tutorial page, but I also use the group of Places presets loaded into Firestorm. Some of my favourites are Places Greed, Places Greed 2, Places Old New York, Places Paris and Places Paris 2.

3. Which windlight presets do you use for full body portraits? “Am I really supposed to know this???” OK, I use the ones above, expanding the choices from the Places group, depending on the subject, location and mood I want to portray. I like Places Sand, Places Pathfinder and Places Abracadabra (there are three of these). If I want a really cool shot, I sneak into the Phototools section and try out the Hufflepuff, Owlery Light or Puppy Light settings.

4. If you do landscape photography, which windlights do you use for that most often? *Looks around blankly* Landscape photography is not my strength and I really don’t do it that often. However, I have been working on it a bit more lately, largely thanks to last week’s meme. I use the same method with landscape photography that I do with portraits – find the angle then scroll through the Windlight settings until I find something I like. I start with the Places group then expand from there. The Places series were created by Chic Aeon and I’m eternally grateful to her for these settings AND that they have been pre-loaded into Firestorm! And I occasionally venture into Torley Linden’s settings, as well.

5. Do you have any tricks or tips that you could share for using Windlight effectively? Actually, yes! This is my “cheat”. I have been using the LumiPro HUD for all of my portrait work – whether it is myself or a client. This works especially well with body shots, but I will make adjustments for closeups if, for instance, I like the overall shadows but the face or body is a bit too dark. I use this system in place of static studio lights because the lights move with the model. If you have ever gotten lighting just right, then changed the pose and had to start all over again, you’ll understand why this feature is so important – and a massive time-saver. And with the upcoming changes to the system, you will have even more lighting choices (I did a full review on the beta version I am helping test for Stefan by clicking this link.) Here is an example of how using the LumiPro can help you adjust your lighting without having to go into the Environment Editor (which is no-man’s land for me).

As you can see if you hover over each photo, I have used StrawberrySinghHeadshot as my base Windlight setting. But by adjusting the intensity of the LumiPro Lee Filter Catalog Bright Rose from 0.1 to 0.5, I instantly have variations in the lighting (I chose 0.4 for my lead photo since I hadn’t planned on any post-processing for publication). Seriously, if you struggle with the Environment Editor like I do, this is the best tool ever for portrait photography! You can check out my blog post for more details on how to test it and buy it, or pop over to the LumiPro blog or check out the LumiPro Flickr group for photos uploaded by LumiPro users.

(While the particular filter I am using in these photos are not available in the current version of LumiPro, the new release is expected in about a week and you will receive the update automatically upon wearing the HUD if you purchase it now. And no, this is not a paid endorsement – I just really, really LOVE this product!)

6. Have you created any windlights that you would be willing to share with us? Another question I can answer! lol Um…no. I have played with the editor a bit in the past, but as you can probably judge from my previous answers, I avoid that sucker like rezzing a no-copy item on rolling restart day!

I’m going to step outside the boundaries of the meme and ask my own question!

7. What Windlight setting do you use for generally bopping around Second Life? If I’m not shooting photos, I drop my settings from Ultra to High and use the CalWL setting. I like the brighter setting for shopping, working in the club, getting dressed or just puttering around. If I go to explore a sim I am unfamiliar with I will change to the sim default lighting, but it is not unheard of for me to turn on ALM and scroll through my settings to find something more to my liking. I may not know much, but I do know what I like…even if it sometimes takes me a while to figure it out 😉

Gah! I forgot the credits!

Pretty stuff I’m wearing:

Top: Immerse – Spring Top – SunShine by Lilly Juno
Jewelry: EarthStones Maxine Necklace & Earrings – Larimar by Abraxxa Anatine
Hair: *ARGRACE* Lily A – Red by rika Oyen
Eyes: Amacci Gaze Eyes – Ocean Blue by Carina Larsen
Skin: [PXL] Creations [PXL] JADE SK WineLight Lips MEB C2 by Hart
Lips: [PXL] Creations – [PXL] JADE LipGloss #1 by Hart Larsson

Pose: //elephante poses// EP – Part Of Me set by MelissaJeanne Flores

Beta Testing LumiPro With Color Picker

LumiPro Beta HUD
LumiPro Beta HUD

I have been a huge fan of the LumiPro HUD since I first trialed it several months ago. It is “a serious photography tool for working in virtual worlds” and has made a huge difference to me in terms of the quality of my photographs, whether I am shooting for a client or myself. The capability is amazing – I’m not going to do a tutorial on this system – creator Stefan Buscaylet (a RL and SL photographer) has done those himself in the LumiPro blog. The post I have linked to has a video on the basics of using LumiPro, but there is a full range of videos in the sidebar to the right that go into more depth on the various capabilities of the system. There is also an extensive user manual that I recommend you read.

And yes, it is a photography system. The HUD, which is worn by the photographer, controls lighting through wearable lights and wearable OR rezzable projectors, posing, incremental eye positioning and the ability to save lighting presets and search through your loaded poses. It even allows you assign gender to your poses so you can create sets within a single HUD. The system is copy, so you can create separate HUDs for different poses and you can back them up so they are safe. And since the lights and projectors are wearable, you can use this system on location with not just yourself as a subject, but up to four models/clients, as well. No rez rights required! I’ll go into the exciting new update Stefan is working on after the cut.

Click to read the rest of the review