While Furillen wasn’t specifically designed for taking pictures, photography was an important consideration when I laid things out. This was inevitable, given that this is what I like doing most on the grid.
As I said in another post, Flickr has had a major influence on visitor numbers at Furillen. But numbers aside, it has also created a special atmosphere.
It sometimes gets a little bit weird, too.
With people working hard at pictures, moving around searching for good angles and perspectives, trying out different light settings, there is usually a good vibe.
People who go around the grid taking pictures are invariably good to meet: long established in Second Life, curious, and knowledgeable. Being creative and interested in the visual side of the grid, a lot of them also have great avatars.
I also really enjoy seeing bloggers at Furillen. Although they tend to see the sim mainly as a backdrop for whichever clothes or accessories they want to feature, they are always welcome.
The stuff they do is often fun, too.
Flickr in Second Life is quite a social space, many of the active people know each other, take pictures of each other, comment on each other’s work and attend each other’s exhibitions. A bit like any real life art scene, I guess.
The photography competition was intended to tap into all of this, and I think it has worked. Some awesome pictures have been submitted to the competition group: well over 100 pictures since 1 January 2016.
Entries close today, voting on the first round takes place over the weekend, and the winner will be announced on Sunday. The winning picture will be on show at the sim, while its creator gets to choose the next theme – the next round will begin immediately and runs for a further two weeks.
I won’t be voting myself, but will post some of my personal favourites from this round – all on the theme of ‘solitude’ – in the Picture of the Day slot next week.
Meanwhile, to all who submitted pictures – thank you and good luck.
“North Harvor 2”
by miu miu miu
All Second Life photographers have a thing about light, it transforms what you capture in a more dramatic way than is generally possible in real life photography. For sim designers, too, light matters to how they conceive a build, which ground textures they use, the general atmosphere they want to create.
When I visit a sim the first thing I do is check the light settings the sim builder has used. It enables me to see a place through their eyes. I might then revert to my own settings to take pictures, but sometimes I stick to the intended settings because they were well thought out and work well.
Two of the best and most reliable SL photographers who specialize in landscape and sim photography and whose work I closely follow – Ziki Questi and Loverdag – make a point of using the intended light settings. As Loverdag explains, it shows off the sim in its ‘correct’ light – and she is especially meticulous in explaining how her pictures have been processed.
Some of the most interesting and original light settings at Second Life sims have been created by Bryn Oh, whose The Gathering provides the latest evidence that she is a truly innovative and original artist who – alongside Cica Ghost – has taken the business of sim design to an entirely new level.
Until recently I was using a variant of one of Bryn’s past windlight settings – Immersiva Grey Dust – at Furillen. Initially I fixed the time of day, but then I created a day cycle of 20 stops. Each cycle lasts 6 hours, and represents a 24 hour period in the real world.
The result was wonderfully moody and dynamic.
But there were drawbacks too. If you happened to visit the sim at one of the darker moments it could be off-putting. And the clouds were fast moving – a feature of the day cycle in Second Life which seems impossible to fix. It adds drama, but also lag. And it can be less than relaxing.
Partly with these issues in mind, I switched to a different light setting this week. With January upon us and the days in the real world beginning the lengthen again, I have opted for a blue-ish light, which has an early morning sun casting a faint, white glimmer on the sea.
As usual, I have been asking for feedback from visitors, whether positive or negative. Once I have a better sense of this, I will think about turning this setting into a day cycle.
Until then, it’s always dawn at Furillen.
“The trees at Furillen”
“Cold landscapes 5”
by Bridget G.
“Fuyuko 15-12-17 008 Through the window (furillen, love of life)”