Sunday, December 16, 2007

Photography in virtual worlds: More production elements than Real Life shoots

The work of photographers Arahan Claveau and Luna Zolnir - two gifted Not Possible IRL Flickrites - has been featured recently in Hamlet Au's New World Notes, the online zine that serves as a main artery and chronicle of just about every aspect of Second Life.

This has caused me to reflect on the additional complexities behind the creation of great photography in virtual worlds. While the best pics in real life also involve studio work or location scouting, model and prop selection, art direction, styling, and post production, other factors come into play when that shot is taken in a virtual environment.

Luna Zolnir is making her own animations, for instance. Another NPIRL Flickrite, ColeMarie Soleil, often uses particles, thereby introducing the special effects within the environment that is being photographed. Arahan Claveau is a pioneer in creating narrative photography in the metaverse, that doesn't depend on text or other aids to relate a story. He also brings several special effects inworld. All are now working within the Windlight First Look viewer whenever possible and appropriate, which enables them to specify the time of day, as well as some weather visuals.

In fact, since creating the Not Possible in Real Life Flickr groups: Not Possible in Real Life - Content Creation, Avatars - Not Possible in Real Life, and Situations Not Possible in Real Life, I've had the good fortune to discover several really exceptional photographers. One such artist is Stephen Venkman. His work has already graced the pages of this blog, and I have taken to actively tracking his creations. Yesterday, I happened upon this photograph and have been going back to look at it again and again. I believe Magritte himself would have enjoyed it.

"Floating with nothing but..." by S-Venkman © All rights reserved

I asked Stephen what was involved in producing this work.

Stephen Venkman: I had taken a bunch of shots while in a suspended animation of sorts (within a build called) "The Afterlife" (by NPIRLer Toran Cult)...and the first part of the experience was floating around in darkness while everyone joined you. All was black for me 'cept some sparkles of light... so when I pulled it into Photoshop, I removed the black backgrounds first. As soon as I had seen the series of shots, I knew I wanted them somehow all on one piece. I created a new file and dragged each one in scaling and sizing...added a cloud layer with some brushed and there you go... Oh, some lens flares, too.


stephen venkman said...

Thx again for the blog posting of my image...) Glad you enjoyed it!

Luna Zolnir said...

Ah, thanks so much Bettina, for blogging me (again)!

Bettina Tizzy said...

Stephen and Luna... I can't help it! I'm a big fan... you two are so imaginative and professional in your work.