Shadow Play

I looked for songs about shadows to illustrate this post, but they all seem to be about being fooled by bad relationships or psychotic ex-lovers, and that’s not really what I wanted to talk about, so despite the fact that the chorus for Fish‘s song Shadowplay keeps going through my head as I write this, I won’t inflict it on you guys. You’ve probably never heard of Fish anyway. He was with a band called Marillion, and you’ve probably never heard of them, either.

Anyway. I haven’t spoken a lot about my experience with the Visionaire photography class here, but you’ve seen the results, changes, and experimentation in my photographs. Or at least I hope you have. Friday was our last class before graduation (February 19— I’ll just go ahead and invite all of you to the party now!), and we had a guest teacher, Senna Coronet. Now, the only thing I knew about Senna before this class was something one of our instructors had told me: he photographs in complete darkness, using only projectors. But the fact is, Senna is a genius at explaining very complex things in a simple way. And, I’m convinced now that not only can Senna photograph in complete darkness, using only projectors—so can I!

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Shadowplay 1

Shadowplay 1: Here, Gwyneth is lit by a projector and three prim lights, the usual LumiPro setup. She is in a constructed prim box, which in retrospect I probably should have made totally white in colour/no texture; however, I knew I would be shooting in Phototools No Light windlight, so I didn’t bother. I may go back and reshoot some of these for my Visionaire graduation portfolio and see how the texture of the box might change the photographs. Anyway, I wanted her to be mostly black and white, so I chose Lumae‘s Eirtae Nimbus fantasy skin: it’s very white with subtle shading, and I’ve used it before when I turned Gwyneth into a Bain Sidhe for a post several months ago. This outfit is one I’ve seen photographed a lot: it’s Blueberry‘s Angelberry set from the current (and half over!) round of The Epiphany. This hair is special, as well: it’s from Emo-Tions, and it’s at Hairology for another few days: it’s Anik, and I loved it so much I’ve already used it in a blog this month, but I love Emo-Tions’ silver textures so much that I put it on again for this one. Gwyneth is wearing eyeshadow from ArteSmoky Eyeshadow, but it’s also called Gwen, so of course I had to buy it! The red lipstick is one of the Catwa choices for the Catya mesh head, which Gwyneth is in almost all the time these days. The lipstick and the eyes (from Avi-GlamElysian Eyes, colour Ghost) are the only things with colour on Gwyneth.

In order to get the projector to appear in a perfect circle, I chose LumiPro‘s wide spotlight bulb for the projector, then moved the projector so that it was centred on Gwyneth’s middle. I pulled it back so that the spotlight appeared to be in a perfect circle around her. This pose, and all the poses in this post, come from An Lar‘s new Flutter Series, which you can find at this month’s SaNaRae. The prim lights are arranged so that Gwyneth’s face and hair are highlighted, and the third (LumiPro standard) prim light is on her body below the waist, on her upper legs. She’s rotated so that there is just a bit of sharp shadow behind her and so that you can see the fluffy wings make a shadow as well. I used some tips I got from William Weaver in the class he taught us at Visionaire about using Phototools to best advantage to make sure my shadows were sharp and visible behind her.

I shot a couple of photos with this lighting setup, and I was so pleased with myself that I sent a Gyazo link to Senna, proudly noting that I had been listening in class. At the same time, the creative and delightful Lola Key suggested that I try a Gobo, so I started playing with some of the LumiPro gobos to see what I could come up with.

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Shadowplay 2: Gobo

Here is a double experiment: a gobo, plus a single blue coloured prim light behind her to colour the shadows and set a different tone for the floor area. In retrospect, I’d like to try this with her floating against the wall so that the shadows don’t bend, but the wall/floor dichotomy also makes her appear to be on a stage somewhere, so perhaps it’s a good thing. Notice how the blue prim light affects the colours of the shadows behind her legs and the bottom part of the wing? This was Senna’s suggestion when I sent him the Gyazo link, and after that I just went crazy, putting differently coloured prim lights behind her and experimenting with different placements!

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Shadowplay 3: Different Gobo, different lights!

Here, there are two more prim lights placed behind Gwyneth so that you get a different colour both on her body and wing shadows, and also one off to the side so that the gobo changes colour on the right side of the photograph. Ordinarily in a blog photo I’d have turned her so her face is visible, but here I was concentrating more on the shadows of her hand against the wall. The Vista Bento Hands do such great things with their random movements, even with static poses, that I left this option on and just shot when I liked the position her hands were in.

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Shadowplay 4: Close-up

For this photograph, I turned off the gobo option and moved the spotlight very close to Gwyneth so that the spotlight circle would appear smaller behind her. I left the purple and teal prim lights in place to create some interest around the edges of the spotlight. For those of you in the UK who are familiar with Charlie Brucker, I’m concerned that Gwyneth looks a little too much like Philomena Cunk in this photograph, but I’ll overlook that for now. Note that all the LumiPro lights were set to a grey colour and I turned the intensity and falloff down so that Gwyneth’s white skin would not be blown out by such a close placement of lights here.

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Shadowplay 5: Symmetry/Asymmetry

Here, I intentionally kept the spotlight fairly small, while panning out so that the single prim light behind Gwyneth’s ankles shows you that she’s standing on a surface somewhere, possibly a stage (which the spotlight sort of implies). I carefully positioned the camera so that her shadow was roughly equidistant from her on all sides, even though she wasn’t perfectly centred in the spotlight.

So many thanks to the whole Visionaire crew for this amazing class. Wren and Nariko have created a wonderful thing. If you want to get your mind blown on a weekly basis and learn more about SL photography than you could possibly absorb in a single second lifetime, check out the Visionaire Website for more information and to see when applications will open for the next class. If you’re super keen, you can always IM WrenNoire Cerise in-world and talk to her: she is approachable, warm, and a great teacher. I cannot say enough about how enlightening and empowering the Visionaire experience is. Do not think about the money. It is not about the money. I am thankful every day that I splashed out for this class. It has been worth every Linden and much, much more. It’s worth it for the critiques alone, but the lessons will blow your mind, and the guest speakers are amazing, and the opportunities for learning more about your own work, developing your own style, and finding out how the pros do it? Just wow.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Catya Bento Mesh Head
Hair: Emo-Tions, Anika (Available for a few more days at Hairology!)
Eyes: Avi-Glam, Elysium Eyes (Omega eye appliers)
Skin: Lumae, Eirtae, Nimbus Fantasy Skin (Available at The Lumae Main Store!)
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Hands: Vista, Bento Prohands
Outfit: Blueberry, Angelberry, in colour Slayer (Available until February 15 at The Epiphany!) —all the colours are beautiful, but I particularly wanted the black for this series of photos.
Makeup: Arte, Gwen Eyeshadow (Smokey Eyeshadow) (Lipstick is included with the Catya head)
Poses: An Lar, The Flutter Series (Available NOW at SaNaRae!)

Setting: A Box!

Learn more about Visionaire at The Visionaire Website!

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I’d never talk about lighting Second Life photography without it!

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Wasabi Pills, and New Looks for Gwyneth

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Gwyneth:

Hm. I’m not going to do a story blog today, because I have so many cool things to talk about, but I do want to write about Gwyneth. You see, in the New Year, we’re going to be opening a role-play sim, and it’ll have a much more modern feel than the places I’ve played Gwyneth regularly over the past six years. Some of you know that both TAC and The Gypsy Davey are all personae under this avatar. Showing up as The Gypsy Davey to writing workshops has surprised more people than would admit it!

Anyway, in our new modern role play sim, Gwyneth will be dressing as a modern-day person, and she’ll get to use a computer at her own home, rather than having to realm-hop to leave her blog entries all over the place. TAC will also get more of a role as a character. I don’t know about The Gypsy Davey, but we shall see.

While I’m thinking about new looks for Gwyneth, I have some beautiful hair from Wasabi Pills to show you. Becoming a Wasabi Pills blogger was a huge surprise and a rush for me; I’ve always loved the hair that the very talented Miss All Sunday Lemon creates, and my role play characters have been in her hair since I first started roleplaying with Gwyneth as a character something like five years ago.

The Visionaire course is teaching me so much, and this week’s lesson was about portraits, so for each outfit here I’ve tried to create a portrait that would stand up as more than “just” a blog photo.

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Gwyneth, Queen Gwyneth…

Oh, Gwyneth, Queen Gwyneth. No matter where she is living, Gwyneth, once anointed, will always be a Queen of the Fae. You can’t just hand that title back, and in communities where there are Fae, you can’t hide from it, either: other Fae will always know if there is someone Royal among them. And now that she’s a Winter Queen, she has more options. Here, she’s in Wasabi Pills‘ gorgeous Marisol hair, which you can get at Uber for just a few more days! Uber’s new round will open on the 15th, so hurry! After that, the style will be available at the Wasabi Pills Main Store, of course. This dress is from the ever-amazing Enfant Terible, a late addition to the October Treasure Chest. It just arrived yesterday as I was putting together these outfits, and I knew it’d be perfect for showcasing Gwyneth as a fantasy Queen in a modern setting. The leather bodice over the draped silk skirt conveys the perfect marriage of old and new, and of course Enfant Terible’s quality is impossible to beat: the dress is perfectly sized for my Maitreya body, and the fatpack that came to the Treasure Chest has an array of choices via HUD. I don’t usually photograph Gwyneth in tattoos, but when I saw this one by White Widow at The Winter Trend, I just had to have it. Gwyneth loves roses, and of course roses have many associations with the Fae in literature and balladry. The headdress was a chance find, at Cosmopolitan, not surprisingly by Persefona, whose headgear continues to surprise and delight. The necklace is one of the most gorgeous things I’ve seen from The Plastik in a while (and that’s saying something!). It’s called Skeinand I love its simplicity and the fact that there are an array of stones and metals to choose from. Thank you, Vae, for this beautiful necklace: it’s one of those things that if I had it in RL, I’d never take it off! Of course, in RL, we can’t change gems and metals with a touch of our fingers….

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Roses.

Roses. Gwyneth loves them, and I wanted to show both that and the luminance of this beautiful DeeTaleZ skin. I love blogging for Lumae and 7 Deadly s{K}ins, but if I could add any skin maker to my blogging list, it would be DeeTaleZ. This is the Fonda Catwa applier in tone Celtic, and of course the Maitreya appliers for the body are sold in the DeeTaleZ main store.

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Gwyneth, dressed for a Pacific Northwest Winter.

Here’s Gwyneth dressed for a Pacific Northwest winter. This beautiful wind-blown hairstyle is new from Wasabi Pills at this month’s Chapter Four. The style is called Solana,  and it’s in the Gacha section. It comes both as the windblown and the non-windblown style, and of course the multi-packs and ombres are rare, but the great thing is all the regular Wasabi Pills colours are commons, so if you wear one of their plain colours, you can probably get your shade pretty quickly. This lovely outfit is by Purple Moon Creations, the Sonia Jacket+Sweater and trousers (sold separately), and you can get it at The Winter Trend, which opened on 9th December and will stay through the 23rd of December. The boots are from Phedora, the Matilda Boots, also available at The Winter Trend

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Dragons in Winter?

Dragons in Winter? Well, anything can happen on White Owl Island. This skin is from Avenge, the Anya Albino applier for Catwa, in Ivory. It’s another one of my finds from The Winter TrendThroughout all these photos, Gwyneth is wearing the Catwa Destiny head, Mandala Steking ears, and Mesange Omega eye appliers; the eyes are from various sets, but these are the Taiga appliers, which again are available at The Winter Trend

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Sense of Wonder.

Sense of Wonder. This photograph was inspired by some of the photos we saw at this week’s Visionaire class on portraits, even though my guess is it wouldn’t be considered a “real” portrait, since the focus is more on the interaction between Gwyneth and the little dragon than on Gwyneth herself. But you can see the beautiful highlights in the Mesange eyes here. The little dragons are by Half Deer; they were gachas from one Arcade or the other, the Solstice Dragons. Here, you see Leviathan; the previous photo’s dragon is called Permafrost.

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Brunette Gwyneth!

I’ve envisioned Gwyneth as a brunette a couple of times over the years, but with the DeeTaleZ Fonda applier, she really seemed to come alive for me. The hair is Wasabi Pills Deirdre, which is new at Collabor88 this week. I should mention that for all events, demos are always available at the Wasabi Pills Main Store, which means you can try before you buy even if you can’t get into a super-popular event on the first day! The headband comes with the hair, which is a nice bonus. This blouse is a favourite recent release of mine; it’s from TETRA. It’s called, prosaically, Lace-Up Wool Sweater, and it comes in a variety of colours. Pretty sure the event I found it at has closed by now, though. The boots are from Breathe, the Satomi Boots in black. These are a gacha at The Chapter Four event.

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With a closer look, you can see the intricate texture of the hair, the almost glowing quality of the skin, and of course the way those gorgeous eyebrows set off the rest of the skin.

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Pink and slouchy!

Here’s a final outfit, because I wanted Gwyneth to be able to be a bit whimsical, even if she’s now in a place where everybody wears a stocking cap and it’s misty and moisty a lot of the time. For this I chose the Wasabi Pills Romy hair, which is available for a few more days at Ultra. You can wear the hair with or without the hat, and the hat comes with loads of textures, both solids and this little anime-type not-sure-what-kinda-animal-this-is face. This adorable sweater with super-long arms is from EVIE; it was part of November’s The Forest event, so I’m not sure if you can get it from their main store, but it’s worth a look. It comes in a number of colours, and, oh look! I have a pair of these cool Satomi boots to exactly match!

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Gwyneth can look classy even in a silly hat!

Gwyneth can look classy even in a silly hat, it appears; I’m not sure if I could bear to make her look ridiculous, but one day I’ll try. Once again, it’s the DeeTaleZ Fonda applier that makes her appear to glow like this; even under normal lighting conditions and not in a photo studio, she appears almost luminescent when she’s wearing these skins.

Thanks for reading, if you’ve made it this far, and I’ll try to get back to story-blogging as soon as possible—but in the next post, I have (yet more!) hair to show you, this time from the wonderful Hairology event, which opened today.

No Style Cards today; everything’s covered in the text, except: all poses by an lar, from the Illa Series, available now at The Liaison Collaborative.

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never try out all the new portrait tricks I learned in the guise of a fashion blog without it!

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All Other Things Being Equal…

Sometimes, a great use of colour can make something plain appear extraordinary.

My return to full-time work in the Real World has left little time for blogging, and for this I’m sorry. Much of my SL time is slated for the Visionaire course, which I heartily recommend if you have a burning desire to improve your SL photography and learn many amazing and cool things about taking photographs in Second Life.

Even though I am not around as much for roleplaying or blogging, the Second Life timeline marches on! Which means that yesterday, the 4th of November, there was a brand-new round of We

Evangeline Miles, the marvel who has captured and enraptured us all with her designs at Evie’s Closet for many years now, has taken a relatively simple dress and made of it a colour feast.

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And the thing is, Evie can make *brown* look good.

And the thing is, Evie can make brown look good. I paired the Anghared dress in brown with Wasabi Pills’ recent Fifty Linden Fridays release of the lovely Dakota braid and added something also fairly recent from The Plastik, the Hallow choker, which make me think of last spring’s trip to Glastonbury.  This pose is from Bauhaus Movement, from their The Way You Like It series.

On the left, we have the purple colour with Wasabi Pills’ Nahia hair, recently released at The Crossroads event. On the right, you can see the red colour; here Gwyneth is wearing Monso‘s Momo updo, new at Fameshed this month. Both poses are from an lar, the Citrine Series, also available at this month’s We .

Here are the grey and blue colours. Gwyneth in grey is wearing No Match No Word; in blue, she’s in Tukinowaguma‘s Edfeldt, which you can still pick up at The Liaison Collaborative. The pose on the left is from an lar‘s Ava series, available at the new Coven event, and on the right, the pose is from !bang, one of the Ice Queen poses.

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Finally, here’s the pink colour.

Finally, here’s the pink colour. Hair and jewellery are from Emo-tions, the Arosa set, which includes the tiara and necklace pictured here. The hair is also available at this month’s We , as is the pose, which again is from the an lar Citrine series.

In all these photos, Gwyneth is wearing the Maitreya mesh body, the Catwa Destiny head, the Mandala Steking Season 5 Ears, SLink Pointe feet, ChicChica Fairy shoes, and my favourite new DeeTaleZ Catwa applier evah, Gwendoline! Because, duh; I’ll buy anything named “Gwen”. The background structure is Exposeur‘s Stone Arch, which I’ve had for absolutely ages.

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never write straight-up fashion blog posts about a single dress at We