Certainly once, you have felt surrounded with reality in SL… a true moment of emotion, a real expression on a friendly face…. is the tagline for Koinup’s ‘One Second of Reality’ photography. The aim? Right, you can guess it already: To capture an instant of reality, and have viewers believe the photo was taken in RL. The challenge here is to share with the community what for a second seemed real to you. We hope you will go beyond still-life shots and try to show us emotions that are real, no matter where - Second Life - or what is happening. ‘One second of reality’ aims to find out where reality begins for you. Try to mesmerize the jury and make us believe the photo was taken in RL.
The winner of the “Jury Prize” will receive his/her work printed and framed in high quality format and the winner of the “Community Prize”, the coolest work in Koinup, will receive a complete package from Never 30 including a N30 studio, poses kit, lights… and more. Both winners will have the chance to participate to an exhibition in a RL gallery: LaCantina, located in the center of Paris. Winning photos will also be displayed on Orange Island (Orange 1, 195/134/30) for a minimum of three weeks.
Winners of the “Jury Prize” will be picked by a contest jury composed by Margharita Balzerani (curator at “Le Palais de Tokyo”, Paris, contemporary art museum), Marco Manray (photographer SL and author of the book “IO, REPORTER IN SECOND LIFE”) and ‘moi’.
- In order to take part in this contest, you must have an account on Koinup. Registration is free.
- The theme of the contest is “One second of reality”. The aim of the contest is to capture an instant of reality, and have viewers believe the photo was taken in RL. (As far as I care, this means you can have a Neko in there, as long as it looks real.)
- The challenge here is to share with the community what for a second seemed real to you. We hope you will go beyond still-life shots and try to show us emotions are real, no matter where they happen.
- Photos can be taken in-world using any available means (such as Second Life photo studios) except RL photographic backgrounds.
- Photos can also be post-processed using programs such as Photoshop.
- You are allowed to use tricks, and encouraged to share your technique. SLURL are welcome.
- Photos should be submitted to the contest by posting them on Koinup. To submit a photo to the contest, please insert the tag ‘orangephotocontest’
- Photos already posted on Koinup before June 9th cannot be submitted to the contest. Please submit new works.
- The contest is restricted to Second Life residents and is a photography contest; artistic media other than photography are not allowed.
- No brand logos or hidden advertisement. No sex, violence or offending contents. Black and white accepted.
- Each participant can submit up to three photos.
- Photos will remain on Koinup after the end of the contest.
My definition of ‘Real’
Of course, the ‘reality’ of a SL photograph lies in the eye of the beholder, and this beholder spends way to much time inworld, so I’m having problems with the real / not-real border. ;) BUT there are a few things that help me convince things are real:
- Convincing shadows. Even when shooting with a softbox IRL, there _are_ shadows, they just are subtle. Regardless if they are subtle or over-present (film noir), make those shadows match! Second Life gives you total control about where the sun comes from (the height your avie finds itself, the time of the day, location of the sun and the height of the sun.) Use that! You even want to consider testing if the ‘Shadow’ branch client runs on your system.
- Second Life tends to oversaturate things, giving them their comic/3D animation look. Try to start of with a hazy, foggy setting, and lessen the fog/haze until it’s just perfect. Better not enough gamma brightness than to much gamma brightness! It happens IRL photographs too, bleached out areas, but it’s not something that looks good most of the time.
- If you are shooting indoors, you definitely want to put your ’sun’ strength to almost zero and the ‘ambient’ light up to compensate. Harsh shadows almost exist inside. Except if you have only one hard lightsource (extreme spotlight, or one sunny window.) If you have multiple light sources, you might want multiple (soft) shadows.
- COLOUR TEMPERATURE! Back in those old real life photography days, you used to have separate sets of film & lens filters, depending on the colour temperature. This is - although or brain filters it out IRL - each type of light source emits a different coloured light. A good example is: shadow areas are blue, sunsets are yellowish. A good article about this can be found here. You can give a slight hunch of the colour temperature, but SL pushes it. Also, when doing for instance ’sunset’, it forces that colour temperature in extremis on the complete photograph although that does not necessary need to be the case, were it shot IRL. If you have two different light sources, you’ll need two different colour temperatures.
- Reflections! Almost every object reflects in real life. Wearing a bright green sweater? Not a good idea! It will probably make your face look green. Your eyes? Right… they reflect light. If you have a metallic, shiny object, it is bound to reflect parts of the environment around it, and it’s colour on the environment.
- Sense of depth. Depth Map + Lens Blur. Or manual blurring. Does not need to be exaggerated, though. This happens IRL when you shoot either a) Macro stuff or b) in Dark areas.
- Motion blur. Definitely something that needs to be postprocessed. Only if you’re up to it! ;)
- Step off the standard viewer wide-angle lens. Standard RL photography lens is 50mm. Press ctrl+0 twice. At least. (ctrl+9 to reset)
And there are more: round shapes should be round, shadow on clothing textures should match the atmosphere of your photograph, … . Guess you can’t include them all in one photograph, but I’m damn curious what people will come up with! Here are already some of the entries. Oh, and one final thing, obviously fake photoshop sun reflections in your photograph, are NOT the way to go! ;) To participate, go to the Koinup contest page.