Whilst showing off her latest amazing “raw” (non-post processed, that is) snapshot from Second Life, Shoshana also promises us a write-up of in-world lighting tutorials for Second Life photography. Let us all poke her a lot, so she doesn’t forget! ;)
But the nature of Second Life photography is that - even with a top-notch graphics card and well thought off lighting - some things will always be ‘fail’. Take a look for instance at the ear being more ‘reflective of light’ than the metal earring, the breasts that are strangely squared and a full bright necklace/lack of pearl necklace. So I asked for permissions to “brush up” Shoshana’s raw “low-key”* file and see what I could make of it. Those permissions were granted:
Most of the image was tweaked, to much small alterations to mention, but a few very personal ideas on this & tips I wish to share:
- Start of with duplicating your layer, and put it to ’screen’ as layer style. Then merge & start manually darkening the appropriate areas again using “burn”.
- Portrait photographs are often shot with a prime at small aperture. This makes that not all parts of the body will be as sharp. Usually, the part of the photograph most in focus is one of the eyes (side portrait) or both eyes (front portrait). (I blurred out the hands a lower waist a bit to much here, but this was mainly to camouflage the bad job Second Life does at rendering & lighting hands.)
- To get the blue black & whitish feeling, don’t use “desaturate”. It would kill to much of the different colour tones. Rather on your final edit of the colour file, activate the red channel only, and copy paste this to a new document. Copy paste it back into your working file, and use that as black & white layer. Colourize at will - using layer overlays, photo filter, … - but make sure a little tiny bit (about 5%) of the original colour edit shines through still, so I doesn’t become to monotone in colour.
- Don’t use Sepia colours. Whilst it _may_ have some charms left on printed paper, on LCD screen, Sepia is the suxxors.
* Low-key lighting is a style of lighting for photography, film or television. It attempts to create a chiaroscuro effect. In traditional photographic lighting, three-point lighting uses a key light, a fill light, and a back light for even illumination. Low-key lighting requires only one key light, optionally controlled with a fill light or a simple reflector. Low key light accentuates the contours of an object by throwing areas into shade while a fill light or reflector may illuminate the shadow areas to control contrast. The relative strength of key-to-fill, known as the lighting ratio, can be measured using a light meter. Low key lighting has a higher lighting ratio, e.g. 8:1, than high key lighting, which can approach 1:1. (from Wikipedia)