Getting the Most out of Your raw Shots

Hello, everyone!  I have had quite a few people ask me how I get such good shadows for my shots on my blog posts, so I have decided to show you all a little trick that makes a big difference!

I take photos in SL Beta Viewer.  I strongly recommend you click here for Strawberry Singh’s explanation on how to make sure your pictures come out perfect while using it.

Once you have your dimensions, resolution, and graphics settings squared away, you may notice that the windlight setting you are using is really great,  but needs a little tweaking to make it fabulous.

tutorial 1_002In this tutorial I am using Holy Romance by Torley.  It’s not in beta viewer yet but you can download and install windlights as you see fit.  Click here to learn more about how to download and install windlight settings. Here is my raw shot from before I edited the windlight.

Step 1: Open your environment settings so that you can make changes to your windlight.

Tutorial1

Once you open up edit preset, you should have a box pop up.

tutorial 2

Step 2:  I usually do not play with the “Atmosphere” or “Clouds” tab. The “Lighting” one is where you will find ways to edit your windlight so that it looks better for your picture.

Tutorial4

The boxes in the green circle allow you to change the tint of the sun or moon and also what sort of tint your shadows will have.  The slider in the red oval will move the sun’s position according to what time of day you would like it to be.  And lastly, the slider in the blue oval allows you to customize the angle of the sun or moon so that it can cast better light on your avatar and create better shadows.  By using the sliders in the red and blue ovals alone, I was able to create the image shown below:

tutorial 1_004

So there you have it!  That is how I create great shadows on my blog post photos and get the most out of my raw shots!  Of course, it may not look as good if you are on a computer that has difficulty with ultra graphics.  I hope that this article has been of some help to you, and happy blogging!

Photo Drama: Layering Windlights

Lighting and shadows are one of the things that add visual drama to a photograph, and I’m going to cover an easy tutorial on how to get optimal drama on a photograph with minimum post editing. Before I begin, I want to point out that I am a Photoshop 4 user, but this tutorial will essentially work with most digital editing software. Alright, let’s begin.

The first thing you’re going to want to do is pick two windlights. One that has a very dramatic effect of lights and shadows and then one that maybe doesn’t have shadows at all. For the latter, I prefer Strawberry Singh’s ‘Closeups’ or ‘Original’. I also like Luna Jubilee’s ‘Bright and Sparkly’ as well as Nam’s ‘Optimal Skin and Prim’ windlights.

For this example, I’ve used Phototools‘ Black and White # 11 and Strawberry Singh’s Original. The Phototools’ Black and White # 11 is available on the latest version of Phoenix Firestorm (they might be available on other 3rd party viewers, but I don’t use anything else but Firestorm and SL Beta Viewer.) For Strawberry Singh’s ‘Original’ you must download it from her blog. However, ‘Closeups’ is available on Firestorm and the Linden Viewer.

From the above picture, you can see my two images on the ‘Layers’ tab. Please note that I have layered the dramatic photo over the plain photo. I’m going to work mostly from the ‘Layers’ tab on the side bar. I’m not sure how this translates to other photo editing software.

What I’ve done is decreased the opacity of the dramatic photo over the other photo, which allows the better lit and cleaner shot to come through, but leaving the dramatic light effects. I’ve also pointed to the layer options. I’ve not given this layer any special effect and left it on ‘normal’, but if you’re a Photoshop user, try the different effects. Multiply, Overlay, and Screen are some of my favorites.

For a little added clarity on the face, I go to my eraser tool, make sure the brush opacity is decreased, and erase the face. Using a soft brush is the best. I like to use a very low opacity with a round, soft brush and just center it directly over the face. Now my face shines much more, becoming the focal point of this photograph.

This is essentially it for this tutorial. Obviously I encourage photographers to go much further with the post editing. There are countless ways of making this photograph even more dramatic with darker shadows and brighter highlights, but that’s a matter of personal preferences. If you have Firestorm or a viewer with a wide variety of windlights, play with this tutorial! It’s a lot of fun.

Here is my finished product. It’s been edited to be SFW here, but you can see my marvelous Lola breasts on my flickr photo here. I posted a smaller, more simple version of this tutorial on my personal blog “It’s a Wonderful SecondLife” with the credits if you want to know more about what I’m wearing.

Have fun!

Keliah Angelis

Going Ons

Hey all! 

So a lot of stuff has been happening and this blog has gradually started to take off and expand just a bit. There is plenty of more work to be done on it but I wanted to sit back and highlight a few things:

As time goes on, these pages will fill up and become an ongoing resource for all of you. If you find anything that can be added to these pages, please let me know or someone from the Support Team.

One of the ideas that was brought up was the Destinations document that was started a bit back. I had originally left the google document open for everyone to use and add to, but unfortunately – I didn’t back it up and everything got screwed up. If you check the page where locations is, you’ll find new information on how to add a new place. Everyone can view the document still, but not add to it. I hope that this doesn’t inconvenience people too much.

Last but not least: 

We’re looking for contributors to write a few blog posts for the [SL] Blogger Support blog. What we’re looking for is those of you who are willing to write like ‘mini’ articles on blogging, fashion, events, photography, photoshop, etc. Also, interviews with designers as well! It can be anything that really relates to blogging in general that will help you and your fellow bloggers, as well as bring discussions around.

The articles can be posted on your own blog, but you will have author rights on the Support blog to post as well. If you are interested in this, please fill out the application and we’ll contact you on the set up.

Application is HERE

On that note, Happy Blogging Everyone!