Sunday, February 20, 2011

Snippy About Snaps

This image makes me a bit angry. Understand, mind you, that photography is one of my loves in Real Life. I spent most of my middle school and high school life with a camera around my neck or in my pocket or both, always as a part of an independent study art class. My preference is reportage-style regardless of the subject, though not for journalism. This means I like to capture a scene with as little manipulation as possible, relying primarily on natural light, composition, timing, exposure, focal length, depth-of-field, and shutter speed, rather than on exotic lighting, filters, or post-processing to express my vision of "truth" in the final image. None of my work has been exhibited since high school, and, admittedly, I don't take many pictures any more. But I'd like to do more in Second Life. The tools are more limited in many senses, but there are some very unique creative opportunities. But at least one technical issue is getting my goat and parading it back and forth, mocking me.

Take this picture, for example (click for a larger view if Blogger lets you). Compare the water in this one to the water in the first shot. What you see here is what I saw on my screen. Yet when I used the Snapshot tool in the Official viewer or in the Phoenix viewer, the water appears as you see it in the first image, each and every time. The nice color and gradation is gone, replaced with a harsh sea below the horizon. In other pictures I've snapped, you can tell the water is a tiled texture because some squares will have different "waves" or reflections or even color.

Here is the real rub: I'd report it, but my experience with Second Life support over the years is spotty, at best. A bug like this won't get fixed. No bug I've ever had like this ... stripes on the landscape, stripes on my skin, patchwork invisibility in water and ground textures, and other examples never got fixed. They went away or became as frequent as rain in the Sahara when new viewers were introduced, but fixes were never made.

I can edit this bug this in post, though I'd rather not. It isn't my style. What I'll probably end up doing is composing differently "in camera." And choosing my settings with more care. Or going through the hassle of cropping screen captures. There is some really spectacular water in Second Life and I'd hate to exclude it.


Someone is going to ask: The location is ground level at the Forest Floor store (SLurl), a gorgeous place to visit ... just magical enough. The Windlight preset is [TOR] Wuxia Nights. The outfit is a Bare Rose members-only freebie called "Spades Kang Shirt" (though it comes with the pants you see and I tinted the belt red). No post processing on either of these pictures.

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