Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Are SL Artists becoming scarce?

I was reading an article, actually more a message, yesterday, about Second Life art, and more in particular the art of images. It seems that there are some people who believe the making of art works in Sl is over. People wouldn’t be interested anymore in making images in the virtual world. Instead of that, they look for other challenges as building, scripting, machinima, shops or whatever they think about what would give them more satisfaction than making art images.

My opinion is, that maybe there are less photographers inworld interested to make beautiful pieces, but….to me…it is only a natural change of interest. The “few” that will be left, will be the ones that are motivated to work on images and will try to maintain the quality of their images as high as possible. Others, with maybe more skills and talent, eventually will find their way in building or other activities. It is not always because you have the skills, that you are meant to be an image maker, and perfectly understandable to look for other challenges.

But there are exceptions. People whose life has always been about photography and who want to improve their skills in Photoshop or another post processing program will eventually stick to the pictures enhancements. SL is an ideal platform to take pictures and try out all the tools in your photo program. It is a world that is not comparable, as you can choose which background, which scene, which pose, which angle…etc….what you can not do so easy in RL

I won’t call myself an artist, but since I have registered myself at SL, I have been using the opportunities in the virtual world to enhance my skills in Photoshop. I wasn’t familiar with the program at all at the beginning, and, although I am not posting as much images as in the beginning, I still have fun by surfin’ the net for tutorials or images which I can use to process my pictures. And I see others improving too, and that makes me happy.

We do see a slight change though, and that is that more and more avatars use RL pictures to blend with SL pictures, but as long as the main object is from inworld, I don’t think it would ruin the appreciation of the majority, as being SL images.

I hope I am not alone with my view on this matter, and that we still will have quality SL pictures in flickr and inworld.


Zippora Zabelin said...

No you're not alone. I've also seen said message on flickr and it actually made my jaw drop at first and feel annoyed next.
I respect the person's decision to move on to new challenges, but they should speak for their own and not for a whole community.

*deletes the rest of the comment and decides to make it a blogpost instead ;-)*

Peter Stindberg said...

What I noticed is that a large extent of SL photography artwork looks more or less the same. Not only the same sims, but mostly the same Photoshop editing, the same filters, the same effects, the same saturations, the same faux-blur, the same frames, patterns, sprinkles and glow effects.

Most of those photos look amazing, and I am sure their respective designers worked long and hard on them. But they are also interchangable. Take two pictures of two artists along those lines, and claim each photo to be by the other artist, and probably nobody will notice. Despite the beauty of this kind of image, like eating too much cake it makes you feel a little bored after a while.

However this does not mean "2d SL photography is dead" as someone claimed. All it means is you need to look closer for the exceptional taltens, for those who try new ways. For those who experiment with new techniques.

Two recent examples I found are Felony Fabre and Jaja Lubitsch.
Felony uses a lot of standard techniques, but manages to give her photos an almost surrealkind of artificial reality. They are clearly SL shots, they are clearly and heavily edited, but she manages to make them look real.
Where Felony's pictures can be filed as pleasing, Jaja's style is unsettling, distorted, at times even ugly. Jaja manages to present her photos as seen through demented or drug-blurred eyes. All angles wrong, all perspectives skewed. Faces too close and sitroted, bodies too long and at odd angles.

Definitely two artists that fall out of the ordinary, and show that SL photography is alive and kicking!