SL for Nowt

Living a digital life with empty pockets

Hints & tips: Taking a flattering photo

We’ve all got ’em: those embarrassing and unflattering pics of us taken by well-meaning friends and relatives. Taken the moment we looked down, so we appear to have ten chins, or snapped at the exact second we bent down on the beach to pick up our kids’ bucket and spade, revealing an arse big enough to block out enough sunlight that everything dies in its shade.

In Second Life there are no excuses. Our avatars are exactly as we want them to be: as skinny/tall/curvy/muscular/whatever as we want. They’re our fantasy selves; we dress them up, and many of us take pictures of them. However, there’s something that I’ve noticed increasingly as I’ve browsed blogs and sites dedicated to SL: the trend for photographing the avatar, full-length, from above, and it makes me want to yell: “STOP!”

When you photograph your avatar from above, you are foreshortening your legs to such an extent that it throws your entire body out of visual proportion. While this doesn’t matter in torso-only shots, it can be incredibly unflattering in full-length shots, especiallly if your avatar doesn’t have long legs to begin with. I hate to say it, dear readers and bloggers, but when you do this you are doing yourselves no favours when your legs look as short as (or even shorter than) your torso!

Mar’s pretty damn leggy, and her legs are skinny, so it’s not as noticable in the pics below, but if (for example) you’re a muscular guy with average legs, you’re going to resemble an Oompaloompa if you’re not careful. Sorry; there’s no other way of saying it. So, below, are three shots of Mar: on the left she’s photographed from above (over head height), in the middle she’s photographed from directly in front (waist height), and on the right she’s photographed slightly from below (knee height). Note what each camera position does to her avatar. Want longer legs? Angle your camera just slightly upwards.

Come on, people. You work hard on those avatars. Don’t let them down when you’re taking pics of them. Be aware of your camera angles!

January 11, 2010 Posted by | hints and tips, second life | | 1 Comment