The Hoi Polloi & The Photographer in Second Life

Hoi Polloi (moderate)

I was on my way to a few more art exhibits when I happened to see this photo↑ (she finds a lot of new and interesting places to visit).  I can be distracted by “shiny things” or, as in this case, an intriguing sim to explore.  Today then, a break from fabulous art and fumbling philosophy to consider a few things about the life of a photographer inworld.

Synonyms for the term Hoi Polloi include↑ “the common people, great unwashed, minions, the working class” – in other words, most of us.  The region↑ which bears this name is actually dedicated to those who love using their cameras and includes stores with poses and props.  It’s also a really fun place for us to play and so that’s what I did.

Hoi Polloi (moderate)

There are artists who use photography as their medium to create – I know I’m not one of them. I’m more of a “reporter”. I focus on the art and landscape and architecture which is provided to me. 

I’m not going to complain that it’s a hard life being a “picture taker” in Second Life.Oh people mess with our settings and sometimes trying to get a good resolution strains the hardware but compared to creators of cities and large installations I’ve got it pretty easy.

It might be an over-simplification to say I “just click” but really that’s how it nets out.  The image I’m trying to capture had to be put there in the first place and it’s the talent of others that I’m leaning on.

Hoi Polloi (moderate)

The camera operations I use are there for the taking in the viewer.  It’s very very rare that I use a photo editor and when I do it’s to fix something I should have seen when I did take the photo (e.g., why didn’t I notice a tree didn’t rez?).

So I’m given all the tools I need (assuming I’m patient) and all the subjects I might want to capture.  My only job, I think, is to practice and try and improve.  The frustrations I experience usually involve my own inability to accomplish what I intend.  There are two things though I’d love to see but, given that nobody builds things with photographers in mind, I don’t consider this a cause worth any effort to pursue.  I’ll just mention them because they’re on my mind. :)

Hoi Polloi (moderate)

The first is nothing that can or will be fixed but creators should understand that putting everything you’ve done into a small area can make it difficult to isolate and highlight individual objects or scenes.  I admit I’ve given up on some exhibits or locations just because I couldn’t take a photo worth the pixels to reproduce it.

The second is achievable.  I appreciate artists and regions that impose the windlight settings they prefer as it helps me understand the effects they’re trying to achieve.  However.  Please tell me what that setting is – I can’t adjust east angle or time of day without that knowledge (I do try to guess) and sometimes that’s necessary to show off your talent.

The grid to me is a beautiful collection of possible images.  Even the ones others might see as a “blank canvas”.

Hoi Polloi (moderate)
Leave a comment


  1. carrie lexington

     /  February 7, 2012

    Honour, your images are beautiful as always. You know, when I browse at Koinup, I can tell a picture that is by you immediately before I even click to find out who made it.

    I agree about taking pics in small areas and knowing the windlight settings…even though I always try every other possible windlight as well.


    • Thank you :) I wasn’t fishing honest! lol but I appreciate the compliment – yes there are days I go through dozens of settings hoping to get close – and people wonder why I’m standing there frozen for so long. *grin*

  2. I am going to chime in here Honour. Your photos and your writing are amazing and I aspire to produce work half as good as yours. Thank you for inspiring me daily.

  3. I know you are not fishing! That is why I am throwing you some lovely fish. If you *were* fishing I would be silent.

  4. carrie lexington

     /  February 7, 2012

    aww thanks Honour. I never thought you were fishing at all…what Chestnut said :))

  5. I’ve been dreadfully lax in learning to take better photographs in Second Life, so your travels and the photos that go with it are a daily kick in my complacency. Don’t ever stop kicking!

  6. You are too humble, Honour. Your pictures are among the best I see about Second Life. Your blog is an amazing collection of the best Second Life has to offer, interpreted with a touch of photo artistry and accompanied with an entertaining and often humorous writing style.


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