Monday, October 31, 2011

Photospot: Witches Camp

Photospot on SL Unearthed is a semi-regular feature that highlights a Second Life spot that is a cool place at which to take portrait photos inworld. Not an entire sim, not even a complete parcel, but just a single specific location - a spot - with portrait opportunity.

Happy Hallowe'en! I have consulted the ancient grimoire and for this final day of October, it suggests that it's time to bring out your witches and wizards for one last dance around the cauldron before the fantastic outfits/avatars of October get buried in inventory under mounds of coming snow. So that is our photographic mission today.
Aero Pines Park and Recreation Area is an estate comprised of 12 connected sims, primarily serving as training simulation grounds for first responders and other hazardous occupations (such as firefighters and rescue teams). The sims are also a public hot spot with trails and events such as concerts, exhibitions, expos, rallies, races, rodeos. For October (and only until November 6, so don't delay), they're featuring the Halloween Trail which includes the spot we're visiting for Halloween today - Witches Camp.
Photospot: Witches Camp
This is an area designated by a curve in the road, partially surrounded by spooky, not-quite-dead trees. There is much activity in this area including particles, lights, animated textures and moving objects. Give it all time to rez, then start looking for camera angles. There are a few black cats, witchy familiars. There is a table with lots of witchy goodness (including what appears to be eyeball & brain cupcakes!), a few spiders and a couple cauldrons. One cauldron has poseballs so that you and a friend can stir the pot (which could contain someone else)! There are a variety of witches here already, of many types in various forms, and you might want them joining you in your shots. Then you can play "which witch is which?"
which witch?

Witchy Turn and Sigh

For lighting, anything suitably dark and spooky will do the trick here. At minimum, set Sun to Midnight, but you'll probably want to go beyond that. Aero Pines recommends using the "Ghost" Windlight setting.

My witch gravitated to the cauldron which was bubbling and glowing green, so I switched to "Gelatto" and pretty much kept it there for the rest of the shoot, modifying the setting slightly with different camera changes. (I believe "Ghost" and "Gelatto" are settings that come with each viewer, so they should both be in your list. "Ghost" is similar to "Foggy" but darker-toned, while "Gelatto" is darkly clear with chartreuse and green tones.)

Start with Midnight or a setting like Ghost, but do experiment from there. The concept of Halloween witches can be expressed in a number of different hues. Of course orange, green, purple, but you might also find something exciting with reds, teals or deep blues. Maybe even pink?

witch's cauldron
And don't neglect to play with the mysterious ground fog (which offered extra fun later when adding color gradient overlays)! Last call for 2011: Halloween will soon be over. Be sure to visit Witches Camp before it closes Sunday.
foggy witch

Flickr members: you're invited to join the SL Unearthed Photospot group and add your pictures taken at Photospot locations to the group pool.
Take note that very little in SL stays the same for very long. After even a short while, Photospot locations may be gone or changed in a significant way that renders their SLurls ineffective as originally intended, so be sure to grab these opportunities as they come!

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