Sunday, 3 January 2016

Photography tips #2 - Watch your background.

By Scott Nobody

This time we'll take a look at another simple way of making your Second Life photos turn out better. In photography, the background is or can be just as important as the subject. Especially when the background is interfering with the subject in a way that is unintentional.

Its a simple tip really. Lets call it the "Keep the head in a clean spot" tip. What I mean by that is, when you shoot your self or another person, try and keep the background behind the subjects head clean so nothing appears to be growing out of, sticking in to, or going through their head. A good example could be tree branches that mysteriously protrude from the subjects head, or a lamppost sticking out of the top of the head.
Here the trunk of the tree is growing out of my head.
It is fairly easy to avoid this situation. A simple change of camera angle, or perhaps make the subject take a few steps to one or the other side will save a lot of work later in Photoshop.

Even though the back ground is messy, it is uniform behind the head, and the background is also been blurred by using the DoF feature in Firestorms Phototools
If it is impossible to keep a separation between the subject and the background, turning on the depth of field option in SL will help making the final image more pleasing to the eye.The trick here is that the eye will seek out sharp details before blurry details, and because of that we have a seperation between the back ground and the subject.. Still, moving the camera slightly will eliminate the unfortunate tree growing out of the head completely.

Even with DoF enabled, the tree trunk is still where is shouldn't be, however a better version that with the DoF disabled.

Again, tree in a position where  they shouldn't be any.

A slight move with the camera and the head it is clear, however we have another problem  - horizon lines going through the head.
 Another scenario to keep an eye out for is horizon lines going through the head of a subject, as in the line between the sky and the ocean for example. A slight move with the camera and the problem is gone.
Horizon lines through the head are almost as bed as trees and lamp posts.

Camera is re-positioned for a much better end result.

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