Following on from my post on Tuesday, where I shamelessly self-promoted my ten most favourited own pictures at Flickr this year, I thought I’d look today at some of my favourite pictures of the year by other photographers.
Disclaimer: I lay no claim to this being any sort of definitive list whatsoever. It is simply ten of my personal favourite SL images. Yes, it is undoubtedly influenced by me being friends with some of the photographers. Yes, there are probably amazing photos out there by other photographers not included on this list (most likely because I haven’t encountered them, but also because I only have ten spots). Please don’t get offended if one of your photos or one of your friend’s or friends’ photos isn’t or aren’t included here – but by all means feel free to link to any of these works in the comments section below (I really mean this – I want to discover new SL photo artists to follow).
There are also some images I couldn’t include because the artists didn’t enable embed for them. I’ve listed a few of these at the bottom if you’d like to check out my tastes further.
There are so many great pictures by Daze that I could have chosen from her output this year. This is certainly not the only image of hers where the intimacy between two lovers is the main subject, but its beautiful composition (I do love seeing the rule of thirds used well) and colouring ultimately pushes it up to the top of my list. I adore this picture and the feelings it stirs.
I like SL pictures which manage to convey romantic intimacy without actually being explicit – it’s not at all that I have a problem with explicit images, it’s just that to depict intimacy without explicitness in a medium where you have very limited control over things like facial expression requires a particular degree of skill: it becomes all about how the rest of the body communicates that intimacy. ‘Sweet’ by Isa Messioptra is another fine example of this from the last twelve months. It’s interesting for me to note that both of the above images communicate intimacy through the positioning of hands and arms – a much underused approach in many SL photos.
Both of the previous photos are captures also of moments (or, at least, simulated moments): moments tween two people observed invisibly by us. Sometimes, however, the connection is not between two subjects but between a single subject and the viewer him/herself. There’s a difference between this and a portrait where the subject is simply looking at the camera; in pictures like ‘Rien c’est bien mieux que tout’ by Mr S. is looking at you, the viewer feels looked at as though they are a person in the scene, as though they have stepped temporarily into their perspective.
Of course there’s also nothing wrong with the straight portrait. It’s difficult to think of someone as consistently good and as technically accomplished in this area as Strawberry Singh. This is one of many she produced this year; in truth, it was hard for me to choose a single favourite.
Minimalism is another of my pleasures in photography. I was delighted this year when Amona Savira bought a copy of my concrete building and started taking photographs in it. Moody is probably my favourite of these, though it’s not an easy choice.
Minimalism is also often a feature of Kate Bergdorf’s photographs – though I rather suspect she would prefer the word ‘simplicity.’ What I especially like about Kate’s work is how she varies the colour of her pictures and how she flaunts some of the traditional composition rules in order to create a particular feeling or impression.
One thing I have consistently failed at is capturing effectively groups of people in my pictures. It’s a composition skill I just have’t got close to acquiring yet, where others achieve this seemingly effortlessly. ‘Nice day for a white wedding’ by Cait is a fine example of this.
Skippy Beresford’s childhood-focused pictures are quite unique. Very carefully constructed, they are often characterised by a high level of detail and great composition. They are also always uplifting in their message.
Returning to minimalism, Melusina Parkin’s many studies of empty spaces have been a particular delight for me this year, particularly when she also plays with light on her subject.
And returning to ‘moments,’ there are also those pictures where the viewer is voyeur to a private internal moment. I love these pictures too. ‘My inner middle finger, I don’t care’ by Fanny Finney is so perfectly composed, taking the viewer straight to the subject’s fingers, mouth and cigarette, and from there into the mind behind those closed eyes. It could be an oil painting. I keep on coming back to look at it.
And a few more…
These are a few images I would have loved to have included above, except their artists declined to enable embed on them. They’re still amazing images worth checking out.
- ‘Saturday night fever’ by Jαґłα ℭ@℘@łїηї $℘εя♭℮я
- ‘Let’s go home’ by Lulu Jameson
- ‘Distance means so little, when someone means so much’ by Thyme Carter
- ‘Touch’ by SL Senna
- ‘Love letters’ by Boudicca
- ‘Night travel’ by Elemiah Choche
Since you’re here…
Why not take a look at my novels? Many of them are set in and around Second Life® or a similar virtual world, and most are free to read if you choose the Issuu option. If you would like to buy an e-copy of one of my novels, however, the Kindle and ePub versions are priced very low. In fact, my first SL novel, AFK, can be downloaded in Kindle, ePub and PDF format for free (see the link at the top-right of this page). Enjoy!