It’s that time of year when I please a small handful of SL photographers and cheese off the rest of them, an increasingly self-destructive strategy as more and more of the SL community take to the Flickrweb to show off their virtual photography skills. But hey. I love amazing SL photography and I love poring over the feeds of my favourite photographers. I’m not very good at leaving appreciative comments, so I can at least do this.
Here, then, are ten photos from the year of some of my favourite photographers. Please click on the pictures to visit their accompanying Flickr page so that you can explore further these amazing photographers’ feeds.
I love all of Boudicca‘s images, but perhaps the pictures of hers which contribute most of all to her feed’s distinctiveness are her historical depictions. Many of these look for all the world like an oil painting and would be quite at home in a gilt frame hung over a mantelpiece (in a stately home). Her detail is exquisite (just look at the eyes in the picture above) and her composition is perfect.
Isa Messioptra: f*ck it all
Isa captures life and living in a way that few others achieve. Her pictures are somehow domestic and everyday, and yet at the same time extraordinarily rich, emotional and sensual. I hugely envy her her lens.
I thought about quitting, then I noticed you was watching
SL fashion photography is all the rage these days. Elemiah’s been doing this for over eight years now and her feed is one of the most consistently updated I know of. Unlike many other fashion photographers, Elemiah tells stories with her pictures. Some are playful; some are sad; some are passionate. This beautiful image from September captures her private thoughtfulness perfectly.
B. Tomstone: Untitled
Choosing a favourite picture from Billie’s feed is no easy task. I adore pretty much every last picture she posts. In the end, though, I just had to go with this extraordinary picture from January, which I loved so much at the time I contacted Billie to ask permission to hang it inworld (it currently occupies a wall in the lounge of the Nancy Redgrave Building). This is one of those pictures I find myself looking at for long periods of time, thinking about the story of the woman depicted. It provokes the same sort of reaction as Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks, one of my favourite paintings of all time.
Kingdoms rise and kingdoms end
Few SL photographers have mastered the art of black and white images as completely as Paradox. Her pictures use pose and context to convey almost overwhelming emotion at times. This picture, taken in February for the Pryce Body Language Challenge, has become her most highly rated Flickr picture so far. It is also the second highest rated picture presently in the gallery created for the challenge, second only to…
ARnnO PLAneR: #PryceBodyLanguageChallenge
ARnnO has achieved the rare accolade of being a male SL photographer with over ten thousand followers. His frequent posts present a huge range of styles. I find this stunning image – which makes me think of the imagery of ‘Sin City’ – hard to look away from.
If I could be half the person my dog is, I’d be twice the human I am
Of all the SL photographers I follow, I don’t think anyone manages to do humour in pictures as consistently well as Cait. Recent examples include ‘Home for Christmas,’ featuring her loyal band of noobs, ‘Up to snow good,’ a beautifully composed wintry scene contrasting colour against a snowy background, and ‘Resting witch face.’ Contrasting with these, however, are some incredibly moving pictures, like the one above – which I just adore for its colour and composition.
Everything begins with an idea.
Where would we be without the little man’s storybook adventures and their wonderfully uplifting titles? Skippy is another SL photographer for whom choosing a favourite picture is an impossible task. In the end I choose the image above – taken in May – since it was his highest rated picture of the year (earning a frankly jaw-dropping 1.5k favs – yes, I know we shouldn’t pay heed to such numbers, but come on…). It also captures perfectly the motto found on his Flickr bio: ‘Creation, after all, is only play.’ Words to live by.
I thought I heard your words…
I discovered Simone’s pictures very recently and instantly loved them. She described herself to me as a learner and has only been posting for just over a year: she’s a fast learner, then, for her images suggest she has very quickly learned to control light beautifully.
Marina Münter: Lullaby
An endlessly creative and hugely productive artist in SL, Marina’s imaginative pictures are always vibrant – even when they’re in black and white. I just love the picture above, taken in July, which was inspired by The Cure’s ‘Lullaby.’
cecilia nansen mode: Eyes shut
Cecilia was another of my discoveries this year. This stunningly sensual image was taken in September. Notice how the woman’s lips are almost perfectly aligned to the top-right intersection. I just love it.
I smiled at the rose you put outside my window
I don’t think anyone understands composition in SL photography as well as Kimmy does. Her images are so incredibly satisfying to look at, and once again it was extremely hard to choose just one picture for this post. Kimmy categorises her pictures: her ‘Beauté’ range, for example, (which presents current fashions) are a joy to look at for a minimalist like me. Her story series and her ‘pixelated poems,’ however, are my favourites. You simply must check out her ‘Winter Lovers‘ series.
Mich Michabo: #PryceBodyLanguageChallenge
Finally, how could I not include this stunning image by Mich, taken in February for the Pryce Body Language Challenge. Whilst we officially remain enemies, I secretly adore pretty much everything about Mich, one of SL’s finest documenters.