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The Heresy Series: Virtual Reality Photography

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I got the idea of doing my Daily Shoots in the virtual world of Second Life when I remembered Robbie Dingo’s legendary virtual reality installation of van Gogh’s Starry, Starry Night.

Dingo films himself “building” the painting as Don McLean’s musical tribute plays.  I find it nearly spiritual to witness so much creative genius, across centuries and media, in a short 4:18.

I’m no photographer but once-in-awhile I luck up.  I’m looking at the Daily Shoots as an opportunity to, as Jim Groom says “to practice my creativity habit” and to actually learn some basic photography principles.  Shooting in the virtual world is a way to scaffold my learning so I can focus on the principles and learn something that will transfer to real world photography.  I hope.

To a purist, I can imagine this may seem like heresy.  I’m sitting at a computer playing God with the environmental settings, ie “advanced sky”; hovering over, under, and around geometric objects created on a grid, and moving away anything in the frame I don’t like.  The only thing real is that, at least so far, the elements and principles of photography seem to apply and I’ve having a ball learning things the easy way.

Here are my shots for the first week.  They are all taken on USDLC’s beautiful Star Island in Second Life where I teach.  The island was designed and created by videographer Bill Lovin aka Ajax Quinnell and the Heresy Series is dedicated to his creative genius.  It’s an awesome world he’s created.

Rainbow’s End on USDLC’s Star Island (abstract, colors and shapes)


Nautilus, lighthouse spiral staircase (depth & dimension)


Sunset at the Temple of Learning (low horizon)


I Am Woman: NSF Study — Avatars Affect Your Real Life (Newsworthy)


2B Writer aka Cris Crissman (fill the frame)


Virtual Bikes for Actual Fun (Repetition)

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