Artist of the Week - Joanna Kitten

Jun 14, 2022 at 03:00 pm by -gToon

Joanna Kitten is a talented virtual photographer. She works inside of Second Life, a virtual world that is filled with amazing places and beautiful scenes. Her Flickr gallery is filled with so many wonderful, poetic images that it was very hard to choose only 11.
She kindly allowed us to use her work and offered some comments on how she shoots in a virtual world like Second Life. Our thanks to Joanna for her time. Click the button below for her amazing Flickr gallery. 

Joanna Kitten on her working methods

I got interested in photography in Second Life about 18 months ago, largely as a result of knowing a few photographers who were taking part in a competition we ran in a region I worked at. One of them encouraged me to give it a try, and she recommended trying a different viewer than the one generally used to access Second Life. This is the Black Dragon Viewer, which has features that a lot of Second Life photographers find helpful. My first efforts were less than brilliant, but I found that I enjoyed the process of creating pictures, and gradually I became more proficient. I found that I had quite a good eye for composition, although looking back now at some of my earlier efforts I am slightly embarrassed.

I found that the community on Flickr was very encouraging. You get a lot of feedback on your pictures and this encourages you to try harder. I also am involved with a number of groups dedicated to photography that exist in Second Life. In particular one called Focus and I have gone on to write small articles and take photos for them as well as having pictures published in the magazine. There is really a very active community of photographers in Second Life, and it goes well beyond the type of snapshot that people may well associate with this virtual world.

At the start, I took pictures of mostly myself and the sims I visited, but gradually I became more known for my landscape pictures. Landscapes in Second Life have advantages and disadvantages. The disadvantage is the level of detail in the places you visit. The advantages are your control over the environment, the sun, and the ability to get radical camera angles and viewpoints.

I am a little different from many photographers I think in that I tend to spend ages in composing my pictures in the preview pane and probably only take one or two actual shots. I find I need to do minimal cropping then to get to the final picture. I edit sometimes using the built-in tools in Flickr and also using a photo editor, Affinity Photo. Initially, that was just to add noise to some pictures to give a grainy effect, but I am starting to experiment with other things such as movement blur and multiple exposures.

I think initially my landscapes were very traditional, showing the scene with everything in focus, but lately, I have become more experimental, particularly in my use of depth of field and the editor to blur backgrounds in order to emphasize the shots I want to take.

Sections: Artist Spotlight

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