Framed - Photo tutorial
Pose: HelaMiyo :: Poses :: Underwater
Dress by Entice (previous gift), hair by Argrace, bracelets by Real Evil Industries (gifts)
The other day a shop CSR asked me if I would like to become the photographer of a designer as she liked the way I photoshop my pictures. But the thing is: I do not photoshop my pictures (in none of our worlds and photography is my RL job). I'm one of those old school photographers who prefers to take the time to set up a studio and set up the lights exactly how I want until I get the result I had in mind. I don't even own photoshop as I boycott their brand.
So here is how I do shadows in SL:
1) Preferences > graphics > General > Ultra > LOD on 4
Hardware settings > antialiasing on 16
2) I rez 1 or 2 or 3 prims to make the lights with directional lighting
Rez a prim > right click your prim > edit > features > light > click on the square on the right and choose texture "blank" (this last part is very important, that's how you get directional lights in SL)
3) I usually place 2 lights in front of my avatar at 45°. If I want more dramatic shadows I put one at 90° and a second at 45°. Then I like to be even more dramatic so I turn the sun on midnight and sometimes I put a light behind my avatar to light the wall. (this photo is a bad example as I only used one light but you can see some examples on my flickr)
4) I do not retouch the avatar or the clothes, if there are defaults, I don't see a reason to hide them. I post process using Affinity Photo by Serif to turn the picture in black and white. Saturation = 0, clarity + 20 or 30 and that's all. That post processing part takes 3 seconds and the image is ready.
The longest time for me is not the styling as I adapt the clothes to the poses, or post processing but that's placing the lights and framing correctly.