Some images from "The Dark Side" by Anley Piers and some thoughts on photography in Second Life

When I started this blog in 2009, one of my motivating factors was that I wanted to learn how to take nice images.  I often scrolled through shots on various blogs wishing that I had the eye and talent to make images that would inspire people to explore all that Second Life has to offer.  

In the beginning my pictures were terrible and I had no idea what I was doing.  But I kept trying and slowly I improved.  

Today, I feel pretty confident in saying that I think I achieved that goal.  I’m not boasting.  Those who know me know that I rarely give myself the credit I deserve, so saying something like that is a big deal for me.  After a lifetime of doubt and insecurity about my creativity, I found something that I enjoy doing and I think I’m fairly good at taking a decent shot.  There’s lots of room for improvement and I am always learning new things about photography in Second Life.  And what I have learned in SL, I carry over into the atomic world too.

Which brings me to my point…

I’ve been involved in some discussion, in Second Life and in my daily life, about what constitutes “photography”.  What is and what isn’t “real” photography, just screenshots from a virtual world or jazzed up iPhone pics from daily life?  It seems that anyone can be a photographer these days doesn’t it?  Just point and click.  No talent necessary.
Well, I happen to disagree with that.  I spent a lot of time just pointing and clicking and not putting any thought into what I was trying to capture.  To me, a photo that the taker has put some creative effort into, looks and feels a whole lot different than a random point and click pic.

You know, I never called myself a photographer or any of my images here artwork.  I still don’t really know what qualifies as Art, what it is and where the line is drawn.  The only thing I know for sure is that Art is subjective and what I might consider to be artistic, could be just vandalism to someone else or just screenshots I take with my computer or mobile device.  Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.  That’s fine and I can live with that.  

What I cannot live with is when my time, effort and creative expression are dismissed as something cutesy, a little hobby to keep me busy that has no real purpose other than to give me something to fill my time with.  I do not like being condascended too and I have no problem saying so.  But I rarely win these types of discussions because it’s a waste of time trying to argue with closed minded individuals.  I say what I have to say and go on my way and keep on doing what I’m doing.  I trust that there are people out there who appreciate my efforts.  And there are some people who do and have expressed that to me, so thank you. 

You can’t please everyone right?  Whether it’s taking pictures, sharing your opinion with the world on your blog, or whichever way you choose to express yourself – there will always be critics to cut you down, because that’s just what they do.  I don’t let that stop me.  I do what I do here because it makes me feel good, plain and simple. 

So that was the long way of expressing how I feel about the critics, but really my thoughts are best summarized in two short words:  Fuck ’em!

I didn’t intend for my little rant to distract from the my visit to “The Dark Side” that is currently on display on MetaLES.  If you are familiar with Mysterious Wave, you will easily recognize the fine and detailed work of Anley Piers.  I really enjoy installations such as this one – dark and melancholy yet beautiful. 

Beautiful creations in Second Life such as The Dark Side make it a real pleasure to take photos to share here with you all. 

Direct link here to visit The Dark Side by Anley Piers currently being displayed at MetaLES…O.  It’s beautiful.  Enjoy. 


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