Living in a Painting: Introducing Second Life and Windlight

Cave Rua Water Gardens

When I first began to explore the virtual world of Second Life I was amazed by the weird and wonderful creations that I found there. Second Life’s website uses the phrase: ‘Your World, Your Imagination’ as their banner line and they explain that ‘Second Life is a 3-D virtual world entirely created by its Residents’. What that means is that people can literally make what they want, they can build things in 3 dimensions and colour them and add scripts to them. When I travel around Second Life it is like walking through a painting.

William Blake Sky over '4'

In one of my past lives I was a freelance photographer and I traveled around the UK taking photographs of landscapes and architecture for magazines. So when a friend in Second Life showed me how to take photographs of the virtual world I was intrigued. It took me a while to learn how to use the camera controls and I took a few uninspired pictures in the beginning. Then the creators of Second Life launched ‘Windlight’ and my virtual world changed! The clouds moved across the sky, the sunlight played on the water and I was hooked.

Boston Light

This strange virtual world created by artists and programmers is a communal art project that we can all visit and photograph. Pretty wild!

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