It probably wouldn't be hard to place most SL photographers on a spectrum based on how heavily they rely on Photoshop for their everyday snapshots -- purists who have nothing but vanilla pieces on one end, highly embellished "Pile-up" superstars on the other. Second Life fashion pictures and Photoshop go particularly well together, almost inexorably linked, so it's no surprise that most virtual world fashionistas have become Photoshop addicts. Myself included.
But lately, something's changed.
Like many fashionistas (bloggers chief among them) I'm the kind of person who can't take a single picture in Second Life without touching it up in Adobe Photoshop later, and it's been that way for nearly as long as I've been in SL. My preference in others work was the same. Colors should be adjusted, bumpy meshed should be smoothed, jagged edges blurred...
At some point, a lot of that stopped mattering to me. At some point, the most appealing pictures became the ones that looked the least tampered with, like the image above by the Photoshop-free SL artist Loverdag... Though there's certainly still an art to making a picture look flawlessly un-Photoshopped in Photoshop. But either way, I'm not quite sure what exactly has changed. Is it a larger trend, a reaction to Photoshop snapshot saturation, or just shifting personal tastes?
So here's what I want to know: How much Photoshop is too much, both from an artist and a viewer perspective? Is there a point where all that post work is just a turn off, or do you eat it up regardless? Most importantly, do you feel the same way about it now as you did a few years ago? Share your thoughts in the comments below!Tweet
Iris Ophelia (@bleatingheart, Janine Hawkins IRL) has been featured in the New York Times, and has spoken about SL-based design at the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan and with pop culture/fashion maven Johanna Blakley.