Photographs or Screenshots?

( pop over and check out my latest photography adventures here at The Runes of the Gatekeeper’s Daughter)

I’ve read some wonderful posts and comments recently on this topic (see below). It makes for a thought provoking and imaginative discussion.  I belong to a few groups on Flickr who do not allow any SL screenshots and I’ve listened to some angry diatribes as to how  Second Life images have taken over Flickr groups. I admit the number of SL groups on Flickr is quite prodigious, but a few of them like Blue Moon Gallery and Kultivate Magazine will take both virtual and RL shots and I post to both. So for those who know me as the Dune Mouse on The Runes of the Gatekeeper’s Daughter and the few who might know me from one of the virtual galleries..

I admit rl photography is my passion. But…

Art imitates life? A woodland in SL and one out back of my rl home.



what constitutes art? I love portraits and was quite pleased with my virtual “bean sidhe” Aiobhill, on left which was picked as “image of the day” on the Kultivate Magazine Blog.



Many virtual artists and sculptors have a brilliant eye for  light and design and often use the platform in more abstract ways to present concepts and ideas,whether social, spiritual or psychological.

Below is a virtual image from my story The Siren’s Bones (using a real girl in an sl setting), and the beautiful and fanciful watercolour build by rl artist Ceakay Ballyhoo who brought my “Tales of the Tuatha” to a virtual setting.



And, what about the builders! To me they are the true artists and story tellers. I’m paying homage to their talent when I take a “screenshot.” They use the pixel spaces to paint amazing and imaginative landscapes and their animated canvases allow others to enjoy and create stories of their own.  And thus the progression through time, of storytelling,  literature, art and movies culminates now in immersive virtual theater.

forests and temples of the imagination in all worlds



I love the storytelling aspect of the virtual world and the fantastical landscapes, though I am old fashioned.  I still like the tactile experience of holding a camera and venturing out into a more physical and full sensory event, like climbing old stone steps or feeling the wind on a forest path, which a virtual world cannot give me.

Creative editing is a separate project and it matters not where the picture originated. Visions become art and poetry.  I applaud the artists of Second Life and other virtual worlds. If an image moves me in any way or provokes a thought, I consider it art.

I would have loved to include the work  of others but out of respect for copyright do instead check out these great virtual art blogs and the thoughtful discussions and comments. Some of the machinima created by these same artists is amazing.

Check out my sidebar for just a few of the many virtual artists, builders, writers and

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  1. Wonderful post and topic, Cybele! I also enjoy taking pics and walking about in both worlds, virtual and real. They may be different, but in some ways they are not, as you pointed out. And people like you who so creatively and giftedly combine the two in your pictures show that things intertwine in more ways than one.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s interesting just how real the virtual world can get, isn’t it? Maybe it’s more of a mimic, though. I think of it in much the same way as when I’m creating a story, it’s kinda virtual and in my head until out on the paper. Then the two worlds – Imagination and Print – align. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  3. You are absolutely right! Art is not only bound to RL. There are so much artists in Second life with brilliant eyes for a setup, light, shadows. You know everywhere are people who take there hobby too serious. I have some RL photographers (and only photographers) as followers in my Flickr as I follow some RL photographers and artists too. If someone is angry about my SL post I don’t post in that group anymore if the ADMIN tells me the SL photos are not wanted in this group. I also respect if they state in the rules they want only RL photos. Some photographers think only a clean RL photo without any Photoshop is art. They are wrong and do not understand what art is.
    Keep having fun with your photos in RL, SL and mix of both too. Your intention for beautiful art is awesome!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. thanks so much for commenting Aida!! and for your support!! I have a cousin who believes that a photograph need not be touched up and she takes wonderful landscapes. But as you say, each intention is different. I like to play with images! thanks my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. An interesting post, Cybele. Virtual photography is art as much as any piece created using any other artistic mediums. I love RL photography, but that doesn’t prevent me from also loving photo art. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. ha thanks Louise. I see people are being diverted to this site instead of my main one!! I must fix my profile settings. Yes I am in agreement. But it’s the builders of the pixel worlds that deserve credit. Some of them are highly imaginative and I do enjoy exploring them.


  7. Such beautiful photographs…. The edition stands out… they are so dreamy!….
    Art imitates life… but, also, Life also imitates Art, right!?-… an interesting Complementary dichotomy, right!?.
    Have a great weekend ahead, dear Cybele… Sending love & best wishes. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This too is a marvelous place to be at, Moon. I really loved the energy that you’ve given to these pictures. They almost seem real as if they’ll come to life, and yet they still look like fantasy from a distant land. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Splendid art photography and portraiture work,lovely monochromatic forest shots.I try to spot your recent posts,this one is a 2017,which I had missed,but I did marvel at the majestic beauty of your captures 🙂


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