SL allows you to have total control over how things appear. From the just the time of day down to the very colour of the sky and even where in the sky the sun or moon is. Yes you can still take a lovely sunset picture even though you are facing south. But you don't have to get too complicated because there are a number of "presets" built into the viewer, and as well as making your own, you can download ones that other people have made and add them to your viewer.
As an example of what a preset can do, here is a picture I took in Chakryn Forest using a standard setting:
and here is exactly the same scene using the Gelatto preset. Note this is how the scene looks in SL when you use the preset and is not the result of my messing with it in Photoshop.
To activate a preset:
- click on the World menu at the top of your screen,
- go to the bottom of the menu and select Environment Settings. If you just want to change the time of day you can do that here - voila instant sunset.
- again choose the last option Environment Editor. (There used to be a keyboard shortcut Ctr+Alt+E for this).
- a window opens up and you want to click on "Advanced Lighting"
- another window opens up and you will see "Default" with a little triangle next to it. Clicking on the triangle opens the list of presets.
You can click on one preset directly or try down-arrow enter, down-arrow enter to scroll through them one at a time.
How to download more presets? Torley Linden made a ton of them and posted instructions here:
I have Torley's presets on my computer and I also like the "Nostalgia" setting which turns the world sepia. You can get it here:
Finally about the "default" setting. Stop using it! :) I never use the default setting anymore and the first thing I do when I log in is change to our own custom "default" setting. We use a modified version of the Bare Rose preset (the original was way too bright but we modified it to one that looks great). Caliah has detailed her optimised settings here:
and it really really really is worth the time taken to make a better preset.
Finally, if you find this stuff useful or interesting then these will probably be useful too: