With real life photography, I sometimes feel I’m chasing the light. If it’s a nice day or the light is especially fascinating, I know I’m missing some great shadows, so I better grab my camera and get outside before the sun moves on and the shadows fade.

There’s only so much time to get the photo.

Well, that’s real life, and we all know it is full of challenges. Not being able to control the sun is one of them.

But in SL, this isn’t a problem. In SL, you can control the sun and moon and the way your shadows are cast. The sun and the moon move at your bidding… If you know how.

You have to edit windlights, but don’t be afraid.

How to control the angle and length of your shadows:

1. In Firestorm, Ctrl+P to bring up Phototools.

2. Select the WL tab. (It’s the default, so it’s probably already selected.)

3. Under Windlight presets, select Edit Sky Preset.
This brings up the Edit Sky Preset window. It might look a little scary, but you only need to know how to use two of the settings here.

4. The yellow slider controls the length of your shadows.
This is the slider under the graphic with the sun and moons and stars. It’s the time of day, which controls the arc of the sun or moon in the sky. The higher it is in the sky, the shorter your shadows–not much of a shadow at noon; the lower the sun is in the sky, the longer your shadows. Just slide the time back and forth–you’ll see how it changes the length of your shadows.

5. The slider that’s labeled Est Ang controls the angle of your shadows.
This slider controls the angle of the sun or moon in relation to the horizon.

Just knowing these two controls, gives you a lot more control over your photos. You now control the sun and the moon and the length and angle of your shadows.

It’s that easy… in SL. Now, if I can just get this to work in real life.

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