Above is a perfectly ordinary shot, taken at sunset on the Whimcentricity sim. In the foreground is a rusted-out boat by Wagnhorne Truss. Far away, in the background, is a lava flow on the volcano Pele.
Nice, shot, but wait. Let me zoom in my camera...
Click the images to zoom.
Callie! Get out of my picture! Your eyes aren't rendering and it's creepy! Move along!
Click READ MORE to learn how to zoom your camera in and out.
As in real life, zooming the camera in foreshortens; objects in the background looks closer to foreground objects than they actually are. This can create a great deal of drama with landscapes and even more when taking closeups of avatars.
Compare the above, which I took at a concert, to the unzoomed SL snapshot below.
This shot of Netera Landar is from her interview in SL Newser - People. It's a good photograph, but zoom would have removed much of the background and allowed readers to get a better view of Netera.
You can also zoom the camera out. This creates a fisheye effect.
It's not such a great idea to zoom all your photographs, but it's one of the most powerful features of the camera. It's good to know how to use zoom-- and when.
So, how to zoom? It's simple. But before I continue, let me just say-- with extreme zoom you may need to increase your draw distance. 250 meters will usually work, but depending on what you're photographing, you may need to go even higher. Don't forget to turn it back down when you finish your phototaking.
CTRL-0 will zoom in. From the default view, the camera will step in fifteen or so times.
CTRL-8 wlll zoom out. From the default view, the camera will step out three times. It used to zoom out more, with the last step giving a strange and sometimes useful effect, but that's been removed.
CTRL-9 will return your view to normal.
When zoomed in you can back slowly out with CTRL-8, and when zoomed out you can pull in with CTRL_8, but remember CTRL-9. When you lose your focus (and you will) when zoomed in, it's easiest to return to normal, refocus, and zoom in again.
So just remember, CTRL-9. CTRL-9 is your friend. And so is zoom.
My thanks to Torley Linden, who pointed out the power of the Second Life camera in one of his early vidtuits.