I’m so honored to speak with two wonderful and talented photographers, Rachel and Loegan Magic, for this issue of FOCUS Magazine. They are a beautiful and loving couple who inspire each other everyday to achieve such beauty and creativity within their stunning compositions. Rachel and Loegan share their lives, their love, and their artistry with us. And even more, they show us how Second Life can be – and is – so beautiful!
Patrick: Thank you so much, Rachel and Loegan, for inviting Angela and me into your home today! You have created an amazing place to take pictures as well as enjoy your time together! To begin, let’s have some fun, shall we?! Would you rather play with Lincoln Logs OR Legos, and why?
Rachel: Oh my, I’m not too sure what Lincoln Logs are – I’ll have to Google that, but I did LOVE playing with Legos as I always had fun putting things together and playing with all the colors. I guess that isn’t much of a surprise, as I love to create my pictures and build a theme, which is so much fun!
Loegan: Well, I do have a memory about Lincoln Logs: when I was in elementary school, I remember always coming back from recess, and wanting to play with them, but never seemed to get into the room fast enough, and other kids were already building their log houses! But, like Rachel, I too loved building, and in a way, what I do here in SL is a reflection of my love for creating fun, and meaningful scenes.
Patrick: What is your background and a bit about your life experiences that has influenced your artistic expressions?
Rachel: I am from Australia so when the rest of the world is sleeping, I am awake. I have always had an interest in photography and have done some photography courses years ago when I got my first SLR Cannon Camera. It was before everything became digital and it was a great learning experience on how to take RAW images without all the bells and whistles. But I have upgraded to a Nikon now and it’s very much a bells and whistles camera. I am spoiled RL to be able to be near the ocean and also have national parks close by to explore waterfalls and play with shutter speeds. This, I believe, has helped with taking pictures in Second Life when I play with windlight settings, also a big part is patience and waiting for objects to rez.
Loegan: I grew up in the United States – a child of the 70’s. I fell in love with film at an early age. I guess it started with Star Wars and as I grew older I started watching foreign film, Akira Kurosawa, Ingmar Bergman, Yasujirō Ozue etc. I got caught up with the visual aspects of it. I am a big David Lynch and Stanley Kubrick fan. You can watch their films with sound off and feel the emotions coming through. I love how in photography, like film, you can use framing, lighting, and composition to convey emotion. Film was my first introduction to this. I later went to school for television and radio production. I am also red/green color blind so I think that has had a huge impact on my photos. It also prevented me from getting into photography in RL. I thought it would hold me back but instead I think it just helped my develop a personal style. I am drawn towards monochrome or muted colors. I didn’t even realize that a lot of my photos had muted colors until it was pointed out to me. If I do a color photo, I usually have Rachel make sure my sky isn’t purple or some unusual color. 🙂
Patrick: What does your work aim to say?
Rachel: Well I take a variety of images, when it comes to my furry friends pictures, they are about fun and putting a smile on peoples faces, I generally just go with the flow and the theme grows. My pictures can be quite busy and involve the viewer looking at the whole picture and spotting little quirks within it. Loegan has been known to log on to a virtual zoo and zero prims left. I am lucky he is a patient man.
Loegan: I usually try to find emotion in what might be overlooked. A simple image, like a coat rack or a parked car – something you might see everyday but I try to pull emotion out of it. Sometimes a simple thing can bring back memories or conjure up emotions. That’s what I am usually going for…not sure I always succeed.
Patrick: Who are you biggest influences?
Rachel: Well, Loegan has been a big influence with my pictures. We collaborate on a daily basis. This involves screen-sharing. We offer each other advice, but also try and let each other’s work speak for itself. Earlier, I was influenced by the encouragement from friends like Jos Loll and DILLIGAF (M8TY). They opened the door to programs like Photoshop – which I am still trying to conquer – and the Anypose System. Also, being part of the Edge Galleries Exhibition for ‘Surreal’ and ‘Monochrome’ photos has also helped me explore other aspects of the creative side of taking pictures. Many thanks to Ladmilla for selecting me for that.
Loegan: Again, the filmmakers I mentioned have influenced me and I am a big fan of painters such as Andrew Wyeth, Edward Hopper, Van Gogh, and Monet. Of course other SL artists, like Rachel, inspire me everyday with the way they work. Rachel has amazing patience and pays great attention to detail. She has taught me to slow down a bit and pay attention to the details. Collaborating with Rachel has made me a better photographer and, on a personal level, I think it brings another level of closeness. We often share screens when we work and make suggestions to each other. When one watches someone work so often, it is bound to have a strong influence on them. We are pretty much obsessed with SL photography, and discuss it almost all the time!
It’s such a treat to experience a couple who share a passion for life. Rachel and Loegan are such a couple! Both are truly gifted in creativity and artistic design but, more importantly, their love inspires the other to excel into areas where they could never have reached alone.
– by Patrick Ireland