Thursday, March 31, 2011

115 of 365: Visualizing Theorem Exhibit

I missed posting a photo last night.  I have no good excuse except that I chose to go to bed early.

Tonight I went to have a look around at the Visualizing Theorem Exhibit at the University of Texas at San Antonio sim.  The exhibit features the work of 18 artists inspired by tracks of the album "Theorem" produced by Ulf Skogsbergh

All the stations were excellent, and I particularly like station number ten, entitled the Moons of Galileo, pictured here:

From the station 10 notecard:

-----Excerpts from the artists' statements----

Douglas Story: Since before the time of recorded history, mankind has looked to the heavens for understanding of the universe's secrets.  In this piece, this quest has been inverted: you do not have to seek the cosmos; rather the moons seek -you-. They come to you and circle you like children, pets, or (as the excellent song composed by Ulf and Dub on the theorem web page suggests) lovers. As the moons circle you, they sing their songs into your ears as they pass briefly, then wander away to inform others of their secrets. 

Desdemona Enfield: In the Galilean Moon exhibit I hope to create scripted effects that generate the experience of being present within the living, moving music of the spheres.  Within a slowly shifting multiplicity of Jovian reference points, the moons exhibit a transitory curiosity in the human presence as they drift, explore, congregate and then move on.  Their orbital movement creates a coordinated visual harmonic to accompany the aural harmonic.

March Macbain: I read a while back that some astronomers, on detecting sound waves emitting from black holes, had worked out that the entire universe is humming on a note – a B flat 57 octaves below middle C. So this pitch was my starting point for the Moons of Galileo. My main concern was to create a sense of calm, of movement but on such a slow scale that one almost wouldn't hear it happening. Out there in space there seems to be nothing and a lot going on simultaneously and I tried to work this contrast into the piece. 


The grand opening for Visualizing Theorem takes place on Saturday, April 2nd.  I probably won't make it to the grand opening, but I will definitely be visiting this exhibit again in the next few days to enjoy the rest of the installations. 

Monday, March 28, 2011

113 of 365: Call me crazy

Sunsets and snapshots of my avatar face are always my "go to" when I'm feeling low on inspiration.  

I kind of had this crazy idea to do a 365 project of all nude avatar photos.  My traffic stats would go through the roof.  I did one nude photo and that post is now my third most viewed post and climbing, LOL!  That makes me laugh.  

It's probably a good idea to finish my current 365 project before thinking of another one.  I must be crazy, or just really, really tired. 

Sunday, March 27, 2011

112 of 365: Flop day

Today was a huge flop day for me.  I need a day like that every once in awhile.  Just a day devoted entirely to lazing around and doing nothing but petting the cat.  

Saturday, March 26, 2011

111 of 365

I went exploring a place called Dark Moon this evening which was quite nice.  Unfortunately, every time I tried to take a snapshot, I crashed.  I managed to get one photo...

Maybe tomorrow will be a better day with not so many crashes.  It's SL, it happens sometimes. 

Friday, March 25, 2011

110 of 365: Imagine plus Art Land

This was a very cool art sim to explore.  With larger than life art sculptures on display, it was a real pleasure to grab the floatie at the landing point and float around this water covered land. 

From what I have read over at New World Notes, Imagine plus Art Land will be no more as of April 2nd, so go visit it now while there is still time.  

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

109 of 365: Native Althea

I thought this was a nice place to roam around and explore.  Most Native American themed places I have seen in SL are pretty stereotypical, and well, just in really bad taste even quite offensive.  I didn't see anything like that at Native Althea and I want to go back and learn more about this quiet and peaceful place on the grid. 

Friday, March 18, 2011

104 of 365: Crash City

Tonight was a horrible night for crashes in SL.  I haven't had a night this bad in a long time.  After the last epic crash, I decided to call it a night and grab my last screen shot for my picture today.  

Image enhance, surface blur, crop, throw a frame on it.  Done.  I'm all out of patience for today.

Goodnight :)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

103 of 365: House guest

I took this snapshot last year at Burn2.  I wrote about this particular build by OhMy Shalala in this blog post, where I have a couple more snapshots of it.  

I wonder if she will ever put this build up again?  I would love to see more of her work in the future.  I think I might do a quick google search to see if anything comes up for recent work.  

I have an unexpected house guest tonight which is the reason why I am recycling this older photo.  No time to log in.  I had a really nice evening chatting, laughing and catching up.  Good times.

Back on the 365 horse tomorrow. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

102 of 365: Why a 365 Photography Project?

I had a short discussion with someone last night about my 365 project and my pictures.  I'm learning more stuff about post processing my photos so naturally, I'm doing more with photo editing.  I rarely post a "raw" photo from SL anymore just because I enjoy seeing what I can do with a simple snapshot to highlight the best of a landscape, build or creation.  It was brought to my attention that some people might see this as somewhat of a misrepresentation, i.e people might be disappointed when they tp to a place I took a photo of and it doesn't look the same as I presented it.  

Aside from adjusting my windlight and graphics settings, I don't think I drastically change my photos a whole lot.  Enhance them, yes, change them, no.  But I guess I can understand the point made.  But also, I think maybe I have not made my intentions clear in my project...

My project is about photography in SL, learning new photo enhancing skills, and creative expression.  I started providing SLurls to the places I take my photos at because I got requests to do so.  Makes sense.  A little bit of useful information for readers is always good, and if my images make you want to explore a particular place in SL, than even better.  The only time I don't post a location is when I take a portrait, or take photos on my parcel or some other place that is meant to be private.

The 365 Photography Project appealed to me because at this time in my life, making a commitment to do something creative feels a lot like making a commitment to go to the gym everyday.  I know it's good for me, but family life and my career leave me with little time left over to do the things that are not absolutely necessary each day.  Unfortunately, creative expression has fallen into the "not absolutely necessary" category and I want to change that.  Committing to stick to this project and to complete it is kind of like paying my membership to the gym.  Following through might be hard sometimes and some days I may not feel like doing it, but it will pay off in the long run. 

A hundred and two days into it, and I'm feeling some benefits.  I'm excited about learning new stuff and seeing an end result to my efforts.  It makes me feel good and satisfies my desire to CREATE.  If you enjoy the photos/images I make, than that makes me feel even better and I'm happy to have you following my progress. 

Peace :)

Dress:  Sea Kelp Dress by Eshi Otawara
Hair:  Irena Hair available at Vita's Boudoir
Skin:  Mima - Pale from Laqroki

Sunday, March 13, 2011

100 of 365: Ponderosa Ranch

I forgot to get a SLurl tonight before I logged out, but Ponderosa Ranch is easily found in the Destination Guide if you want to check it out.  Pretty place.  

99 of 365: Playing with frames

Not a very exciting picture.  I spent most of my time tonight playing around with frames and edges.  Now that I kind of, sort of know what I'm doing, I can spend more time taking more interesting photos :)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

97 of 365: "Aria" at Originalia

I went back to Originalia tonight to view another installation.  This one is entitled "Aria" by Eliza Weirwight...

Quite different from the installation I blogged yesterday, but equally as enjoyable.  

Visit Aria by Eliza Weirwight

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

96 of 365: "The Docks"

I learned something new in PhotoShop Elements tonight...jagged borders.  Pretty cool.  

I took this photo at a sim called Originalia.  This particular installation is titled "The Docks" by Scottius Polke.  The build is based on the artists real life drawings. (please correct if I'm wrong, I couldn't stay long tonight because my laptop is overheating, so I don't remember all the details).  It is quite mysterious and peaceful and I really enjoyed the atmosphere.  Really well done. 

I'm planning on going back tomorrow to take more photos of the other installations to post here.  

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

95 of 365: Sombre evening

I didn't know Sabrina Nightfire personally, but I certainly enjoyed her art work.  I was saddened to hear that she lost her battle against cancer earlier this week.  

I visited Bloom this evening, which features Sabrina's colourful and artistic creations.  


Lots of news of deaths in the last few weeks.

I arrived at work this morning and her desk was cleared.  It's ready and waiting for a new staff person to come and fill the emptiness.  It's still hard to believe that she's gone.

Digging through my desk drawers for Advil, I came across a birthday card my team gave me last fall.  I opened it up and a birthday message in her cheerful handwriting is right there on the top.  I had a cry at my desk before my colleagues started shuffling in at 9am.  I discreetly wiped my  tears and tried to carry on with my normal routine.  Busy work.  It keeps my mind occupied enough to not think about her. 

But grief emanates, and overcomes me when I'm not expecting it.  The memory of her pricks my eyes and salty tears well up. 

Here I go again crying.

Monday, March 7, 2011

94 of 365: Rainy Day

Just another little corner of my parcel.  Slowly rezzing my spring plants and trees.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

92 of 365: PhotoShop Elements tips and tutorials

I use PhotoShop Elements for my photo editing projects.  Back when I was looking for photo editing programs, I just couldn't justify spending hundreds of dollars to purchase PhotoShop because I'm not a graphic designer or photographer.  PhotoShop Elements was a cheaper alternative so I went with that.  

I've heard that PSE has it's limits compared to PS, but it meets my basic needs and I'm pretty happy with it so far.

If you use PSE, I thought I would share some links for tutorials that have been helpful to me:

4 easy PhotoShop techniques to make your photos pop (this is actually for PS but the steps worked pretty much the same for me in PSE)

I just found this site and haven't delved too deeply into it yet, but it looks great.  It's lessons and video tutorials dedicated to PSE and Lightroom:

If you have any other resources/links to share, post links in comments.  I'm always looking for new stuff to learn.

Friday, March 4, 2011

91 of 365: Tree

This picture was taken at no place special, just my treeless parcel.  I rezzed one tree, cycled through some windlight settings, found a yoga pose and snapped photo.  

Still getting used to using Surface Blur in PhotoShop.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

90 of 365: Office complaints and shopping at Tableau

I found a way around my 365 SL Photography Project...I never said it had to be 365 days in a row did I?

I'm kind of annoyed with work today. The stupid computer program we use to keep track of client files/reports/statistics and basically everything, is a piece of garbage. The system shows that I have 1/17 reports overdue. Yet when I go look at my percentage, it shows a big red 33% overdue. Since when does 1/17 make 33%? This pisses me off because it reflects badly on me, like I’m not doing my work. I’m going up to IT soon to try and solve this mystery because if our system is off, way off, our quarterly reports that we submit to the government are off too, which could potentially affect our funding.  I'll be happy when it says 0% overdue reports.

It's such a stupid archaic program.  Up until about 6 or 7 years ago, we were still using the DOS version from like 1984 or whatever because the agency couldn't afford to purchase the new updated version.  What a piece of crap, and an expensive piece of crap at that.

I'm feeling feisty today.  I'll take that as a good sign.  My mojo is coming back.

Enough about my boring job.

I logged in last night for the first time in over a week. One week in SL feels like a month in real time.  It's like dog years.  I was kind of lost figuring out what to do with myself, so I stood around and went through a boatload of group notices, inventory offers and some i.m's. 

I stood around some more until I remembered reading somewhere in the blogosphere that Tableau was back up and open, so I tp'd over to check out the new theme.

I recall reading in a Tweet or Plurk that the original theme for Tableau was Southwestern.  That must have been before my time in SL, so it's all new to me.  I love it.

I wandered around checking things out and I think it looks great.  I'm not normally a big fan of sim surrounds, but I think the one they use at Tableau looks pretty good.  I've seen some sim surrounds that are mountains and sky and just don't look good at all.  This one is just mountains and imho is more pleasing to the eye. 

I spent most of my time exploring so I didn't get a chance to do any shopping at all the great shops at Tableau.  I'll be going back this evening because I'm due for some retail therapy, and my $L's are burning a hole in my pixel pocket.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A brief hiatus

After a brief and unexpected hiatus from SL, I'm back.  I thought I would stay away for a little while longer because I haven't been feeling very social, but I exchanged some emails with a few SL peeps this week and it actually made me feel better, so here I am.

My dear sweet friend and colleague, Lysa, was killed in a tragic accident last week while she was on vacation.  As I type this, her birthday balloons that we surprised her with two weeks ago are still taped up and floating above her desk.  She turned 30 years old.  I suppose HR will be clearing her desk soon to send her belongings to her family.  Selfishly, I want to keep her stuff there for a little while longer because I think that looking at her desk with all her stuff will hurt less than looking at an empty desk that used to be hers.  Every now and then throughout the day, I glance up at the Happy Birthday balloon hovering above my cubicle and I expect to see her thick black curls peaking over the half wall that separates my desk and hers.  I cried for her family, who lost their beautiful daughter/sister/cousin in the prime of her life.  I miss her.

My best friend and soul sister Nicole, lost her brother last week.  He was 29.  I wanted so badly to be there for her, but I just couldn't make the trip to the west coast for the funeral.  

My great aunt Helen also passed away.  She was 92.  I will miss her, but she lived a rich and full life, and I feel at peace with her passing.

It's hard to reconcile the tragic deaths of those who were so young and vibrant.  They still had so much to offer the world.  

Given all the news of death last week, I was quite shaken up when my husband was injured at work.  He came within seconds of being electrocuted.  It shook me to my core to think that it easily could have been my family grieving too.  A part of me feels terrible for feeling relief at that, when the families of my two friends were not so lucky.  

My 365 Photography Project...should I continue or quit?  At the rate I'm going, I will finish sometime in 2012 lol.  It's not really a 365 project then is it?  Maybe I should rename my project because realistically, I don't think I will be able to keep with a daily photo/blog post for a year, but I do want to continue with it in some way.

For this blog and my 365, I will do what I would do in any other life situation that brings the daily routine to a halt for awhile...let the dust settle, pick myself up, start again where I left off and keep on going.