~Snowy Evening~

I was born and raised in New England, I love lobster, chowder, the beauty of the changing seasons and the small towns of coastal Maine.  My residence of the past four years is in a city situated in the northwest corner of South Carolina.  Not only am I terribly homesick for the coast of Maine…I am also very much missing the snow.  As I sit by the open window, with the temperature nearly 70,  all I can think about is taking a lovely walk in the evening; with snow softly falling around me.
~Snowy Evening~

Come September, I shall be moving even further from my beloved Maine.  My husband and I will be traveling back to Tennessee; to be closer to our family.  So, for now, my longing to take a walk through the snow at twilight is only a click away…on the many beautifully landscaped sims of SL.  Tonight, I strolled around the gorgeous sims of Winterfell.  An enchanting place to wander and enjoy quiet reflection.

I leave you with the words of the inimitable Robert Frost.

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

The Details

Clothing:

Black Fur Bolero and Hat:    Eshi Otawara

Poet Shirt II (Black:)     ~Sassy!~

Memoire’ Pencil Skirt (Pearl/Black):     Indyra Originals

Curved Wedges (Black):     [RA] RunAway

Midnight Sheer back seam Stockings:  -CG- ChronoSlap Galaxy

Accessories:

Tabula Rasa Necklace and Earrings:    CHOP ZUEY COUTURE JEWELLERY

Kismet Wedding Set:     CHOP ZUEY COUTURE JEWELLERY

Hapa Bangles (Bronze):     Indyra Originals

Avatar:

Skin:     Glam Affair -Jadis- Natural 09(a)

Eyes:     Ikon Eternal Eyes (Black/Large)

Hair:     booN DES423 Hair Black with booN Black Hairbase

Hands:     Slink Mesh rigged hands Elegant.

Eyeliner:     LpD  Prim Eyeliner (black)

Prim Eyelashes:  *REDGRAVE* Eyelashes- 11-Showgirl

Mesh Eyelashes:  ::BB:: (Beetlebones) Mesh Lashes V.01 (SLEB Black)

Beauty Marks:  [:T:] Beauty Marks tattoo layers (layer option 2) [:Tuli:]

Poses:     aDORKable Poses Sleek Dork Pack

Shot on location at Winterfell, Anodyne using LumiPro V3.2 and edited using PicMonkey (Royal Pack Edition).

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~Cosmic Swing~

I have been fooling around with creating poses and layers for my photos and this piece came together on the fly.  It reminded me of a silly piece of fluff I wrote ages ago…so I put the two together just because I can :p
~Oblique~

~Cosmic Swing~

Today I swung above the earth
tilting to and fro
hair floating in
weightless beauty
catching stardust
and cosmic glow

I held tight
to ropes of stars
and rode higher still
through the blue vault of heaven
touching moon beams and astral frill

Such wonders
did I spy
baby stars in
angel dust
cradled lovingly
in the cosmos
generated by solar lux

The moon, the sun
creation
yet unseen
and all
this I did
spy
upon my
cosmic swing

The Details

Avatar:  COCO DESIGNS *DOLL COCO* Body/Snow, Head/Snow_kyoko

Hair:      Boudoir Fairytale Hair (Powder)

Eyes:      Curio Tragic Eyes (Watercolor/Large)

Slippers:  SLink  Ashia Ballet Pointe Pewter

Shot on Location at Inevitability of Fate.  I found my avatar stuck between prims and it looked like I was suspended in space…so I snapped the shot.  It was just a throw away shot…so the quality isn’t that fabulous.  I was just fooling around with the filter I had made and dropped it on this pic…tweaked it in Picmonkey and voila…crappy pic with a layer over it and a crappy poem.  File it under astral ephemera…or cosmic junk 😛

Learning as I go…

It’s been a few days since I posted because I was having major issues with trying to take high rez snaps in Firestorm…for almost a week.  I have no idea what the issue was and I tried the several suggestions that came via the SLU forums…to no avail.  So after the last major freeze then crash, while trying to enable shadows, I switched over to Niran’s Viewer.  I’d heard it was excellent for SL photography.  Still not sure about that…as it is a HUGE learning curve just trying to acquaint myself with the viewer set-up. (AND the sky preset windlight choices are far fewer in Niran’s).  For now I am bouncing between the two hoping to either resolve the love-hate relationship my video card is having with FS or to fully commit to Niran’s.

Anyway, on Monday I had shots (taken in Niran’s) all ready to post for a mash-up dress I’d composed out of two hunt items…but I couldn’t make up my mind which shots to edit/use and finally decided 99% of them were pure crap shots.  Soooo I decided to just start with editing the head shot I took to show the Glam Affair skin (from the WomenStuff Hunt) and the new group gift ChiChickie Iris hair.

This is a the first crop of the raw capture:
test niran's_006PM4

One thing led to another and this post morphed into showing the process and progress of how I am learning to edit my SL photography.  Let me qualify now…I KNOW I am NOT the best photographer…I KNOW I have a LOT to learn…and I KNOW that I make a lot of mistakes.  BUT, through all the mistakes, frustration, lack of editing software skills and pretty much self-teaching…I am enjoying discovering how I can approach SL photography in my own unique way.

First draft of editing…cropped it a bit tighter, rebuilt the crappy nose and tried to maintain the original texture of the skin:
test niran's_006PM3

I wasn’t quite satisfied with the end result…I’d messed up the lovely texture of the skin while trying to fix a few blemishes…which left it splotchy looking. I struggled with going further in editing the face.  After all, there is a point at which the skin no longer looks like the one you will buy.  If I were a fashion photographer and were highlighting the skin for you to run out and grab…I’d leave it as unedited as possible.  BUT, I am NOT a fashion blogger/photographer…I am just someone in SL who enjoys fashion, shopping, photography, art and exploring new places. So I have more creative leeway when it comes to how much I can edit my pics.

My “finished” pic:
Learning as I go...
It took me several hours to edit this pic (on and off…a girl has to sleep eventually)…and I’m sure that someone with mad PS skills could have done it in only minutes.  I did all the editing for this photo in Picmonkey…where I hunt and peck for things…make a LOT of mistakes and learn a great deal from those mistakes.  I break a lot of rules (mostly because I don’t know that I have until I do)…I don’t own PS (That’s a LOT of cash to lay out!), and my skills with Gimp are extremely limited (I can open it…does that count for anything?). I ask as many questions as I can (without trying to be a pest), take classes at Builders Brewery and study other SL photographers work.

In the end…EVERYTHING is open to individual interpretation, we all learn on our own curve and there is usually always more than one way to approach anything in life…including photography and editing.  I’ll continue to make mistakes to learn from and I welcome any help/constructive advice someone takes the time to give me.

Here are several resources that I tap into to try to continue to add new skills, learn and grow:

  • Builder’s Brewery often has excellent classes on photography from beginner to intermediate…check the schedule (online or inworld) for times and dates.
  • Youtube (just enter the search term for the tutorial you are interested in…e.g. “Photo Shop Tutorials”)
  • Strawberry Singh has fantastic tutorials on SL photography. I don’t know her personally, but I am thankful for her kind spirit in sharing what she does.  Study her work…she is fantastic!
  • Cajsa Lilliehook, from It’s Only Fashion, is very knowledgeable in fashion,  photography, blogging and marketing.  She generously shares that knowledge with her readers on the Tutorials & PSAs tab.
  • I belong to over 90 Flickr photography and fashion groups; where I can study fabulous SL photography and post my work for feedback.  If you go to my page, you will find a list of the groups I belong to.  Click on the group link to check it out and to join the group.  While you’re on my page…check out the people who are on my contact list…I am constantly adding people to that list…people who’s amazing work I have noticed and want to follow.  I add them as a contact so I can be alerted when they post new work.
  • In-world I have truly wonderful artist friends who patiently answer my questions.  I also attend in-world art exhibits; to study the work and to support the hardworking artists.
  • Finally, I recently became actively involved, in the SL art community, by organizing/hosting the upcoming Autumn Art Walk that will be running from November 17-Dec 15 at The Beguiled Art Gallery & Studio.

Art and Life are fleeting…stay captivated!  <3<3

Eyes:  Curio Tragic Eyes, Neptune (Large/Shine) (Prim eyes) Sadly not available at this time…HURRY back PLEASE Gala! <3<3

Eyeliner:     LpD  Prim Eyeliner (black)

Prim Eyelashes:  *REDGRAVE* Eyelashes- 11-Showgirl

Mesh Eyelashes:  ::BB:: (Beetlebones) Mesh Lashes V.01 (SLEB Black)

Beauty Marks:  [:T:] Beauty Marks tattoo layers (layer option 2) [:Tuli:]

Teeth: KIKI (Came with a skin I bought from them)