I like A Short Film About Long Things by Whiskey Monday. It defies gravity and our expectations. I also think it sold more HPMD grass than all their marketing combined. It’s a play on perspective challenging our expectations which is what art should do. Ernst Gombrich said, “Art is an institution to which we turn when we want to feel a shock of surprise. We feel this want because we sense that it is good for us once in a while to receive a healthy jolt. Otherwise we would so easily get stuck in a rut and could no longer adapt to the new demands that life is apt to make on us. The biological function of art, in other words, is that of a rehearsal, a training in mental gymnastics which increases our tolerance of the unexpected.”
Well, that’s what Whiskey is doing, increasing our tolerance of the unexpected. In terms of composition, you can see the light pole follows the Rule of Fifths, the line from Whiskey to the bird and the edge of the grass follows the Rule of Thirds, and the subject follows the Golden Ratio.
When I Was Six Years Old by Chel Glitter.
I like When I Was Six Years Old by Chel Glitter. Here is a delightful story-telling photo from Chel Glitter. I enjoy her photostream for all the stories she gives us in story. This one just made me grin…but you should click through for the whole story.
Without making promises about frequency or regularity, WHAT I LIKE is back.
Gothic Queen by Mononoke
I like this head shot by Tarja Haven called Gothic Queen. It’s a great use of shadow and darkness to create a mood and highlight her face. The angle she holds her head makes the shot more intriguing and the way the sunglasses fade into the shadow adds mystery and intrigue. Continue reading →
Some of you may remember my former column, What I Like, at Shopping Cart Disco. I have decided to revive that effort, though with a few differences. At the end of the column, I will add a gallery of 50 photos that caught my eye as well and that I considered including because it’s impossible to highlight every worthy picture.
Tyra Eiren has created a very dramatic photo. It is called Princess Warrior of China and it does seem like something out of an Ang Lee action movie. The drama is created in several ways. Her hand is forward, projecting in front of her face. It captures our attention because it lies one-third of the way across the picture, following the Rule of Thirds. You can see that her face is not directly centered in the middle of the shot. Except in rare circumstances, positioning the subject right in the center makes for a static picture. That small shift off center creates a more dynamic picture full of life and movement. You can see her hair, he kimono and the flashes of fire and sparks all radiate away from the center – another way to make the picture more dynamic. Notice as well, her sword is held at a slight angle – just one more way to create a feeling of urgency and drama. I like it. Continue reading →
So, now that my preferences are set and I have fine-tuned my windlight settings, I can finally take a picture! Whew! But wait, my necklace is missing pieces and my feet show through my shoes. I even have some bald patches! And after all that work!
Never fear! Debug is here!
Open Debug Settings from the Advanced Menu and type in rendervolumeLODFactor. It will autocomplete by the time you type L which stands for LOD which stands for Level of Detail. You want this set at 4 or higher. I find that 4 is high enough for everything I am wearing, but I suppose if I wanted to see the hazelnut in the raven’s claws 75 meters overhead, I might want to crank it up higher.
For some reason the regular Second Life viewer decided that I could only log into the beta grids. I tried all sorts of things to convince it that I wanted to go elsewhere, but it ignored me and kept defaulting back to the beta grid. Eventually I manual deleted all my App Settings folders for Second Life, deleting the cache, preference, everything. Since I had to reset my preferences anyway, I thought I might give you a walk-through of how I set up my computer to shoot photos.
First I press CTL-OPT-D to open the Advanced Menu. I want to be able to cam all over with my camera so Deselect Limit Select Distance. This not only lets me edit things far away, but I can also option-click on them to bring them into the exact center of the picture. Then I Disable Camera Constraints so I can move my camera vision all over, far away or close up. I select High-Res Photos because it doubles the pixel count of the pictures you save. I also select Quiet Snapshots to Disc so that I don’t get the click sound and also so I don’t make a cheesy smile in every picture. I also enable the Show Development Menu for some things later one.
(Handy Tip #1: See that Rendering Types Menu. Remember that! If you are editing a prim and it runs away from you and gets buried in a mountain or if you move your pose stand and accidentally lower it into the ground you can go there and rescue your lost and buried items. Just deselect Surface Patch and the ground disappears and there your things are.)Continue reading →
Exploring Second Life® could land you with hundreds of landmarks – many of them with names that provide no clue to what the place if like. All those landmarks just take up space, so a back in 2007 I began organizing my landmarks in a notecard to save space in my inventory. Since I was going to the trouble of putting them in a notecard, I started to group them with labels like Castles, Gardens and so on. Over the years I have added many more landmarks and twice a year go through and clean out and check them all to see if they are still accurate. It’s a sad task because each time so many loved places are lost or have changed hands. It’s sad to see a wonderfully imaginative sim turned into a strip mall. But along the way, I see some exciting new remodels of sims and changes over time, so it’s a bittersweet task. Which all brings me to the point of this post. I have just finished updating the notecard and to make my life easier, instead of handing it out to everyone, I put up a notecard giver in a round little box at It’s Only Fashion. I also added the slurl to the blogroll, so if you lose it, you can go back and get it again. So go pick it up, it’s free.