Heart to Heart

Heart2Heart
Heart2Heart

This image was intended to be the introduction of Louise, one of the characters from the story I am working on in the background. She is wearing a Genesis Head in this image which, in full light, doesn’t look bad but I simply could not get it to look like the image of Louise in my head. The bone structure – especially in the nose – was just not working for me.

However, I hadn’t yet come to that conclusion when I took this shot. The heartfelt moment between the horse and Louise was sincere and since we can’t really see her face, we’ll leave it at that for now.

This image was created in the Black Dragon viewer but I still haven’t managed to grasp full control of the ability to blur the background in Black Dragon so it was done as a composite – derendering the closest horse and pulling Louise out of view to photograph the background.  Tone and color adjustments, as well as highlights were completed in photoshop.

Image born in SecondLife at Dya’s Abandoned Vacation spot
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Tea Party

Tea Party
Tea Party

This image turned out to be a huge effort…bigger than I had imagined. To begin, I needed to find a location for the shot. We explored several places but finally settled on Dim Sum Gardens in SL. Next, Kyashi and Pattie had to find Kimon’s they were happy with. I wasn’t too concerned about Robert.  I knew he had one available though I forgot how old it was and how terribly it fit.

Then there was the search for the tea set that I could place individual items where I wanted them. To make it more difficult, I was initially turning things away because they had handles, unlock traditional cups I had seen for tea servings. After many trips and actually purchasing several sets only to find they would not fill my need, I finally bought some full perm, mesh cups and saucers. They came with textures so I new I could texture them to match the tea pot. I created the textures in photoshop and they looked perfect.

There was also the table – I wanted an empty table to set the tea serving on. Again, I wasn’t able to find what I was looking for but was able to wipe the table clean in photoshop.

I had noticed white things floating in the air but figured photoshop would take care of that. Additionally, I had a cat to add. My list was long but not overwhelming.  Similarly, while shooting, I noticed that I would have to  fix Pattie’s kimono but this was all manageable. So, I took the shot.

Original Tea party Image
Original Tea party Image

It took me a while to notice the tea cups and saucers. I recalled reading complaints about Balck Dragon and transparencies but i didn’t fully appreciate them until now. If you zoom in to the cups you’lll see my problem.  I had created the textures with a transparent layer (in .phg) for no good reason and now I had unrecognizable cups and the only option at this point was to repair them by hand while they played tricks on my eyes.

There were wardrobe issues that I had to address, the building being lit in the background.  Missing ring, fence mending, and tending to the cat to ensure he was sat the right light.  The list of repairs goes on and on.

Finally, there was added lighting and shadows and…and flying tea.

Adding splashing/spilling liquid was a new effort by me. All the videos I found made it look simple and had I not cared what it looked like, it was simple. but I did care and struggled to get the correct settings. Finally, i had to say ‘enough’.  I could have spent a lifetime on this one but I was ready to move on.

I am quite happy with the finished result though. Yet again it was a great learming experience…but hope to do some easier shots for a while.

Onc

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Red Sky

Red Sky
Red Sky in the morning

This image began as a post to the SL forum “How does your avatar look today”.  I’m still fumbling through the Black Dragon viewer, having been bit twice.  Still, the poser is a dream.

The mood this weekend was all about ‘Social Distancing’ and the Coronoa Virus so when I arrived at this island and found myself heading for a quiet corner to take a shot, it seemed to fit the theme. Windlight was used to pull the sun down to the horizon and add a little red/pink. Honestly, it seemed more red at the time than it appears now…thus the name of the image 🙂

I am not too surprised to find there is more than one version of this rhyme that I heard so long ago.

The version I heard and was thinking of was this:

Red sky at night, sailors’ delight.[1]
Red sky at morning, sailors’ warning.

Again, the appropriateness in my mind was due to the now blossoming pandemic that the entire planet is grappling with.

After the photo was taken and uploaded to the SL forum, it occurred to me that some small adjustments and a lens flare might qualify it for my flickr page and so it is.

The tune I chose to go with it is likely more appropriate for a ‘red sky at night’  than for morning though I must say that watching the sunrise, no matter the sky color is a mesmerizing experience for me.

 

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Breathe

Breathe
Breathe

Without sounding like a broken record (hopefully!), this image is yet another created as an artifact to the ‘bigger’ image that Pattie and I are collaborating on. Kyashi and Pattie spent a lot of time shopping for kimonos for the upcoming shot. There were so many to look at!  It was easy to weed out many simply because we didn’t appreciate the fit or style but in the end, there were so many left to choose from that it was difficult.

In fact, Kyashi couldn’t really decide so she bought a fatpack (which means there will be more images of her in a kimono). Then there was the hair piece and socks and shoes.  All this was going on while also searching for and in some instances, creating objects for the ‘big shot’.

Finally feeling quite happy with her choice of kimono, Kyashi couldn’t help but stop and talk to the birds at the gate of Dim Sum Gardens while on her way to take a closer look at the actual photo location.

This is one of the first images taken in the Black Dragon viewer and did require a small amount of post processing. The blurred background was done in world, but highlight was added to most everything in the foreground – flowers, dragon, birds and of course, Kyashi.

Kyashi’s pose was created using the poser in Black Dragon which I love.  There is so much flexibility that it is easy to move the wrong thing and too far. It does take some getting used to but I think it work the effort.

In the end, I was quite happy with the way this one worked out – both during the process and in the final result.

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Wildflowers

Wildflowers
Wildflowers at Dim Sum Gardens

Sometimes they come so easily while others really make you work. When they are equally fulfilling, I sometimes question my choices.  Why put the extra effort into something if in the end, taking the easy road gets you to the same place. The answer is simply that the path is the goal.

I spent a lot of time, with the help of Pattie, looking for a location to shoot a photo that we were collaborating on and finally found a spot I liked at Dim Sum Gardens. in fact, the location of that photo is visible in the background of this image (the gazebo directly above/behind the horse’s head).  Once the location was determined, we still had shopping to do along with addressing other issues that arose.  I’ll save all those for the comments on that particular image.

This image was taken while I was exploring the sim, making sure that there wasn’t a better location for my needs.  There wasn’t but on spotting a guitar on this bright sunny day, sitting in the shade and strumming a few strings seemed like the thing to do. The horse apparently became curious as it kept circling near me.

It was a simple photo. No composite. Post processing included only some highlights on my face and arm in addition to the mane of the horse. Most everything else was done with windlight in the viewer..

This was a fun, relaxing image who’s name seemed to be obvious and without much effort to find a piece of music to go with it.  This doesn’t lessen or improve the experience, it was just different and varied from many other efforts.

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