“If you just build it, they might not come”: promoting events in SL (2) | Inara Pey: Living in a Modem World

Image Source:  facilitiesscheduling.wvu.edu
Image Source: facilitiesscheduling.wvu.edu

This is the second article in a series by Caledonia Skytower for Inara Pey’s blog.

As many of us know, promoting and marketing your events, whether RL or SL, can be a huge challenge.

Caledonia is sharing her years of experience with us, and it’s definitely worth a read. :-)

This post covers the basics of marketing materials – what you should include, what you shouldn’t, and how you should always be open to change.

I can’t wait for the next article!

Source: “If you just build it, they might not come”: promoting events in SL (2) | Inara Pey: Living in a Modem World

LEA22 – Funky Junk

Whenever I’m looking for a good place to take photographs, I know I can count on the LEA sims.

This trip I ended up at LEA22 – Funky Junk.  The description says it’s still under construction, but there is a ton to see and explore.

LEA 22 1The sim is full of art pieces and vignettes made of recycled junk.  I was having so much fun exploring that I was snapping pics like mad. Of course, I couldn’t resist playing around a bit with some of the great filters in Firestorm.

LEA 22 2I was a little lost and confused at first, but still having a blast wandering around and looking at everything.  (I always forget to read the land description until after I’ve wandered around a bit – or a lot!)

LEA 22 3I loved these little worker ants – heading down into the whirlpool of discarded junk, and then trundling back up the hill to their home.

LEA 22 4It really does make you stop and think about how much junk we humans through away (into landfills, the ocean, etc.) every day.

LEA 22 5There were some whimsical vignettes placed here and there around the sim.  I’m not quite sure what species these birds (?) are, but their babies are cute as the dickens. :-P

LEA 22 6This scene struck me as particularly funny and poignant. The little worker is making trees out of the trash lumber, and then painting it green to make the trees you see in the background.

Ironic, yes?

LEA 22 7As I was pondering the irony of the Forestry Department scene, I stumbled into this forest of book trees.

The sim was amazing and chock full of things to see and do.  The land description also says to wear your headset and click stuff (something I neglected to do).

Head on over and try it out!  Or, if you don’t have much time in-world, you can visit the Funky Junk blog and see what it’s all about.

Happy Accidents – Cammino e Vivo Capovolto

The other day I was wandering around SL with my camera, trying to relax.

I stopped at Ocho Tango to take some pictures.  The area was a bit smaller than I had imagined, so I was camming around to see what I could see.

Off in the distance, I noticed some statues.  Intrigued, I wandered closer and found a fantastic art installation by Mistero Hifeng.

I was confused at first, because I had landed at Ocho Tango, but then realized that I had crossed a parcel boundary into Cammino e Vivo Capovolto.

Cammino 1Which, according to Google translate, means ‘walk and live upside down.’ :-D

I’ve seen some of Mistero’s work before and loved it.

Cammino 2Some amazingly powerful images here.

I stood around for several minutes just trying to take it all in.  I went back before writing this post to get some additional information and found pieces I had missed previously, so make sure you take the time to wander and see all the fantastic pieces.

Cammino 3I love this bridge with all the statues carrying umbrellas. Some of the pieces convey such a feeling of sadness and loss, but looking at them gives me so much joy.

Cammino 4The way the light is breaking through the trees and illuminating the broken figure below – poetry for my soul.

Cammino 5In front of the bridge is this trio of broken ladies.  I’ve been there – broken, shattered, and wondering how on earth you can make yourself whole again.

It’s an amazing body of work – if you have even a few free moments, stop by.

You won’t be disappointed.

Skye Neist

A few days ago while wandering around SL, I came across Skye Neist in the Destination Guide.  It seemed interesting, so I headed over with my camera.Skye Neist 1It turned out to be a lovely little sim.  The designer is also a creator and many of the homes he sells are placed in the landscape.

I found lots of little nooks and crannies to explore and some fabulous scenery.  There is a forested area, several beach areas, and some lovely vignettes. Skye Neist 2While I was exploring, I was also having fun playing around with the various built-in filters in Firestorm.  I didn’t do anything in Photoshop to these pics besides cropping.  Skye Neist 3I had to chuckle a little when I came across this sign, because it echoed exactly what I was trying to do with my SL travels.  After a rough week, I was looking for some peace and quiet. :-)Skye Neist 4I got a little too happy with the lens flare filter during this shoot, but I just love the way it looks on this massive tree.  :-)Skye Neist 5This beach area had a lot of vignettes, but I was particularly struck by this crooked tree.  Where I live, a lot of our trees look like this because of the heavy winds we have.  No beaches, though. :-(

Skye Neist 6After I remembered to up my draw distance a bit, I stumbled across some really amazing builds.  I love this steampunk castle – it looks like it could detach and soar up into the sky at a moment’s notice. (Another lens flare filter, oops!)

Skye Neist 7This was another castle build.  I thought the curves and arches of the doors were interesting, and not something I’ve seen much. I don’t frequent many RP places, so that may be why. Skye Neist 8This huge castle was set off on a promontory with a long stone path leading up to the door.  If I had unlimited space, I would love to have a castle like this to live in and decorate. :-D

I stopped at Skye Neist on a whim, but it is a beautifully decorated sim and well worth a visit.  Be sure to spend some time exploring – lots to see. :-)

Ocho Tango

Last week was a bumpy week for me in RL, so on Friday I sat down in front of the computer and spent some quiet time wandering from sim to sim.

I keep a list of places I’d like to visit and photograph, so my first stop was Ocho Tango.

I’ve seen other people’s photos of the place and I wanted to check it out for myself.

Ocho Tango 1

I didn’t realize it was actually a dance club (where you can tango!), so there were a few couples dancing when I arrived.

I’ve no idea who this adorable couple was, but I couldn’t resist snapping a few pics while they danced. :-)

Ocho Tango 2

I generally try to keep to one windlight/filter when shooting, but this statue just screamed for something different. :-P

Ocho Tango 3

I stumbled across this little guy while wandering around the area.  I love it when you find whimsical vignettes like these scattered around. It adds so much personality to the build.

Ocho Tango 4

As I was about to leave, I stopped for one last look.  I found the tree in the distance perfectly framed by the gnarled tree in the foreground, and I had to take a photo.

Ocho Tango is a beautiful little area.  Take a few minutes out of your day and go do some exploring.  Be sure to take a friend so you can do some dancing while you’re there!

Photoshop Tips/Tricks: Dodge, Burn, and Shadows

Image Source:  facilitiesscheduling.wvu.edu
Image Source: facilitiesscheduling.wvu.edu

I’ve gotten behind in watching all of the great videos Daeberethwen Arbenlow has been putting out for using various tools in Photoshop. :-(

The following two videos go together – the first is on using the dodge and burn tools to add highlights and shadows to your SL photos.

The second is a follow-up video, with more information on how to use the dodge and burn tools to contour your photos.

I’ve not had a chance to experiment with these yet, but I can’t wait!

I’m sure it will take time to develop a feel for when ‘enough is enough,’ but in the meantime, I plan to pull up of some old photos in Photoshop and start playing. :-)


Tutorial: Highlights and Shadows with Dodge and Burn using Curves:

Tutorial: Contouring Photos (beginner to intermediate):

If you can’t see the embedded videos, click here for the highlights video and here for the contouring video.

MJ’s Burlesque Review Show

This weekend I was finally able to see the newest show from the creative geniuses at MJ’s Burlesque. :)

The show was originally scheduled for Friday, but due to technical issues, was cancelled.  Luckily, I was able to make the show Sunday.

MJ 1Nancy was the first to hit the stage, in a sexy piano number.  The staging was perfect, and her steamy emotes were a hit with the audience, left drooling in their seats. :-)

I always love to watch Nancy perform, because she has such a terrific sense of stage presence.

And she’s one hell of a designer – I wish I had half of her design sense!

MJ 2After Nancy, it was time for MJ to take over with her performance tribute to David Bowie.

I love the runny mascara effect she donned – a very moving homage to Bowie’s creative genius.

I must say, I was never a huge Bowie fan, but I’ve been amazed how many songs I never realized were his.

MJ 3Next up was Zed.  I’m always tickled when Zed dances, because she has such an offbeat, wicked sense of humor.

This time, though, she threw me a curve, and danced to a piece about her nightmares.

MJ 4I was excited to see the number, because our very own Yumster was going to be dancing as well.  MJ and Nancy were spectacularly frightening as monkey-headed, suit-wearing figures.

Yummy turned out to be an imp who was all kinds of creepy.  The routine was a fantastic piece of performance art and it was amazing. :-O

MJ 5Nancy was up next with her homage to Bowie.  The set was spectacular, as always.  But what impressed me most with this act were her emotes.

Not many venues do emotes anymore, but I love it when they do and it enhances the story they are telling with their dance.

MJ 6The last act of the show was MJ, with a fun, sassy, and trashy little number set inside a 50’s-style diner.

Such a great set, and a fantastic show all-around.  If you missed it on Sunday, there will be an encore performance on Tuesday at 2pm SLT.  Enjoy!