Be Happy

I’m slowly getting back into SL and taking photos. I’m also slowly getting back into Photoshop and editing photos.  Sometimes, though, you get lucky.

Last week I was wandering around Yorkshire, a sim I have visited before.  Changes have been made, of course, so I went back to see what it was like now.

It’s still beautiful, though in a different way than previously.  Before, it was bleak and dark (but not in a depressing way).  Now it’s more light and sun and relaxation.

I do edit my photos, but I play around a lot with windlights and focal lengths and effects in-world as well.  And sometimes, I manage to find a combination that works.

I found this little scene in Yorkshire and was immediately enthralled.  I’m not sure why, because I’m not a pickup truck or outdoorsy girl.  But it spoke to me in some way, so I stopped to take some photos.

And I got lucky.

I’m thrilled with the way this photo came out.  So happy, in fact, that it is now my PC wallpaper.  I don’t care if any one else likes it – this photo makes me happy.  🙂

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Sometimes It’s the Little Things

Last week I spent some time exploring a few sims and taking photos.  It’s amazing how much I remember and how much I have forgotten about taking photos in SL.

Part of the joy of photography in SL for me is getting to play around in Photoshop after taking photos.  I love trying out different things – it’s a discovery process for me, because I am largely self-taught when it comes to Photoshop.

I have an older version, back before the subscription model started, so I actually own the software.  It’s outdated, yes, but it still lets me do lots of fun things.

One of the pictures I took last week I wasn’t really happy with.  It seemed kind of bland and blah.  I played around with cropping and then tried some different effects, but I didn’t really find anything I liked.  So I set the photos aside for a few days and worked on other things.

Yesterday I sat down to do some editing and picked this photo back up.  I cropped it and added some background blur.  I still wasn’t happy with the photo, so I added a simple lens flare effect.  It completely changed the photo.

Sometimes it’s the little things that make you happy. 😀

Whimberly

As I’ve had free time, I’ve been back in SL exploring sims.  I’ve missed taking photos and playing around in Photoshop.  I’ve posted a couple of things on Flickr and I figure I have a while until I’ve uploaded my 300+ photos still available to me as a free Flickr user.

I didn’t have a ton of time to explore Whimberly, but what I did see was gorgeous.  I’ll have to make sure I return for another visit when I have more time.

I’m still a sucker for lighthouses. 😀

Time and Space

Time-Flies
Image Source: empower-u-academy.com

The older I get, the more time is on my mind.  I took a hiatus from this blog for a while, and while I was gone, the blog had its 6th birthday.  6th!

I can’t believe I’ve had this blog for 6 years.

When I started it, I had more free time and so I posted more often.  I’d thought that as I got older, my free time would increase, but it hasn’t worked out that way.  However, I’ve missed blogging and writing, so here I am.

Space is the other thing on my mind – I use the free version of WordPress for this blog, so I get a limited amount of space for the pictures I add.  When I was posting reviews of dance shows, I had multiple pics per post.  Same with when I started doing travel photos – multiple pics per sim.  I’ve only used 21% of my free storage so far, so I guess I have another 12 years or so before I need to worry about reaching the limit? 😛

Seriously, though, it’s a real dilemma.  You want pics because those interest people (and drive traffic) but the tradeoff is the space requirements.  I could upgrade to a paid account with WordPress and get more space, but that’s hard to justify right now.

I also used to post my pics to Flickr, but now Flickr is limited as well, unless I pay to go Pro (which I won’t).  So now I’m back to debating what social media I might want to use with the blog.  I used to post on KoinUp back in the day and they’re still around (and still free, I think) or I could use my Ello account.  Any suggestions besides Fakebook and Twitter?  😀

Social Media and SL

SocialMediaReport
Image Source: http://www.convinceandconvert.com

Yesterday I was going through my old SL links/bookmarks and went to visit ASNers.  Apparently the site no longer exists.  Not a surprise, but then I became curious what other SLers are using for social media.

I used to have them all – Fakebook, Tweeter, ASN, Plurk, and a few others, but I don’t use them anymore.  I suppose I have a love/hate relationship with social media.  I love how connected it can make you, but I hate how most of the companies actually work.

I refuse to use Fakebook (see here and here) for SL or RL.  I don’t agree with the policies and practices of the company, so I don’t use them.  I kept using other sites for awhile, but I ultimately decided that it was too much of a time waster – not enough benefits for the returns I was getting.

I was curious, though, what everyone else is using.  Fakebook, Tweeter, Plurk, and Flickr I know, but is there an alternative site out there?  I did some searching and found Avatarbook and Onlinker – are there any others I missed?

Dejá View

Image Source: salescoachdan.com

For the past week or so, I’ve been slowly easing back into SL.  In many ways, it feels like I never left.  My avatar, inventory, and land are exactly as I left them.  My virtual wallet has gotten thicker (thanks to my premium stipend), but other than that, everything appears the same.

But it isn’t, of course.

I was barely present in SL for almost two years – and I don’t see myself returning my previous levels of activity.  However, time in SL is something I enjoy and so I will.  🙂

Many things have changed in those years, obviously.  I’m excited to experiment with animesh, but I’ve seen much less of it than I had anticipated.  Lots of stores/venues I used to frequent have closed – people moving on in RL as they do.  My friends’ list looks the same, but it seems a few of them have disappeared.  They are present in my list and nowhere else on the grid.

Yesterday I was trying to wrap my brain around the bakes-on-mesh project.  I see the benefits, but understanding how it all will work was tough.  In some ways it seems like going backwards, even though it isn’t.  It will be interesting to see what happens on the grid when it finally appears.

I feel a bit like a time traveler – things seem familiar on the surface, but underneath there are changes I have yet to uncover.  Hence the dejá vu.

I look forward to seeing what other changes I’ve missed.  In the meantime, I have inventory sorting and shopping to do!

Change Is Inevitable

I spent most of Saturday afternoon teleporting around SL and looking to see what’s changed in the 2 years or so that I’ve only been inworld intermittently.

I was trying to see if any new animation stores had opened so that I could see (ok, buy) some new dances.  Didn’t really find any.  Although I did find a few old stores still around.  Old as in they haven’t uploaded anything new in the last few years.  But SineWave was around forever even though nothing new was added.  Not sure when it finally closed, but it’s no longer there.  Or at least, no longer accessible.  It shows up in search, but I get an error trying to tp there.

I’ve been going through my inventory and boxing/deleting old things.  Which, to be honest, is most of my inventory at this point.  There are always things I won’t part with – sentimental things and my dance animations, of course.  But everything else is fair game.  I have an overflowing build folder that is full of items I use to build sets.  It needs going through (again) but it’s so large it’s overwhelming. So, clothing folder it is!

I deleted most system clothing several years ago after I bought a mesh body.  I still have a lot of mesh and applier clothing, but everything is at least 2 years old now.  Which is, like, a decade in SL time, right? 😛

I really should go through my hair and makeup folders as well – no need to keep that 9 billion prim hair from 2010, is there?  Just kidding, I got rid of most of those a couple of years ago.

Back in 2013, I bought a CTS Wardrobe system.  Boy, was that a blast from my SL past.  Once upon a time, I was trying to put everything in my wardrobe so I could see photos of what I had, since many creators don’t include photos of the item in your purchase.  I haven’t touched the system since 2015, I don’t think.  I know that probably 90% of what’s in the wardrobe was boxed up and/or deleted in 2016.

Right now, I’m leaning towards just deleting most of my clothing and buying new stuff.  I mean, things have to have improved in two years, right? I’m still waiting on bake-on mesh, but the animesh project did happen while I was away.  So I’m curious to see that in action as I wander around inworld.

The saddest thing I’ve found so far is that PurpleMoon is closing.  I’ve been a member of that group forever – almost since I joined SL.  I was going through my groups and seeing what notices I’ve missed and discovered the sim was going to close that day.  So I missed out on her huge closing sale.  Bummer.

Ah, well, change is inevitable, right?