West of the Rain

I don’t know how I discovered West of the Rain, but I do know that I have seen a ton of photographers taking amazing photos of the sim. 🙂

I’m a bit late to the party, because I took these photos last month, but better late than never, right?


It has that old, vintage, grungy, lost to the world look that is so popular right now.  I’m old, but even I don’t remember when gas was only 27 cents a gallon. 😛


There were lots of areas to explore, and I was just entranced when I found this camper.  I love how the vines and ivy have grown up, around, and into the camper.  I did have a peek inside, but I always feel like I might be intruding when I do. 🙂


I love the marina with all the different boats.  I have no idea how to sail, but going out on the water on one of these looks like it would a great afternoon of fun.


I found this covered bridge and couldn’t resist snapping a pic.  These bridges always make me think of simpler times, when nobody was in any particular hurry to get anywhere.


There was even a general store with some fabulous produce for sale.  The watermelons looked delicious and the aromas from the spices was amazing.

There was much more to explore than I’ve shown here, so make sure you put West of the Rain on your ‘to visit’ list and soon. 😀

Exploring Nouvelles Aventures

I first heard about Nouvelles Aventures through Inara Pey’s blog.  It looked very interesting, so I headed over to check it out for myself.


When you land, you’re greeted by this amazing vista – a huge barn framed by gorgeous sunbeams.

I’m not sure I would have picked the pink sky, but it works. 😀


I’ve seen this piece before, but I was struck by the beam of light combined with the beautiful particles – bubbles and fireflies all swirling around. It definitely gave the scene an ethereal feel.


And, of course, my requisite lighthouse pic!  I’ve not seen this particular lighthouse build before – I love the blue roof of the lighthouse contrasted with the thatching on the cottage roof.

It’s one of my dreams to live in a converted lighthouse – I’d put my bedroom in the top of the tower, just so I could wake up to those amazing views every day. 😀


I was particularly taken with this beautiful tree.  Its branches were slowly moving in the soft breeze, and it looked like a fabulous place to just sit and reflect for a while.

There are lots of areas to explore and photograph, so grab your camera and head on over.  There’s a Flickr group set up for the sim if you want to share your photos.  Have fun!


Simulating a 20mm lens in SL – Kultivate Magazine

Image Source:  simpleicon.com
Image Source: simpleicon.com

Another great article from Myra Wildmist about simulating different lenses in your SL photography:

Kultivate Contributor Myra Wildmist is back with a new tutorial. This time she demonstrates how to simulate a 20 mm lens in SL: Last time, I showed how to change your Phototool settings to mimic di…

Source: Simulating a 20mm lens in SL – Kultivate Magazine

Hestium II

While out and about looking for places to photograph, I came upon Hestium II.  The land description mentioned ‘stories,’ so as a writer, I was curious and went to explore.


When you land, you receive a notecard about Hestium.  It states, “The houses in this tiny community are ‘inhabited’ by unseen people.  They are people from all walks of life, from different times and places – with different backgrounds and agendas.

But who are these people?
That is for you to discover. Their homes hold clues to who they might be – sometimes in plain view, sometimes hidden away. Walk in, look around – in cupboards and under beds. Examine their homes

So why are they here?
That too is for you to decide. YOU can create their stories.”

Curiouser and curiouser. 🙂

I wandered around, trying to see what clues I could find.  Inside the cottage above, there were traces of the inhabitants.


It looks like they left expecting to come back – the table is still set for breakfast.  I’m not sure I’d want to climb up that ladder every night to go to bed, but the view out the windows is amazing!


I tried to see if I could figure out who had been there and where they were, but no luck. 😦

The sim build is beautiful, though, so even if you’re not a sleuth, it’s still well worth visiting just to see it all.


I found this gorgeous castle? temple? Inside was a – well, I’ll let you explore that part for yourselves. 😀

Have fun creating your own stories!

Byrd Island

Perusing my way through the Destination Guide, I came upon Byrd Island.  It sounded intriguing so I went to see for myself.


The land description reads, “Take a step back in time to explore this once inhabited island. The Light house keeper and his family left the island never to return. Could it have been the birds, or something else? Byrd Island is now open for tours.”  Indeed, the island was empty of inhabitants, other than the multitude of birds.

Since the island was empty, save for me, I took the opportunity to take some time and experiment with the lens settings as per Myra Wildmist’s blog posts.  I was able to get the full sim shot above, though I obviously need some more practice!


The island itself is a bit foreboding, with a windlight that gives it a spooky feel.  Add in the ravens flying around everywhere, and you can almost imagine Tippi Hedren running around screaming. 😀


There are lots of nooks and crannies to explore, and since there is no one else about, don’t be shy about poking around.

This would be a wonderful place to take some spooky and/or eerie photos, now that Halloween is fast approaching. 😛

The Key to Minimalist Photography

Image Source:  simpleicon.com
Image Source: simpleicon.com

Some good information on shooting using DoF and negative space to help frame your subject.

Source: The Key to Minimalist Photography

Understanding Equivalent Exposure Pay attention – there’s a Quiz

Image Source:  simpleicon.com
Image Source: simpleicon.com

This is a great article for helping you to understand how aperture, shutter speed, and ISO work together.  And there really is a quiz at the end!  😀

Source: Understanding Equivalent Exposure Pay attention – there’s a Quiz

The Gates of Melancholy

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to visit The Gates of Melancholy. According to the land information, the sim is inspired by the life and work of famous American painter Andrew Wyeth.

Gates of Melancholy 1

I’d seen pictures of the sim taken by several different SL photographers, so I was curious to head over and see it for myself.  I wasn’t disappointed.

Gates of Melancholy 2

There are tons of areas to explore and the windlight is simply amazing. Sometimes I will find myself playing around with the windlight on sims to get different effects for my pics.  But I loved the windlight on this sim. 😀

Gates of Melancholy 3

I think one of the reasons the sim is so appealing to me is that it reminds me of 1) home, and 2) simpler times.  No reminders of things that are ubiquitous today – cell phones, TVs, cars, etc. Just peace and quiet.

Gates of Melancholy 4

I would love to live somewhere like this – near the shore, where I could listen to the waves crash on the beach, but high enough to be protected from most storms, sheltered by huge old trees.

Gates of Melancholy 5

I’ve never lived near the water, so I am fascinated by places like this.  Being that close to so much water seems like it would be amazing.  Of course, I’m sure I wouldn’t appreciate the storms and hurricanes, but it’d be worth it, right? 😛

The sim is absolutely gorgeous, so hop on over and check it out.

SL Photography: Simulating popular lenses in Phototools – Windlight Magazine

Image Source:  simpleicon.com
Image Source: simpleicon.com

This is a great article (and series) on photography in Second Life.  I’m definitely going to be trying out these settings and see what impact it has on my photography!!

Read more here:

Windlight Contributor Myra Wildmist explores how you can Simulate popular lenses via the Second Life PhototoolsL When you take a snapshot in Second Life, you’re essentially using a 50mm lens:…

Source: SL Photography: Simulating popular lenses in Phototools – Windlight Magazine

Honeycomb Expedition

When I have a chance to explore (which isn’t nearly as often as I would like), I often hit several stops at once.  As I was looking through the Destination Guide for some suitable places, I came across Honeycomb.

Home to Hive, a home and garden store, Honeycomb is a wonderfully sweet (pun intended!) and charming area.

Honeycomb 1

When you land, turn around and head away from the main store.  This sign greets you as you enter the area. A terrific sentiment. 🙂

Honeycomb 2

You all know my love of lighthouses.  This broken one made me happy and sad at the same time.  I loved how the sunlight was glinting off the water – so beautiful!

Honeycomb 3

There aren’t any beaches near where I live, so I am always happy to explore them virtually whenever I can.  My husband loved this area, – mostly because he loves old VW campers, but it’s still gorgeous!  What a life – a beach bum, living out of your camper, getting to see amazing sights like this every day.  *Sigh*

Honeycomb 4

This little area was one of my favorites.  I don’t generally like the white-washed, shabby chic look, but here it absolutely works.  The trees, the birds flying around, the windmill – spectacular!

Honeycomb 5

This was another favorite area – but this time because it reminds me so much of the things I see every day.  Old barns, tractors, water towers, and trees – my daily view outside my car windows. 🙂

So head on over to Honeycomb and spend some time exploring – it’s absolutely gorgeous.  Then when you’re tired of exploring, you can head over to Hive and pick up some fab H&G items for your own little corner of SL. 😀