C’est La Vie

After a particularly frustrating day with the Destination Guide (with lots of places listed that no longer exist), I decided to try another tack to find new sims to photograph.

This new method led me to La Vie – a gorgeous sandy island that makes me dream of swinging in a hammock, cool breezes blowing while I catch up on my reading with a mint julep handy.

La Vie BeachI would love to live somewhere like this, wouldn’t you?

Everywhere I wandered I found seating areas, all with absolutely gorgeous views of the water.

La Vie BeachI can hear the water, the waves lapping gently at the shore while I relax and meditate.

La Vie Porch

The house had plenty of inviting spaces as well, including these lovely chaise lounges set up out on the patio.

The landscaping on this sim was so well done I am still in awe looking back at the photos.  The windlight was gorgeous and lent the whole island a feeling of peace and tranquility.

La Vie BicyclePlus, I found this adorable bicycle – who wouldn’t want to pedal around the island in this little beauty?!

If you’re looking for somewhere to relax or for some peace and quiet, this sim is just the spot.

Looking for Somewhere

I’m always looking for Somewhere, and this time I found it!

Somewhere is collection of several islands, each with a whimsical decor theme.

Pirate Island SomewhereI dubbed this one ‘Pirate Island.’  It doesn’t look as if the pirates had a terrific time here, especially since they appear to have left without their ship. 😛

Circus Island SomewhereNearby is ‘Circus Island,’ which looks like a much more fun place than Pirate Island.  There are several old circus cars, some with animals in them.

This island had lots of little nooks and crannies to explore, though of course the unicorns captured my immediate attention.

UnicornsIf you can drag yourself away from the gorgeous unicorns, there is more to explore.

Carnival WagonI’m not a huge fan of puppet shows, but I admit this one looked intriguing.  Unfortunately, I must have arrived after the show was over, because no one was there.

Fairy Tale Island SomewhereThis is ‘Fairy Tale Island.’  It just seemed a fitting name, given the Rapunzel-like tower that is so prominent.

Pea's Mattresses

I didn’t find Rapunzel, but I did find the Princess’ pile of mattresses, complete with pea underneath. 😀

Somewhere was a fun place to explore with lots of hidden areas to find.  In fact, when I arrived, the Princess was napping, but I managed to snap a pic after she awoke.

Find Yourself at NorderNey

NorderNey is another sim that I kept meaning to visit – so I did and finally crossed it off my list!

I wasn’t sure what to expect – the area isn’t large, but the scenery is gorgeous.  I think some of the builds are actually resident’s homes, but they were so beautifully decorated that I couldn’t help sneaking some pictures with my zoom lens. 😛

Norderney Beach HouseI love this beach house – it’s so open and airy and exactly the kind of home I’d want if I lived on the beach.  My favorite part of the house is that the curtains were blowing in the breeze – it’s those little details that add to the feel of a build.

Beach DreamsThis little bench underneath the window would be one of my favorite spots.  Sitting in the warmth of the sun, a cool breeze blowing, while you listen to the waves crash – pure heaven.

Beach PatioOf course, one of the best parts of living on the beach is that you can spend a great deal of your time outside (something I don’t get to do enough here in the Midwest where I live). These shaggy seats and comfy pillows look so cozy, with snacks and lots of reading material nearby.

Woman on WallI think this was my favorite house on the sim. I don’t know if this house build comes with this photo already on the wall, but I thought it was a such a great idea – I love how she seems to be staring out the window at the waves.

Bistro Table with BirdThis little fellow was chirping away when I wandered by – I think he was enjoying the breakfast leftovers.

Interior Design ArtThis is such a fabulous vignette – I wish I had enough space in my RL home to have an area like this for all my art supplies.  I love the woven rug and the little space heater.

Front GardenI couldn’t resist the field of daisies in the front yard – and the little chicks wandering around were simply adorable.  The cute yellow scooter is so inviting – it was so hard to resist hopping on and going for a quick spin around the beach!

If you’re looking for a quiet spot to sit and relax, NorderNey is the ticket.

Where Beauty is Neverfar

After completing my course through Visionaire, I’ve been even more excited to travel around SL and find gorgeous sims to practice with.

I keep a list of places that I’d like to visit when I have time to go for a photo wander.  Neverfar was on that list, so away I went!

VR WindmillI must say, Neverfar absolutely fantastic.  I normally play around with various windlights when I take photos, but the sim windlight is spectacular.

All the earth tones were fabulous, and the landscaping and decorating were amazing.

Neverfar Artist VignetteEverywhere I looked there was another stunning view.  I would love to have an outdoor studio space like this one.

VR Living Room VintageI was blown away by the design aesthetic of the whole sim.  I’m normally not a fan of shabby chic or rustic vintage, but this sim is one I could definitely live in.  The sumptuousness of the decor and the lived-in, cozy feel made for some spectacular scenes.

Swamp HouseAs I walked around, I found surprise after surprise, including this fabulous little patio area.

Beach HouseThis little shack with its comfy chair makes you want to just kick off your shoes, sit down, and relax with your favorite book.

Boardwalk Cafe VintageIf you get thirsty, you can head a short ways down the boardwalk and grab a cold drink at this gorgeous little cafe stand.

Neverfar sim SLOne of the things I love about SL is being able to see the creative genius of its residents.  I was actually surprised how much I enjoyed Neverfar – it’s not my usual style, but it is so gorgeous.  I found myself staying much longer than I normally do, just to let the beauty sink deep into my soul.

Take a few minutes and go for a visit – it will not disappoint.

The Sands of Time

I’ve visited the Sands of Time before, but I wanted to go back for another look. When I visited previously, I was looking for a location for a photo, which I found rather quickly, so I didn’t spend a lot of time wandering around.

SL Fairy RingThis time I did. One of the first things I found was this magical fairy ring.  I stayed for a bit to see if I could spot any of the fae, but I had no luck. 😦

SL al JinnI was camming all over the sim, trying to get a feel for the place.  Also known as Majilis al Jinn, it has an Arabic/Moroccan feel to it.  The lush palm trees add to that oasis feel.

SL Sands of Time WaterfallThere were several little waterfalls around. Sitting around and listening to the sound of falling water is so soothing and peaceful. Each waterfall had several nooks around where you could sit and just relax.

SL Sands of Time ObeliskI stumbled on this obelisk while wandering.  I’m fascinated by the ancient Egyptians, so this was a cool find.

SL Sands of Time PeacockNear the obelisk I found this open courtyard, complete with peacocks.  I kept my distance – I’ve known a few peacocks, and they aren’t always the friendliest of animals. :-/

They are gorgeous, though, aren’t they?

It’s a beautiful sim, with a large area to explore, and a new find around every corner.  There are lots of secluded romantic nooks, so you might find your visit even more enjoyable if you bring along a special friend. 😀


Tension at La Digue du Braek

La Digue du Braek is a sim I found while hunting through the destination guide. The sim is an experience of the push-pull of industrialism versus leisure.

La Digue HouseI started out on the leisure side.  It was a sandy beach, with pieces of habitation here and there, like this broken down house.

La Digue beachMostly the beach was empty.  Bleak, but pretty.

La Digue CamperI did find this trailer, complete with a little seating area where you can take a load off for a while.  Across the little inlet, I could see the industrial area with all the cranes and shipping containers.

La Digue TowerThe industrial tower looks like trailers that have all been piled on top of one another.  Not very aesthetically pleasing, but functional, I suppose.

La Digue StorageNext to the housing area were these lovely storage containers.  They weren’t marked as biohazards, but I don’t think I’d want to live next to them.

La Digue WarehouseThere is a huge warehouse on this side of the inlet, although it seems rather broken down and in disrepair.

It was an interesting sim to wander around – there are lots of little hidden things to find, and I enjoyed just sitting near the beach and watching all the container ships come and go.

Frights at Disturbia

When I’m sim-hopping looking for great photo spots, I have a tendency to avoid RP areas.  Mainly because I’m a huge introvert and I don’t want to interrupt anybody’s RP or get pulled into it. 😀

Even though I generally avoid RP areas, Disturbia seemed intriguing, so I decided to head over for a look.

Disturbia CrowsIt was as disturbing as promised. I started to take some photos of the scary clowns I found, but then I decided I didn’t want to frighten some poor reader who stumbled onto my photos.  So if you want to go see for yourself, feel free. This post will be clown-free,  however. 🙂

Disturbia SkullThere were lots of bodies littered around, along with other frightening sights, like this giant skull.

Disturbia Gas StationI’m not quite sure how a gas station fits in with an old carnival, but the plethora of dead bodies seemed to pull it into a cohesive whole.

Disturbia ChariotMayhem and destruction was everywhere – including this Roman-era chariot, complete with arrows, spears, and bloody helmets.

Disturbia StatueMy favorite thing on the whole sim was this statue. It’s beautiful, and haunting, and terrifying all at the same time. Stunning.

I can’t remember if Disturbia provided an OOC tag for observers, but I wandered around for some time and never ran into anyone.  If destruction and mayhem are your thing, head on over to Disturbia.

If you’re afraid of clowns, I hear Prehistorica is a great place to visit. 🙂

Time Travel to Prehistorica

I had a bit of time to do some sim-hopping the other day, and I decided to re-visit some places I’d been to previously.

I’m always on the hunt for great locations, especially to use as backdrops for photography.  I visit tons of fabulous sims where people who are landscaping geniuses have worked their magic.

Today I decided to re-visit Prehistorica – I’d been there once, quite a while ago, but watching all the dinosaurs was fun, so I headed back to see how it looked now.

SL Prehistorica Sim

They’ve added additional portals (new to me, anyway), so now you can visit other places besides the dinosaurs, like an underwater Atlantis sort of place.

But I was here for the dinosaurs, so off I went!

SL Prehistorica Creche Sim

I had to wander for a bit before I found the dinosaurs, but there was plenty to look at along the way.  I did stumble onto a raptor finishing off his dinner.  Luckily, he was full and I managed to shoot this photo of the remnants. 😛

SL Prehistorica Rocks

With a careful eye out for other raptors who might see me as a good meal, I kept wandering. I could hear other dinosaurs in the distance, so I headed that direction.

Prehistorica DinosaurSuccess!  I found this momma dinosaur wandering about, with her two babies never far away.  I thought the long-necked dinosaurs were herbivores, but she had some nasty looking teeth.  Discretion seemed the better part of valor, so I hid behind some rocks and zoomed in from a (hopefully) safe distance.

Prehistorica TriceratopsI also found this spiky guy nearby.  He seemed peaceful enough, but the horns were still a pretty strong deterrent to getting any closer.

If you like dinosaurs (and/or other things prehistoric), hop on over and explore Prehistorica.  There’s lots to see, so make sure you give yourself plenty of time to wander around.  Don’t forget your dino repellant!

Tranquil Bay

Fall is one of my favorite seasons, so I was absolutely captivated by Tranquil Bay.  Tranquil Bay (Fall Trace) is the last visit in my Trace series.  It’s seriously amazing.

Tranquil Bay LandingYou land at this gorgeous spot – the colors of this sim are spectacular.  I love the soft orange of the horizon, balanced by the browns and greens of all the plant life.

Night TreeI think this is my favorite photo from my visit.  I love the glow of the lights in the tree and the fireflies – I can almost hear the cicadas and bullfrogs as I sit in front of the fire.

Tranquil Bay HouseThe pops of pink flowers here are stunning, mixed in with the earth tones of the house and surrounding plants.  That rocking chair on the porch looks so comfy – sitting there rocking, watching the sunset, sipping on my sweet tea . . . *sighs*

tranquil bay cabinCan you imagine living here? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to get up every morning to a sight this gorgeous?

Tranquil Bay IndoorEven the indoor decor is fantastic – I love the woven net with the lights and the clock.  I’m not a huge fan of rustic, but this is so well-done.

Shooting StarsThere was no shortage of things to see, including these amazing shooting stars over the water.

This is definitely a place I’ll be visiting again – it’s so peaceful and beautiful.

Tips & Tricks – Camera Lock

Image Source:  www.iheartnaptime.net
Image Source: http://www.iheartnaptime.net

I recently came across an article by Huckleberry Hax about making your own animated GIFs in SL.  He does an amazing job with his, so head over to his blog and check them out.

This is now on my list of things to do, but while reading the article, he mentioned something that reminded me of a tip I’ve learned.

Huck mentions that he uses a camera lock HUD, so that once he has his angle and everything set up for the shot, he can move his avatar and his camera angle remains fixed.  This means he can walk through the shot, as he does in the example animated GIF.

The HUD he mentions is only $10L, so I will definitely be picking this up.  However, if you are not going to be moving in your shot, Firestorm has a built in option.

We’ve all been there – you get everything set up for your shot, your camera angle is perfect. And then you notice that your arm is going through your dress, or your hair has eaten part of your jaw.  So you have to zoom in, edit things, and then try to find your perfect angle again.

With FS, it’s pretty easy.  Find the camera tools button, which looks like this:


Add it to your toolbar and then open it.  The camera tools menu looks like this:

camera tools menu fsSee the two eyeball buttons on the right-hand side in the middle? Those are the two you need.

Click on the eyeball with the DOWN arrow, and it will save your camera angle.

So if you find your perfect angle, you can save it.  Zoom back in, edit and make your fixes.

Then, hit the eyeball with the UP arrow and it will move your camera back to your perfect angle.  Tada!!

Now, you can only save one angle at a time, but it’s a built-in tool (in Firestorm), so you don’t need to fuss with any other HUDs.

It won’t work in situations like Huck’s, where you want to move your avatar around while shooting, but for still photography, it’s a very handy tool. Try it out!!