065 - Patchwork ducks

Where's Dim Sum? #065 - Two by two


Two little ducks that I once knew --
Brown one, white one, there were two.
But the one little duck with a birdie on her head,
She ruled the other with a quack, quack, quack.


Down by the river they would go,
Wiggle-waggle, wiggle-waggle to and fro.
And the one little duck with a birdie on her head,
She ruled the other with a quack, quack, quack.



I'm back in HappyMood to take more pics. Sasaya's plants and trees are so dreamy and watercolor-y. I'll keep trying to get that watercolor feel in the photos.

Quack, quack. Chirp, chirp. Meow. ....

location: HappyMood (HPMD)


Technical notes

windlight: Bristol (modified)
water: Default

Depth of Field:
View angle: 0.606
FOV: 22.4
F-number: 9.74
Foc Length: 178
Foc Time: 0.5
CoC: 10.0
Resolution: 1.0
Aspect Ratio: 1.0

Glow Settings:
Quality: 8
Iterations: 1
Strength: 0.142
Luminance: 0.85
Warmth: 5.0
Width: 1.3
Alpha: 0.25

064 - When I'm 64

Where's Dim Sum? #064 - When I'm 64


Will you still need me?
Will you still feed me?
When I'm 64.


Okay, seriously, this is why I use a cat for these photoshoots. Shooting human avatars just take up too much time! Trust me, I've been doing avatar pics since 2006 and fashion pics since 2008.

Anyway, I wanted to do something special for #64. :D  (Scroll down to the bottom for a closeup of the elder couple.)

models: Opal Lei, HiHo Silvera
location: Neva River


Dreary story about why this photo took too long

I needed these characters for a machinima project anyway. I had done HiHo's character earlier. When I saw this post on Harper Beresford's blog, off I went to get the same skin at the Skin Fair. Then, yesterday, I was told of a nice nautical freebie from Ydea. Perfect!

For Opal's skin, I explored the Marketplace and picked up demos. And somehow this one "spoke" to me. She looked more Latina/Filipina in the product picture, but I used my own shape. While I was updating the shape to better match the skin and to look older, there was a point when I thought she looked kinda like my late grandmother. The body shape is actually more saggy and bottom heavy, but the mesh outfit covered that up.

I needed to match HiHo's nautical theme, so I had to research what an older woman would wear to go sailing, for example. *sigh* I realized two things: 1) Most of my clothes are for younger women and are seductive, either blatantly or subtly. 2) I'm apparently not ready to grow old gracefully. But that's okay. As long as I wear purple, I'll be dressed appropriately. ;)

So, avies done, I needed a nautical spot. I found a great little boat on a beach with cuddles at a sim I found under the Romance section of the Destination Guide, but when I tried to tp Dim Sum there, I kept getting a "No valid parcel could be found," which didn't make sense because Opal and HiHo were there. I later realized that the sim only allowed residents with payment information. Aha.

But the boat was created by Alex Bader, who makes wonderful textures and mesh products. I figured he might have it rezzed in his sim, but when I went to his website, I discovered this photo contest for the Neva River sim and it was already the last day to enter. And -- tada! -- I found the same boat there. :D


Fashion notes

HiHo:
~ skin: Ruby Ezra
~ outfit: Ydea Nemo
~ shoes: Kalnin SlipOns
Opal:
~ skin: Elegant Mature Shirley
~ hair: Ingenue Torch Song Updo
~ outfit and shoes: Inga Wind Jacqueline
~ scarf: BeNoir Jasmin
~ hat: Meli Imako Summer Floppy Hat Fashion Kit


Technical notes

windlight: Phototools- Lo Light 3 (modified)
water: Phototools- Ship Light (modified)

Depth of Field:
View angle: 0.606
FOV: 6.5
F-number: 3.12
Foc Length: 302
Foc Time: 0.5
CoC: 10.0
Resolution: 1.0
Aspect Ratio: 1.0

Glow Settings:
Quality: 8
Iterations: 1
Strength: 0.142
Luminance: 0.85
Warmth: 5.0
Width: 1.3
Alpha: 0.25

Of course, I also found out that Radegast can't handle alphas, so if I log in with Radegast, the system bodies peek through the mesh clothing, so I had to log everybody in Firestorm. All three of them! That in itself is miraculous! I logged Opal in last when I was almost ready to shoot, but I needed HiHo early to adjust his shadow and the DOF focus.

For some reason, the invisiprim on HiHo's hat didn't work, so the top of his head is actually sticking out (you can see it, if you look closely). And thank goodness for the Derender option, which works great on avatars who suddenly appear in the background.

I was trying to decide between the lighter version above or the more colorful version below. But the brighter one kept the focus on the couple and the the pelican, so I thought the lighter version was a more sophisticated version.



And here's a closeup of the couple, taken with a different windlight (Fairy blue (Paulina)), because the wrinkles get washed out in too bright light. No shadows, no DOF, and no processing on this one either.


063 - Magic reels

Where's Dim Sum? #063 - Magic reels


With the bunnies and the birds and the weasel, Dim Sum watches awestruck at the magic door opened by the moving pictures.


This is inside the hill where the big tree was. This was actually the landing point where Skeat's landmark took me.

The creator's legacy name is Sasaya Kayo. In my native language (Tagalog), it means, "You will be happy." However, Sasaya speaks only Japanese and English, according to her(?) profile. If it's a coincidence that the meaning of her name and the store name both promise the same thing, it's a wonderful coincidence. And both keep their promise.

Sasaya kayo. You will be happy.

location: HappyMood (HPMD)
Best viewed with the music that always makes me happy: Pachelbel Canon in D

Technical notes

windlight: Places Alirium (modified)
water: Default

Depth of Field:
View angle: 1.05
FOV: 95.0
F-number: 13.0
Foc Length: 300
Foc Time: 0.5
CoC: 10.0
Resolution: 1.0
Aspect Ratio: 1.0

Glow Settings:
Quality: 8
Iterations: 1
Strength: 0.0
Luminance: 0.05
Warmth: 0.0
Width: 0.044
Alpha: 0.0

I know that the color scheme is similar to the last pic, but blues, greens, and creams just seem right for the place. No shadows but with local lights turned on. I was tempted to set it darker; after all, it's in a cave and you watch movies in the dark. But it wouldn't be Happy Mood. ;)

062 - Bunny secrets

Where's Dim Sum? #062 - Bunny secrets


I must admit, the colorful-egg-laying thing you've got going every year, that's great marketing. ... Don't worry, I won't tell the humans you don't really lay eggs. ... I'm sure it makes them happy to think they're solving bunny overpopulation that way.


Yesterday, I was searching for some locations for a machinima when I stumbled on a live music event. Skeat Abonwood tried to tp me closer to the stage but I declined saying that I was searching for locations. She gave me two landmarks. This one and the store in the next sim, both are related.

I think I've seen this place before, or I've seen work done by this same creator before. I'll be here for a few days.

location: HappyMood (HPMD)


Technical notes

windlight: Annan Adored Realistic ambient (modified)
water: Default

Depth of Field:
View angle: 1.047
FOV: 60
F-number: 13.0
Foc Length: 300
Foc Time: 0.5
CoC: 10.0
Resolution: 1.0
Aspect Ratio: 1.0

Glow Settings:
Quality: 8
Iterations: 1
Strength: 0.0
Luminance: 0.053
Warmth: 0.0
Width: 0.044
Alpha: 0.0

I was playing with a lot of compositions but I wasn't happy with any of them. Not even with this one. With so many people doing landscape photography in SL, it's very difficult to do something unique.

Especially 365 days in a row.

061 - Golden arches

Where's Dim Sum? 061a - Golden arches

Where's Dim Sum? 061b - Golden arches


Dim Sum pauses under the faint glow of the arches, her ears perked for scuffling little paws, whose sounds might be hidden by the rush of flowing water nearby.


Two versions of the same scene. The only difference is shadows. The first one is more abstract and minimalist, and I like that one better, because it actually focuses on the arches. But the bottom one shows more of the posts, which adds more complexity to the image.

location: Crimarizon


Technical notes

windlight: [TOR] SCIFI - Rimmerthal (modified)

Depth of Field:
View angle: 1.0
FOV: 20
F-number: 2.5
Foc Length: 250
Foc Time: 0.0
CoC: 10.0
Resolution: 1.0
Aspect Ratio: 1.0

Glow Settings:
Quality: 8
Iterations: 10
Strength: 0.2
Luminance: 0.75
Warmth: 5.0
Width: 1.0
Alpha: 0.15

060 - Butterfly fishes

Where's Dim Sum? #060 - Butterfly fishes


Dim Sum eyes the funny gargoyle with the funny nose and the funny smirk, and takes advantage of his distraction to sneak through and get closer to the fishes.


Sorry, I'm in that finding-beauty-in-ugliness mode lately.

location: Crimarizon


Technical notes

windlight: [TOR] SUNRISE - Twisted Pixels (modified)

Depth of Field:
View angle: 0.7
FOV: 60.0
F-number: 13.0
Foc Length: 50
Foc Time: 0.5
CoC: 10.0
Resolution: 1.0
Aspect Ratio: 1.0

Glow Settings:
Quality: 9
Iterations: 2
Strength: 0.35
Luminance: 1.0
Warmth: 1.0
Width: 1.0
Alpha: 0.25

059 - Gargoyle piggyback

Where's Dim Sum? #059 - Gargoyle piggyback


Okay, let me get this straight.
If I sign away my soul to you, all these will be my domain?
I'm a cat! The whole world is already my domain!


The more I see, the more I am amazed at the use of space in these sims, not just on one level but rising up to the sky!

And the imagination! On the surface, everything looks like normal landscapes, except they're more concentrated in a smaller space. But if you look closer, it's full of wonderful imaginary creatures that surprise you because they blend in with the background and you notice them only when you practically bump into them. Like the tree trolls and these gargoyles. Like red eyes peering out of a cave. Like a monster admiring a butterfly on his palm (tomorrow's topic). It's almost like being where the wild things are.

location: Crimarizon


Technical notes

windlight: [EUPHORIA] sunset2 (modified)

Depth of Field:
View angle: 0.6
FOV: 24.0
F-number: 14.02
Foc Length: 620
Foc Time: 0.5
CoC: 10.0
Resolution: 1.0
Aspect Ratio: 1.0

Glow Settings:
Quality: 9
Iterations: 2
Strength: 0.35
Luminance: 1.0
Warmth: 1.0
Width: 1.0
Alpha: 0.25

058 - The hidden ship

Where's Dim Sum? #058 - The hidden ship


Dim Sum walks the plank and wonders why humans think it's such a big deal.


I could spend weeks here. These sims have so many interesting nooks and crannies. At every turn, it feels like you're thrown into a whole other world. But somehow, it all blends together nicely.

location: Crimarizon 2


Technical notes

windlight: Places Greed (modified)
water: Default (modified)

Depth of Field:
View angle: 0.873
FOV: 43.1
F-number: 10.71
Foc Length: 709
Foc Time: 0.5
CoC: 10.0
Resolution: 0.7
Aspect Ratio: 1.5

Glow Settings:
Quality: 9
Iterations: 2
Strength: 0.35
Luminance: 9999.0
Warmth: 0.0
Width: 1.3
Alpha: 0.25

057 Pheasant at the gate

Where's Dim Sum? #057 Pheasant at the gate


Dim Sum quietly observes the strange bird at the gate and wonders if it tastes just like chicken, only gamier.


I contacted Crimson242 Stipe, owner of the Crimarizon sims, to ask permission to film machinima in the sims, and I found out that the main Crimarizon sim will be closing next week. In fact, they're already starting to disassemble it and move some parts to the Crimarizon 2 sim.

If you haven't visited Crimarizon yet, or if you haven't visited recently, come before it's gone.

location: Crimarizon 2


Technical notes

windlight: [TOR] SCI-FI Rimmerthal (modified)

Depth of Field:
View angle: 0.727
FOV: 43.1
F-number: 10.71
Foc Length: 709
Foc Time: 0.5
CoC: 10.0
Resolution: 0.7
Aspect Ratio: 1.5

Glow Settings:
Quality: 9
Iterations: 2
Strength: 0.35
Luminance: 9999.0
Warmth: 0.0
Width: 1.3
Alpha: 0.25

...

056 - Cavern garden

Where's Dim Sum? #056 - Cavern garden


Dim Sum wanders into a long cavern where waterfalls keep the air thick with mist and tropical plants thrive in diverse profusion. 


More ents here, but not in the picture.

location: Crimarizon


Technical notes

windlight: [TOR] SUNSET - Malts (modified)
water: Default

Depth of Field:
View angle: 0.873
FOV: 10.0
F-number: 3.12
Foc Length: 1062
Foc Time: 0.5
CoC: 10.0
Resolution: 0.7
Aspect Ratio: 1.50

Glow Settings:
Quality: 9
Iterations: 2
Strength: 0.35
Luminance: 9999.0
Warmth: 0.0
Width: 1.3
Alpha: 0.25

055 - Gollum turned ent

Where's Dim Sum? #055 - Gollum turned ent


Dim Sum looks up as she hears wood creaking, when no wind was blowing at all.


I'm exorcising some personal demons, so I'm revisiting some old sims. And I found this "demon" and his kin. My internal demons manifesting in the virtual world.

I once heard the phrase about a pencil sketch that a colleague had taken to work to hang in the office: "a face so ugly that it's beautiful." And it was a beautiful work of art. Maybe beauty is not a linear continuum, but a wheel, so that when you get to the ugliest face you've ever seen, it's beautiful again.

location: Crimarizon


Technical notes

windlight: Phototools Dorm Light 01 (modified)
water: Glassy (modified)

Depth of Field:
View angle: 0.5
FOV: 5.0
F-number: 6.0
Foc Length: 1100
Foc Time: 0.5
CoC: 10.0
Resolution: 0.7
Aspect Ratio: 1.5

Glow Settings:
Quality: 9
Iterations: 2
Strength: 0.25
Luminance: 0.0
Warmth: 0.0
Width: 1.3
Alpha: 0.25

054 - Floating

Where's Dim Sum? #054 - The red chair


Dim Sum sits on a boat and ponders the chairs, the masks, and the urns.


This is a very small part of Blue Tsuki's installation called "Float=Nought". From his artist statement about the work:
"Float=Nought is a piece made after a hiatus from SL art making. It revisits some familiar memes and tosses some on the fire to make way for the new. It is a transition piece to the next direction of images and dreams. As always, little explanation here, I prefer people bring their own interpretations as those are always more powerful. That said, as a starting point the piece is a slow meditation on transience and almost remembering something forgotten."

The photo is purposely minimalistic. There's more to see in the exhibit itself.

Before I talk about my interpretation of the work, I just want to point out that there's a bit of synchronicity going on here. I was just thinking earlier today about the transience of SL, of people coming and going, of relationships burning bright and fading away. So, my interpretation of Blue's work is going to be influenced by the mood I'm in. But then, art interpretation will always be subjective anyway.

So, here goes...

The boats are the lives we live on the surface, in real life. And the boat frame under the water surface, burning bright, is the dream life that burns within us. On the surface, we move, we turn, but we're really going nowhere. Under the surface, the dream life waits to be filled in, to be fleshed out, to be real. (I don't know what to make of the hands with the eggs. Blessings?)

The chairs and the masks are positions and roles we take on. We take on many throughout our lives. Some we exalt; some we eventually burn. The urns hold what is dear to us, what we treasure, what sustains us. Among those that we exalt, there is one red mask, one red chair, one red urn. The one that stands out among the multitudes. The one that defines us. The one that makes us unique.

His notecard already alluded to the memes tossed "on the fire to make way for the new." We discard old positions and old roles to make way for the new. Pruning dead branches so new ones might grow.

Most of Blue's 3D work that I've seen (since I met him at a sandbox in late 2006) feels either melancholic or haunting or both. But always rich in symbolism. At least to me.

location: Gallery Assis (adult)


Technical notes

windlight: [TOR] BIG SUN - Slips through walls 5 (modified)

Depth of Field:
View angle: 0.606
FOV: 19.2
F-number: 4.68
Foc Length: 231
Foc Time: 0.5
CoC: 10.0
Resolution: 0.7
Aspect Ratio: 1.5

Glow Settings:
Quality: 9
Iterations: 2
Strength: 9999.0
Luminance: 0.0
Warmth: 0.0
Width: 1.3
Alpha: 0.25

053 - Bunny gears

Where's Dim Sum? #053 - Rabbit gears


Dim Sum meows at the woman with the bunny head, but she's as quiet as a rabbit.


I thought I missed my chance to take one more pic in the Fashion for Life event. Thankfully, when I logged back in, the sims were still there. Well, no more time to shop, but I got one more pic.

location: Fashion for Life - Lighthouse of Alexandria


Technical notes

windlight: [TOR] BIG SUN Awwyeah (modified)
water: Default

Depth of Field:
View angle: 0.6
FOV: 46.3
F-number: 3.3
Foc Length: 250
Foc Time: 0.5
CoC: 10.0
Resolution: 0.7
Aspect Ratio: 1.5

Glow Settings:
Quality: 9
Iterations: 2
Strength: 0.35
Luminance: 9999.0
Warmth: 0.0
Width: 1.3
Alpha: 0.25

052 - Ancient warp cores

Where's Dim Sum? #052 Rows of columns


Dim Sum blinks at the glowing columns and ponders the existence of warp cores in Ancient Greece.


This almost looks like a sci-fi scene, doesn't it?  I took a picture of one of the statues at the front of the temple and changed my mind about using it.  I think this is a more unusual photo.

location: Fashion for Life - Artemis at Ephesus


Technical notes

windlight: Phototools- Dead End (modified)

Depth of Field:
View angle: 0.727
FOV: 30.3
F-number: 19.47
Foc Length: 249
Foc Time: 0.5
CoC: 10.0
Resolution: 0.7
Aspect Ratio: 1.5

Glow Settings:
Quality: 8
Iterations: 2
Strength: 0.3
Luminance: 1.5
Warmth: 5.0
Width: 1.3
Alpha: 0.25

051 - The urn

Where's Dim Sum? #051 - The urn


Dim Sum laps at the big water bowl. How nice of humans to keep fresh water out for her!


I was once part of Fashion for Life in 2011. Unfortunately, I haven't had much time to create new products inworld while I focused on the book. But I continue to support the Relay for Life in any way I can, even if it's just to take a picture to spread the word. So, I'll have a couple more pics from the event until they close on Sunday March 17.

More RFL events are scheduled to happen.

location: Fashion for Life - Hanging Gardens of Babylon


Technical notes

windlight: Fluffy Big Clouds (modified)

Depth of Field:
View angle: 0.727
FOV: 49.5
F-number: 7.0
Foc Length: 249
Foc Time: 0.5
CoC: 10.0
Resolution: 0.7
Aspect Ratio: 1.50

Glow Settings:
Quality: 8
Iterations: 2
Strength: 0.2
Luminance: 1.5
Warmth: 0.0
Width: 1.3
Alpha: 0.25

And a visit from Fingol who happened to log in to set his windlight when I logged in to check which windlight I used. With a slightly different sun position and a slightly different DOF setting.


050 - Treasure trove

Where's Dim Sum? #050 - Treasure trove


Dim Sum slips and slides as she pads her way across the slippery mound of gold coins.


As I was wrapping up my shoot yesterday, I got a ding-ding from a sheep named Ham, which seems like an illogical name to me.

Anyway, Ham owns the volcano. He was telling me to keep following the path to discover a pile of treasure and other surprises. The chamber with the nest had two gates. one said "Abandon hope, all ye who enter here," flanked by two stone dragons, and the other said, "Turn back, it's not too late," flanked by two stone lions. Earlier, I had moved my cam to follow the path through the stone lions gate and found a chamber of crystals, then another gate between stone gargoyles and found a chamber of mushrooms, then another gate between stone maidens and more lava flows, then a dead end.

I mentioned the dead end to the sheep, but he insisted that I "go through 'Abandon Hope' and follow your nose." I told him that's how I got in, so it would take me back out. He reassured, "No, it won't. ... trust me :))" I secretly thought he's a wolf in sheep's clothing.

Cat that I am, I simply said, "If you say so," and I followed my nose. And it didn't point me through the Abandon Hope gate. ;)

If you follow that path, here are my tips:

  • Don't just cam; actually go through it; you won't get to the dead end.
  • Don't touch the plywood cube.
  • And when it gets too hot, jump.

location: Avilion Loch


Technical notes

windlight: Bryn Oh's BLUNIVERSE (modified)

Depth of Field:
View angle: 1.047
FOV: 30.3
F-number: 7.0
Foc Length: 196
Foc Time: 0.5
CoC: 10.0
Resolution: 0.7
Aspect Ratio: 1.0

Glow Settings:
Quality: 8
Iterations: 3
Strength: 0.35
Luminance: 1.0
Warmth: 3.0
Width: 1.3
Alpha: 0.25

Again, the lighting here is mostly local lights. And one of those lights was rotating, so I waited until the lamp on the top right was red and lighted. Without the local lights, the scene is almost black, except for a few glowy things.

I didn't want another dragon picture, so I focused on the wonderful textures on the walls. It's not quite Celtic knotwork, but just as pretty.

049 - Dragon's tail

Where's Dim Sum? #049 - Dragon's tail


Dim Sum avoids the attacks of the pesky dragon brats by sitting among the eggs. Thankfully, the mama dragon was too busy nagging the lazy papa dragon.


Contrary to Mykael's warnings that it wasn't a safe place for a cat, I went into the cave. I also ignored the warning above the gated that said, "Abandon hope, all ye who enter here!" You expect a curious cat to pay attention to that?!?

location: Avilion Loch


Technical notes

windlight: [TOR] NIGHT - Moony (modified)

Depth of Field:
View angle: 1.0
FOV: 20
F-number: 2.5
Foc Length: 250
Foc Time: 0.0
CoC: 10.0
Resolution: 1.0
Aspect Ratio: 1.0

Glow Settings:
Quality: 8
Iterations: 10
Strength: 0.2
Luminance: 0.75
Warmth: 5.0
Width: 1.0
Alpha: 0.15

The windlight really didn't matter much here. Most of the colors were from the local lights, which were very red. The windlight, however, added some neon green so that the dragon colors were almost like those of a golden stag beetle.

I didn't use any shadows on this, because those didn't make much difference either. Without the local lights, the picture is very bland. Here it is with the basic noon windlight and no local lights:


048 - Morning breath

Where's Dim Sum? #048 - Morning breath


Dim Sum meows and hears her echo reverberating deep into the cave and mixing with the thick bubbling and grinding of lava crusts.


My dad used to have this habit of calling up very early in the morning on my birthday to greet me. He's a morning person; I'm not. Apparently, he did it to my sisters too, and they're not morning people either. Then one year, we all decided to call him up very early in the morning on his birthday. :D

He doesn't call in the mornings anymore. He calls at 3pm and asks, "Gising ka na?" (Are you awake yet?)

Happy birthday, Pa!

UPDATE: After I posted this blog post, I posted it on my dad's Facebook page to wish him a happy birthday. When I visited them two days later, his wife told me that, for some reason, my dad couldn't sleep and he decided at 1am on his birthday to check his Facebook messages. And he found this post. She said, I didn't wake him up by phone alright; I just woke him up by Facebook.  ;)

location: Avilion Loch


Technical notes

windlight: [TOR] BIG SUN - Slips through walls 5 (modified)

Depth of Field:
View angle: 0.606
FOV: 38.3
F-number: 8.38
Foc Length: 673
Foc Time: 0.8
CoC: 10.0
Resolution: 1.0
Aspect Ratio: 1.0

Glow Settings:
Quality: 8
Iterations: 3
Strength: 0.2610
Luminance: 1.398
Warmth: 0.0
Width: 1.3
Alpha: 0.25

I didn't notice the face on the cave entrance until I practically stumbled on it. The cave has its own local lights, and I found a modified windlight that I've used in the past. The combination of local lights and windlights caused the multicolored effect around the face. I thought it looked like either a Vegas show or a Cirque du Soleil mask.

As I was finishing up, Mykael came out of the mouth of the cave and tried to rescue me from the volcano. I had to tell him OOCly that I was taking pictures. Later, I remembered to give him a Canadian penny... errr, a fenye coin that got stuck to my fur the other day.

047 - Rock slide!

Where's Dim Sum? #047a - Rock slide!


Where's Dim Sum? #047b - Rock slide!


MMMEEEEEEEEEOOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!
That means "RRRUUUUUUUUUUUNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN!"


I was getting bored. I gave up on the dragon castle and was heading towards the windmill when I suddenly saw some big rocks tumbling in front of me and over me on the path. And a message in the public chat said, "Adzer Thorne hit you with a scripted object."

I thought I was getting griefed, but there was nobody there. And, as I was about to file an abuse report, I found the source object and it's in the Avilion group.

It turns out that the rock slide happens pretty regularly, so I waited and tried to get some good shots. Unfortunately, the rocks kept pushing me out of my spot and I should have turned up my particles sooner, because the rocks stir up some "dust."

Anyway, the first photo is in the middle of the rock slide and I just got hit. Of all the photos, it was the best because Dim Sum looks panicked, and I thought that was priceless. I couldn't recreate that look. The second photo is after all the rocks have disintegrated. I was already pushed out of my spot, but, thankfully, still within the frame.

To Adzer Thorne of Avilion: Very, very cool idea.

location: Avilion Loch


Technical notes

windlight: Sunrise (modified)

Depth of Field:
View angle: 0.727
FOV: 39.9
F-number: 12.66
Foc Length: 302
Foc Time: 0.8
CoC: 10.0
Resolution: 1.0
Aspect Ratio: 1.0

Glow Settings:
Quality: 8
Iterations: 2
Strength: 0.35
Luminance: 9999.0
Warmth: 0.0
Width: 1.3
Alpha: 0.25

046 - For the little ones

Where's Dim Sum? #046 - For the little ones


Dim Sum lies in wait for the little fairies to show up. Surely, they must show up to have tea and dance sometime.


Somehow, these are taking me longer and longer to do. And I'm having a harder time deciding which version to pick. See below for two other options. And I already deleted a few.

location: Avilion


Technical notes

windlight: Raymond's Sunrise (modified)
water: Glassy (modified)

Depth of Field:
View angle: 0.630
FOV: 63.8
F-number: 7.21
Foc Length: 285
Foc Time: 0.8
CoC: 10.0
Resolution: 1.0
Aspect Ratio: 1.0

Glow Settings:
Quality: 8
Iterations: 10
Strength: 0.2
Luminance: 0.75
Warmth: 5.0
Width: 1.0
Alpha: 0.15

Alternative versions:



045 - On a cool clay roof

Where's Dim Sum? #045 - On a cool clay roof


Dim Sum watches the slow-moving giant snail from her safe perch.


I wasn't planning to publish this one, because I'm not happy with it. It has too many foci. I started working on a new one, but I don't have time to finish that, so I'm publishing this today after all.

You've seen that structure on the left in #42, but with the roof this time.

location: Betelgeuse 5


Technical notes

windlight: AnaLutetia - STUDIO3 (modified)
water: Pond

Depth of Field:
View angle: 0.727
FOV: 57.4
F-number: 6.82
Foc Length: 285
Foc Time: 0.8
CoC: 10.0
Resolution: 1.0
Aspect Ratio: 1.0

Glow Settings:
Quality: 8
Iterations: 10
Strength: 0.2
Luminance: 0.75
Warmth: 5.0
Width: 1.0
Alpha: 0.15

044 - Morning reflections

Where's Dim Sum? #044 - Morning reflections


Dim Sum lounges by the water, listening to the morning sounds.


Some of my goals for this project are to learn new skills, to discover new techniques, to view SL in new ways, to find beauty in unexpected places.

I try to focus on the little details that people tend to ignore. When we learn to appreciate the details, then we see so much more beauty in a single spot. When we learn to appreciate the details, we appreciate the skill, the creativity, and the amount of work that went into creating a single object that usually becomes just a part of the background for most people. When we learn to appreciate the details, we slow down enough to enjoy the quiet moments, to savor the very basic things that give us peace -- the shape of a petal, the swirl of a reflection in the water, the way a shadow falls, the brilliance of a color, the curve of a line, the unexpected white dot.

Some of my previous works tend to be minimalistic to emphasize a detail. In this series, my work tends to be more cluttered. Maybe one day, I'll try to hide Dim Sum in a minimalistic photo. That would be quite a challenge. :)

location: Betelgeuse 5


Technical notes

windlight: Raymond's Sunrise (modified)
water: Pond

Depth of Field:
View angle: 0.725
FOV: 11.0
F-number: 6.0
Foc Length: 285
Foc Time: 0.8
CoC: 10.0
Resolution: 1.0
Aspect Ratio: 1.0

Glow Settings:
Quality: 8
Iterations: 10
Strength: 0.2
Luminance: 0.75
Warmth: 5.0
Width: 1.0
Alpha: 0.15

043 - Ruins and roses

Where's Dim Sum? #043 - Ruins and roses


Dim Sum finds herself in the middle of a rose patch after chasing after that mouse, which got away anyway. She gingerly walks through the thorny vines, then sits down to lick her fur back in place.


These ruins are actually smaller than they seem. It's kinda cute. That part in the right foreground with the cylindrical top looks like a tiny pyramid.

This was not my first choice for the subject matter. I was going to shoot a globe, but it didn't look interesting enough and I couldn't find a good windlight that fits it. That took a long time, so I gave up and then I found this spot, which was still a little difficult to compose.

location: Betelgeuse 5


Technical notes

windlight: Places Greed (modified)
water: Default

Depth of Field:
View angle: 0.65
FOV: 21.0
F-number: 6.5
Foc Length: 285
Foc Time: 0.8
CoC: 10.0
Resolution: 1.0
Aspect Ratio: 1.0

Glow Settings:
Quality: 8
Iterations: 10
Strength: 0.2
Luminance: 0.75
Warmth: 5.0
Width: 1.0
Alpha: 0.15

The windlight here is actually plain. I wanted it to look like a normal bright spring day, so I just focused on the shadows.

042 - The answer to life, the universe, and everything

Where's Dim Sum? #042 - The answer to life, the universe, and everything


Dim Sum curses the dolphins for stealing all the fish. She notices a mouse, however, and steps on its tail, just before some guy comes along frantically looking for his towel.


The top item in the search list for Douglas Adams in SL returns this combat RP sim, which is supposed to be a small planet near the red giant star Betelgeuse. The landing area looked like a typical sci-fi setting, which was kinda boring. After reading the rules and grabbing the visitor tag, I took the teleport to some place with a fancy sounding name, and ... o ... m ... g ....

This place is definitely not boring.

I recognized the handiwork. Most of the objects, the structure, the trees, the out-of-this-world floating island-plant-vine-jewel-thingies, and the bridges were created by Elicio Ember.

Ember Farina introduced me to Elicio's work when she showed me the mer sim for the Fantasy Faire in March 2011. Then I went and bought half his store. Actually, more than half. Then I asked him to marry me. Well, he didn't, but he gave me a couple of gifts to thank me for my shopping spree.

location: Betelgeuse 5


Technical notes

windlight: Pirate (modified)
water: Default

Depth of Field:
View angle: 0.75
FOV: 22.4
F-number: 2.54
Foc Length: 285
Foc Time: 0.8
CoC: 10.0
Resolution: 1.0
Aspect Ratio: 1.0

Glow Settings:
Quality: 8
Iterations: 10
Strength: 0.2
Luminance: 0.75
Warmth: 5.0
Width: 1.0
Alpha: 0.15

The challenge was to tweak the windlight so it would look like it's a planet near a red giant star, without burning your eyes with too much red, while using shadows to emphasize the sculpted decorative motif near the roof of the structure.

041 - A whale of an appetite

Where's Dim Sum? #041 - A whale of an appetite


Dim Sum's squints at the big dinner in the distance as her stomach grumbles.


I've been to some sims where it was very easy to find good shots, as though the sim designer had photographers in mind. Some sims were very interesting when you get there, but framing and composing shots were challenging. Zoo World is one of the latter, unfortunately.

I wanted to do one more photo though, because two is not really representative of a place with so many interesting things in it. I was ready to give up and move on, when I realized there was a whale in the water outside the walls of the zoo. And a pretty lighthouse too! (/me loves lighthouses. And whales!)

I couldn't decide between this version with the tail out of the water and another one with the tail underwater.
  • This one feels more dynamic somehow. The whale is closer to the viewer, giving a better sense of its largeness. You can't mistake the whale for a rock. The tail's shadow adds to the overall light/dark balance. However, you'd expect the water to be "disturbed" by the tail lifting out of it. At the very least, you'd expect water dripping from the tail. But the picture is supposed to be unprocessed.
  • The alternative (see below) feels more peaceful. The whale is more "inside" the picture, but also smaller. The overall picture is lighter. The tail is underwater, so no need to worry about dripping water. However, a small sliver of wave froth is interrupted at the middle left edge and I thought that was distracting.
I couldn't decide so I asked two lovers for their opinions. Each one chose a different one, both with very good reasons. Hmmm.... So I went with the version that made my heart beat just a little bit faster.

Which one would you have chosen?


location: Zoo World


Technical notes

windlight: Phototools- Dorm Light 01 (modified)
water: Phototools- Ship Light

Depth of Field:
View angle: 7.25
FOV: 35.0
F-number: 12.0
Foc Length: 285
Foc Time: 0.8
CoC: 10.0
Resolution: 1.0
Aspect Ratio: 1.0

Glow Settings:
Quality: 8
Iterations: 10
Strength: 0.2
Luminance: 0.75
Warmth: 5.0
Width: 1.0
Alpha: 0.15

The alternate version:

040 - Mount Rushmoose

Where's Dim Sum? #040 - Mount Rushmoose


Dim Sum quietly eyes the heavy accessories these creatures wear. What pains beasts are willing to suffer for fashion!


When my ex Jon and I lived in Newfoundland, Canada, we used to go on walks up the hills behind our apartment. One day, on our way up the hill, we turned around a bend, and a moose was standing right in the middle of the trail. The moose stopped chewing when it saw us, but we didn't move and eventually, it started chewing again.

Jon, fortunately (or maybe unfortunately), had a disposable camera with him, and he probably wanted to show off at work how close he got to a moose. So, in spite of my whispered pleas to "let's go," he started taking pictures of the moose with the camera going click-click, click-click. And he moved closer and closer and closer. Click-click. Click-click.

The camera might as well have been on a loudspeaker. Everything was so quiet, except for the clicking of the camera. Well, at least until it was replaced by thundering hooves that chased us down the hill.

Needless to say, we survived the adventure. But we lost the camera.

location: Zoo World


Technical notes

windlight: [TOR] MIDDAY - Why so blue? 1(modified)

Depth of Field:
View angle: 0.65
FOV: 25
F-number: 12.0
Foc Length: 285
Foc Time: 0.8
CoC: 10.0
Resolution: 1.0
Aspect Ratio: 1.0

Glow Settings:
Quality: 8
Iterations: 10
Strength: 0.2
Luminance: 0.75
Warmth: 5.0
Width: 1.0
Alpha: 0.15

I wanted this to be a lot brighter but the face on the mountain would get washed out, so I had to find a balance.

039 - And the giraffe too

Where's Dim Sum? #039 - And the giraffe too


Dim Sum meows the traditional family birthday song.

I had to do this one early, because it is also a birthday greeting for my youngest sister. We have a traditional family birthday song that goes:

Happy birthday to you
You belong to the zoo
With the monkey and the donkey
And the giraffe too.

Fingol pinged me while I was taking this pic, so he became my token zoo visitor. :D  See his version here.

model: Fingol Greyhaven
location: Zoo World


Technical notes

windlight: Pirate (modified)

Depth of Field:
View angle: 0.727
FOV: 25
F-number: 15.0
Foc Length: 160
Foc Time: 0.8
CoC: 10.0
Resolution: 1.0
Aspect Ratio: 1.0

Glow Settings:
Quality: 8
Iterations:10
Strength: 0.2
Luminance: 0.75
Warmth: 5.0
Width: 1.0
Alpha: 0.15

038 - Newton's Cradle

Where's Dim Sum? #038a - Newton's Cradle


Dim Sum meows to warn Opal to get out of the way of the swinging balls. But she wouldn't listen.

This is a continuation of yesterday's photoshoot for the Exploratorium blog. I was aiming for a geometric composition and I wanted the background to be as plain as possible without having to derender too much because I wanted to retain a sense of the environment.

model: Opal Lei
clothing: Inga Wind Clothing
location: Sploland


Technical notes

windlight: Phototools- Lo Light 03 (modified)

Depth of Field:
View angle: 0.5
FOV: 40
F-number: 12
Foc Length: 72
Foc Time: 0.5
CoC: 10.0
Resolution: 0.7
Aspect Ratio: 1.50

Glow Settings:
Quality: 8
Iterations:10
Strength: 0.2
Luminance: 0.75
Warmth: 5.0
Width: 1.0
Alpha: 0.15

This was a very long session (several hours) because I was interrupted a couple of times, and I kept crashing. I've had bump and shiny turned on and I realized that that would crash me if I have shadows and DOF turned on at the same time.

And here's a closer version:

Where's Dim Sum? #038b - Newton's Cradle

037 - Dominoes

Where's Dim Sum? #037a - Dominoes


Dim Sum rubs her neck and face against Opal's stockinged legs.
Opal Lei sneezes.

I needed to do some photos for the Exploratorium blog for a post about the machinima videos that I do for the Splo Museum.  I've been asked for pictures "with not so racy outfits" as in the first set I submitted.  :D  Well, okay, I must admit my midriff was showing in that first set and it was a kinda seductive pose. Anyway, I think this is the most conservative outfit I have.  And I chose white for Opal to match with Dim Sum's fur.

I figured I'd multitask and do the daily pic.  Besides, the Splo is a great destination with fun things to play with, like in the RL Exploratorium.  Smart cats hang out here.

Many, many thanks to Inga Wind for keeping me clothed with these great mesh clothes.  I wonder if she has outfits for scandalous cats....

model: Opal Lei
clothing: Inga Wind Clothing
location: Sploland


Technical notes

windlight: Annan Adored Light Explosion II (modified)

Depth of Field:
View angle: 0.606
FOV: 51.0
F-number: 10.3 for the full-body version; 18.5 for the half-body version
Foc Length: 196
Foc Time: 0.8
CoC: 7.0
Resolution: 1.0
Aspect Ratio: 1.0

Glow Settings:
Quality:8
Iterations: 10
Strength: 0.2
Luminance: 0.75
Warmth: 5.0
Width: 1.0
Alpha: 0.15

Here's the half-body version:

Where's Dim Sum? #037b - Dominoes