One of the things I do miss about not roleplaying full time is the outfits.  It’s a lot of fun for me to create looks for characters, sometimes even more fun than actually playing them.  I can put together hair and skin and clothes and they start to come to life in my head, little stories about who they are and such.  I think that’s why I like doing the photo shoots I’ve been doing.  It let’s me put together characters without actually having to play them and if I can find items from hunts it’s practically a free hobby.

I heard about a holiday hunt going on at Angelwing, six complete medieval fantasy outfits so I had to pop by and try it.  It was a nice small and relatively easy hunt (which ends Dec 3oth so you’ll want to get over there) and I’m thrilled with the gifts.  Right away my mind started twirling a new character, an elven fairy pixie type thing.  I popped by Al Vulo to see if I could get the new group gift skin there, and guess what it’s called?  “Soul of an Angel”.  I’m not even kidding.  Angelwing gifts, Soul of an Angel skin, sometimes things just come together like that for me and I don’t even question it anymore.

Angelwing (Xylia Outfit from Hunt)

Al Vulo (Soul of an Angel skin group gift )

D!va (Marie Hair group gift)

I switched to Niran’s viewer for these photos, as I mentioned before I’m in love with the way Second Life looks with that viewer and the options it has for photography and graphics. I can’t imagine doing photos on anything else but I am finding I do miss a few features. It doesn’t have a built in AO, which I can live without because I used a regular AO for years, but it also doesn’t have attachable IMs and Local Chat. They are two seperate windows. I thought I’d get used to it, but for day to day chit chattering, roleplayer, shopping and touring I do find it cumbersome so I’m back on either Phoenix or Firestorm most days then switching to Niran’s for photography.

It’s worth it to switch though… just look at what I was able to do with the water settings and reflections on Niran’s Viewer.

These are barely edited outside of Second Life. Some cropping, a tweak of the contrast but that’s about it. Even that colored orb of light you see isn’t a photoediting effect, they are actually flying around the sim I was on and I just happen to catch one in that photo.

I’m thrilled with the sim I found for this photoshoot. I had just searched elf and when I found a sim called Unicorn Sanctuary and saw the picture they had I knew I had to check it out. The unicorn Sanctuary is actually just a part of two sims, Elven Mist and Elven Realm

Not only are these sims gorgeous for photos and fun to walk around, but there are QUESTS! You’ll find dragons,  giant mushrooms, and ancient trees that give you a notecard  when you click on them. Like this…

You approach a group of 3 mushrooms, staring helplessly in horror at the sight across the river, they do not turn their head, but speak in unison.

Cursed and hurt and dead, cruel is the Boggle, true were his words, dire our crime, dire our fate, nothing but gloom, nothing but doom, since the theft of the Mushroom.

Freedom they seek, cursed they linger.

Help us, find us our salvation, help us end their suffering.

A Hard Fungal Herb, a Squishy Fungal Herb, a Potent Fungal Herb, a Living Fungal Herb, a Dead Fungal Herb

our home before, our prison of the past, among the cluster of gloom, find the herbs among those that still dwell within.

rez items on Stone Slab, then click the stone to offer them.

Quest items indicated by Purple Particles.

Then you explore the sims looking for the items they want, click on them and buy them for 0L,  and return them to get a gift. It’s pretty cool, but honestly a bit difficult. Even with some help I only finished 2 of the 7 quests but I’m definitely going back to finish the rest. I admit, part of the distraction was the reflections in the water. I don’t know why but I was fascinated by just walking along or in the river. I’m not sure if it was the various water and reflections settings I can do with this viewer, or just the mood I was in, but almost all the photos on my desktop feature reflections.

This one I’m particularly pleased with.

I don’t know how other Second Life Photographers do it, but I rarely start with a photograph in mind. It starts with an outfit or a look or skin that inspires me, then eventually I find a place that feels right. From there, it’s all luck. I can spend hours playing with lighting, poses, and angles, saving dozens of photos to my desktop without even looking at them. When I feel I’m all done I then open them up and start discarding. For every 20 pictures I take there is maybe one I’ll like enough to post here. It’s not even usually the ones I think it will be, sometimes the photos surprise me.

This last one I’m going to show you is one of those surprises. I was having so much fun with the reflections I thought it might be cool to do a topless picture. Now hang on! Before you click the spoiler and be all OMG BEWBS, let me explain. I didn’t snap the topless pictures for the blog, they were just a little bit of fun for private use, but then I saw this one and it just took my breath away. I couldn’t stop staring at it. I have to say it’s one of the best pictures I’ve ever taken, and completely by accident. Once you click the spoiler, look at her eyes, well not her eyes, but the reflection’s eyes. It’s almost as if the girl herself is too shy to look at you, but her reflection has something completely different in mind.  Perhaps I’m reading too much in a photo, maybe you’ll just see nudity, but in any case I put it behind the cut so as not to offend anyone.

Just click the read more link here to see what I mean, warning it’s NSFW.

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