Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Photo Mariko - Random Clicks and Notes

I haven't been blogging much lately. Applying to graduate programs and preparing to take the entrance exams have largely dominated my time and attention. With all that completed (and my fingers crossed), I now found time to put together this collection of pictures taken over the past few months. I hope that you enjoy them.

Bunnies are so darling. But it was rather disconcerting when a 50 foot lapin giant came crashing through the fairy forest. Thank goodness it wasn't a gargantuan monkey. The last thing that I need right now is to have a Fay Wray moment.  

Click on the pictures to enlarge them for better viewing

Gulliver's Second Life Travels

Speaking of giants, last month, I dropped by the Criss Museum of Contemporary Art to see the Gulliver's Travels exhibit by artist Ub Yifu. On the exhibition ground was Lemuel Gulliver washed up on the shore of Lilliput and staked to the ground by the diminutive Lilliputians. It was a delightful immersive experience. The Criss Museum has a schedule of exhibits by invited artists and is well worth visiting regularly.  

Criss Museum of Contemporary Art

Lilliputian Mariko

I was doing some shopping on Casablanca Boulevard and dropped by the Miss Virtual World Headquarters for a look-see. Miss Virtual World is the premiere beauty contest in Second Life. Surprisingly - perhaps not surprisingly - beauty contests are quite popular in this virtual world where anyone can have and most everyone has a beautiful avatar. The finalists in the contest all have sterling pedigrees in the Second Life fashion industry - all are popular models in the top agencies and are graduates of the prestigious modeling academies. They work very hard at their craft and possess avatars that exceed the exacting professional standards for runway models. No untrained and unknown aspirant is going to make the cut in the Miss Virtual World contest. I plan to attend the finals to see the fashions. Some of the finest designers in Second Life create the outfits for the contestants, and their creations are eye-popping fabulous. So I was here looking for the best seat in the house to view the runway. I looked up, and there it was.

The Best of Second Life - Presenting Miss Virtual World 2010

I wanted to practice my picture taking skills using windlight, so I called on my friend Lulubelle to model for me. Lulu was into the spirit of the season and wore a very autumn outfit made of autumn colored leaves. Okayyy! Well, she was the perfect fall goddess to photograph against the fall foliage of Opar's Hidden Forest. Of the nearly fifty pictures taken with various windlight settings, I especialy like this subdued and graceful picture of Lulu above and this dramatic one below.

Fall Goddess Lulubelle

Two more windlight pictures of Lulubelle - same pose.

Skye Galaxy in Concert

I attended my first Skye Galaxy performance. Skye Galaxy is the hottest performer in Second Life. His live performances are difficult to get into because he draws an audience that will fill a sim to capacity. Well, I wanted to see what this guy was about. What I found was an elf with a sweet voice and bursting with talent. In real life, he is Sean Ryan, and, like his avatar,  very elven. Some say that he is on the cusp of crossing over from Second Life and breaking out large on the real life stage. Perhaps with the right concatenation of opportunities, we'll see it happen.  If you haven't been to a Skye Galaxy performance, see the talent and potential in the video below.

New World Notes has been following Skye Galaxy developments:

I was doing a fashion shoot at Mont Saint Michel when my dear friend Leena Ying,
owner of DrLife, dropped by.

Leena rezzed a flying saucer and told me to hop on.

She took me on a harrowing ride. We were buzzing buildings, swooping up and down, and turning sharply at high speeds, always barely averting disaster. Then Leena started setting off thermonuclear explosions (DrLife is a nuclear power in SL). Avatars were being blown up and carried high in the air. I held my breath, hoping we wouldn't be jettisoned and banned from the sim. I mean, Moeka, the sim owner, once got angry with me for just turning on a light at night in my fashion boutique on Mont Saint Michel's Grand Rue. She is a stickler for maintaining the Old World ambiance of the place. And here was Leena setting off huge fiery explosions, and me seen as a  accomplice. Luckily, Moeka was not inworld. (But it was oh so much fun!)

I spent an enjoyable afternoon with my friend Mony Markova. She is one of the few SL residents that still uses a typing animation. She types one handed as you can see in the pic. And it works so well for her. Its a delightful part of her character. 

Yes, I had a shotgun slung across my back. Its an 1865 double shotgun. I was into a western pioneer look at the time.

It went so well with the wildnerness areas of my estate at Opar.

An array of Japanese Lanterns illuminate the courtyard fountain of my villa at Opar.
I put up these lanterns over two years ago for a birthday party held for Jaysun at Opar.
They have been a part of the villa ever since. 

Waves crashing against the cliffs of Wild Shore Island at Opar

Jaysun and I enjoy the sunset seen from the top of Wild Shore Island.

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