Contact Sheet — Volume 12

Contact Sheet is an irregular column of selected photographs and portraits from Residents of Second Life. Images used in this article are used under permission of the owners via their participation in the Creative Commons license; otherwise, all rights are reserved. Click on the links as necessary to go to the required blog, Flickr or Snapzilla page. Please go to these artists’ pages in any case to leave comments, (as well as comments here), if you have an account on the appropriate service.

Suggestions are appreciated; please send descriptions and links to me by in-world IM, notecard, E-mail to harper.ganesvoort@gmail.com, or leave a comment below.

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I’m way behind on publishing some of the fine Second Life photographs I’ve been finding.  I have over a thousand favorites in Flickr — the main place I use for finding candidates.  I don’t have so many other places bookmarked or referenced in my Zotero files [1], but those will probably start piling up as well.  So I think I’d better do a big one tonight/today (this is liable to take a few good hours to write, unless I’m lucky).  You’re going to see a mix of lots of things — fashion, snapshots, landscapes, art compositions, unretouched and massaged.  Old hands should probably be mixed together with new folk that I’ve run across through other photographers running across them as well (grin).

If you’re interested, stay with me and keep reading and clicking after the break…. And, as noted above, if you know of someone you think should get a little more attention — even yourself — let me know by some method listed.

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The Abyss is one of the gloomier sims on the Grid, at least in mood.    Built to resemble a rotting city floating on tumbling pillars of rock over a chasm, it can be quite depressing if the sun is down, or you have your environmental settings turned down (as I think they used to suggest in a notecard on the landing platform).  But Dylan Rickenbacker and Nessy Shepherd have caught different views of the region, and it looks kind of pretty, in a left-of-center way.  They both must have used some tricky camera work to achieve these views — In Dylan’s case, a set of six — or hopped over a few fences, because the Abyss is a no-fly zone.

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shoshisn Shilova returns with a heavily processed, untitled piece that is both intriguing and disturbing.  The first thing that came to me when I saw it (and I used that for my comment there) was the chorus from Pink Floyd:  “All in all it’s just another brick in the wall.”  I keep thinking I’m seeing through the skin of the avatar to the inside — never a comforting view, in my opinion.

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One day, I may get up the courage to shoot a nude.  It’s just not normally my own cup of tea.  But I can appreciate the beauty of a tasteful nude, and this effort from Felony Fabre, named Fever, is one of those.  I think the less said here, the better; just enjoy.

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Incidentally, if you do enjoy nudes tastefully done, there is an SL group in Flickr specializing in these.  I’ve found at least one other piece I like a lot.

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And here is the return of Ysé Ah, with a little bit of wit she calls Narcissisme.  This can be appreciated just for the humor of what she has there, or perhaps as the title implies, a bit of commentary on the self-absorption that many of us fashion-and-face-obsessed avatars can exhibit at times.  Study it for a time, and make up your own mind.

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Rena Sakai took The World of Mist in Straylight region, which means that she has a particularly beautiful background in the first place.  I’m not sure where exactly she did the shoot, or how she accomplished it (environment, PhotoShop or just the natural beauty of Straylight), but the final product is more than just the beauty of her surroundings.  The photograph is almost a haiku or a Zen garden; it has to be studied, like any good piece of art, to truly appreciate it.  You can see the surface, but there is most likely more beneath that may come to you on contemplation.

Similar works from this exceptional artist can be found in her set of Spiritual Works.

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Ka Rasmuson debuts in Contact Sheet with a pair of pieces I particularly liked from her shoot in Rustica region.  If I understand it correctly, the build is by Maxwell Graf, and shows how lovely a big ol’ stone keep can look.  Check out especially the archway shot Ka took, but I also like the photo of the front entrance.

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The thing about the landscape photos isn’t always the artistry — though a well-composed landscape will usually attract my attention faster than an average “snapshot” — but the subject matter itself.  I’ve found more neat places to explore through these pictures than through the books I’ve bought over time, because the collection of pictures keeps growing as avatars find more new places to check out.  For instance, go to Ocean Reef region, and you’ll find this geodesic dome photographed by Gita Rau.  Where else but Second Life?  And how would you find it, other than stumbling over it yourself, unless someone blazes the trail for you?

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Another place is the palace in Madrid region, where this dance pose was taken by Nessy Shepherd.  That background, plus the flamenco gown and pose, make this a lovely image.  Another song came to me as I studied this:  Bryan Adams’ “Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?”

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Other fashion photos/snapshots I’ve noted — and I’m scamping over the descriptions only because there’s so many that I want to get a lot of them in here:

  • Cristal healer, also by Nessy Shepherd
  • Photos by Connie Arida (Connie Sec):  #1, #2, #3
  • Two snaps of Fuji Setsuko, taken by Dakotah Yue:  #1, #2
  • In the Garden by Cerrie Jan (there’s about five more in her session!)
  • In the city by SerinaJane Loon

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I’ve run out of time here, so that’s all for now.  Keep your eyes open for Volume 13 — which hopefully won’t crash and burn the blog!

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