Tuesday, December 27, 2011


CHAINED - Filmed at Second Libations,  a Linden Endowment for the Arts exhibit, December 2011.

Haveit Neox invited me to film his installation at LEA6. I was indeed impressed with his depth of vision. The landscape was large in scope as well as theme.The underlying premise consisted of artificial intelligence robots being left on their own and their attempt to reconnect with their creators.

You can read the full story here.

I seldom have a concrete plan when I film and this journey followed that path. I had an ending; Chav, my male incarnation, in chains -- discouraged, tired and waiting. Beyond that I simply explored and filmed. I took filler shots, static shots and pans; preferring a mix over consistency.  After filming, I wrote the poem as fast as my pen would let me. Then I fit the clips to illustrate the story. Happily I had perfect music in my inventory, recently rescued from an almost complete computer melt down.

I wasn't too sure about this video. It took several trips to film. New and reinstalled software had issues, my filming skills were rusty after almost a month, and the sim's frames per second were often below threshold. But I kept returning and redoing and in the end I appreciated the installation in a fuller sense than I would have if things had run smoothly.

Comments on this work have been very positive. It seems that I am lost amidst the pieces and the process and perhaps cannot see its impact. But I trust in what others see.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

A New Direction

New years call for new directions.  I am changing the focus of this blog. There may be a few great shots added to the pages here and there, but machinima and art installations will take priority -- being my current loves, they are  the rightful stars.

As I finish new machinima work, and hopefully other art installations they will be posted on the home page. Backstory and philosophy will like accompany photos and links to the video. A complete video record will be in library format on the MACHINIMA page; just click the link in the top menu to see my progress.

Photo above from the opening of my LEA installation, "The Subway" on December 4, 2011.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


I have been taking fashion photos inworld for almost four years now. The first ones were of course pretty awful, but if we are lucky we learn with time and practice. When I was a painter a lifetime or two ago, I always painting the background first and then added the focal piece. My students thought this completely bizarre and I understand that. For me it was about making a stage to present the character -- be it coffee cups, dunes or tarot cards -- upon.

So it isn't really a surprise to me that backdrops are still a large part of my work. Most of the time I only find them; now and then I make them. I thought this was a particularly nice use of background and very fitting for the spooky season coming up, so I am adding it to the photo pool here.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


When I was first learning about art a few decades ago, I was obsessed with Chiaroscuro. I had my favorite Renaissance painters, ones that specialized in the play of light amidst dark. I had pretty much forgotten all that until I ended my latest video, SCREAM.  This scene appears in the movie. I won't tell you where as this is already a spoiler post of sorts. But as I wrapped up the editing, watching for a few more times to make sure I was actually finished, I kept coming back to this shot. I was simply mesmerized.

So much is said with so little light. It is really amazing when you think of it. I don't often get to take photos like this; SEEING the subject is often mandatory in my trade, but when it happens -- when something magic happens -- it is time for pause. This is my tribute post to that moment.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Sometimes It's What You Don't Say

Sometimes leaving out the details makes the shot. Is it the mystery? Perhaps. Or it may simply be that what is left takes on more import. As viewers we have no idea what this outfit looks like in frontal view. We have no idea what the model looks like. Is she sad or happy, thoughtful or filled with remorse? We just don't know. We have only clues. The hand on the back of her head, her crossed leg and hip askanced posture help to tell the story. Even the detailing in her stocking takes on special importance in the void that is left by what is not shown.

Sunday, August 28, 2011


Shadows can lend a lot to a photo. The play of light and dark, shades of gray, contrast -- all add to the composition. When dynamic (cast) shadows came into Second Life they definitely became the Flavor of the Month. Everyone (well the folks "I" know) lusted after the ability to photograph shadow play. While I could work with shadows on a short term basis with my old computer, I too wanted more. Hence a new, very fast desktop with 2 G graphics card. What I didn't know is that the card I picked for its great reviews (ATI Radeon 6900) doesn't do shadows well.

Yes, I was definitely depressed, a good model for this shot really! But the new computer let me record video with ease and grace and I fell in love with machinima. Not a bad second prize. Now, it seems cast shadows have moved through their popularity phase; some folks still use them, others have opted for different looks. This photo is taken WITHOUT shadows turned on in the viewer -- and still, there are shadows.

Embracing what works is almost always less stressful than wanting what you can't have.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Post Processing

Post processing has its fans and its foes. Most of the time I do minimal work with the photos I take, letting Windlight and composition become the stars. But now and then I get seduced by the possibilities in those sliders. In the picture above, I made an already dreamy scene turn into true fantasy using PhotoLooks LooksBuilder. It was fun! Along the way, inspired by both the outfit and the locale, the picture became a movie -- Waiting for Prince Charming.

Saturday, July 23, 2011


We are taught in art classes that composition is the skeleton holding our pictures together. The viewer's eyes should move around the page, first from the primary subject,  onto the next important and so on. Often, three stops are the goal with the tour taking in the complete landscape along its way .

This photo achieves the edict well. First we see lovely Chandra in the foreground. Then our eye is drawn almost beyond our control to the small figure in the background as we wonder what emotion has her in its grasp. Lastly the microphone brings us back to the foreground, completing the journey.


Lighting has much to do with mood, but beyond the subtle play of motes and moonbeams -- there is perspective. A shift in camera angle can lead to a completely different story. Parts of the environment included and dismissed guide us on an imaginative journey. 

Friday, July 22, 2011

On Creativity II

 Creativity is the ability to see relationships where none exist.  -----  Thomas Disch

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Cutting Room Floor

PURE magazine seems to have left the scene. Land for sale. No replacement office in evidence. No July issue appearing near its release date. So I am posting a background shot that will apparently never see publication. Having been in a RL movie group, I know that some of the best scenes often end up on the cutting room floor.

Monday, July 11, 2011


It's quiet; just before daybreak. The salty mist muffles my footsteps as I travel down the cobblestone path. The night -- always a friend -- recedes to let the cycle begin again. If only I could stop time.

No post processing, I started with the DUSTY Windlight setting that comes with some viewers and adjusted for sun position and distance. The pose tells much of the story. (Long Awkward Pose)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

About the Hair

Update:  First Place Winner -- Hair Fair's second contest.

This photo was taken for the Hair Fair 2 contest of 2011. The rules included taking the photo in one of the Hair Fair sims using a poseball made and set out by aDORKable Poses. I had tried many of those poseballs when doing reconnaissance on Blogger Preview day, so I had a pretty good idea about what I wanted.  Since I am not big on vendors and signs in my backgrounds, I looked for a poseball that would show off the hair without a distracting background.

I specifically  framed one of the balloons in the shot as they definitely say "Hair Fair 2011" -- at least to me. Even after blurring the background, I found that the palm trees still grabbed the eye. So I cut out the main part of the picture, pasted it on top of the original shot and desaturated the palms in the base layer.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Darkness and Danger

Danger surrounds me. It races in my blood.
The warm night caresses me like a lover and then moves on.

On Creativity

Creativity - like human life itself - begins in darkness. -----  Julia Cameron