Thursday, April 30, 2015

Great Second Life Destinations: It All Starts With A Smile Is a Breath of Fresh Air

The smell of fresh ocean air at the coast on a bright Spring Day is intoxicating at It All Starts With A Smile.  The pounding surf and overhead clouds forecast a day of light rain -- which will bring even more spring blooms out on the banks of the river which cuts through the island behind the main town. This is a perfect destination to walk and explore, and take in the varied vistas of what is one of the most charming destinations in Second Life. I highly recommend a visit.


I used the programmed Windlight sky setting programmed at the destination with cloud and time of day modifications in the advanced environmental editor to get varied sky and light effects.

To see more blog coverage and photography head over to Bitacora:

I reviewed and photographed It All Starts With A Smile twice last year at different locations:

On This Day 70 Years Ago: Adolf Hitler Commits Suicide In His Bunker

On April 30, 1945 Adolf Hitler, the Führer of Nazi Germany, committed suicide in his bunker in Berlin. His long time girlfriend Eva Braun, whom me married the day before, committed suicide by cyanide pellet along with him. Hitler either shot himself in the head, took a cyanide pellet, or did both -- the actual events remain uncertain to this day. Their bodies were then cremated according to Hitler's prior instructions.

The Red (Soviet Union) Army was already in Berlin and closing in on his bunker. According to reports which still remain controversial, Hitler was identified through his lower jawbone by medical experts in Moscow. However, the exact circumstances are still not completely known.

Hitler appointed Admiral Karl Dönitz as his replacement before his suicide. Dönitz would go on to surrender to the allied forces on May 8 1945, which would by known as VE (Victory in Europe) day.

To find our more about the death of Hitler:

Many great films have been made about the last days of Hitler. Downfall, a 2004 German film on the subject became famous primarily for its parodies of a hysterically violent speech made to his generals after he realized that he had no armies left and all was lost. I like the parody when Hitler explodes when told about Justin Bieber's DUI arrest.

I cannot pick up a full length version of Downfall on You Tube, which you should really see if you have not. This 1981 made-for-tv movie, called The Bunker, featuring the great Anthony Hopkins, won two Primetime Emmy awards, both for Hitler and the great Piper Laurie, who plays the role of Magda Goebbels, who infamously poisoned her six children to death in the Bunker rather than have them live in a non-Nazi Reich.

To find our more about movie:

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Great Second Life Destinations: Beautiful Japanese Design at Kagurazaka and the Ritrovo Gallery

There are two stand-out attractions at Japanese-themed Kagurazaka that require a visit. The first is the clocktower building and bridge which spans a beautiful Sakura tree lined canal in the center of the island. Different aspects of perspective make this a photographer's favorite to photograph.

The second stand out destination to visit is the charming  Ritrovo gallery and shop. Koro Carnell currently has an exhibition of paintings and object sculpture entitled Healing and Relaxing in Second Life which is very well done. The shop itself is also an art gallery with excellent minimalist design and decoration -- which the Japanese aesthetic is so good at. I recommend a visit here to anyone who appreciates good design.


To see more blog coverage and photography from this destination head over to the World of Yana:

To see my photography and recent reviews other Japanese themed destinations:
(note: some of these locations may now be closed by the time you read this)

Origami (April 2015):

Keisei (March 2015):

Pandora Box (February 2015):

Soyokaze (January 2015):

Second Life Photo of the Day: Ravenshold Snowstorm From FantasyFaire 2015

Ravenshold is a beautiful snowy region that is one of 13 gorgeous regions at Fantasy Faire 2015. Make sure to visit before it closes at the end of the day this Sunday, May 3.


To see my full review and more photography from Fantasy Faire 2015

To find our more about Fantasy Faire 2015, which benefits the American Cancer Society Relay for Life:

The animated GIF above was made from 17 individual frames at the web service. A single frame is shown below.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Great Second Life Destinations: Visit The Colder Water Before It Closes This Week

Blogger Ziki Questi reports that the Colder Water will be closing by Thursday. At the time of writing this article, the destination was still open. Make sure to visit this beautiful and frosty island with three light houses if you can.


To see my review and more photography from this destination:

Great Second Life Art Installations: The Alternative Environments of WindWept are Great Fun

WindWept is a fun and very pretty new art installation by Inez Pennell (Nezzy) with five distinct environments. The ground level of WindWept is a flooded panorama of soft morning light where reflections of dramatic objects and distant mountains play perception games on the reflected earth surface. You are invited to explore four alternative environments though three window portals and a manhole entrance  at the entry point:

  • A fairyland world where you can join nymphs and rabbits at afternoon tea. 
  • Waterfalls and forests in a pleasant park called Nowhere. 
  • A cartoon universe with revolving star skies and colorful plants which you can view out of a space diner. 
  • And finally, a living space under the ocean surface decorated in a trendy Southwest-inspired motif.

I greatly enjoyed my visit here and found the alternative environments a great deal of fun to photograph and relax in. I highly recommend a visit. All photography was taken with the soft warm morning light present at the region.

To visit:

Arrival - three windows and manhole are portals to other environments

Monday, April 27, 2015

Ryce Visits Baja Norte Beach

To visit Baja Norte, a very well done Beach destination:


I am probably killing the subject matter with too many photographs in one post but here are some pencil conversions I made using Fotosketcher.