Thursday, June 6, 2013
Picturesque Locations in Second Life
Several times recently, people have asked in a variety of venues how to find locations in Second Life for pictures. Much like finding art venues, or roleplaying communities, or any of a hundred things, the neglect of Search in Second Life means that the quality, useful items are often buried under a pile of the Same Old Thing All Over Again. I have a few different ways of weeding the wheat from the chaff, and I thought I'd shade for people who might struggle with it. I welcome additional suggestions in the comments, though; this certainly is not the be all and end all of finding locations in Second Life.
First of all, a fantastic resource is blogs. I actually have found most of my blogs through following the blogrolls of other blogs, which gives the advantages of being curated by a human being while the disadvantage of being limited in scope. I actually have a section of my blogroll specifically given to locations and events (primarily art) in Second Life where I list blogs I think highlight those things well. I think having a person who was dedicated to discovering and curating locations in Second Life for both long time members and newcomers would be a wonderful thing, but since most bloggers do so in their spare time, it's not reasonable to expect any of us to manage it.
This is an area where I think Second Life could really step up by having a person dedicated to discovering and highlighting in world events and locations - for established users it would give a quick and dirty way to explore new things, and for newcomers it would give a fantastic place to start. For people who don't know about Second Life, or mostly know the seedy and disreputable parts, this could be an easy way to get better press; can you imagine Linden Labs highlighting the huge success of the Fantasy Faire at raising donations for Breast Cancer? Or sharing with a broader audience how Second Life is being used as a part of Art Displays around the world? Newcomers interested in specific things could more easily find active communities if there was someone on Linden Labs' payroll who made sure everything was up to date and of high quality.
When either my blogs aren't giving me what I want, or I feel more like exploring, my second stop is the Destination Guide, which is a semi-curated list limited by the fact the sim owner has to have applied and been accepted, but that it is not kept up to date very well (I have it on good authority it takes a while to be taken off the Destination Guide). The Destination Guide has a rough and dirty set of criteria to help narrow down your search, but there's no real quality control, the pictures are often inaccurate (either underplaying or overplaying the sims attractiveness), and it can be rather difficult to navigate. I have sometimes found fantastic places by checking out the Destination Guide, but I've also been sent to some money pits.
Another option is to use an open search and see what comes up. This is hampered by a complete lack of quality control, but has the advantage of drawing from almost every sim in Second Life. One of the disadvantages is that Search does not make it clear when a sim is restricted, leading to some rather embarrassing events in my life when I tried to get to places I clearly didn't belong. The big advantage, though, is one can often end up exploring virgin territory, relatively speaking, and find things that are absolutely amazing and not on every blog on the Feeds.The location used in these pictures was found this way - I searched for "white" and the creator who built the latest incarnation of Reasonable Desires included in her description of it that the sim was white, and a match made in heaven was born.
Speaking of every blog on the feeds, another option is to check out fashion blogs or general topic blogs that often take pictures in different sims. This is hampered by the fact that most blogs don't include landmarks to where they took their pictures unless they're highlighting that sim in particular. I try very hard to always include links to where I took my pictures so that other people can follow in my footsteps, even though I'm not really a location review blog, and I'd love it if more bloggers / Second Life photographers followed in my example.
( More pictures here. )
Skin: De La Soul, Candace - Creamer
Hair: Wasabi Pills, Momo Hair (promotional)
Crown: Wishbox, Rose Crown
Eyes: De La Soul, Rainbow
Eyelashes 1: SLink, Mesh Lashes
Eyelashes 2: Flugeln Brise, 05-A
Eyeshadow: White Widow, Asia
Lipstick: Mock, Lucir Lipcolor - Frostbite (x2)
Ears: Illusions, Seelie Ears
Wings: Fancy Fairy, Azarelle
Hands: SLink, Enhanced Mesh Hands
Bracelets: LacieCakes, Gabriella
Nails: Adore & Abhor, Sheer
Dress: Adore & Abhor, Valentine Lolita (promotional)
Stockings: G Field, Basic Color Tights
Shoes: G Field, Square-toe Shoes "Sophie"
Location: Reasonable Desires Island
Light Settings: Alchemy Immortalis - Foggy Morning
Water Settings: Glassy
Photographed by Deoridhe Quandry
Post processing: Cropping, only