~Existence~

Truly surprised, absolutely honored…

Earlier this year, one of my photos was chosen as the winner of the Surfwatch photo contest in Second Life.  It was awesome to be recognized and it was my first.  As part of my prize, my photo was to be shown in a future show with Laval Photography Gallery.  Well, time goes by and one day in July, Bobbi Laval, the owner of the Gallery, contacted me and asked me if I was ready.  I was taken aback when I realized that she was asking me to show MORE than just that one contest winning photo!  Not only surprised… my next thought.. oh my hell…whatever will I show AND more importantly, why would anyone come to see?!?

I swallowed my fear (somewhat) and asked more about this invitation… Bobbi told me to just “give her a date” as to when I would be ready!  I was in the middle of the final weeks of the Relay for Life of Second Life campaign, so I suggested early August… and selected Sunday, the 8th.  Then I realized… OMG!…I need to produce some new photos too!  So… I did just that!  Luckily, there were some awesome builds at the Relay for Life sims, so that got my butt in gear to capture some shots before they disappeared.  Unlucky for me, at the same time, my real life work was blowing up with huge volumes and technical issues which required a lot more of my time than norm…but “such is life” as we say.  I have now just about pulled everything together, finishing up a few more items, and am preparing for the opening at Bobbi’s gallery.

Just a little about me…I do not consider myself naturally creative, it is something I work to be.  I am not educated in photography in the real world, merely a casual photographer that always fails to upload images or get film developed!  I picked up Photoshop and thought… ohhhh I can make a greeting card or sign for a friend…but hadn’t thought to develop skills beyond that.  In Second Life, I have always been a “snap shotter”, saving most to hard drive, because I didn’t want to pay upload charges for such random shots, LOL.  I still do this and probably have 1000s of images sitting there begging for review.  In spending time with friends that are much more naturally artistic and following the work of others via Flickr and gallery displays…I was encouraged to experiment with my snaps in Photoshop and try to learn new ways of enhancing … to create a mood, capture a feeling, etc.  I then began to take snapshots at times with more thought – lining up my view, using windlight, finding cool places, etc.  I have worked at developing my sense of Photoshop and what it can do, but I am still very very much the novice.  I enjoy creating images of beautiful and interesting places.  I don’t explore as much as I should as I often save places to explore with a friend, and in waiting…I miss out on places and events.  I enjoy capturing memories of events, people,  activities, but my true inspiration is the “art of the build” –  actual structures, sim creations, environments, landscapes, water features,  etc.

My goal is to provide a view into my Second Life…my ‘existence’ while ensuring that places aren’t forgotten, events don’t get discarded, and memories are founded.  I hope that in some ways I can inspire others to visit places, encourage creativity, support the creators, enjoy their second life, explore, experiment and learn.  My skills will hopefully continue to improve, my eye for the ‘shot’ will be enhanced, my desire to learn will not waver and I will continue to find inspiration and amazement in the work that others produce.

Every time you visit a gallery or tell someone else about a gallery or some work that you admire…you are showing your support and encouragement of the creative world.  I am constantly in awe of so many of the creations I see in both the real and virtual world…and believe that the sights and sounds of all worlds should be treasured.

The work that I have chosen to display for this event includes captures from Lumeria, Relay for Life 2010 Designer Builds, SL Surfing, my home and a few other locations around Second Life.  The opening will be held on Sunday, August 8, 2010, at 12:30pm SLT with Clairde Dirval entertaining us at 1:00pm SLT.  The Laval Photography Gallery is located on San Gabriele sim.  Bobbi will also be showing her work upstairs in the gallery and OldSurferDude Danitz is displaying his original work out on the deck.  It should be a fun event, and if you have a moment, I do hope you can stop in.  If not, I’d be honored if you have the opportunity to stop in after the event as well.

Thank you… for your interest and support and always for your encouragement 🙂

~Sunshine

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