My favourite time for exploring Second Life is after dark. Not after dark in SL, you understand, but after dark in RL. At the end of the day, with the house quiet and little chance of being disturbed, I can cozy down in my little study / office and go a-wandering to my heart’s content. Sometimes doing so leads me to staying up well past silly o’clock.
Fortunately, I work from home most of the time, which allows me to large set my own schedule; I also have a weird body which is generally satisfied with around 5 hours sleep a night before it decides I need to be up and about (and bits of it are given to complaining if I don’t get up) – although occasionally it will demand a good, solid 8-9 hours under the duvet. Even so, there are times, generally when staring at the bathroom mirror first thing after getting up, when I ask myself just what the heck I thought I was doing sitting up to 4:00am in the morning, and whether I’m completely, certifiably bonkers.
Most of the time, however, it is worth it. There are so many beautiful, creative and inspiring places to visit in SL that trying to catalogue just a small selection of them in my own way makes the late nights worthwhile.
Sometimes I stumble upon a place, sometimes it is recommended to me or I stick my finger into the Destination Guide and see what comes up, sometimes reading other blogs piques my curiosity and off I trot to poke a nose into things. Whatever I find, there has to be a certain something which “clicks” with me. If I’m honest, it doesn’t always happen; there are many places in SL I’ve visited and not blogged about because, while they are in their own way amazing or fun or immersive, I personally don’t find that indefinable something which grabs me.
Sleepless Nights, the home of :Fiction and Chaos and [House of Usher] is one of those places which definitely has “it” for me. I first came across it in Honour McMillan’s blog, and her images were enough to convince me this was a place I had to visit. Honour is someone I read daily and whom I admire for her skills with both the written word and with SL photography. She’s also someone I tend to find I’m frequently following around SL, as there are times when we are drawn to the same regions even within me finding inspiration in her blog pages, and Honour is invariably 3 or 4 steps ahead of me, so I invariably put a planned post back on the shelf for a bit, so posts don’t clash :).
I love regions with a focus on water wat the best of times, and so in some ways, it’s hardly surprising Sleepless Nights appeals to so much. It has been brilliantly and evocatively framed, and I confess to having gone a little snap happy the other week during my visit, pumping out shot after shot to my profile feed. Pity I initially made such a pig’s ear of things.
A couple of weeks back LL finally got the snapshot tiling issue somewhat fixed. It’s not a perfect fix, as issues can still occur if you push your graphics card too hard, but it does allow those impacted by the issue to take snaps at significantly higher resolutions than perhaps they’ve been able to for quite a while.
I’d spent the days following the release happily bimbling around SL, revisiting old favourites and seeing how much better things look at 3500×2134 compared to the maximum of 1440×900 I’ve had to use pre-fix. So it was with huge delight that I arrived in Sleepless Nights, whapped up my snapshot floater to 3600×2195 and started posting away to my feed. The problem being that at the time I was using Firestorm – which doesn’t yet have the tiling issue fix.
Cue curses and a number of feed reposts, followed by a late-night revisit to re-work the images also saved to disk.
Leaving that crisis aside, there really isn’t much I can say about the region. Not because there isn’t anything to say about it, but simply because it speaks very eloquently for itself, as anyone arriving will immediately see for themselves. Suffice it to say that is it one of the most evocative I’ve visited, and I look forward to the day when I have a viewer / PC combination (and the skill) to really do it justice through photographs.
The region is minimalist in style and water-focused (something which will immediately attracted me, as I love water-based regions). The default windlight is enough to generate a deeply atmospheric feel and is absolutely ideal for SL photography. Together they combine to present a place which demands you simply experience it and let your thoughts roam free.
It’s also a place which can be quickly tweaked using viewer-side windlight options to create some truly remarkable frames – as I hope some of my offerings here go some way towards showing.
If you’ve never visited Sleepless Nights, I really recommend you do.
- Sleepless Nights SLurl (Rated: Moderate)