An Untroubled time in Second Life

To celebrate the fact I’m getting settled with the new PC (and have finally caught-up on all the Windows 7 updates – I think) and again have a little more time to get in-world and peek around after some RL matters demanded my attention, I decided to pay a visit to The Untroubled Sound – possibly one of the most photographed locations in SL, and deservedly so.

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The Untroubled Sound

Modelled after the Marlborough Sounds on the South Island of New Zealand, I feel some affinity with The Untroubled Sound as somewhere deep inside me, courtesy of Dad’s side of the family, there is a little bit of New Zealand heritage.

The region has been designed and developed by Theartfullone Skytower (Arty for short) and is home to a number of his ventures, including Artful Designs, TAO audio and The Deep House Cafe.  The main part of the region is devoted to a small marina-type environment, with wooden quays for sail boats, a boatyard and the Cafe itself, with the buildings doubling-up as very subtle stores for Arty’s various businesses.

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The Untroubled Sound

A sim surround helps develop the illusion that one is deep within the sea-drowned valleys of the Marlborough Sounds, and it is easy to imagine oneself boarding one of the sailboats or yachts moored here and heading out into the valleys and into bluewater for a day’s sailing before returning to the marina  once more and spending a little time chilling at the Deep House Cafe or perhaps strolling around the island to the campsite or simply to admire the flora here.

One of the great charms of The Untroubled Sound is the degree of love and passion for his native South Island Arty has poured into the place, which includes embarking on a project to re-plant the region using trees and plants native to the region in RL – many (if not all) of which have been created by Arty himself. This work is apparently – in another nice touch on Arty’s part – being undertaken by Te Papa Atawbai – the New Zealand Department of Conservation!

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The Untroubled Sound

Follow the paths around the region and you’ll find information boards on the local flora which both help to give more context to the region and deepen the immersive experience, as it feels is if you are on a conservancy trail through an area of the Sounds.

This is another region which, although already stunning in its design and look, to me looks to be an ideal showcase for the use of materials. The buildings are all of wooden construction with what appear to be corrugated steel roofs, while the quays are all wood plank and wood piers and brick walls with heavy chain decoration and stone pathways  – all of which (allowing for the more complex prims and possible LI inflation) would likely look pretty amazing with materials added.

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The Untroubled Sound

I’ve already mentioned that my SL has been given something of a new lease of life thanks to the new PC – I’m still twiddling with settings to determine what I’m most comfortable with – but I’m also using a pre-release of Firestorm, which offers a new set of windlights which are also somewhat O.O and which I’ve been experimenting with, as well as adding a few more to my personal preferences, all of which I hope will help me further with developing a look and style to my pictures. Not sure this actually means improving anything in my snap-taking, but it is new shiny for me to play with :).

In the meantime, if you’ve not visited The Untroubled Sound and want to enjoy a little slice of New Zealand paradise – I warmly recommend that you hop on over there and have a look for yourself, and leave you with a brief slide show with images in a decent resolution (for a change!).

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(view slideshow full-screen)

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