Archive for the ‘Photography’ Category

Ando Joubert’s taste runs to beautifully detailed, expertly executed renderings of real life places and artifacts. His inspiration for the Hopper House Gallery on Symphony was a 1925 paining by Edward Hopper, “House by the Railroad.” The painting, in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, was probably based on a house in Haverstraw, NY, and was painted when Hopper was living in Nyack.

Hopper House Gallery

Hopper House Gallery

As I cleared out the previous exhibition last night, I paused for a moment to reflect on how real our experiences in Second Life are. This empty house, a virtual replica of a two dimensional replica of a real place that once housed the hopes and dreams, the daily life and desolation of other human beings, stirs the same melancholy feelings in me that one in the real world would . . . feelings that seem to have arisen in Hopper at the sight of the abandoned house he painted. It is a moody piece, its sky filled with a sense of emptiness and loss.


There is something evocative about empty walls . . . a sense of either abandonment or possibility. I prefer to dwell in possibility. Empty walls simply wait to be filled . . . a blank slate to accept our vision, to reflect ourselves . . . taste, memories, choices. They will quicken, spring to life, delight us again one day.

You Can Almost Hear the Sound

You Can Almost Hear the Sound

For just a few days more Hopper House Gallery stands empty. On Saturday, July 18th, her walls will be filled with the gorgeous photographs of Morgana Nagorski, a “Serenade to Symphony” ~ three floors of beautiful pieces capturing the moods and meanings of this breathtaking place. Please join us then (4 p.m., slt), or visit Hopper House Gallery in the coming month while Morgana’s photos are on display.

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The first prize for the recent Symphonic Pieces photo competition went to an amazing photographer, Morgana Nagorski. Once we became acquainted with her work, Ando and I wanted to host her at Hopper House Gallery for a single artist exhibition. So, on July 18th at 4:00 p.m. SLT, we will open “Serenade.”

I recently had the opportunity to interview Morgana about her art. Morgana is Australian. She has been making art in various media all of her life.

Morgana Nagorski

Morgana Nagorski

What led you to photography in SL?

I came to SL in October 2006. After a few weeks I started ‘playing’ with photography. Then I met someone, and everything went on hold. I started arranging shows for him, being his handmaiden, framing his pictures, hanging them, whatever.

Then in October 2007, he started working towards a show with a theme I suggested, with props and locations I found. After some thought, with much trepidation, I suddenly said I wanted it to be a joint show. He would deny that he hesitated, but the surprise was palpable! And from there my interest in photography took off.

What inspires your work?

The main inspiration is my own emotions. I am drawn to the melancholy. My heart bleeds easily. I resonate to the minor key. Symphony pictures aside, most of the rest are RAW emotion, cathartic even. I am sometimes embarrassed, but cannot help myself.

Biggest musical influence: Leonard Cohen

Artists: Klimt, Beardsley and Waterhouse as disparate as they seem

I don’t know that they are reflected in my work though, except for the angst of Leonard.

Shelter In Her Storm

What themes or topics or images excite your imagination? Where is your art going?

What excites me most is an exploration of my feelings and emotions, and my art will go more and more there even though maybe not noticeable to people who don’t know me.

How do you view Second Life?

I wish I could live there.

Why Symphony as a subject for your work? What is there about the sim that has led you to set photographs here?

The Symphony contest was suggested to me by a friend. Apart from two isolated pics, it was the FIRST time I was not shooting MYSELF. At first I thought I couldn’t. I was quite terrified really. But feeling someone thinks I cannot makes me be determined to “can”. Does that make sense?

Do you have any future projects in mind that you can share with us?

I have SO MANY series planned that I sometimes get lost in daydreaming
Just a few are
• a series based on Leonard Cohen songs
• a series revolving around images of Marilyn Monroe . . . classics photos that I would replicate in Second Life
• a flamenco and/or tango series
• erotic pics pushing the boundaries
• a series of nude men reminiscent of classical statues
• a series semi-recreating famous paintings, like the Birth of Venus or Lady of Shalott
• a series suggesting religious icons


Your photos are primarily of human subjects . . . you in various manifestations. Why?

I find the human form beautiful. I think our avatars are a primary work of art here.
And I am the most obedient and co-operative model I know. (laughs)

On a serious level though, many of my photos are about my emotions and feelings, and what better way to express them than through my avatar?

Ahhhh . . .

Ahhhh . . .

How do you work with images offline to prepare your final photos? Do you have a preferred program for processing?

I use Photoshop. I am a novice and sort of stumble through it. But mostly my post processing is minimal. I crop and add light, and fix up the SL bits like hair poking through bodies. For the most part I try to get the shot as right as possible in SL

There are only about 1/2 dozen pics that I have manipulated, like pasting something that was not there; and usually it was . . .I just might have moved something closer for better composition, or like in the mill house ones I did that, and also painted out some things I didn’t want.

and doors

and doors


I want to thank Morgana for her time and for sharing her thoughts and her art with us. Please mark your calendar for Saturday, July 18th and plan to attend the opening of “Serenade” on Symphony. Guests will receive a complimentary commemorative bottle of wine with one of the exhibit photos on the label, a hallmark of each of Morgana’s openings. The wine is courtesy of Sapphoria Shilova and Zanphoria Vineyards Exclusive Bottling. The Serenade souvenir bottle would look great in your SL home. Please join us.


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Stop by Hopper House Gallery on Symphony to see the winners of the Symphonic Pieces Photo Competition.  Some pieces are set to sale and several benefit RFL.  This show will run through July 15th.  On July 18th we will have an exhibition of photographs by the amazing Morgana Nagorski, the winner of this competition. Morgana will present a new series of photographs of the beautiful Symphony Sim. That show will open on July 18th, and we will send out details in advance.

"Symphonic Pieces" Runs Through July 15th

"Symphonic Pieces" Runs Through July 15th

Ando and I look forward to your visit.


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Real life certainly has a way of throwing schedules off. I did so want to post these immediately after the opening of the Symphony sim on Sunday . . . and here it is Wednesday.

I am delighted to announce the winners and finalists in the first Symphony Photo Competition, “Pieces of Symphony.”

First Place Gold and $10,000 lindens went to Morgana Nagorski for her skillful evocation of the mysterious side of Symphony in  “Prelude.”   She situates her mysterious woman with Symphony Library in the distance and leaves us with a sense of the profound mystery that underlies all of life.

Prelude by Morgana Nagorski

Prelude by Morgana Nagorski

Second Place Silver ($5,000 lindens) went to Elusyve Jewell for capturing the peaceful side of Symphony with “Serene.”  This photo was taken at Serenity Point, a meditation area with butterflies and birds . . . the perfect spot for a cup of tea and a good read.

Symphony Serene by Elusyve Jewell

Symphony Serene by Elusyve Jewell

And the Third Place Bronze ($1,000 lindens) went to Vivian Tuqiri for “Faro.”  This photo captures the iconic Symphony lighthouse and the sea beyond.  And what a wonderful sense of light!

Faro by Vivian Tuqiri

Faro by Vivian Tuqiri

One criteria the judges used is the ability of the photograph to capture some part of the essence of Symphony.  The judges asked, “Would we use this to convey the idea of Symphony to others?”  Each of these top photos does just that.

In his remarks at the opening, Ando Joubert said,  “My – our – guiding principle here was to create a place of beauty and romance, and while I believed I had succeeded, the parent is always proud of his child, and finds her more beautiful than all others. That said, seen through the eyes of some of Second Life’s finest photographers, I now know that I did indeed create something that I’m proud to introduce to the world. Every one of you who participated in this contest should be proud. You have uncovered her in ways that I had hoped, and also in ways I never imagined.”

My – our – guiding principle here was to create a place of beauty and romance, and while I believed I had succeeded, the parent is always proud of his child, and finds her more beautiful than all others. That said, seen through the eyes of some of Second Life’s finest photographers, I now know that I did indeed create something that I’m proud to introduce to the world. Every one of you who participated in this contest should be proud. You have uncovered her in ways that I had hoped, and also in ways I never imagined.

There were 9 finalists as well.  Each captured a different aspect of Symphony, from the romantic to the whimsical, and from the meditative to the nostalgic.  Please visit the flickr Symphony photo stream to view all of them.


Alphabetically, the finalists are:

Kayla Ariel for “Explosion of Flowers”

Chance Genira for “Symphony Sunset”

Opal Lei for “Soprano Trill”

Laurel Luminos for “Love’s Flight”

Brie Pinazzo for “Symphony 3”

Elzo Pinion for “Symphony Lighthouse”

Rhi Rossini for “Distortion”

Blues Thor for “Bridge in Sunset”

Lorimae Undercroft for “Symphony Bird — Welcome Home”

Finalists each received one of Ando’s Fire Flowers.

The twelve photographs are on display in Symphony Square until the weekend.  Beginning on Saturday, June 20th, they will be on display at Hopper House Gallery on Symphony, where they will remain until July 15th.  The photographers have been invited to set their works for sale.  Please stop by and support their work.

We have invited Morgana Nagorski, the first prize winner, to do an exhibition of photographs of Symphony that will open on July 18th.  Stay tuned for further details.

Ando plans to sponsor other photo competitions on Symphony.

Ando and I are grateful to the photographers for their wonderful work and the new eyes they brought to our beloved sim.  We are also grateful to the visionary Catalina McCaw for helping us judge the competition.  She is an amazing woman and a dear friend, and we are thrilled to look forward to the grand opening of her sim, Wizard.

~ Cacie

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Symphony will be having its grand opening soon, and we’d like to invite you join in the festivities with a photo contest worth L$10,000! Ando Joubert worked hard to bring Symphony to life, now it’s your turn: the goal of this contest is to gather impressions of Symphony from the best photographers in SL to celebrate its grand opening.

RULES & GUIDELINES—————————————-

Entry is free, and the rules are simple:

 1) The photo must be taken on location anywhere on Symphony, and post-production very welcome.

 2) You can enter up to 3 images

 3) There are no restrictions regarding content (though it’s unlikely overly “intimate” portraits will make the final cut 😉

Guidelines: use high resolution pictures to disk, with the smallest dimension at *least* 1024. While excellent work at lower resolution will be considered, high res pics will present both to the judges and to the public much better.

SUBMISSIONS —————————————-

Send a notecard to Ando Joubert inworld, entitled [your name] [Symphony photo]; in the body of the notecard, include a statement about your photograph including picture dimensions in pixels, and include the high-resolution photograph in the notecard.


The contest will run from now until June 1. Selection will be by a panel of judges, and their decision will be final. We’ll look for all the right notes – composition, originality, creativity, and how well the image captures the essence of this Symphony.


The winners will be announced at the Grand Opening celebration Friday, June 12th, at 4pm SLT

First prize: L$10,000

Second prize: L$5000

Third prize: L$1000

The top 10 entries will be displayed in the Hopper House Gallery on Symphony through June. These 10 artists may choose to set their work for sale, with no commission charged for the duration of the display.  Contest entries will be posted on flickr as they’re received.




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