Frequently Asked Questions
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General Questions:
Can I put a link to Donna's Virtual Realm or one of your travel photo pages on my site?
  Yes, please do! And if you'll let me know which page(s) you're linking, I'll notify you of any changes (moved/renamed pages, etc) that might break the link in the future.
What happened to the Photo Album (Photos of the Webmaster/other photos) page?
  I haven't found a good spot for it on my new site yet. Since it was mostly a collection of photos from past iterations of this site, I may incorporate it into the Site History page at some point.
What happened to the "Where am I going next" page?
  I was woefully negligent about keeping that page up to date. In fact, the "Where am I going next" page was still referring to my 2001 trip to Australia (before I even knew for sure that's where I was going!). I have decided to get rid of that page for now.
When I click on a thumbnail image, the larger picture opens up in a popup window. Can I make it open in the current window instead?
  Yes! Every one of my travel photo pages as well as the Travel Gallery home page and the Art Gallery page now contain a link that will let you switch between viewing pictures "inline" (the same window) or viewing them in a popup. The popup is still the default, but once you change to inline viewing, your setting will be saved for subsequent visits to my site so long as your browser settings allow for cookies. In addition, once you choose between popups or inline viewing for one of my pages, that setting will apply to all pages on my site unless you change it again.
I want to make a link to one of the photo pages on Donna's Virtual Realm, but I want "inline" viewing of pictures to be the default instead of having pictures open in a popup window. Can this be done?
 

Yes! Popups are normally the default setting for users who have never visited my site before or who have never explicitly chosen a display method. It is this way because a sizable majority of folks I asked about it said they prefer popups to "inline" viewing. However, if you are making a link to a photo page on my site, you can override the default by adding ?defaultImageDisplayType=inline to the URL. For example, the following URL will link to my Iceland photos page with "inline" as the default viewing method:

http://www.virtual-realm.com/travel/html/iceland/photos.html?defaultImageDisplayType=inline

Note: The defaultImageDisplayType parameter will not override a user's prior setting. Thus, if you add the above link to your site and someone clicks on it who has previously chosen popups as their preferred viewing method, they will continue to get popups unless they change it.

 
Travel Gallery Questions:
Can I use your photos on my web site, in my research paper, etc.?
 

Probably, but I request that you contact me before doing so. I usually allow the use of my photos on non-commercial/non-political web sites, school papers, etc. so long as you include my name and copyright notice with the pictures, and as long as the site/paper/whatever is in good taste (e.g., not a porn site or a "hate" site, etc). But please contact me first and let me know which photos you would like to use and for what purpose. I won't spam you, I promise! :)

What kind of camera do you use?
  The earliest photos in my Travel Gallery (Iceland, Sweden, England, Asia, Nebraska, Montana, South Dakota, Wyoming, Texas, Washtington DC, and the Arizona pictures from 1997 and 1999) where taken with an old Minolta point-and-shoot with a zoom lens. The Australia photos were taken with a Nikon N65 except for the under-water shots, which were taken with a disposable waterproof camera available at any of the tourist shops in Cairns. The photos from my 2003 trip to Arizona and Nevada were taken with an Olympus C-740 Zoom digital camera. Sometime before my next trip, I'll be purchasing a digital SLR camera (most likely a Canon Digital Rebel or similar). Future photos on this site will be taken with that.
Are any of your photos for sale?
  Not yet. I'm planning to put up an online store site later on this year or early next. In the meantime, if there's someone out there who wants to pay me to travel somewhere nice and take pictures, I'd certainly be open to the idea. :)
   
Art Gallery Questions
What was the inspiration for the pattern designs in your Art Gallery?
  Somewhere in my desk drawer is a yellow sheet of paper with a roughly 2-square-inch patch of doodling from back in 1998. Around that same time, my grandma spent several days telling me her life story. I wanted to give her a gift in appreciation. I decided to do a drawing. I started by tracing around a weird-shaped dish I acquired from somewhere during college, then filled in the shape with patterns from the doodling. Over the years, I have introduced new patterns and refined the old ones to the point where the designs I do today bear little resemblance to this first one. I've been told by a few of my Indian friends that my art resembles Mehndi, but the truth is, I had never even heard of Mehndi when I started doing these. They're just a product of my imagination. :)
Are your pattern designs computer generated?
  Absolutely not! Except for the some of the outer frames, everything is freehand.
How do you do all those tiny little details?
  I use 0.5mm mechanical pencils and lots of concentration and patience. For more information, see the next question.
What kind of art supplies do you use?
  I use 0.5mm mechanical pencils of various hardnesses to do the details and the black-and-white designs. The most important of these is the 2B pencil, which I use for all the black. (I go through two or three 2B leads for each drawing). I use Sanford Prismacolor pencils for the colored designs. One of the most useful recent additions to my "toolbox" is a colorless blender pencil. I used it on my three most recent designs--it really brings out the colors. And of course, I have one of those nifty kneeded erasers, an absolute must for any type of pencil drawing. For the outer frames, I either come up with a shape of my own, or I use something lying around the house, such as a dish or a lid (especially for circles) and trace around it. Lastly, I use Blair No Odor Spray Fix to keep the drawing from smearing. If I'm doing a color drawing, I do all the detail work first, then spray it down really well, do the color, then spray again.
Are any of your drawings for sale?
  Not yet. I am planning to put up an online store site later on this year or early next. In the meantime, if you are interested in prints or originals, please contact me, and I'll let you know when I have something available.