Week 8: Zoom Burst x Technical

Definitely still playing catch up, but listen.

This zoom burst challenge really got me challenged. And I’m giving up on it. I know I’ve achieve it before – and you know what, I’ll include one of my favorite shots from that time at the end – but this time around? I cannot get it down. So I’m calling this one a wrap and moving on.

It’s not really an effect I try to achieve, like, ever, anyway.

And then, here’s an old selfie from 6 years ago! in Philadelphia, when Maria and experimented with our cameras one night. I think we got the zoom burst down that night.


Week 7: Fill the Frame x Composition

There’s several elements about this week’s challenge I want to talk about.

Firstly, when I first read the theme, I was instantly excited. I LOVE close-up, frame-filling photography. In fact, often times I have to remind myself to pull back and capture more in the frame. So this week’s challenge was a bit like home.

Secondly, I’ve been wanting to recreate a photoshoot I did several years ago with ice cubes. So I did. It basically involves melting an ice cube in your mouth and letting the water be pulled by gravity to the ground. It’s messy, but it’s worth it.

Thirdly, I ordered a new wig and it came in as I was prepping for this shoot, so OBVIOUSLY I had to throw it in there.

Lastly, afterwards, as I was trying to figure out zoom bursts, I discovered aperture priority actually makes for amazing selfies.

Therefore, for this week’s challenge, I’m submitting THREE! photos and they all fill the frame. With my face. You’re welcome.


f1.8 – 1/50 – 500 ISO


f1.8 – 1/160 – 400 ISO


f/1.8 – 1/160 – 400 ISO

Week 6: Alternating Rhythm x Vision

I really liked this prompt because rhythms and repetitions are so enchanting and relatively easy to find, whether they’re naturally occurring or man-made.

I chose to photograph a garnet mala bead necklace that I used to wear with a lot more frequency a few years ago. Now it just hangs with a bunch of other necklaces I don’t wear.

Anyway, I’m in love with the way this photo came out. It was accidental. I was standing by the window to catch good light and my drapes got in the way. Or rather, enhanced the photo. It looks like my hand is coming out of milk and it makes me want to recite “out of the ashes I rise with my red hair and eat men like air.” (Sylvia Plath, you’re welcome.)

F-stop: f/1.8
Exp: 1/200
ISO: 500
35mm NIKKOR lens


Week 5: Photographer’s Choice x Wild Card

Photographer’s choice!? You know what that means – definitely a selfie.

My neighbor’s cat and I have a mutual love thing going on and he popped up during my shoot after I got my hair done (hellooooo ORANGE! ginger). As you can see, I use a little remote to achieve these photos and cradling him for pictures often means it pops up into view.

F-stop: f/1.8
Exp: 1/50
ISO: 400

35mm NIKKOR lens (have I mentioned how absolutely in love with this lens I am??)


Week 4: Quiet Moment x Creativity

I’ve got some catching up to do for r/WeeklyPhoto’s 52 week photo challenge. I didn’t like what I’d photographed in week 4, but I have some down time today to sift through.

Anyway, week 4’s challenge was Quiet Moment x Creativity.

I was taste-testing Sugarfina’s Bourbon Bears (super delicious by the way). I don’t think there’s too much creativity going on in this photo, but it is definitely on the serene side.

Week 3: Full Manual x Technical

r/WeeklyPhotos week 3 challenge is Full Manual x Technical.

I captured this water droplet at Cranbrook on a windy day, precariously standing on a slope. It was physically challenging, as well as technically, since I was adjusting my focus manually and this branch would not sit still. But I’m thrilled with the capture and the way the photo came out overall.

I’m also pretty thrilled with my post-processing edit. I think I did a great job with adjusting the colors to my liking, but also to showcase the beauty of this shot more eloquently.

This week gave me the opportunity to step back into my comfort zone. As you all know by now, I absolutely adore photographing nature. It’s difficult to find flowers in their natural settings in the winter, but I’ll be damned if there aren’t interesting dead leaves (and the dirty ground…) to capture. Especially here in the Metro Detroit area.

Here’s the technical breakdown:

Exp 1/320
ISO 200
35mm f/1.8G AF-S DX NIKKOR lens


Week 2: Color Harmony x Composition

This week’s r/WeeklyPhotos photo challenge was color harmony x composition.

As someone whose photography is color harmony on crack (I mean, seriously, just look at my florals) I found this past week’s challenge actually challenging. I think the major reason is of course because of the season – I’d say my specialty is definitely floral photography, so when there’s no flowers to photograph, I’m out of my comfort zone.

But I took to the streets on Thursday, even got REALLY out of my comfort zone and photographed things in stores – which I’m always really leery about doing because I don’t want to get in trouble for “taking pictures of merchandise”.

Anyway, one of my stops of Cranbrook House and Gardens, which is more in my realm of comfort. I shot some neat photos of foliage and things like that, but I got a couple shots of a fallen piece of a pine tree against the red bricks in the wooded fountain across from the main entrance of the house.

The original photo is vastly underwhelming, and I’ll post it below. But I knew when I took the shot that it had potential post-processing, and I’m happy that I was right.

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram for photography and more, @vivianapodinaphotography