The Polk Penguin Conservation Center

Events & Outdoors

It’s certainly been a while since I last updated, and that’s in part with not being inspired to photograph anything and being preoccupied with other things.

However, I was privileged to be able to go to the Detroit Zoo on the day they opened the new Polk Penguin Conservation Center and it is glorious. The zoo has been working on building this new state of the art center for well over a year and now that it’s finally open, I can absolutely confirm that it is totally and unequivocally awesome.

You begin the journey by viewing the penguins via a large window, where you can also see the other side, of the center and another large window. Afterwards, you start the journey of winding your way around the center by walking downwards on a wide, wheelchair accessible ramp that’s fashioned to look like an old ship, with projections on the walls to make the experience more visual, sounds like water is spraying the ship, and bells and whistles that remind me of the Sydney Harbor scene in Finding Nemo. There’s also super light water sprinkles raining down on you the whole way down, and when you finally exit the ramp, there’s a light shower you can walk through (I walked around it because I had my camera) to continue your journey.

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At this point, you’ve reached the “underground” portion of the center, where you can see the penguins diving and swimming below. There’s even a portion that’s much like the Arctic Circle portion of the Detroit Zoo, where you walk through a tunnel, and can look 365 degrees to see the penguins swimming. This is the part where I noticed they had planted a lot of live star fish and anenome-like organisms throughout the aquarium. It was pretty cool to see them slowly moving their appendages. It was also pretty cool to watch one penguin nip at a starfish that refused to budge.

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However, my favorite part of the center was definitely the portion right after the tunnel, where you enter a large room  with huge glass panels that allow you to view the penguins swimming and diving and shows projects on the glass of interesting facts and how fast the penguins are swimming at the moment. The information and technology in the center is really want makes this center stand apart and brings the Detroit Zoo into the 21st century.

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The last stop of the exhibit is up a couple flights of stairs and full circle to the other side of the first view of the penguins atop their rocky habitat. It was here that I also noticed the penguins that I watched diving and swimming below, I could see come up for air here. They were beyond adorable.

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The end of the journey culminates in a penguin-specific gift shop, where I purchased 5 postcards, but was certainly tempted to buy a penguin plushie or two.

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Via Instagram. Follow me @lovelikeangels and @vivianapodinaphotography for more photography.

If you have the chance and opportunity to visit the Detroit Zoo and check out the new Polk Penguin Conservation Center, DO IT!

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Behind the Scenes: DIY Backdrops & Self Portraits

Portraits

Last week, my bff Maria and I were discussing various photography aids like lighting kits and backdrops and she was all “but ‘x’ is so cheap!” and I was like “yeah, but still $$$”. Mind you, this was a day after I had gotten my hair done so it was fresh which clearly begs for new FB profile pics to be taken and as you all probably know by now, I prefer working with natural light.

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Anyway, I didn’t feel like dropping $100+ on a backdrop/lighting kit, so I decided to run across the street to Target and got myself a home rolling rack. I also stopped by Lowe’s and picked up metal clamps to hold stuff I drape over the rolling rack sturdily in place.

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My mom became a test subject + used the Foldio’s lighting to help with low lighting post-sunset.

 

I’d gone to Haberman Fabrics the previous week, so I had some nice cream fabric with a shiny finish sitting around in my room and I went and grabbed my clear Christmas lights from storage and created a simple and fun backdrop by draping the xmas lights around the rolling rack and then covering it with the fabric.

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Follow me on Instagram for more pics like this! @lovelikeangels

I opened my blinds and drapes to allow the maximum available light I could get through my North-facing bedroom window to come in as the sun was beginning to set and ultimately had to tweak my manual settings to high ISO and low f-stops. I was surprised at how little grain came through given that the settings were so stretched, but that full on window light really helped, even if it was dimming quickly.

Anyway, I got some pretty awesome end products, so check it out.

P.S. I made those earrings you can kinda see poking out. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you’re interested in your own pair!

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How am I single?