Looking Ahead

Hey there! It’s been a hot minute – what else is new?

Truthfully, I have been absolutely spanked by this year’s holiday season, but they’re finally over and I finally have consecutive days of time off coming up and I’m thrilled because I have a bunch of stuff I need to do to “get my life back together” as it were.

Anyway, with this new year, comes new goals and aspirations.

This year, I’m participating in Reddit’s r/WeeklyPhotos 52-week photo challenge. If you’re interested in joining, here’s the welcome thread for the challenge.

I didn’t get a chance to post week one within week one on here (but I did on Instagram, @vivianapodinaphotography) so I’m posting it at the beginning of week two here, because by the time I decide what I want to do for week two, it’ll be later in the week anyway.

So week one’s theme was “look ahead” – cause you know, new year, new goals and stuff like that. It’s coupled with the category vision.

We’ve been letting my neighbor’s cat come inside cause it’s super cold out lately (like, single digit and negatives) so he can have a snack and enjoy some warmth for a bit. Anyway, a few days ago he was making himself at home in my room and I found the perfect opportunity to not only take pictures of him because he’s my favorite kitty, but also, he stares off at things a lot – so you know, how can I pass up the cliche gazing in the distance opportunity?

Anyway, the first photo is the one I used for the challenge because it’s clear, but I shot him in full manual and I captured a few others I really liked. The second is a full manual shot, but it’s a bit blurry where I wish it wouldn’t be.

I find the trouble with shooting full manual is often that staring through a tiny peephole, I can’t always gauge whether my focus is going to come out like I think it will when I actually snap the photo. But we’ll see, maybe I’ll get better at it this year.

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The Polk Penguin Conservation Center

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!

Swoop

YOU GUYS. IT’S THE LAST DAY OF BLOGVEMBER!

I had so much trouble deciding on what color scheme to do today’s photo in – it ended up being a piece that looked good in basically every curve and action I applied, so instead of continuing on the sullen and dark scheme I’d had for the past couple fin photos, I decided to cheer myself up (lord knows I need it) and go for a blushy pink/lilac scheme.

Again, if I was a viewer of this without knowing what I’m looking at are fish fins, I don’t think I’d be able to guess. They kind of look like bird feathers, which reminds me of the theory of evolution and makes me feel wonder at the amazing world we live in.

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Canaries

I was momentarily SO happy because I thought it was Thursday and I thought “OH LORD, IT’S THROWBACK THURSDAY” and then I hovered over the time on my taskbar and it told me it was Wednesday and I was sad.

I’ve done a lot of things in the past in terms of fashion that I thought were cool and different at the time, but in retrospect are kinda embarrassing.

In 2012, I used to wear these birds in my hair. I swear.

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