Jungle Fever

I realized when I posted these photos on my Instagram accounts that my photography Instagram (@vivianapodinaphotography) still says I’m participating (PROCRASTINATING) in the r/WeeklyPhotos 52 week challenge. However, I haven’t looked at that challenge since March. The year isn’t over yet and I’d really like to catch up and finish the challenge with everyone else, so in an effort to have no more “zero-days”, I’m going to challenge myself to finish this challenge.

That said, I didn’t go into these photos with the intent of them coming out how they did at all. I was simply happy with another great makeup look and wanted to capture it in photos.

I added freckles to my face with an eyebrow pencil, a makeup trend and trick that I feel adds more dimension to an overall look, but especially so in photography. One of my favorite photo aesthetics is that of Claire Luxton, who uses her Photoshop skills to hyper-intensify gorgeous details like freckles and gem-colored eyes to bring out her subjects. I used her photography as reference and inspiration while editing, and brought out my faux freckles in this series.

I watched a few of her videos on Youtube to see how she edits and I combined a couple new tricks from her style of editing with my own. I’m very pleased with how these photos turned out and I think I might have to do some Twitch streams again in the future of my photo-editing because this was honestly so much fun.

I use myself as my subject matter for portraits about 95% of the time, but I’d really like to expand that and test myself and my skills in bringing out other people’s personalities and stories through my photography.

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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.

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f1.8 – 1/50 – 500 ISO

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f1.8 – 1/160 – 400 ISO

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f/1.8 – 1/160 – 400 ISO

Chrysanthemums ’17

It’s officially a month since my last update and shamefully, I did not deliver on my promises of having queued up posts. Truthfully, I was so busy and mentally occupied in the time leading up to the cruise, I just didn’t get around to it. But excuses, excuses, we’re not here to talk about that, so let’s cut to it.

I have a few chrysanthemum photos I want to share from late spring this year.

I tried some different editing styles in Photoshop with these to bring out a more vintage, cooler toned look. I need to mess around with this style, cause I definitely feel like I can enhance them even more, it’s just about finding that balance.

Hope you guys enjoy.

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Astro Photography

I’ve recently been turning my eyes to the skies and spending time in the r/astrophotography subreddit on Reddit. I’ve been trying to figure out exactly how I can best use my DSLR to capture photos of deep space, but I’m pretty positive I don’t have all of the right equipment as of yet. And since I’m a visual learner, reading about how to set everything up leads me to more confusion, so I’ve been trying to find videos that help me and this one that I watched last night was pretty informative for a quick set up.

We had a gorgeously clear sky last night, perfect for stargazing. I played around with my Meade telescope for a good hour and a half and 3 hours later went back out with my DSLR to try my hand at photographing the sky. I think I got some pretty good shots for my first try.

I also attempted to take a SUPER long exposure shot that took more than 20 minutes to capture, but I got impatient and shut the camera off at that point. Here’s a few shots I edited in Photoshop to enhance the stars. I captured The Pleaides M45, Orion (and when zoomed in, you can even kind see the Orion Nebula M42), and The Big Dipper.

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The Big Dipper

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The Big Dipper

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Orion and The Pleiades (M45)

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Half of Orion and The Pleiades (M45)

Danielle x Pinup Portraits

Today was pretty exciting creatively. I asked my coworker Danielle a while ago if she’d be interested in being my muse for a photography shoot and after seeing my recent pinup style pics, she said yes.

We both did her makeup, although she let me do the contouring and such. I enhanced contouring in Photoshop to give her face more of that pop! But to be honest, she didn’t really need it anyway. She has the right kind of planes and angles to be a proper model, IMO. Anyway, here’s a few shots from today.

I used my 50mm portrait lens, ISO 400, f 1.8, exposure range 50-80.

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Lucy Goosey

For those of you who see this on Facebook, you might already know that I’ve been giving my neighbor’s cats snacks. They come meow at our door every day now that they know they’re gonna get food, and I’m okay with that cause they’re skinny and skinny cats make me sad.

Anyway, one of the cats, Lucy (short for Lucifer) is super friendly and loves being petted and often sits in our grass after eating. He kind of looks like he’s protecting the house when he does this.

I’ve photographed him before while he’s been sitting in our grass, but comparatively, my skills at both photography and photo-editing have gotten better in the 5 and a half years since. For comparison’s sake, I’m going to upload the picture from a few years ago too.

The first 2 are from this September.

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The picture below is from May 2011. My personal critiques are that my photography was a lot more closed in on subjects. I was pretty obsessed with getting that macro effect, which didn’t allow much space to the subject at hand in the frame. I’m still working on this part because I feel like I close in too much still, but I’m improving.

I also overused really saturated actions and curves in Photoshop. I’m pretty proud of my current more natural, vibrant, color boosting system I use.

I was also using a Nikon d3000 with the kit lens on the below picture, whereas in the new photos, I’m using a d7100 with a 50mm portrait lens. So that also factors in – BUT, I did take some great photos toward the end of my ownership with the d3100. But this particular photo is from the first year I owned it and was learning my way around a DSLR.

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