A Walk Through Cranbrook

Today was the first day of the rest of my life. 

Without being too cryptic, I’ll say that I did things today that were cathartic and healing and I received messages and support that I needed to hear and I am grateful and thankful for the people in my life that continue to lift me up and make me feel valued. 

That said, I gifted myself an early Christmas gift last month for Black Friday and bought Adobe Creative Cloud and thankfully have Photoshop back! I’ve been tinkering around in it (and Lightroom) but today I spent some time at Cranbrook and came home with a handful of great shots.

While I was there, a lady named Loretta walked up to me and started asking me questions about what I was taking a picture of and showed me some of her photography as well. We ended up spending well over an hour walking the grounds and I learned a lot of fascinating things about the architecture of the surrounding buildings. 

We exchanged  all kinds of stories and life experiences and funny enough, before I left the house I had stuck a few of my business cards in my pocket thinking “you never know who you’ll meet”. She was so interested in my creative pursuits, I ended up giving her one of my cards. Loretta, if you’re reading this, you are an incredible lady and I adore your vivaciousness and thirst for knowledge. 

That said, here are a couple of the photos I took today. The second photo is the last one I took before Loretta took me on a whirlwind tour of the grounds. 

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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 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 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:

f/1.8
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

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Post-processing

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Original