C is for coffee

In an effort to learn more about still life photography I have decided to do a year long series of coffee photos. All of the photos will have coffee in them in some sort of fashion, and all the shots will be still life. 

Still life photography...the depiction of inanimate subject matter, most typically in a small grouping of objects.  

I do hope to post a few tips and tutorials along the way as well, but mainly it will be my own personal delve deeper into the still life world. I will be sharing most of my photos on my Instagram platform. If you do not already follow me there hope on over and join the fun at Lisa.Kerner. You can also follow along by searching the hashtag #coffeelovinbylk. 

cOffEe sOng

Call it obsession
Call it fanatical
But I am not trying
To make this a spectacle
I have this craving
Justifies behaving
I really need some of that

Ooo, good coffee
Strong coffee
I need to have some
Ooo, good coffee
Strong coffee

Ooo cappuccino
Double espresso
I need something with
A really big kick
You ask me about creamer
You ask me about sugar
I tell you those things make me sick
With my...


~I have found that in still life more is better. I usually begin building my scene with the basics... a piece of textile, things to create depth by stacking items, and color pops. From there I build until I am happy with the overall look. 

~I have found that when I am not happy with a shot, most of the time, simply shuffling my feet and setting up a new perspective will do the trick. I imagined this shot as a front on view, but really did not like any of the shots I took that way. It wasn't until I set up a top down shot that the creative juices really started to flow. 


~ I find that interesting backgrounds are really key to good still life. I follow a several still life photographers on IG and Flickr, and always their photos pull me in from the base of the photo (the background) up. I have learned that still life photography is about bringing the eye through all the levels of the image.  Goal: to purchase more interesting backdrops, and bases.


~ I chatted about dreaming on Monday, and doing change, so I figure I might as well admit right here, right now, that a huge dream of mine is to be published one day. In order to reach that goal I am taking a Lightroom Master class through Creative Live, and I plan to begin Photoshop classes as well. I have several classes on my wish list, and am excited about pursuing them throughout the year. 

What are some of your goals, or projects, for 2016?

I'll be visiting these lovely communities... join along...  Song-ography, and Little Things Thursday

friday randomness: 5 things to capture during each season

We took a hike last weekend. One of our favorite things to do, in the winter, is to traipse down a trail with fresh, unbroken snow.

As I walked in the silence, and traced back the years of our time in Europe, and the trails we hiked in the winter, I realized just how desperately I need, and cherish, the seasons throughout the year. I long for fall and spring, and I re-energize in summer and winter.  Every season, whether you love or hate it, deserves to be documented in it's entirety. Really, it is simple to document the season; it takes five simple steps.

1. Document color. I think it is easy to miss color, especially when you live in a monotone world during the seasons; brown for winter, green for summer, with only spring and fall to yield vibrant arrays of color. And, I am well aware that sometimes it is possible to live in a world that does not even offer a splash of color in the spring, or fall. However, I also think that color can be found in any season, anywhere if you look for it. True, sometimes you have to search color out in the minuscule purple flowers of summer, or the rays of a sunset on the horizon, but color is there if you choose to see it.

2. Document the ordinary. You know, those mundane things that you think will eat you up if your day happens to be the same as yesterday, and the day before that. It is hard during the monotony of life to remember that time does pass, and the years will fill with the changing of the seasons, and before you know it you will be two, three, ten years older, and you will want to remember what life was like two, three, five years ago. So, document the pot of soup on the stove, or the cup of coffee with steam rising from it... or, even document your cute wellies hiding in the snow.

3. Document the loves of your life. Those people, or pets, that live life with you. Document them so that you will have tangible evidence of what life looked like lived with them. Someday, someone will care. Whether that be you in the future, or your kids once you are no longer around, or your grand-kids as they try to explain who you were to their kids.

4. Document living in the seasons. Capture the moments lived that you do over and over: a hike through the woods, a run down the trail, a coffee date with your kids. Document those as well, and document them with the seasons showing. Show the spring crocuses lacing the trail in the woods. Show the new grass beneath the feet of your running shoes. Sit outside with your kids and take a photo of them in front of the brilliantly bright fall foliage. Do not just document life, but document to preserve the seasons. To document in the season it really comes down to changing your perspective.

5. Document the season. In all it's glory, document the season, which means taking a walk in the snow. Standing under an umbrella to capture a spring storm. Donning your bathing suit and taking a dive into the deep end, to snap away at the water, and the ciaos of the pool, on a hot summer day. Swatting away those pesky gnats, as you stop to capture the leaves as they glimmer their colors, on a warm autumn day. It is easy to excuse the season away due to the weather. But instead, embrace the nuances of each season and head outdoors to capture their essence.

BUT STOP... that is not all!!

I read the other day that, "this generation is the most photographed of all generations, but that they will have the least amount to show for it."  {I'm paraphrasing this great article... you should read it.} Why? because we document, and forget. We forget to download those photos off of our phones, and we forget to back them up. We have intentions of printing the family photos we took, but never find the time to do so. And, we throw the discs, and thumb-drives, in the drawer and forget, we forget about our documented lives. Document... but do not forget to print, in some from or fashion, make hard-copies of your life.

And, a February in review, using these thoughts.

Joining Friday Finds, Whatever is Lovely,  and Mona's Picturesque, Little by Little, Friday Unfolded

Do not forget about Life Thru the Lens... come link-up and be a part of the community.

Also I have started a Monthly Color Hunt Challenge on Instagram. Head on over there to check out this months color, and to link-up your photos. I'll feature a few every Friday at my Instagram home.

friday randomness... a decade of life and photography

So, today is THE BIG day... I am marching right out of my 30's and into my 40's. And, yes, I have been told I will survive, but still.

I decided it might be fun to celebrate a decade of metamorphosis in my photography journey.


~In 2005, we received the exciting news that we would be starting a grand adventure of living overseas. I'll be honest, although exciting, it was a tough transition and I did happen to ball my head off at a bus stop shortly after arriving in Germany.

© 2015 Simply Living Photography- Kodak DX7590

~ In 2006, the culture shock had merged into delight as we began to explore this new world of ours. I bought my first DSLR, and was so scared of it I refused to use it for about a month.

© 2015 Simply Living Photography- Kodak DX7590

But, then I took this picture, totally on a fluke. The Thinker was exploring and I was entertaining two tired kids by playing paparazzi. When we returned home, and saw the photo, I knew this was my passion. Up until the digital world I had loved photography, but this new ability to snap  a photo and have  the immediate gratification of an image spurred my enthusiasm on.

© 2015 Simply Living Photography- Nikon D50


~ 2007 through 2010, photography became an obsession for me. I began to dabble in editing, I worked on technique, and how to use my camera and l began to look at my entire world with a new perspective. This is when my view of the world turned to landscape mode.

© 2015 Simply Living Photography- Nikon D50/ D7000

~ In 2011, I began to dip into portrait sessions more seriously. I was blessed by people who thought I might have some talent, and they invested in me through their support. We also began our "year of lasts" in Europe. I cannot honestly tell you I wanted to move back to my home country. In reality, I wanted to stay in Europe. After living in Europe during my formative years as a child, I felt out of sink in the US during my middle/high school years. It wasn't until we moved back to Europe, in 2005, that I realized why. Those years in Europe, as a child, molded me into who I am; in returning to Europe I felt like I had returned home.

© 2015 Simply Living Photography- Nikon D7000

~ In 2012, we moved back to the US. Heavy grief, and a world that had shifted into monotonous greens in the summer, and monotonous browns in the winter, left me feeling out of sorts with photography; I felt lost.

I also began to think that my passion was a completely different craft. A dear friend breathed it into me, and I believed it for a bit. I thought I wanted to be a writer, that I was a writer. But, somehow, writing always felt like work, and I couldn't really process that feeling since I enjoyed it.

© 2015 Simply Living Photography- Nikon D7000

~After a year of harsh grief, I decided that 2013 would be the year I would pull up my photography bootstraps and search out the beauty that I knew resided in every landscape. I began diligently documenting my multitudes, and I began snapping away. I also delved into phonography.

© 2015 Simply Living Photography- iPhone 5s

Also in 2013, that dear friend, the one that spoke writing into my life, she treated me to the biggest epiphany of my artistic life. She took me to a blog retreat, full of writers, and creators. However, my time at this retreat left me mixed up and confused. I left there bewildered, and feeling left out, and it took me months to work through those feelings. In processing my emotions I realized... writers are not my people. Sure they are people I am totally inspired by, and I love spending time with them, but they are not my people. You know, the kind of people you can spend hours geeking out with, chatting about your craft. The kind of people that speak "your" language and know your thoughts, because they understand you; they understand your craft. Those people, at the retreat, really, I wasn't theirs either. WHY? Because, I am not a writer. In that light-bulb moment, I was able to realize why writing was work to me, because it is not my passion.

© 2015 Simply Living Photography- iPhone 5s

© 2015 Simply Living Photography- iPhone 5s

~In 2014, I left the cocoon of who I thought I was, and morphed into who I am. I deleted my writing blog; I created a new brand, and a new logo. I began to look for inspiration among my people, and I began making connections across the artistic community of photography. And, you know what..... my world began to re-emerge into a brilliant kaleidoscope of color. Grief began to fade away into the recesses of my heart, and I began to feel like me again.

© 2015 Simply Living Photography- Nikon D7000


~2015... while I am a little trepidations about entering my 40's, I can also say I am giddy with excitement about the future. I am excited to see where this passion of photography takes me. I am thrilled to be building a community of people who can geek out with me for hours chatting about f-stops, and saturation. I'm delighted to sit around the cyber table, and chat with writers and then let there thoughts inspire me to capture beauty in photography; it feels fantastic to be on an all inclusive path, where all forms of creativity can merge into once inspirational world.

For those of you that have been with me through the journey... THANK YOU! For those of you who are just joining in on this crazy trek... WELCOME! And, for those of you on your own journey.... one piece of advice, DO NOT BE AFRAID OF THE PROCESS!

Today I am joining Friday FindsThe Good, The Random, The Fun and Little Things Thursday

© 2015 Simply Living Photography- Nikon D7000

{BTW, if you want to go to that fabulous retreat, it is coming up in the spring of 2015. It's called Jumping Tandem. I highly recommend it!! It is a retreat about dreaming, and is full of creatives. I was so immersed in my own thought process that I stuck to the writers in 2013. But, I do not regret that because my time there spurred a 2 year, adventurous  journey, in finding out ,and accepting, my true passion. If it were not for my friend, and Jumping Tandem 2013, I fully believe I would not be on the right path today. I am not going to JT 2015, but sort of wish I was, so that I could introduce the "real" me to all those fabulous writers I met. I'd love to see how their language inspires me in my passion today.}

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a photographer's encouragement... quit comparing yourself to others