An Alice Composite

I've acquired the nickname of "not feeling it" in one of my art classes. I am known for starting a piece , completing 90% of it, and then ditching the idea and switch to something else. I do not just do this in art class. There are many digital artistry pieces sitting on my desktop at 90% complete. 

I started a comepletely different piece for the March Shift Art challenge before I abandoned it. I worked on it for about 6 hours, and I'd say it's about 80% complete, but I just wasn't feeling it. I'll finish it eventually, because I think it will go with another piece that I have already created for my final portfolio review. 


Alice: How long is forever?

White Rabbit: Sometimes, just one second.


I am on a fairytale/storybook kick lately. I completed a rendition of Little Red Riding Hood last month and have plans to work on three additional pieces for that collection. So, why not change directions to what I'm being inspired by lately. All the pieces I am creating are not direct interpretations of the original stories they are my imaginative take on them, because I believe the imagination is the best art tool any artists can use. 

Alice in Wonderland was one of my favorite childhood books. I still adore it, and absolutely love the movies Alice in Wonderland, and Alice Through the Looking Glass. I have been wanting to create my version of an Alice composition. 


Sometimes Just a Second

Once again, Alice finds herself in Wonderland, only this time she is stuck in the watery depths of the corridors of time. She desperately holds on to her timepiece as she is being pushed from door to door because that is her only portal home. 

©2018LisaKerner

The Real World of Art

I've learned a few things since entering the art world. Things that are faux pas to talk about; the hidden truths that stand in a world of creation.

 In collaboration with Gabriel Olude, The Gabriel Collection.

In collaboration with Gabriel Olude, The Gabriel Collection.


The main thing is to be moved, to love, to hope, to tremble, to live.” 

Auguste Rodin


The art world is a lot like high school...

There are clicks, and favorites within the art world(s), and if you as an artist are not in the "in group," good luck being recognized. It's hard on the heart when an artist puts their work on display for the world, and no one seems to care. Silence.

ALL artists want recognition. We shouldn't be creating art for others, BUT honestly, we do. Artists want other to see our works and to love them, or relate to them, or even outright hate them. We want people to feel our art in some form, or fashion. So, to be invisible is hard... H.A.R.D ...hard! Hurt.


Whether you succeed or not is irrelevant, there is no such thing.  Making your unknown known is the important thing.” 

~Georgia O’Keeffe


Too compare, or not to compare.... 

I've read post, after post, about how we as artists are not suppose to compare our works with others. Reality says we artists are people who constantly compare our work with others questioning why her work is "better" than mine? Why was his work was featured, and mine was left at the bottom of the pile? We compare because it all circles back to wanting the world to feel our art. To tell an artist not to compare their work to others is not logical. I have a friend who labeled me as a cynic. My respone? I am not a cynic, I am a realist. Comparison is real, especially in the art world. Confused.


Creativity takes courage.” 

~Henri Matisse


Creating to create...

If these two things exist unequivocally in the art world, how to move past them must be the question. As an artist we all strive to master the comparison theif. Because, if you don't master it, then defeat will become your new creation. But, of we move past it we can experience a freedom like no other. FREEDOM!!

Badlands Nation Park, and why I'll probably never be an astrophotographer

We visited the Badlands National Park recently.  The entire purpose was to try my hand at astrophotography. It was a bit windy the night we went out, but I was still able to capture a few shots. None of them are worth showing the public though; they all turned out a wee bit blurry because I used way too long of a shutter speed. At least I know what I did wrong. 

Badlands Selfie | Lisa Kerner | Simply Living Photography

Besides the shutter speed, I learned a few things about astrophotography...

  • It is way harder than it looks
  • With my camera I need to be in place, and focused in, before the sun goes down
  • I am a great big chicken when I am standing out in the middle of no where, in the pitch black. 
Badlands by Day | Lisa Kerner | Simply Living Photography

I seriously would have had a Blair Witch Project experience if my family had not been out in the pitch-black-you-can't-see-beyond-a-foot-in-the-darkness-of-night with me.  I can totally relate to those poor kids...


Joshua Leonard:
I heard two noises coming from two separate areas of space over there. One of them could have been a deer, but the other one sounded like a cackling.

Heather Donahue:
No way!

Joshua Leonard:
Yeah, it was like a serious cackling.

~Blair Witch Project


Badlands by Dusk | Lisa Kerner | Simply Living Photography

I think I will stick to the daylight for now, and something I happen to enjoy, panoramas. 

Things you will need for beginning astrophotography....

  • A tripod
  • A remote trigger.... I have an app that will do this for me, or you can use your timer. Which is what I ended up doing because I forgot about my handy app. 
  • I used a wide-angle lens, because I was wanting a landscape shot.
  • An editing program, because no matter how great of a shot you make, astrophotography almost always needs a boost from editing. 

This is a great site if you want to explore astrophotography further.


You can see more of our visit to Badlands Nation Park at my new Instagram gallery called @wanderingroad

I join the following link up parties each week, when I actually blog: LINK-UP  COMMUNITY

Bear Butte at Sunset

The good, the random, and the fun!

Sometimes all you need is a photo....

But, then again, it is alwasy fun to create...

 "Midnight Sky" by Lisa Kerner Digital Artist

"Midnight Sky" by Lisa Kerner Digital Artist

Of course, it is so much better to see creation on display right in front on you...

And then you take that creation, and make art....

 Panoramic of Bear Butte, South Dakota

Panoramic of Bear Butte, South Dakota

An Old Wild West Town (Part 2)

THE GOOD & RANDOM.... 

Rockerville never really was an authentic wild west town, but it was an old mining town, founded in 1876 as a result of the gold rush in The Black Hills. During the 1950's and 60's, it became a tourist destination on the way to Mount Rushmore. However, eventually the town died due to the enlargement of the highway that flows towards Mount Rushmore. Rockerville literally sits between the north and south bounds lanes of the highway, and most people whiz on by never seeing the town until it is too late. 

What was left of the mining town/tourist attraction had become a sever safety hazard over the last few decades. So, while it makes me sad to see it gone, I do understand the need for it destruction. 

Instead of bulldozing it, the land owner asked the local fire department if they wanted to burn it down, using it for a training exercise. In the end, Rockerville went down with a legacy: gold town, tourists destination, ghost town, and an educational experiment.

Rockerville SD | Lisa Kerner | Simply Living Photography
Rockerville SD | Lisa Kerner | Simply Living Photography

THE FUN...Tips and Tricks when taking photos of rural towns...

~Look for textures to capture. Old towns are often full of fun textures like peeling paint, shingles roves, weathered wall paper, and so on. 

~Do not be afraid to explore, but if privacy signs are posted I am all for being respectful of the landowner and staying out. 

~While exploring, watch your step. There were several places I could have put my foot through the floor if I wasn't watching where I was stepping. On a main floor that is no big deal, but on a second floor you could take a nasty fall. 

~Look for interesting artifacts that capture the essence of the place. For example, the old hitching post (a few shots down) was a fun find leftover from the mining days. 

~Try to take shots that tell a story. Shuffle your feet to find the story telling shot. 

Winter Shadow, in an Old Wild West Town (Part 1)

The good, the random and the fun, all in one....

The thing I love most about the winter is the position of the sun, and the long cast shadows it can create during the golden hour.

Shades of Winter | Winter Shadow | Lisa Kerner | Simply Living Photography | Life-n-Reflection

Winter is my favorite season for light. When you combine the winter sun with a cold crisp day, almost bitter, this incredible combination of the golden hour and blue hour occurs. It doesn't happen often, but when it does, I feel as though I am in a dreamland. The sky is bluer, the shadows are stronger, and the golden rays warm everything they hit.

Shades of Winter | Winter Shadow | Lisa Kerner | Simply Living Photography | Life-n-Reflection
Shades of Winter | Winter Shadow | Lisa Kerner | Simply Living Photography | Life-n-Reflection
Shades of Winter | Winter Shadow | Lisa Kerner | Simply Living Photography | life-n-reflection

Tips for capturing a long shadow:

~Timing is important. To capture a long shadow you'll have to shoot either in early morning, or later afternoon. 

~Pay attention to where the shadow is landing, and shoot at an angle off center to the shadow. You'll notice none of my shots are dead on to the shadow.

~Although I did not use one for these shots, I will often use a polarizing filter in landscape photography to deepen my shadows, and to saturate my images. You can read more about polarizing filters at Cambridge in Color

~I did shoot these images hand held, but I do highly recommend a tripod. The main reasons I did not use one on this day, was that the snow was deep, and there were quite a few people around because the town was being prepared (by the local fire department) to be burned the next day. More on that, next week, in Part 2 of the story.  

Shades of Winter | Winter Shadow | Lisa Kerner | Simply Living Photography | Life-n-Reflection
Shades of Winter | Winter Shadow | Lisa Kerner | Simply Living Photography | life-n-reflection

I join the following link up parties each week: LINK-UP  COMMUNITY

Warm Up with a Valentine Still Life

The Good...

-> In still life photography, especially flat lays, the best practice is to keep building. 

Natural edit with no filters....

Shades of Winter | Warm Up | Lisa Kerner | Simply Living Photography | Life-n-Reflection
Shades of Winter | Warm Up | Lisa Kerner | Simply Living Photography | Life-n-Reflection
Shades of Winter | Warm Up | Lisa Kerner | Simply Living Photography | Life-n-Reflection

The Random...

-> Whitespace, the space that has nothing in the shot, is good in flat lays. 

Kim Klassen Trace filter (with adjustments), with a little candle glow help from Grater Than Gatsby, Three Nails Collection...

Shades of Winter | Warm Up | Lisa Kerner | Simply Living Photography | Life-n-Reflection
Shades of Winter | Warm Up | Lisa Kerner | Simply Living Photography | Life-n-Reflection

The Fun...

-> I take a little help and buy my goodies for my still life shots. They are usually decorated much prettier than I could decorate them. 

Shades of Winter | Warm Up | Lisa Kerner | Simply Living Photography | Life-n-Reflection

Snow Beautiful, Yellowstone National Park

The Good, the fun, and the random, all in one...

We visited Yellowstone National Park, back in October, and were lucky enough to experience early winter there. During our stay, we had weather that ranged from nice fall days, to blistery winter days; it was the winter days that I loved the most. 

Shade of Winter | Snow Beautiful | Lisa Kerner | Simply Living Photography | Life-n-Reflection
Shade of Winter | Snow Beautiful | Lisa Kerner | Simply Living Photography | Life-n-Reflection
Shade of Winter | Snow Beautiful | Lisa Kerner | Simply Living Photography | Life-n-Reflection

Snow has a way of drastically changing the landscape of the land into a fairytale panorama. We happened upon this guy as we entered the park. No worries, I didn't play buffalo wishpeerer, like so many others at Yellowstone National Park. I value my life too much to get out of my vehicle when these beasts are so close. 

Shade of Winter | Snow Beautiful | Lisa Kerner | Simply Living Photography | Life-n-Reflection
Shade of Winter | Snow Beautiful | Lisa Kerner | Simply Living Photography | Life-n-Reflection

The last morning we were at the park, was an amazing moment in time. The hoarfrost (I know not exactly snow, but still beautiful) had covered the land in a thin layer, and everything was all aglow. Because it was so bitterly cold, the various mudpots, geysers, and hot spring were all putting on a spectacular show for us. 

Shade of Winter | Snow Beautiful | Lisa Kerner | Simply Living Photography | Life-n-Reflection

"Color is everything, black and white is more" ~Dominic Rouse

Shade of Winter | Snow Beautiful | Lisa Kerner | Simply Living Photography | Life-n-Reflection

A New Year, A Still Life Project and One Word

Three Steps to a New Year...

Step One: Reassess

At the beginning of every new year I take a look through my archive of photos to reassess things: where I need to improve, where I have improved, and to acknowledge just how far I have come. It is easy to view the work of other photographers and think that I will never measure up.  When we lose ourselves in the comparison game we cannot see how much we have accomplished. 

New Year Coffee | Life Thru the Lens | Lisa Kerner - Simply Living Photography

Step Two: Direction

I also choose a word to give me direction for the new year. This is something I do not take lightly, pondering it the entire month of December. In 2015, my word was ACTION. I took control of my art, and who I was, and focused on what journey I wanted to take as an artist instead of following other peoples ideas of who they thought I should be. In 2016 my word was two fold DOING-CHANGE. With that, I chose to dive deep into the photography world to learn new techniques, to sharpen my knowledge of editing and to evaluate just where it was I wanted to be in this community. It was a year of learning how to wear the words "I am a photographer" with confidence and poise.   

New Year Coffee | Life Thru the Lens | Lisa Kerner - Simply Living Photography

Step Three: Goals

This year, my one word is CREATE. This is the year to step out and be bold in what I create. To put my art out in the world unabashedly. I have a few goals I want to pursue this year, ones that I will share over the next few months, but my first goal was to enroll in the AWAKE course (which I did) taught by Sebastian Michaels. It is an artistic photography course that is only open twice a year to those who have taken Photoshop Artistry. If you want to improve your Photoshop knowledge I highly recommend Photoshop Artistry. My second goal, was to recreate my site and to make it a bit more professional looking. Take a look around, I am quite happy with how my new place looks. I will be adding a portfolio to my home page. (The pages are there, but not up and running yet.) Through that portfolio you will be able to purchase my art work. I also wanted to streamline the look of my blog. From now on, instead of links to the side that highlight different items I use in my photography, I will be linking to those items directly in my blog posts. My third goal, was to recreate my social media platforms. I have already begun that work over at Instagram by curating my feed, and if you hop on over you will see that my Facebook Page is live again, but now it's more representative of what I am about as an artist. My forth goal, was to choose a project and stick with it through the entire year. 

New Year Coffee | Life Thru the Lens | Lisa Kerner - Simply Living Photography

Once again, I am choosing coffee. I chose it last year, but I tapped out somewhere in the middle of February. Longevity is a challenge; I have yet to master it in my photography skills. Somehow, I think Pablo Picasso already summed up my command of longevity by saying, "It took me a lifetime." I think this skill will always be a work in progress. {Smile}

New Year Coffee | Life Thru the Lens | Lisa Kerner - Simply Living Photography

A Sneak Peek of Yellowstone National Park

The good...

I have a ton pf photos to edit of our recent trip to Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National park. It was an epic trip that left me with a list of photographic opportunities I want to pursue in the near future. A trip back is a definite must. 

For now, I'll leave you with a sneak peek of three panoramas that I took with my iPhone. I have several others that I took with my DSLR that I will share at a later date. Yellowstone and Grand Teton is a must for panorama photography. You'll really cannot capture the topography of the landscape without using panorama. 

Yellowstone in Panorama | Lisa Kerner | Simply Living Photography | Life Thru the Lens Link Up

The fun; Tips and Tricks for Panorama Photography....

~If you plan to print your panoramas think about the length. Generally, you do not want to stretch them out too long, or have them too narrow. I have found that a 3:1 ratio is a great size to print. 

~If you are sticking your panoramaS together from individual shots you'll want to shoot in portrait aspect so that your short side will not be too thin. 

~If you do not have a panorama track for your tripod, don't worry you can still shoot them by hand. I plant my right foot and pivot from left to right (in a semi-circle) never moving my right foot. It takeS a little practice but the results are fairly spot on. 

~When shooting individual pictures for your panorama always shoot with an overlap of 15% to 25%. I have found when sticking photos together that 25% tends to work out a bit better for me. 

~Before you begin to shooting, pivot while tracking with your eye to notice where you might have to adjust up or down for the curvature of the Earth. This is very similar to following the line on your phone when shooting in panorama mode. 

~I always shoot more than once just to make sure I have what I need. So, I shoot my shots left to right, overlapping each shot, and then begin again. You can always delete your photos later, but it's hard to stick them together in Lightroom or Photoshop if you do not have enough information. 

~I like to stick mine together in Lightroom using the panorama feature because I can then adjust any aspect issues in Lightroom in the Transform Panel if I have any curvature issues in my final photo. 

Yellowstone in Panorama | Lisa Kerner | Simply Living Photography | Life Thru the Lens Link Up
Yellowstone in Panorama | Lisa Kerner | Simply Living Photography | Life Thru the Lens Link Up