Random 5 Friday… July 18th

~ While we were on our little trip, we took a hike. I was super proud we not only found it, but managed just fine without The Thinker. Although, truth be told, the trail wondered right next to a major road, it is not like we would have gotten lost. And, it just didn’t feel right hiking without The Thinker. We are officially halfway through our little separation. Our trip was a celebration of the fact that The Thinker will not be force reduced when he returns from his deployment. It is a huge relief to know he will have a job when he returns from the Middle East. Please keep the military in your thoughts and prayers, because not everyone will be so lucky. I cannot imagine coming home to no job. It is hard enough to re-assimilate into a non-war environment, but to add the stress of finding a new job, and relocating… hmmm.



~I have decided Queen Ann’s Lace is one of my favorite wildflowers. I intend to have it in my forever garden someday. For now, I enjoy it in the meadows and along the roadsides.


~There is something about taking a walk in the woods at dusk. It feels fairytale like when the sun glitters on the wildflowers, and the forest floor shimmers in their presence.


~ I am enamored with wildflowers, and because of the unusual weather across America they seem to be in abundance everywhere.


~What we are working on… We have three weeks until we begin school again… so, scheduling and finalizing curriculum. Stocking our freezer full of fresh farmer’s market produce. It is always thrilling to open the freezer door in January and to pull out blueberries for a crisp. And, my Etsy shop is up and rolling with a couple of sales, woohoo! I’ll also be announcing a giveaway on my Facebook page soon.  Be sure to like my page for updates.  Hop on over and take a look at both sites… you can find a link on the right margin of my blog… look for the little F, and the Etsy shop.


Today I am linking with… 1440, Friday Photo Journal, Give Me your Best Shot, Friday Finds. Whatever is Lovely,



LTTL… Getting Out of that Photographic Rut

“In art intentions are not sufficient and, as we say in Spanish, love must be proved by deeds and not by reasons. What one does is what counts and not what one had the intention of doing.” ~ Pablo Picasso

And so goes my life. I’m not quite sure why I thought I could run away on a week-long adventure and then return late in the evening on Monday only to write a post on Tuesday when I knew there would be food to buy and clothes to wash. I knew my errand list would be extensive, but still, sometimes I do think I am an invincible super woman. So, one week turned into two glorious relaxing weeks. I didn’t realize how much I needed them until I was smack dab in the middle of them feeling a bit guilty over not posting Life Through the Lens last week, or commenting on your previous weeks link-ups. But, the one thing I truly love about this group is how we offer grace to one another. So, I’m swinging my grace card high and challenging us all to dive back into the game this week. I’ll start…

Remember the rut I was in? In an effort to challenge myself, I have only been working with my prime 50 mm, and my wide-angle 10-24 mm lenses.



We have experienced some interesting weather this summer. I’m really not a fan of living in tornado alley, but I am a fan of the cloud structure a storm brews up. I did not shoot these pictures with my wide-angle. I shot them with my 18-200 lens, which is usually one of my “go to” lenses. I have a prime 50 mm lens that I very rarely use, so I made the decision to only bring that one, and my wide-angle, on our little get-a-way trip. It was tough decision to make, but I knew by only taking these two lenses I would have no other choice but to use them; that choice forced me to challenge my photographic rut. I have also been challenging myself to capture the shot in as little photos as possible. For an entire week I returned home with 200 photos.  These are some favorites…

If you are stuck in a rut try out a few of these challenges:

1. If you are a zoom lens person, stick with a prime lens, or vice versa. By sticking with my wide-angle (mostly prime lens) I was able to better grasp the type of photography I could obtain with it, if I worked with the lens. While this was just a test shot, it was enough to let me know this is the lens I want to use for our up coming school portrait session. I wouldn’t have used the lens otherwise.


2. Try capturing the shot in one to two pictures. We all like to capture that perfect moment just right. And in our efforts to do so, we often take hundreds of pictures. There is nothing inherently wrong with that theory, but sometimes instead of trusting our skills we trust our ability to take hundreds of pictures. And then, we miss the moment completely because we experienced it from behind the lens.  Learning to capture that moment in one to two shots takes practice and skill. Both of which will yank you right out of the photographic rut you have been in by making you stop, think, and compose before you snap. In this next shot, I actually walked away with four photos, but I should have trusted my instincts with the first shot.

Sunlight Dream by © Simply Living Photography{50 mm}

3. Choose a different, maybe uncomfortable, angle. We all have our comfortable angles that we tend to use over and over again. Choosing a different perspective will not always work, but it will force your eye to see things differently. In the first shot, I stood directly over the flower. That is a position I do not normally take because it is difficult to maintain a steady hand. In this instance, it left room for some really fantastic natural texturing from the forest floor.  The second shot was screaming for me to hunker down and try to capture the flower across its horizontal plane. Although trying to squeeze down between my knees in a toddler position was not the most graceful position, nor comfortable, it left me with an interesting shot.

Texture by © Simply Living Photography{Wide-Angle}

Standtall by © Simply Living Photography{50 mm}

4. Work with the sun at all times of the day.  This forces you to learn light, but it also forces you to be creative. Ideally, we would all love to shoot in the golden hours, but sometimes that is just not going to happen. Learning to work with filtered light can be a challenge, and is most definitely going to pull you out of a photographic rut


This week I am joining Texture Tuesday, Our World Tuesday, Sweet Shot Tuesday, Texture Twist, and Floral Thursday. Thanks for your grace card, I will be visiting your sites promptly, and leaving lots of love.



What is your Life Through the Lens? Any great adventures, tutorials, or fun daily livings to share? I’m dying to hear about it!!

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LTTL… Happy 4th of July.. Luxembourg

(I won’t be around the computer for business this week… but do link-up because I will be looking at your links!!)

Fireworks… they are so much fun, but challenging to capture! Actually, they are not that hard to capture, but capturing them with out all the smoke and haze, that is the challenge.

One of the most fun fireworks displays we ever attended was a hot air balloon festival in Luxembourg. We lived (literally) 30 minutes down the road from it, and only went once in seven years, the last year we were there. Can you say kicking ourselves. It was an amazing experience and I would love to find a festival here in the states to visit.


(My Blue Eyes took this photo. it’s one of my favorite because it sums up our festival experience perfectly. Coke, fries, and living the high life.)


Baloon2_SLP(The crowd went wild as this balloonist skimmed the water and then shot back up right before water overtook his basket. There was much talk afterward whether he meant to do that or not.)





Need a little lesson on how to shoot fireworks??? Digital Photography School has a great article to get you going.  (I do not use a remote release but using a self-time has been great. Although, you do have to time it just right. Make sure it is set on the lowest release time there is.) Click It Up a Notch also has a great article. I love the last picture in the article, do not forget to capture the crowds reaction to the fireworks.


OUR FEATURED LINK…. Casa de Castel… She always takes me on a little vacation with her posts, and I LOVE that.




What is your Life Through the Lens? Any great adventures, tutorials, or fun daily livings to share? I’m dying to hear about it!!

New here… want to know how Life Through the Lens works? Start here!

1. Grab my button… you can find it at the bottom of the page… and link back to me.

2. Family friendly please!

3. Join in every Wednesday and show us your Life Through the Lens with pictures & and words if you desire.

(All forms of pictures accepted, with any level of photography skills.)

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