Tonje Lilleås

A new normal – When I walk pt. 9

Looks like posting only once a month is a new normal around here. But I promise it isn’t though. Nevertheless I’ve had to adapt to a new normal, and I think I’m figuring it out.

The yearly week in the mountains

The last seven years I’ve made it a personal tradition to spend a week by myself in the mountains. It’s been a week where I’ve been able to dive down deep into the quirks that make me me. Even if my family share my love of the outdoors, and gladly come hiking or trail biking with me, they’re not that fond of having to wait for me shooting photos and making videos.

And I get it. But I need to spend time doing it nonetheless, and I’ve figured the best way is to dedicate some time to myself where I get to be just as much of a nerd as I am.

With the new normal I wasn’t sure if I would have to break the tradition of a week in the mountains this year. We spent at weekend at the cabin in June, and I got to film a lot. However I saw that I was rather dependent on my entourage to get around. Without them I imagined I would be limited to just a very small area around the cabin, and I wasn’t really sure if that would satisfy my inner outdoor photographer and explorer.

Shaping my new normal

At the end of our summer vacation we spent a week at the cabin. And I remember asking my wife so many times if she believed it would be possible for me to spend a week alone there this year. “It has to be” and “we just have to make it possible” was her answer every time.

Her positivity confirmed to me that my mindset had to be one where I’m the one shaping my new normal. I knew that I didn’t want the new normal to be lesser in any way, and I knew that I wanted my yearly week in the mountains to be part of my new normal. And so I planned for it to be, and in September it became a reality.

Covering less ground

I had to stick mostly to the dirt roads, with a few small trail walks in between. Scheduling enough rest was key, as well as taking into account that everything I do takes so much more time than it used to. I can’t head out for sunset half an hour before golden hour and expect to be at location in time. And I won’t be able to do both video and photography in the same session, or at different locations within the same session.

Talking about sunset; I can not at this point plan to go out to shoot for both sunrise and sunset like I used to. My active hours doesn’t stretch like that right now.

Nevertheless; I got out there. I covered less ground, but I saw new locations and scenes worth capturing.

When I walk in this new normal

I had one very concrete goal for my week in the mountains this year; I wanted to be able to walk longer on a trail with my camera by the end of the week than when it started. I reached that goal, and I learned my limits.

My limits means that my “When I walk”-project has got to change a bit. And in a way I feel that’s natural anyway. After all a photography project that runs over years should definitely develop and change with the photographer. Right?

So the new normal, or the new set of rules, for the “When I walk”-project are as follows:

  • I have no time limit, but all images has to be captured within one walk
  • Walking can be done with any mobility aid I may need
  • I don’t have to walk alone, but photography has to be the only purpose of the walk
  • I can’t plan or stage images, every image must be a candid/run and gun capture

A bigger part of my photography

The whole point of “When I walk” is to show you the world as I see it. And I see it a bit differently these days than I did as I started the project. As a result I think the project has become even more important to me.

I’m confident the “When I walk”-project and posting images and stories from it here will become an even bigger part of my photography going forward.

I really can’t wait to explore what little ground I’m able to cover in my future photo walks, and I’m hoping you will find some value in following along. After all; it’s all about letting yourself be silently drawn to capturing the present moments of beauty.




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