Tonje Lilleås

It felt like summer

The past few months felt like summer. Even if the weather was a little less like summer than one could hope for. It still felt like summer. And that’s the reason why two full months has gone by without me sharing a single post on here.

It’s not the first time, but usually it’s only happened when I’ve been very ill or something. This time it’s just because I’ve taken a break because I felt like it. So let me catch you up on what I’ve been up to.

The wonderful consequences of medication

Firstly I’ve finally gotten a medication that helps my muscles work well enough for several hours each day. This means I’ve been able to do a lot more living and a lot less existing. Which for me means that I’ve mostly been outside on family adventures. I’ve enjoyed a lot of candid photography and spent a lot of hours gardening.

In July we had family visit us, as well as us visiting family out west. We’ve spent a few weeks at three different family cabins. And it’s all felt like such an adventure and so normal at the same time. It’s felt like summer the way it should be.

Medication hasn’t cured me. When I walk these days I either walk unaided (mostly around the house and my garden), with crutches or I use a wheelchair (for the long lasting outings).

In the end of our vacation I wanted to test how far I could walk. And so I did a very light hike (I’m really not sure it qualifies as a hike). I walked 1,6 km in total, and it put me straight into what I best can describe as a “relapse” of all of my symptoms. I couldn’t talk properly, had terrible double vision, my eyelids were drooping, I couldn’t hold my head up and my legs and arms were useless.

Even if I’m better, I’m still recovering and not where I was three/four weeks ago. But I learned my limits. At least the ones that are present right now. And I’ll adapt to them, like I will adapt to new ones when they occur.

A mashup of nature and street

During this break I haven’t really thought much about where I want my photography to go. However as I’ve worked my way through post processing of the images I’ve shot this summer, I think I know where my future lies.

It’s in some kind of candid mashup between nature and street photography. That’s where I loose myself to the process. That’s where I feel like I shine and can contribute with something interesting, but more importantly where I feel most alive.

I think the process of finding oneself as a photographer is an ever ongoing one. But for me the process really started with the limitations my health set for me.

I feel liberated to shoot whatever gets me going when I don’t identify so strongly as a landscape photographer. Daring to experiment more makes me a way better storyteller, and as I’ve mentioned countless times before: storytelling is the best part of photography to me.

Living, growing and developing

The boys have grown up with me always bringing a camera. I’m not sure it’s a positive thing that they run over to place themselves in a scene and yell “Hey mum, this would be a great photo right?”. Or maybe it is. I don’t know, but at least they both show interest in aesthetics.

Children need to be surrounded by both nature and art I think. And I can confidently say that our boys get their fair share of both.

And talking about the boys growing up; our youngest learned how to ride a bike this summer. He’s starting his last year at preschool, and I can’t believe how fast he went from a toddler to a big boy grom.

Our oldest has entered the early phase of preteens. However luckily he is still so good at playing and exploring like a true wild child.

Soon we will no longer have small children, and that’s another reason for me taking a break from posting this summer. I just couldn’t bring myself to prioritize it while my family was out there living, growing and developing.

Changing up my gear

I’ve shot solely on prime lenses this summer. The 50 mm f1.4 and the 85 mm f2 have been my best companions. I’ve also brought the 16 mm for the occasional wide shot, but that’s it. And to be honest I haven’t missed the other focal lengths or the possibility to zoom with the camera once.

It might sound crazy when I’m not so mobile and zooming with my legs is more challenging. But I’ve enjoyed the challenge. And so I’ve decided to sell off some gear. After selling the 7D, 6dmkII, 17-40 mm and the 24-105mm, I’m left with a pretty minimal setup.

I will complete my setup with a new lens for the R6, but I’m not sure what just yet. Maybe a 35mm or 24mm, I really don’t know. As for now I’m enjoying the simplicity of the primes, however bringing them all is a hassle. So maybe the future is in another zoom. Enough about gear, it really doesn’t matter all that much.

The point of this post is to say; I’m back. And I’m thankful you are still here. Hope you enjoyed this update and that your summer has been a good one! Or at least that it felt like summer.

All the best,




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