O is Three!

This sassy boy is three years old today!

I am so proud to be his mom. This surprise boy has captured our whole family’s hearts in his three years on this Earth. He has a larger-than-life personality and he is incredibly sweet and thoughtful. He loves his brothers. His current favorites include running around our yard and cars of just about any kind. He also loves to play video games with his brothers. He has a best friend at his school. His favorite snack food is cheese balls.

I am thrilled that as he grows and becomes increasingly independent, he still loves cuddling occasionally with Mommy and Daddy. It does my heart good to be able to rock this little one to sleep sometimes, still.

Life threw this family a tremendous curveball filled with love when this little boy came into the world. O, I love you to the moon and back ten million times over. I am so thankful to be your mom.

An Ode to my Photo Gear

X-Pro2, 56mm f1.2

I love my photography gear. In late 2014, I picked up my first Fuji camera, the X-T1. My first lens was the 18-135mm, as I wanted as much versatility as possible at the time.

I’ve been lucky to have J’s support in acquiring the gear that I wanted. I’ve tried many different lenses at this point but I have settled now on my much-loved X-Pro2 with the 16mm f1.4, the 35mm f2, and the 56mm f1.2 lenses. The entire set-up can fit in my favorite purse when the need calls for it, and most days I carry my camera with me. I enjoy having the 16mm and the 56mm for days when I want them, but the 35mm lens lives on my camera more often than not.

Occasionally I take photos for friends upon request. When I do my own work, though, I prefer to shoot monochrome. Black and white photography is so flexible and I find myself concentrating on the textures in the picture– I find color to be too distracting in my own photos. I love the ACROS film simulation in the X-Pro2 so much that I use the jpegs straight from the camera more often than not these days, with minimal edits. I have the camera set to record both RAW and jpegs, since it has two SD card slots, but the RAW’s usually end up going the way of the trash. They’re there for emergency backup, these days.

Why Fuji? I love having the controls at my fingertips via a dial or a button, just like old-school cameras. There’s just something about the tactile experience of shooting with the Fuji. It does not feel like taking pictures with a computer. I toyed with Nikon on two separate occasions and while there was nothing wrong with the images, I wasn’t nearly as satisfied with the tactile experience of photography with that gear. And I nearly traded the X-T1 for a Canon 6D at one point and decided that the Fuji colors really did make that much of a difference. And I don’t feel like I sacrifice anything using Fuji’s APS-C sensor instead of something else full-frame. The Fuji lenses are that good.

This post may be fluff, and photography is not about the gear…it is about producing images. But I do happen to love my gear, so it seemed fitting to write about it for once.


Back to Tickle the Sun

After probably half a dozen other iterations of this blog at other domain names, I decided to return to the domain name that came from something cute P said when he was about two years old. I decided to do this several months ago, and I quietly migrated the posts I wanted to keep from the other blog.

I regret having ever left Tickle the Sun, as it works for my purposes and I realize now in leaving it, I was striving to be something other than what I am. I was trying to fit myself to the mold of other blogs I’ve seen around the web. I don’t fit that mold, though, and neither does my writing.

That theme of trying to fit other molds goes along with the journey I’ve found myself in with my photography as well: that of trying to fit myself into the mold of other photographers.

J is right: I don’t fit any mold.

Since re-establishing myself in this space, I have resisted the idea of sharing to social media. However, I know that in doing so, I’ve done the very same thing I do in person. I have isolated myself.

These days, I struggle with purpose. I am a mom and a homemaker, yes, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to be those things. However, I’ve long known I need something else in which to invest myself– something to express who I am. The blogs have fit that purpose, though in censoring my thoughts, I have done away with a lot of the expression I need to do. That has made living into that purpose very difficult.

So, here I am, reintroducing Tickle the Sun again. My goal with this site is to truly be myself more often, hopefully with the side effect that it transfers more into my real life, and to censor myself less often. That doesn’t mean loosening my sharp tongue and thoughts on the world. Quite the opposite; I want to remind myself about the good things I have in my life and to give myself a reason to focus my efforts on my photography.

Thanks for reading.