I live for this smile


This was taken on Monday, September 4, when we, along with Ken’s parents and Alex, took a little trip to Hakone. Afterward, we stopped by Gotemba Premium Outlets where I think my FIL was the one who took this photo while Ken and I went to go find an ATM.

It’s amazing how much she resembles me when she smiles like that. Because of her, I am constantly in awe at the simple yet complex role of genetics in human life. I truly am. Sometimes I’m just staring at her and I get this overwhelming sense of love, pride, and humility. Almost dumbfoundedly I remember that I carried her in my womb, that my body constructed her flesh and bones, but that her soul—the essence that makes her unique—was not of my creation. And every time I remember that, my gratitude for my own life renews. I think to myself, how lucky I am to be alive to behold such beauty, how lucky I am to be her mother in this lifetime, how lucky I am to live for this smile.

Multiple use cooling pad

Miyu was at Baba and Jji’s house this evening and when she came back… she looked like this. I was immediately concerned because normally those cooling pads are used for when you have a fever. Well, it turns out that Miyu accidentally broke a vase at B&J’s house. It was sitting somewhere high and Miyu touched it, and as it fell, it bumped her forehead along the way. It was just a small, raised scratch really. 🙂

Hanabi Photoshoot

As I write this, the clock reads 1:46AM. Even though I’m exhausted, I wanted to post a quick entry since I recently finished uploading photos from our little hanabi session in the park. (See my Flickr in the sidebar.) Here are the things that I learned from this shoot using my new camera, the Fujifilm X-T2 with the 56mm f/1.2:

  • I compose shots better when I look through the EVF (electronic view finder)
  • Fireworks are tricky to shoot since 1) the environment is dark, 2) the autofocus has a habit of focusing on the smoke, 3) the various lights from the fireworks reflect on skin, thereby presenting a bit more work post-edit
  • Having continuous auto-focus ON comes in handy, especially when working with children
  • It’s good to scope the surroundings so that when you’re shooting, you avoid bumping/tripping/falling into things 😛
  • Fuji has damn good dynamic range! Even though I experimented a bit with different ISOs and shutter speeds, I noticed that in general, I was able to recover lots of shadows before the photo became grainy
  • I feel that face detection in the dark wasn’t that great in general compared to daytime conditions
  • Holding a vlogging cam and a mirrorless cam at the same time is rough!

I haven’t gone through the video footage yet, but when I have time tomorrow, I hope I can edit something decent. I think what I’m going to do is create a compilation of the entire year into one single movie.