The Valley Of The Ghosts – Sandon with the Fuji X-Pro1 & X100s

First on our list of West Kootenay ghost towns was Sandon, where they mined galena, a mix of silver, lead and zinc. When you look at the remaining buildings it is hard to believe it once was a booming city with nearly 8,000 residents. Not only did the city have two newspapers, seventeen hotels, dozens of saloons, social halls and of course a red light district but it also had electric streetlights and fire hydrants.

Unfortunately, unforgiving Mother Nature brought fires, avalanches and floods which, along with falling ore prices, completed the city’s demise.

©osztaba_valley_13-07-05__DSF7116 2



Here is the Silversmith Powerhouse – one of eight powerhouses that provided energy to the city and it is still working today. It is also the oldest continually operating hydroelectric plant in Western Canada.

©osztaba_valley_13-07-06__DSF7172 1


Below – Sandon City Hall



Steam locomotive brought from Alberta in 1998



The most photographed shed in Canada, as one local informed us. Original Sandon Fire-Hose Cart Shed built in the mid-1890s.




Wondering about the buses? The buses were in service in many cities, however, it was Vancouver that had the largest fleet of electric Brills buses in Canada. They were taken out of service in 1984 and brought to Sandon by a private individual. Some of the buses still have street signs like Granville on them. Quite a sight!



©osztaba_valley_13-07-06__DSF7183 1




A red light district.

©osztaba_valley_13-07-06__DSF7240 1

©osztaba_valley_13-07-06__DSF7224 1

©osztaba_valley_13-07-06__DSF7223 1 

Remains of Cody – a settlement one mile from Sandon. Yes, it is me on the right photographing.



All images were shot with the Fuji X-Pro1 and Fuji X100s and processed with Iridient Developer 2.1 and Lightroom 4. The detail that Iridient Developer 2.1 extracts from the X-Trans files is astounding. Also, we really like a deconvolusion sharpening option. In our view it’s the best way to sharpen images. We are still experimenting with it and we will soon be able to share more about our findings.

In the meantime, in our next post we will leave West Kootenay, Canada and take you to Montana. Here is a teaser.






© Olaf Sztaba Photography. All rights reserved. 


The Valley of The Ghosts – with the Fuji X-series

The Valley of The Ghosts – with the Fuji X-series

Hidden in the mountains of the West Kootenays in British Columbia lies the Valley of the Ghosts – a once rough but vibrant cluster of prosperous settlements – which has now mostly vanished. Kasia and I recently travelled to this forgotten area to search and photograph what is left of this magnificent piece of history.

Over the next few weeks we will publish numerous photographs along with bits of information about this place. We went there equipped with two favourite cameras, Fuji X-Pro1 with XF 14, 35 & 60mm lenses and Fuji X100s.

We have a lot of material we will show you soon but here are some hints of what is to come.

All images were processed with Iridient Developer 2.1 and Lightroom 4. Iridient Developer is new software, which supports the X-Trans files really well (the best demosaic so far?). We will share more about this in the upcoming posts. 




©osztaba_valley_13-07-06__DSF7173 1


©osztaba_valley_13-07-06__DSF7154 1


©osztaba_valley_13-07-06__DSF7174 1



and some B&W images…


©osztaba_valley_13-07-06__DSF7186 1-Edit


© Olaf Sztaba Photography. All rights reserved.