Along The Cowboy Trail with the X-T1

Despite visiting the Canadian Rockies on several occasions, we have never had a chance to drive south along the Cowboy Trail, highway #22. This time, however, we took this scenic drive and what a photographic treat it was!

Driving south in the foothills, on our right the giant peaks of the Canadian Rockies rise from the plains. Beautiful clumps of trees and rolling grassy hills mixed with farmland create a spectacular sight.





Make sure you take this route early in the morning, preferably starting at sunrise because the early sun illuminates the peaks in a beautiful series. Kasia and I were pretty lucky since we encountered stormy weather: thunderstorms, rain, sun and rainbows – we had it all – all day long. It allowed us to shoot long into the midday hours.





As you approach the US border, you reach Waterton Park. While it is less popular and less well known than Banff National Park, it is one of the most spectacular parks we have ever visited. Make sure to cross to the US side, where most of the park’s attractions are located.




Gear Notes: As usual we were equipped with the Fuji X-T1, the XF 14mm F2.8, XF 56mm F1.2 and Fuji X100S. It was enough to cover 99% of our needs. The X-T1’s viewfinder made a huge difference offering a wide clear view. Even when you are in such an extraordinary location, one should avoid “snapping fever” and focus on composition and light. It is much better to take just a few images, working hard on them before you press the shutter button. This approach pays off later.    

The B&W photos were mildly processed using NIK Silver Pro – our favourite B&W software. The colour photos are mixed: some JPEGs come straight from the camera, some are Lightroom 5 processed. We noticed that the latest variants of Lightroom do a much better job with the X-Trans files, especially files from the X-T1 (not so much with the X100S files). Of course, this is based on our observations, not backed up by any testing. For those who print large and scrutinize their files under the loop, the Iridient Developer (ID) is still the best choice, especially now, when ID offers Fuji film simulations.



2014 © Olaf & Kasia Sztaba Photography. All rights reserved.

11 thoughts on “Along The Cowboy Trail with the X-T1

  1. Hi
    I like the photo of the horse and would like to print it for my living room. Is it possible to get the file?
    Thanks alot

  2. Nice post—and timely too. I’m within days of leaving for a month long excursion into this same area between Glacier NP in the US and Jasper, AB. I have my 14, 23, and 56 packed but I’m not so sure I shouldn’t also be carrying the 55-200 due to the wildlife in the area. I know you used this lens in the Palouse. Did you wish you had it with you on this trip?

    1. Arnold,

      If you stay in the Canadian Rockies – you should be find (the 14mm should do most of the work). However, when you start to venture into other areas, highway #22, you may like to have the 55-200.

      Have a great trip,


  3. Whenever I see an article by you two, I know I am in store for some very image viewing. Once again you did it. Thanks so much for all of your efforts and beautiful image you show us.

  4. I’ve spent much more time than usual on this post. From my perspective these are some of the finest photographs you have posted. They are composed to retain just the essentials to express the magnificence of the scene, and beautifully edited. They are very moving. For me at least your BW choices are inspiring.

    Do you intend to print any of them?

    1. Stephen,

      Thank you for your kind comments. We have already produced a photo book with this material. We are also planning to print some images. Will keep you posted.

      All the best,


      1. That’s fantastic news about the book!
        While I enjoy explore photographs online, for me they come alive when printed – and these ones are just begging to be printed. They really are beautiful.

Leave a Reply