One Out Of The Hat

One Out Of The Hat

This blog has argued repeatedly that focusing solely on the technical aspects of photography usually causes more harm than good. After all, emotions, state of mind, vision, light and composition are the most important elements of the image creation process. Gear should only come second. However, we admit that sometimes we experience moments of weakness. Today is such a day.  

There is a good reason for it. Patrick of Fujirumors.com has reported that Fuji is working on a medium format range-finder-style camera! As some of you know we have been longing for such a camera for a very long time. Our position is that the medium format camera market is ready for some disruption.

Fuji did a very good job with the X-series cameras (especially the lenses) and there is very little to gain for most photographers (including us) to move to full frame. However, a medium format camera priced right ($3.500-$5,000 range?????) coupled with some quality lenses (and medium format demands high quality glass!) would definitely cause a stir. The 100S/T would remain the always-with-us camera and a medium format Fuji would do all the rest. The possibility of shooting the Palouse or vistas of the Canadian Rockies with such a camera means we can’t stop smiling.

All right, enough of these sinful thoughts. It is time for some imagery. Here is some material we shot last weekend on the Sea-to-Sky highway – mostly near the Porteau Cove. All taken with our usual setup – the X-T1, XF 14mm F2.8, XF 56mm F1.2 and Fuji X100S.

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Copyright 2015 © Olaf & Kasia Sztaba Photography. All rights reserved.

Becoming an Un-Photographer

Becoming an Un-Photographer

How badly I wanted to become a photographer! A serious photographer, I should add. First, I needed serious gear and the bigger the camera, the better. Check! Then I bought lenses – lots of them. After all, I had to cover every focal length known to humankind. Check! Then, of course I needed a hefty camera bag to carry it all. Check! Wait a minute – how about a sturdy tripod? Ansell Adams carried his up mountains so it must be necessary. Check!

Then, equipped with kilos of gear, my huge camera bag and equally impressive tripod, I could go out. Now, I could call myself a photographer. Everyone knew how serious I was about photography. Many randomly encountered people were impressed. They asked me about my gear, about my lenses. Many look at me with respect and envy. After all, a guy with such an arsenal on his back must be a photographer. I puffed out my chest, which wasn’t difficult because I had to take weight-lifting classes to carry it all.

But something happened along the way. The more I wanted to be a photographer, the less I was becoming one. The black beret and the dark glasses didn’t help. I gave away my XL T-shirts as my muscles reduced in size.

The next step was to sell all my gear. I bought photography books. No, not technical books but books about seeing, light, composition, landscapes and people. And I got myself a camera – a tiny, inconspicuous one. I started venturing into the world with this little camera on my shoulder. Just one camera and one lens. People stopped paying attention to me. I was obviously just another lost tourist with his ‘point and shoot.’ An amateur. It was strange but I liked it! Some touts offered to be my guide or show me a good hotel but in general I could walk around the city unnoticed, free of gear, lenses, backpacks and tripods, and free of a photographer’s mindset.

Visual stories started to unfold before my eyes. I began talking to people I hadn’t noticed before. Somehow, the light miraculously fell into place. I started seeing more, much more, and not just kittens and cathedrals. Others didn’t see me as a photographer but I started transforming into one. I became an un-photographer.    

Here are a few images from our recent walk around Vancouver, all taken with the Fuji X100S (Classic Chrome).

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Copyright 2015 © Olaf & Kasia Sztaba Photography. All rights reserved.

Photo Bits and Bobs

Photo Bits and Bobs

It has been a very busy and exciting time for us. We are currently pulling together our summer and autumn photography travel plans. There are some really great locations on the table, which should provide us with plenty of visual opportunities. We’ll keep you updated.

With an upcoming lens announcement from Fuji regarding a new XF 90mm F2 lens. While we enjoy shooting with the XF 56mm F1.2, we eagerly anticipate testing this new lens and taking it on some of our trips.

Some of you ask us about workshops – yes it is something we are working on; however, we want to do something different. Our objective is to take you to our favourite North American locations (it doesn’t mean the most popular) to photograph together and share our approach with you. Most importantly, we would like to go with you on a journey of visual self-discovery. Stay tuned for more.

Another area of interest is e-books. We have started working on the first one tailored to new photographers. Many different paths lead to the same destination. Based on our struggles and successes, we would like to provide an aspiring photographer with a guide to finding HIS vision and HER way of seeing. Check out our blog for more information.

Finally, and most importantly, WE’VE GOT OUR X-SHIRT!!! Just in case you have been dozing and don’t know what it is all about, check this link for more info. This charity project, by Patrick of Fujirumors, goes a long way to help those that need it. While we play with our expensive photo gear and go on photo trips we often forget how fortunate we are. This project is a great way to help and HEY, this shirt is super comfortable, really well made and cool (more about this in our next post – including some images).

Here are some images from our photo trips that somehow never found their way to this blog – all taken with the X-series gear.

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Copyright 2015 © Olaf & Kasia Sztaba Photography. All rights reserved.