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).

©osztaba_my_20150510__DSF4359

© osztaba_skating_20111222_DSCF0035

©osztaba_street_20150509__DSF4323

©osztaba_christmas_20141225__DSF3299

©osztaba_opendoorvan_20141004__DSF7974

©osztaba_sunrun_20130421_DSCF2708

©osztaba_vancouver_20140511__DSF4826

©osztaba_vancouver_20140511__DSF4850

©osztaba_craftsale_20131111__DSF0385

© osztaba_vancouver_20111106_DSCF3099

©osztaba_vancouver_20140511__DSF4860

© osztaba_seattle_20120429_DSCF0317

©osztaba_street_20150509__DSF4327

 

 

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

14 thoughts on “Becoming an Un-Photographer

    • Friedmann,

      Great to hear from you.
      Try this: download an image from a camera that supports the Classic Chrome emulation (Fuji 100T, Fuji X-T1) into LR. Then apply CC to your image (camera calibration > profile). Then save it as one of your personal presets. Next time you download images from your Fuji X100S, you should be able to use/apply your saved CC-like preset. It should work.

      Olaf

  1. Dude, it’s nearly the same, what happened to me. But I don’t think, it’s about the camera you use. The camera only helped you to change your attitude to photography. You could do this change with a bigger camera too, but then it’s not so easy. It’s like using zoom lenses or primes. You can use your zooms like primes (set it to one focal lenght). But it’s not exactly the same.

    Good luck/light and have fun with this great camera.

    • Gambajo,

      We have been shooting with the X-series (including the X100/S/T) since its introduction many years ago.

      Your observations are right on. Thank you for commenting.

      Olaf

  2. Ah now you are an artist who uses a camera People say they want to be like the masters like Bresson but forget why he stated using a camera He said it was because it was a quicker way of recording than a pen and paper And he REALLY was agreat artist{

    • Paul,

      Aren’t you? You misunderstood my post entirely.

      Tried to view some of your imagery, but I couldn’t find any. Please provide a link.

      Thanks for stopping by,

      Olaf

  3. good article-I’ve downsized as well!! Took a Canon g10 (pre x100s) to NYC a few years ago in lieu of a Canon 1Ds Mk2-didn’t miss the DSLR at all.

    I see you noted an x100s and “Classic Chrome”-I never saw this as a firmware update to my x100s

      • Nice post Olaf. I enjoy stopping by to see you and Kasia’s fine work. Do tell how do you simulate the CC emulation in Lightroom. Perhaps a blog post. It is always nice to have choices. Sorry that Fuji couldn’t send CC to x100s users but. I suspect it could be done in LR.
        Cheers,
        Mark

      • Mark,

        Thank you for your comment.
        Try this: download an image from a camera that supports the Classic Chrome emulation (Fuji 100T, Fuji X-T1) into LR. Then apply CC to your image (camera calibration > profile). Then save it as one of your personal presets. Next time you download images from your Fuji X100S, you should be able to use/apply your saved CC-like preset. Let me know if it works.

        Olaf

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