As this year comes to an end it is our turn to look back.
Although 2014 was a year of transformation, search and renewal, this year could best be described as full-steam ahead. Our way of seeing has evolved and become more demanding. The general appeal of pretty, attractive, colourful and easy has gradually been replaced by unique, creative, emotional, difficult and simplified ways of seeing. As a result, 2015 was a year when the fruit of our 2014 detour ripened and we regained control on our route to seeing.
Fortunately, we are not alone on this journey. You used your valuable time to visit our pages, view our imagery and read our essays. What a privilege! We are especially thankful for your commentary and for sharing your stories and experiences. We read them all and enjoyed every contact.
There are so many people to thank for your generous support that it is impossible to name everyone. Thank you all. You know whom we are talking about.
As we did last year, it is time to choose our favourite images of the year and here they are:
Lone Horse, Fuji X100S
Forgotten Bay, X100S
Apocalypse III, X-T1 & XF 14mm F2.8
The Hidden Bridge, X100S
The Camper, X-T1 & XF 50-140mm F2.8
Window to a Sacred Forest, X100S
The Majestic Tetons, X-T1 & XF 50-140mm F2.8
Sailing Away to Love, Fuji X100S
Lost in a Forgotten Land, X-T1 & XF 56mm F1.2
Genesis, X-T1 & XF 50-140mm F2.8
The Window, X-T1 & XF 14mm F2.8
Drifting Poles, X-T1 & XF 56mm F1.2
Olympic Paradise, X100S
The Road Less Travelled, X-T1 & XF 50-140mm F2.8
The Anatomy of the Land, X-T1 & XF 50-140mm F2.8
A few thoughts: it is very telling that most of the images are black and white. Indeed, removing the distraction of colour and focusing on essentials delivers powerful visuals. Six of our fifteen favourite photos were taken with the X100S. Nine images were taken in random, lesser-known locations, from the road, while travelling. Once again, the less-travelled path continues to inspire and provoke our way of seeing.
Camera of the year: this must be the Fuji X-100S/T since most of our favourite imagery was taken with this camera. It continues to be our favourite camera ever. Always with us, one and only one. Enough said!
Lens of the year: this one is controversial – even for us. As proponents of prime lenses, we have chosen a huge, heavy, uncomfortable XF 50-140 F2.8 zoom lens. But there is more! This lens doesn’t even have a permanent spot in our photo bag. What gives? While on the road the lens was a valuable tool to frame a picture when we were forced to shoot from the road (quite often the area is private property). It is tack sharp and its stabilization system is the best we have ever experienced (we shoot mostly from the hand!). The XF 50-140 F2.8 has also been very useful in our few commercial jobs this year. It’s a great, specialized tool.
Plans for 2016: we will continue pushing our own boundaries of seeing and venturing outside our comfort zones. This will be a year when multiple long-term projects will see the light of day. Stay tuned for more details.
In 2016, we plan to explore some amazing locations – places not necessarily on the tourist track. Our initial hit list is ready. And believe me, some places are less travelled but spectacular!
We hope that in 2016 you will stay with us on this journey to reach ways of seeing.
2015 © Kasia & Olaf Sztaba Photography. All rights reserved.