A Photographic State of Mind

I don’t know whether it’s the time of the year or a malfunction in my cycle of seeing but I notice that the January/February period often carries me into a slightly different state of photographic mind.

I tend to hold my camera less and explore more with my mind. This is the time when I like to relax with a cup of coffee and my dog by my side. I may venture into random photographic sites, read some articles and explore ideas. The common denominator of what I am looking for is everything outside my normal photographic interests.

I may also go for some urban explorations with my dog but without a camera. That doesn’t mean I leave my photographic mind at home. I walk around with a different purpose in mind. I just let my mind wander and allow any idea to pass through the gate. Nothing is off limits. My usual criteria for photographic mining go out of the window.

This year the strange habit carried me much further than usual. Not only were the ideas generated to my immediate liking but I immediately found a clear path – no fog, no hesitation. Clear doesn’t mean easy or comfortable. Quite the opposite!

This year such a laissez-faire state of mind is amplified by the fact that we are in the midst of upgrading our photographic gear. We have sold the X-T1 and the X-Pro2 hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one simple camera (X100S) at my disposal for a few weeks. So refreshing.

Okay, Olaf but where are you going with this? I guess my point is that photography should not only be reduced to actually holding your camera and shooting, viewing your images or processing them. It is much more than that – at least for me. This is the state of mind which allows me to break down walls, explore new ideas and question my path.

Captain, adjust the route, set a new course. Full speed ahead!


Here are a few images shot west of Kamloops on a very moody morning. They were all taken with the Fuji X-T1 and the XF 50-140mm F2.8.









2016 © Kasia & Olaf Sztaba Photography. All rights reserved.


7 thoughts on “A Photographic State of Mind

  1. Such lovely images and such wise words. So many seem to be describing being in a photographic slump (myself included). I’m going to take your advice and use this time “to simply see” instead. Thanks for the gift!

  2. I’m a firm believer that you don’t need a camera in your hands to learn how to see. Quite the opposite actually, I think it gets in the way sometimes.

    When I was a professional musician there were times when I’d be struggling with a part on the guitar, and the surefire solution to breaking through the barrier was to stop playing that piece for a while. Stepping away allows us to break out of our “daily norms”… those things that feel comfortable but are really just habits and traps, and when we pick up the camera again we look at things through fresh eyes.

    Oh, and that last photo….so beautiful.

    Talk more at lunch!



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