R-A-I-N with the X-series

It has been pouring rain, cold and windy – normal weather at this time of the year in Vancouver. Most years this kind of weather would keep us at home, but not this year. For the last twelve months we have been working on a project appropriately called R-A-I-N.

Unfortunately, a few years ago we made the mistake of getting an unusually adorable dog with an uncanny ability to manipulate his owners to pursue his own agenda. On one particularly rainy day our dog convinced me to go for a walk, which I naturally tried to resist. Well, as he had long ago broken down my power of resistance I found I had no choice but to put on my raincoat and venture out to the unfriendly outdoors.


It was on this very day that I noticed something rather strange. Despite the lack of sunshine and its usual powers of jollification, the heavy rain along with a very subtle, almost hidden light, provided quite stunning visuals. The scenes I observed got me intrigued and stimulated my seeing as never before. The next day I grabbed my camera and ventured into the cold, wet and windy world voluntarily, taking the dog too, of course.

This realization made me think. Most people know that Vancouver, British Columbia is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. And most tourists visit Vancouver during the sun-soaked summer months, unaware that the key element of the DNA of this place is R-A-I-N. It is not uncommon to have 20 consecutive days of rain. For those of us that live here, rain has become almost a daily reality. And this reality which, on the surface, could be ugly, grey and uncomfortable, provides some very special visuals. That is exactly what prompted me to start working on this project, helped by my dog.


Of course, taking photos in heavy rain has its challenges but I will write more about this “fun” part in one of our upcoming posts. I will also cover this project from the seeing/technical/preparations perspective on our new platform, which should be launched this year.

While most of the imagery shot for this project is in black and white, today I would like to share with you some imagery in colour. The entire project is being shot with the X-Pro2, XF 35mm F1.4, XF 23mm F2 and on occasion XF 50-140mm F2.8. The X-Pro2, as well as two of the lenses, are weather-sealed which is vital for this wet endeavour. And my dog has a raincoat too.

All Classic Chrome except the last two images.
















next time…



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

14 thoughts on “R-A-I-N with the X-series

  1. Louise Dorge on Nov. 26, 2016
    Olaf, awesome work, “gift of seeing what you see” surely is positive for those rainier days. Thankyou for sharing your pictures.

  2. Great opportunity not lost :-). Enduring images of an enduring people.

    Several years ago I had a business trip to Vancouver and during that week a record for consecutive days of rain was up for grabs. People were preparing to celebrate the record. It did not rain the next day and people celebrated the sunshine. I love Vancouver, and the people seem to have fun no matter what.

    I walked the streets taking images during the “last day of the rain” and the next day I walked the streets with Tom Abrahamsson after he hand delivered my Rapidgrip and then shoot the puddles, long shadows and people.

    1. Don,

      It is always great to hear from you. Thank you for your kind words and the link (now I am really familiar with his work :). After shooting R-A-I-N for almost a year, I understand why Saul Leiter found such weather so visually appealing.

      P.S. Just broke my wife’s favourite umbrella.

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