We started 2016 with an “Un-resolution,” challenging ourselves to go beyond “static and sterile,” to “move toward the edge of the cliff” and to “destroy our present complacency of seeing.”
Looking back at this remarkable and tumultuous year, it was a year when we questioned everything about our “seeing.” Being well aware that the popularity of our blog could suffer, we went beyond our usual travel and landscape genre of photography. While shedding our photographic skin, not only did we explore street vistas but also tried to snake into new ways of seeing.
It would have been much easier to stick to one theme, one look, one message. Yes, it would. However, we knew that by standing still our seeing could become familiar and repetitive – eventually leading to blindness – a risk we couldn’t afford to take.
We travelled less in 2016 partially because our seeing involved fascinating visuals closer to home and partially because we’ve been working on several new projects. With the launch of our workshops in 2017 we will certainly correct this anomaly.
Despite the lack of travel, this year stood out in one remarkable way. We had the privilege of meeting and working with amazing people. It is impossible to name you all – please allow us a little indiscretion in mentioning a few names.
It must start with You – readers of this blog. You motivate, inspire and challenge us to publish only the best work. Your kind and generous comments make our days. Your critiques and suggestions are highly desirable and much appreciated. Thank you so much for being with us on this journey.
We would like to thank the remarkable Fujifilm Canada team for your support and professionalism and for allowing us to work with cameras and lenses we otherwise wouldn’t be able to access. Your dedication to photography and photographers is unparalleled. Your commercial success in disrupting the photography market with the X-series is well deserved.
We are aware that it is unfair but I have to mention one photographer. Patrick LaRoque of Montreal has continually produced imagery that has caused me to pause and stare, which is quite a feat in this attention-deficient, glance-only, next-one-please world of mass photo consumption. This is the type of imagery that is not going to find its way to the top of the 500px popularity contest. Patrick’s imagery evokes visual emotions that go well beyond the levelled “beautiful” and desirable “popular.” They transcend seeing. They are visual poetry and design that make you stop, stare, think and feel – and that’s what photography is all about.
Another person I would like to mention is Ian MacDonald. Despite his personal struggles, after years of working as a paramedic, he reaches out to the photographic community as no other person I know. I have enjoyed meeting him and discussing photography, Fuji and everything in between. His openness and positive attitude is something we need more of every day (what a great balance to yours truly’s quirky, sarcastic, out-of-balance persona).
Of course, there are many more great photographers whom we admire and whose work we enjoy. You know who you are.
We would like to thank Thomas of Scoop It all Fuji, Patrick of Fujirumors and Tomasz of Fujilove for providing amazing platforms on which Fuji shooters can share their imagery and ideas. We also have words of gratitude for Steve and his team at SteveHuffPhoto.com. The fact that Steve accommodates all brands and genres of photography on his platform should be applauded. Some people don’t realize how much work it takes to organize and run such websites, magazines and communities. We are well aware of your hard work. Thanks for doing it.
Every year so far we have picked the “camera of the year” or the “lens of the year.” Well, I am not sure if it is such a good idea any more. My choice is just what is the best for me and it may not be the best for you. While we have been waiting for a successor to our beloved X100-line, most of our photography has been done with the X-Pro2. For me personally, it is the best interchangeable X-series camera out there (please note I said “for me”).
Before we go, it is time to say a few words about next year. No, I am not going to lay down pompous plans. All I want to say for now is that 2017, January in particular, will be very busy. We will be launching our new educational platform (finally!!!) for those of you who would like to explore, travel, create and learn with us. However, that’s not the only surprise waiting early next year. Stay tuned.
But enough of this disorderly jotting! It is time for the most important part of our summary – here are our favourite images of the year.
ON THE ROAD
ON THE STREET
…and one round of squares
Finally, we would like to wish you a visually rich, healthy, restful and warm Holiday Season and a Happy New Year.
2017 © Kasia & Olaf Sztaba Photography. All rights reserved.