Over the last few years we have enjoyed working on this blog and we cherish and value your readership and continuous patronage. However, we are aware that this form of presentation and interaction has its limits. And these are not the only obvious limitations in regard to content production, the publishing schedule or even interaction with our readers. Most importantly, there are restraints in relation to the lack of time and funding to provide new and original content.
From the start we decided that we want to share premier content without burdening you with ads and unnecessary visuals. To achieve that, we made this blog 100% ad free. Our goal was to put imagery and the written word at the centre of our blog.
Last year, we came to the conclusion that an additional platform was needed. Many of you indicated this and encouraged us to go beyond the blog in the form of workshops or some other ideas. We listened.
Today, we are very excited to introduce a brand-new, subscription-based educational and mentoring platform: SIMPLICITY-IN-SEEING. This special photography resource is based on a one-of-a-kind program that we have designed from the ground up. But it will be much more than that.
While most photography offerings are centred on technical know-how, Simplicity-In-Seeing provides a personal approach to photography, creativity, mastering composition skills, exploring natural light and interacting with the subject. The platform will also offer exclusive guides to the most magnificent but less-travelled photography locations in North America.
There are seven main sections:
ON THE ROAD – Olaf and Kasia Sztaba have travelled extensively in North America in search of wonderful photographic locations. In this section, they will share with you these amazing locations including preparation, gear tips, the best spots to photograph, maps, hotel information, etc. Many of these places are off the beaten track but visually appealing. This section alone will save you time and money when you are travelling to take fresh and unusual photos.
STREET CORNER – street photography is not only an essential part of visual storytelling but it also helps to enhance your seeing, break your routine and encourage you to reconnect with people. In this section you will find everything to make your street photography more interesting: connection, composition and lighting. Olaf’s approach to shooting on the street will help you to make your street photography stress-free and enjoyable.
COMPOSITION AND LIGHTING – these are the essential components in crafting a great image, unfortunately often overshadowed by the common Photoshop obsession. In this section you will find clearly communicated ways to compose, simplify the frame and design a winning image. Olaf and Kasia will share their thought process of composing a great image with many examples and accompanying notes and drawings. You will also learn how to use the available light to create the most impact.
OFF THE CUFF – exactly what the name says – the authors will share with you their thoughts on photography, whether it is the latest online controversy, random thoughts, exciting news or just a passionate rant. Expect unexpected but highly educational and fresh material.
GEAR AND TECHNICAL BITS – yes, this is the section all about gear. However, don’t expect total-waste-of-time camera pixel peeping comparisons. Olaf and Kasia will approach this subject with an emphasis on seeing and the different ways a photographer bonds and interacts with a camera to create great imagery – lenses, cameras and post-processing all in one.
INSPIRATION AND IDEAS – we all need them. Today with the world of photography fixated on technical subjects, finding new ways to approach photography and feeling inspired and fired up is the key to long-term success in the field.
HOW IT WAS SHOT – a single image or series of images discussed in great detail. Why take this subject? Why frame it this way? What kind of light was available? How was it processed? These are the mechanics of creating an image. It is a truly educational experience you won’t want to miss.
After signing up you will have access to the first eleven articles already published:
The Man at the Bus Stop
Explaining the process of photographing a man at the bus stop on a rainy day including the mechanics of seeing, the gear used, the in-camera setup, light, composition and technical considerations.
Palouse Vista #1
Discussing the mechanics of capturing a Palouse vista including location, light considerations and composition.
Which Lenses Should We Use and When?
Sharing our reasoning behind choosing particular X-series lenses for particular assignments or jobs. Although there is no need to carry all the lenses all the time it is important to choose the right one.
Finding You and Your Own Way of Seeing
Approaching photography from your perspective. Why knowing yourself is so important in the photography process. We provide sample questions which may help to rekindle your seeing and put it on the right track.
Approaching Strangers on the Street – YOUR Way
Approaching strangers on the street. A source of frustration for many photographers, we explain the most reasonable approach, which should work for any type of personality. Examples and situations are included.
Palouse Photo Locations #1
Examining a map of Palouse with seven locations including a brief comment about each location.
Composition – “The Strongest Way of Seeing”
Introduction to composition as a way of arranging elements within a frame.
Advice: Shoot, Shoot and Shoot a Lot! Really?
Thoughts about one of the biggest fallacies in photography.
Classic Chrome (CC) – The Look of the Street
The Fujifilm Classic Chrome simulation is discussed including usage and samples. Olaf shares his favourite, simple post-processing technique.
Mechanics of Seeing
Introducing one of the most important subjects in photography. What is the seeing process of creating a strong photograph?
Photography – The art of observation
Introduction to one of the most important and overlooked topics in photography including exercises to help you with visual discoveries. A must-read for every creative photographer.
There is extensive new material in the works, which will be published regularly almost every week. All the material you will find on Simplicity-In-Seeing is being created with only one objective in mind: to help you create extraordinary imagery.
The material presented is based on notes from the field, extensive research and hands-on experience. While writing we always aim at real-life problems and solutions – something everyone can understand and use in the field. Sure, we could bombard you with fancy photography rules but using them in the field would be almost impossible.
Having said that, we are also aware that for those who focus only on gear, lenses, pixel-peeping and purely technical considerations, Simplicity-In-Seeing may not be the best fit (even though we will sometimes touch on those topics).
In sum, we created Simplicity-In-Seeing to advance the art of seeing – the most important aspect of photography. We are confident that those of you who care deeply about creating extraordinary imagery will find the material published on Simplicity-In-Seeing useful, educational and inspirational.
Let’s get started, then!
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