A Camera Bag Full of Ideas, Not Gear!

This post will be slightly different. Usually I push you to the cliff edge with my incoherent ramblings but this time I will make it short and snappy.

So much has happened in the last few weeks that I have never felt more excited.

First, I will update you on my “Killing the Beast” article. What are you doing, Olaf? OK, I admit I didn’t make a clean break from social media. But I did my best to change the way I interact with others. I’m trying to pause and concentrate when viewing your work. I’m also sharing my thoughts. I believe that YOU, as someone who interacts with me on social media, deserves it.

I know I scroll less and view less, but I experience and “see” more. This is a good thing! More to come.

On the same subject I was a guest on shuttertimeshow with Sid and Mac and we all tried to kill the beast. For those who want to find out what I’m talking about, listen to the podcast led by my hosts. Warning: it includes my own ramblings. Here is a link: http://shuttertimewithsidandmac.com/2017/03/27/episode-157-olaf-sztaba/

Make sure to give Sid and Mac feedback. They have been doing this for so many years and deserve applause. I respect them for not shying away from difficult subjects.  

You should also read Jonas Rask and Patrick Laroque and Ian MacDonald –excellent posts on the topic of social media and/or personal growth as a photographer.




I must include two remarkable videos from  Ted Forbes and Zack Arias. They both touched on difficult subjects relating to our recent discussions.

No question – I must also share with you two eye-opening quotes. The first was discovered by Don Craig, a friend and a great photographer:

“The more I like my work, the fewer others seem to.”

Got you thinking?! It should.

The second one is from Jonas Rask:

It doesn’t always have to be purposeful. Sometimes it just needs to be. Needs to exist. This is my way back to my core creative.”

It’s now your turn!

Finally, a note to those of you who are starting in photography and facing the social media: If you don’t receive lots of likes or comments it doesn’t mean your photography is the pits. Most people ignore the great, innovative imagery and “seeing” – especially if you are not in the front seat of the social media bus. Work hard on your seeing and composition, pay attention to light, take risks and never ever take shortcuts to “popular” images. Stay on your own path and you will eventually be appreciated. You may get relatively few likes but your images will receive in-depth, honest attention. This is priceless.    


Here are a few recent images, all taken with the X100F.


2017 © OLI Publishing Inc. All rights reserved.

4 thoughts on “A Camera Bag Full of Ideas, Not Gear!

  1. An excellent point about lack of likes not relating to the qualty of the work and how popularity affects behaviour However we are all human amd when you have put your work out there its hard not to be disappointed even though you know deep down a like,heart,wgatever is largely meaningless

    1. Jonathan,

      I am 100% with you on this. Indeed, it is really, really hard not to be disappointed in such circumstances. The problem is nobody talk about it as if such problem didn’t exist. Thanks for pointing this out.

  2. Hey Olaf, I’m listening to your interview in my hotel room, as I travel for work. Really interesting conversation and made more thought provoking by the fact that the three of you didn’t necessarily agree on everything. Your analogy regarding Twitter (drive by, high five) versus reading blog posts (visiting someone’s home) is perfect. Twitter and Instagram are drive by formats. At least with Twitter, it will lead me somewhere I want to go, most of the time. Instagram, not so much, but it feels like one has to be posting there, no matter what.
    Funny to think that I never commented to you, I don’t think, about the change in your photography over the past year or so. Personally, I have been enjoying the stark, high-contrast, abstract work you have been producing. But I doubt that defines you or will be where you will always be. I know that I swing between a few different styles and genres, depending upon time, opportunity and personal goals. I hope that this never changes and that I don’t get stuck making the same type of image, all of the time. But I digress…
    Initiating the conversation about where and how we deal with social media has been great to read, and now listen, about. Thanks.

    1. Don,

      It is always so rewarding to chat with you or read your thoughts.

      I agree with you on Twitter. If I had a choice to pick just one fast-food platform it would be Twitter (of course blogging will always be #1 for me). I have never been a fan of Instagram as I find it overloaded with visuals I have no interest to view. Indeed, Twitter usually leads me to some interesting or entertaining conversations.

      I really appreciate your thoughts about the state of my photography. You are right about my explorations and a search for something new. I was always afraid that I would be stuck with one style or genre of photography and I would feel comfortable about it. I know that such an attitude would kill my seeing and creativity.

      Looking forward to meeting you in person soon so we could continue our discussions. I always find them fascinating and enriching.

      All the best,


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