Personal considerations about the future of this blog.

It’s been many years! If you are reading these words, there is a strong chance you have been following this blog for a while. Maybe some of you have been on this journey with me from the beginning, from my early travel and landscape photography. Others probably joined later when I posted my street photography work. I am grateful to have you all. In an era when the written word competes with 30-second viral videos, the former is on a losing streak from the start. Having said that, I deeply value the written word and its intellectual capacity. I accept fate.  

Regardless of when you joined me on this journey you have probably noticed that it has been awfully quiet here in recent months. This lack of keyboard clicks doesn’t mean I‘ve been sitting on my laurels. Quite the opposite! 

My friends often ask me why I don’t photograph as much as I used to. The answer is not simple which is perhaps why I have been avoiding writing the blog. 

After months of pondering, the nature of my photographic life has changed quite dramatically. I am no longer a photographer per se. My photographer’s hat has expanded in a few noticeable directions – all unexpected but welcomed. 

It started with my work on the Medium Format Magazine. The role of publisher and key curator was challenging and extremely demanding, but it allowed me to experience the photographic world from a different perspective. Then, the ELEMENTS Magazine came about through my close collaboration with Steven Friedman, accelerating the transition from photographer to curator, publisher, and writer. It has been crazy, good crazy few years. 

A few days ago, as I was enjoying my morning coffee, I realized the transformative and prolific experience I’ve gained in the last few years. From a focus solely on personal photography, I became involved in the photographic industry at large. This meant conversing with the greatest photographers working today to chatting and exchanging ideas with some of the smartest people in the industry. I recall some amazing conversations, striking facts and many untold truths. Then it hit me hard. This whole journey should be written down. Why not share all these experiences and ideas which mingle in my head? Why not start a conversation about photography without fake frames imposed on us by current fashions? After all, this is a personal blog, and it should be viewed as such. 

Regardless of whether you are a landscape or street photographer or just a lover of art and photography in general I hope you will remain on this journey with me. I am going to cover a much broader range of subjects and topics. Photography, publishing, relationships or the business of photography are all important topics, some of them strangely underrepresented in the current of photographic thought. 

So, in the next few months I will share my images and the images of photographers I greatly admire. I may share a thought or two about current events, controversies of the day or forgotten keynotes. I will write about my journey from landscape photographer to travel and street and all the way back. I will describe some experiences of building a business and trying to stay afloat in an increasingly challenging and difficult industry. There are literally hundreds of ideas in my notebook – hopefully time will be gentle on me so I can ponder them here.    

One day these accounts will form a much larger body of work and maybe even a book. The key command is START! 

P.S. I would appreciate if you say hi in the comment section if you are reading this blog. 

73 thoughts on “Personal considerations about the future of this blog.

  1. Always delighted to read your blog & see your photographs. Your discussions have always been amazingly helpful to me – especially when I was first purchasing FUJI gear. Thank you!

  2. it seems you have a very busy life! And I’m sure the new direction you are going will give you important satisfactions. I think as photographer (and the same applies to painters, musicians, writers and other creative people) at a certain point we need a change even if it requires more energy.

    But without Energy we cannot create Enthusiasm and Emotions…(this is the three E principle!)

    I’m very interested in your new thoughts and writing. Thanks in advance.

    PS: if one day you’ll come to Italy please let me know…

    1. hello Robert, thank you for your thoughtful and kind note. You are right about the three E principle. I will do my best to share some of my thoughts.

  3. I have learned much from your videos ad blog. Very thoughtful and honest. Feeling lost in the 1000s of images I see daily and the world of “likes.” I’ll be interested in your thoughts about the industry and where photography is heading. Thanks for al you do.

    1. Hello Judy,

      Thank you so much for your kind feedback. I know what you mean. I took some notes and I will be sharing my thoughts about the subject. Please stay tuned.

    2. Hello Olaf. Good to hear your passion has not gone away but simply being recognized as changing. Sounds to me that you couldn’t be on a better path. You are examining your motivations and responding in a positive and socially additive way. Thanks for all you’ve done and all you have yet to do.

      Michel

  4. I enjoyed reading your blog – I’ve been following Elements magazine etc and wondering what had happened to your photography. You’re the best mentor ever, and I’m glad you’ve found your niche. I’m looking forward to hearing more of your insights about the industry.

    1. Wow! It is amazing to hear from you Peter. You made my day with your generous note. I have done a lot of thinking about my photography and I will share my thoughts soon. Are you still in Calgary? It would be so nice to get together and chat.

  5. Hi Olaf! It’s great to hear from you again. I’ve missed your infectious love of all things photographic. I look forward to seeing your new direction. Be well.

  6. Hi Olaf, I started following you pre-covid when you gave a talk to the Port Moody Photography club. I really enjoy your thoughtful blogs, following your journey and your new adventures. Keep on.

    1. Thank you for connecting Denise. I really appreciate your support. Hopefully, we will meet soon in Port Moody.

  7. Good to see you back here. I always enjoy reading your thoughts and seeing the images you choose to post. Looking forward to the future of this blog. Although how you’re going to find the time in additions to your work on Medium Format and Elements, is beyond me. Best of luck!

    1. HA HA HA David. It is not easy but I somehow manage. I have to admit that kind and thoughtful people like you help me a lot. It is good to know that someone is reading my posts. Looking forward to your future notes and our exchanges. Cheers!

    1. You made my day with your superb comment. I love Italy! I have many friends there and I cannot wait to visit.

  8. Hi Olaf! I don’t know how many years I’ve been following you and I don’t always have time to read everything through. Heck! With a 50-55 hours job and 2 university courses, I don’t even have time to go out and shoot anymore… But you (and a few other photographers I like) keep me interested. I have always loved how you go about your work, your subjects. There is always a deep reflection behind it. It doesn’t feel like it’s a photo for a photo. Thank you for all the sharing and for your great generosity. I think I have personally wrote to you 2-3 times over the years, and you always took the time to answer even though you have your own life and are very busy. Change is part of life. As the buddhists say, follow your own path.

    1. Hello Martine,

      Thank you so much for taking the time and writing this wonderful and thoughtful note. You are absolutely right about change as being a part of life. Sometimes it is scary and uncomfortable but from my personal experience, it always helped me to find meaning and purpose. It is wonderful to have you here.

    1. HA HA HA I am scared now to write about gear… just kidding. I know exactly what you mean. Having great and thoughtful conversations with people like you keeps me going. Thank you for that.

    1. Thank you so much. I just received a camera for testing. And I am not excited about the camera much but I am excited for the fact that I will be photographing…HA HA HA

    1. It means a lot Don. I cannot live without the pen! I don’t know if it is my curse or blessing HA HA HA

  9. Hi Olaf, I really enjoy Medium Format and the newer more recent Elements. I look forward to reading your new directions and thoughts on this cahannel and maybe even in a book. Keep up the great contributions…. thank you.

    1. Hi Olaf – It’s good to hear from you. I myself, along with many, many people have had their worlds forever changed over the last 2 years and we face similar feelings about our own lives of “what was” and the fears and wonders of what may lie ahead.

      Hope you are well – a new chapter has begun – we must all add to our stories of existence and experience…

      James Rowan – Canada

  10. Bravo, Olaf! Keep pushing the edge. As the corporates say, “Grow or die.” Maybe it applies here as well.

    All best!

    1. Appreciate it Ashok. I will start with the blog and then…maybe I will even manage to restart my YouTube 🙂

  11. Olaf, I for one have been reading all your blog posts. They are thought-provoking and I thank you for sticking with it. I sure hope you continue making your own photographs, I would hate to see them disappear as I admire your skill. We are long overdue for a coffee chat to exchange ideas.

    1. Doug, it is so wonderful to hear from you and having you here. Your support is always appreciated. In terms of coffee – you are so right about it. How about next week? Do you have my phone #?

    1. My dear friend Robert!!! It is so wonderful to hear from you. I quit Twitter so I guess our line of communication somehow died. We need to reinstate it. Looking forward to your emails. Miss you and your family.

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