Olaf first picked up a camera thirty-five years ago (see the photo above). Since then his passion for “seeing” has become a lifetime journey with photography.
This journey started in communist Poland where Olaf spent his childhood. The dreary, utilitarian era helped him to sharpen his senses in search of things uncommon and simple. In 1996 Olaf called Canada his new home.
The grand vistas of British Columbia further opened his visual horizons and need for seeing. A dramatic illness nearly took his life but gave Olaf the courage to pursue photography full time. It also provoked a different way of seeing the world.
He recalls, “I was curious to see how I could achieve my vision and compose by using light, line and perspective.” Olaf believes that the camera doesn’t matter. After all, it’s the vision and the photographer’s special ability to transfix the moment that really matters. His favourite places are ideally the less travelled and rarely photographed corners of North America.
Olaf has been an early adopter of the Fuji X-series line of cameras and lenses, with the X100/S/T/F rangefinder-style remaining his favourite creative tool. In 2011, Olaf started a popular blog, www.olafphotoblog.com, which discusses creativity, inspiration, travel and fine art photography plus the X-series cameras and lenses. He is also a founder of Simplicity-In-Seeing – a subscription-based educational and mentoring platform dedicated to the art of seeing.
Today, Olaf spends most of his time writing and photographing in the field, minimizing the time spent in front of a computer. He is a sought-after speaker and educator, currently working on a series of books about creativity and his personal approach to image creation.
Olaf lives in Coquitlam, British Columbia with his wife Kasia, his son Olivier and their furry four-legged companion, Bailey.
Give him a shout.
SHE SAID, HE SAID!
Ever since I met Olaf, I have seen him paying a lot of attention to design and visual artistry. He takes a camera and makes the dullest place or moment memorable. He has a different way of seeing the world. He’s always searching, curious to the point where his pursuits drive me crazy. For him there are no boundaries or obstacles. He visits the same place over and over until he gets the right photo. To do so he climbs, crawls, jumps – you name it – and does whatever it takes to realize his vision.
Olaf is always very critical both of his work and of others’. When we come back from our photo endeavours, he deletes almost every image and keeps just the very best, but I think this is his strength. His motto is:
“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” – Scott Adams
Taking photos with my husband Olaf is an amazing experience.
© Olaf Sztaba, Fuji XT1.
Without Kasia I wouldn’t be where I am today. She is my motivator and a great judge. When I sometimes indulge myself in the dark world of camera gear, she pulls me out and reroutes my senses to what is really important in photography. She doesn’t worry about cameras or lenses. Kasia doesn’t care about RAW conversion or all the other nuances. She just goes straight to what she does best – painting with light.
I feel privileged to travel and photograph with my wife, Kasia. She really cares about the people and places she photographs and you can see it!
Our photographic work is offered as fine prints and stock images for commercial licensing. Although the simplicity and texture of film always brings nostalgia we have fully embraced the digital medium. We spend a lot of time photographing in the field and we try to minimize the time spent in front of a computer. We work exclusively with the Fuji X-series cameras and lenses.
We are also preparing photography workshops with a focus on light, composition and creativity. Stay tuned for more details.