About

©osztaba_olaf_20140330_PhotoStation_Sun30Mar2014_01_12_07PM_p001

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 rangefinder-style remaining his favourite creative tool. In 2011, Olaf started a popular blog, http://www.olafphotoblog.com, which discusses creativity, inspiration, travel and fine art photography plus the X-series cameras and lenses.       

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.

 

©osztaba_cariboo_trail_20140824__DSF4617

© 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.  

 

 

25 thoughts on “About

  1. Hi Olaf,

    Only recently discovered your blog and I find the writing and images most refreshing (and excellent). I also noted that you may be heading to Cuba soon. I think you and Kasia will find it a wonderful experience. I started working down there in 2009 (being a US Citizen I had to have what was then known as a General License). I adopted the Fuji system as my “street photography” system beginning with the X100. Have had several other Fuji X cameras since, but currently only have the Fuji glass waiting for my X-Pro2🙂. If you are interested, you can visit my main website below and click on the “Cuba” link on the home page to see some of my “CubaStreet” work, etc.

    Look forward to enjoying more of your blog posts.

    Best,

    Tony Bonanno

    • Tony,

      We had an opportunity to view your work from Cuba. Impressive! Your compositions are truly beautiful and well thought-out.

      If you don’t mind, we will contact you before we head to Cuba to ask you a few questions.

      Thank you for contacting us.

      Olaf

  2. Hi Olaf and Kasia, I’m relatively new to Fuji and came across your blog via Ian MacDonald’s site. You have some stunning images here – your recent Canadian Rockies collection is fantastic – some of the mountain images almost look like they are etched, they are so clean and sharp.

    I too like the philosophy of keeping it simple, seeing first, thinking about composition and trying to do it all ‘in camera’ without too much post processing – much like the old film days some of us remember! Not always easy, especially when you have little or no time to compose a shot in, say, a street situation or taking images out of a plane window (something I like doing). Success comes with practice I suppose!

    I’ll be interested in what you say about the new Fujis introduced at the event of 15th. I have a Fuji X-T1 and X-100T and am not intending to change or ‘upgrade’ for some time yet.

    Best wishes

    Tim (twitter: @tim848; instagram: greycatfoto)

    • Hello,

      Thank you for your kind words.

      We haven’t had a chance to shoot with the new X-Pro2 just yet. We should get it soon for a review. Stay tuned.

      All the best,

      Olaf

  3. I’m a friend of Doug Matthews and my husband and I are planning a trip to the Palouse this year. I appreciated your tips. My overarching question I need answering is what time of year is the best? Spring or mid-late September

  4. What an absolutely stunning and impressive body of work you both have! Congratulations and thank you for sharing your wisdom on the process of creating fantastic images.

  5. I discovered your photo essay on The Palouse on Fujiforum this morning, and am very moved by it. Certainly I am impressed by the quality of the Fuji images – I’ve been a Fuji X user since 2012 – but primarily I am moved to the point of writing to you by your terrific photographs. I’ve subscribed to your blog, and look forward to following along.

    Conversely, I’d like to share my work with you: an artist’s book I’ve just produced using Blurb, “Searching for Edward Hopper.” I think you may like it.

    You can see two-page spreads of the book at: rpkphoto.smugmug.com/Books/Searching-for-Edward-Hopper.

    I look forward to new posts from your blog.

    Rodger Kingston

  6. Hi dear,
    just wanted to let you that i follow fujifilm on Facebook, and that i saw the photographs you took last week end, and that my friends and i on it🙂
    and i m happy to be on you photographs🙂

    so to let you know the name of my friends Rick Gollino, Nathan Giesbrecht and myself Mikael Bidard .

    you’re photographs are great thanks and have a good week end.

    best regard
    mikael

  7. Hi Olaf and Kasia,

    Ever since I gave up on dragging my Canon equipment around on my back I bought a Fuji X100s as a start for a new Fuji X kit.
    Many sites and yours in particular inspired me to this step and so far I have not regret it.

    What puzzles me lately is if I have to buy the Xpro1 or the XE2 as a next step.
    My first lens will certainly be the 14mm. (Or the new 10-24???)

    Can you tell me your thoughts on this?
    I mostly take pictures of old buildings, landscape, industry etc.

    Kind regards, Cees

    • Cees,

      Since your subjects are mostly stationary I would recommend the Fuji X-Pro1 with 14mm lens. You should find a very good price for both right now.

      Thank you for visiting.

      Olaf

  8. Hello Olaf and kasia,

    What great images from BC. They remind me of my native NZ and my now adopted home of Tasmania! We are guests, in our spectacular environment! Look and you shall see. Appreciate the visual inspiration and sentiments.

    Cheers, Mike

  9. Glad a stumbled across your blog. Great captures with the Fuji. Having just picked up a X-Pro1, 35mm and 18-55, I now can concentrate on the composition instead of lugging 20lbs of camera gear around. Out goes the Canons and more Fuji.

    Question: Do you shoot most of your shots with a tripod? Incredible sharpness.

    • Steve,

      Thank you for kind words. The majority of my images were taken without a tripod. I really like the freedom of shooting from hand as composition, perspective and unique vision are of prime importance to me.

      All the best,

      Olaf

  10. Hi Olaf,

    I simply love your pihotos, especially “Search for the Unknown”. Lovely colours and composition. Most of all, I like the mood the photos capture and the feeling it invokes. I keep coming back to this blog fo view the pics.

    In this blog you wrote:

    olafphoto on August 9, 2012 at 3:40 pm said:
    Chris,

    You can do it! All you need to do is to find an interesting location, visit it repeatedly (my record is 23 times) until you encounter great light and instead of doing some minor adjustments in Lightroom, use all sort of filters.”

    i will be grateful if you could advise me on filters. Which ones do you use? I imagine you have several for different situations. Which ones are your favourites and use most often? Have come across the Singh-Ray warm up ploarizer filter. Is this the type of filter you would recommend or something similar?

    I have an X-Pro1, 18 and 35mm lens. This is my first DSLR after a few point and shoots. Should one get 52mm filters or 77mm with adaptor for 52? Bigger market for 77mm should one decide to sell off?

    Thanks in advance for your reply.

    Regards,
    Vjay

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