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.
Widely known as a visual poet, Olaf’s unique eye and relentless pursuit of visual simplicity allows him to capture “superbly creative and aesthetically pleasing images.” The images, along with his writings, can be found at www.olafphotoblog.com. Discussions on seeing, creativity, inspiration, street and fine art photography parallel the images.
Olaf is a founder and editor-in-chief of the Medium Format Magazine – the only monthly publication dedicated to film and digital medium format photography. He is also a host of the “BEYOND THE BREAK” photography radio podcast and contributes to numerous online and print media.
Olaf spends most of his time writing and photographing in the field, usually exploring the side streets in big cities and less-travelled roads. He is a sought-after speaker and educator, leading photography workshops around the world. He is 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.
WHAT OTHERS SAY:
“A true visual poet” – Sid, podcaster
Olaf posesses that rare ability to truly observe that which the rest of us can only see – Spencer Wynn, Fujifilm X-Photographer
“I’ve seen Olaf at work, and it is poetry” – Peter Faris, workshop participant
“Real Artistic Visionary” – Tomash, a founder of FujiLove
“Olaf’s stunning photography is a visual gift to the world” – Patrick, a founder of Fujirumors.com
“A unique eye for superbly creative and aesthetically pleasing images” – Iain Palmer, a founder of 53mm
“Olaf’s photos always surprise with their dramatic contrasts, reduction of elements to powerful geometric shapes and the placement of colour where it matters. All this, despite his wicked sense of humour.” – Sally Jennings, a writer and editor
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.