New 2018 “Visual Poet Experience” Workshops Announced

New 2018 “Visual Poet Experience” Workshops Announced

My team and I are very pleased to announce most of the lineup of photography workshops for 2018. We say most because we will most likely add one of the cities in Australia, and San Francisco (end of 2018).

Here is our lineup of “A Visual Poet Experience” photography workshops.

London / March 9 – 11, 2018

Berlin / March 16 -18, 2018

Toronto / June 8 – 19, 2018

New York / June 15 -17, 2018

Vancouver / August 10 -12, 2018

Paris / September 21 – 23, 2018  

A Visual Poet Experience? After receiving amazing feedback from my students over the course of the last few years, I realized that the commonly understood term “Street Photography” doesn’t give justice to what we do at our workshops. Of course, our visual exploration is deeply imbedded in the urban environment and has many of the underpinnings of street photography, but we go way beyond that.

During our workshops, we learn techniques and a design philosophy that not only match each student’s personality but also work in any visual environment. We combine unusual elements to create a STRONG and UNIQUE photographic message. In other words, we learn to craft images by arranging elements within the frame for maximum emotional and visual impact. I want my students to go deeper into their inner-seeing to craft their own stunning visuals.

Those of you who write poetry know that this genre of writing requires “all of you.” To be more specific, you choose words and arrange them in a new and unusual way to craft powerful verse. This analogy applies directly to photography.

Let me tackle another point. Some aspiring (younger and older) photographers say that they are not sure if they are “good enough” to participate in this experience. Let me debunk this nonsense. It is often the case that those who are new to photography make much faster progress in their seeing than those who have been shooting for years. Why? Because they don’t have preconceived ideas of what the final image should be. They are free to explore and experiment. If you are just starting, don’t be afraid – we old timers need you! J   

Having said that, I would like to thank my students and now friends for coming up with this expression, especially Peter from Calgary and Robert from Barcelona. I hadn’t thought about it this way before.     

Today instead of individual imagery, let me share with you a few screenshots from our personal photo books. They are entirely designed and produced by my super-talented wife, Kasia. Next time Kasia and I will share some thoughts about creating and designing photo books.  

Click on every image for a larger view.



2018 © Olafphoto. All rights reserved

Photographic Updates

Photographic Updates


In the last few days the highly distressing news hit us that Bert Stephani’s gear was stolen.

I remember well the early days of the Fujifilm X community when a bunch of weirdos talked about the original X100. Then the X-Pro1 came along with three original lenses. And then there was Bert! He taught us, entertained us and made the community click and prosper. His images, videos, portraits, a project about immigrant families and many others provided us with visuals we all enjoyed and cherished. Over the years, Bert Stephani became one of the faces of the Fuji community and, for many, a personal and/or photographic friend.

Please share the info about his gear, including serial numbers. We must make sure that those who performed this act of intrusion will feel pressured, trapped and nervous, and eventually be caught.



Charlene Winfred and Flemings Bo Jensen, both super-talented photographers and filmmakers, have recently started their own video production company

With a “minimum gear – maximum creativity” philosophy, their talent for visuals, storytelling and great sense of humour (so rare in today’s super serious world of photography), I am totally sold. Here is their latest production.

Make sure to check out a fascinating project by Charlene Winfred called, “In Transit.” Charlene has been working on this project for years, visiting numerous countries and photographing people “in constant motion.” When we all run around taking daily snapshots to share on the internet, the dedication and persistent work on a long-term project is what makes photography worthwhile and articulate. I cannot wait for her book to come out with such rich, multi-year content.



Sonny Nathan recently wrote a great post about photographing at night, which you should check out. I really like his “framing life through creativity” motto.



Starting this month, you will find my monthly column “Simplicity-In-Seeing” where I write about seeing, inspiration and many other topics not always widely covered. The objective of this series is to have an honest and inspiring discussion about photography. If you are not a subscriber yet, please make sure to join. There is nothing like magazine format when you can slow down and indulge in great content. You will find great photographers and thinkers such as Jonas Rask, Charlene Winfield, Jens Krauer, Ian MacDonald and many others. I am especially looking forward to the March issue. Here is the kicker: you won’t find my column in the magazine this March for a very good reason! 🙂



Two spots have opened up for my Berlin Street Photography Workshop, March 16-18. I am so excited to lead a group of photographers and challenge ourselves with crafting great photography in this stunning city. It is especially intriguing due to Germany’s privacy laws, which in general terms almost eliminate the possibility of showing people’s faces on the street. While some may view it as a limitation, it provides a great framework for creative seeing.

I am also thrilled to announce that Kevin Pilz will be assisting me during the workshop and sharing his photographic journey with us. He is a talented photographer from Germany with a great eye for striking compositions.

Make sure to check out his work.

Here are a few stunning images taken by Kevin.

© Kevin Pilz

© Kevin Pilz

© Kevin Pilz

© Kevin Pilz

© Kevin Pilz

© Kevin Pilz

© Kevin Pilz



Last month I started doing monthly conference calls with subscribers of Simplicity-In-Seeing. The idea is to have a live conversation about photography. Participants can share their computer screens and present their own work. Most importantly, we learn from shared imagery together. The next conference call is coming up later this month.



I am considering a visit to Australia to offer a photography workshop. Please let me know if you would be interested in joining me for some creative seeing.



Most of us look for inspiration from the well-known legends of photography. When people list their favourite photographers, the same names often come up. This is great but sometimes we tend to idolize some photographers while ignoring many new innovative voices. One of the most inspiring ways for me to kick in new ideas is to look at the work of new, often very young photographers. They follow their own path, have nothing to prove and nobody to impress. Most importantly, they are not afraid of taking visual risks. I am planning to write an entire post with links to the names you may never have heard of before, whose seeing is unique.


Just one image from me today, The Essence of Barcelona.


2018 © Olafphoto. All rights reserved

New Street Photography Workshops: London and Berlin

New Street Photography Workshops: London and Berlin

London and Berlin – what amazing cities to do street photography, meet passionate people and learn how to see and craft stunning images! I am very excited to invite you to the three-day workshops I have the privilege to lead.

There is no question that there is a plethora of street photography out there – and some truly brilliant work. However, photographing in the city is so much more than the word “street” implies. Although most street photography deals with documenting what’s out there and in plain sight, we want to go beyond that. Our objective is to create imagery which not only challenges your senses but triggers an emotional and visual reaction – whatever it may be. Yes, you are right! Sometimes such work is not easy to consume but one thing is for sure – it will give the viewer pause, trigger emotions and jolt the thought process. To achieve this, we have worked over the course of the last few years to create a program which helps you to do just that.

During these three days, we will discover our inner seeing and challenge ourselves to be different but bold. There will also be some discussions, presentations and technicalities. My objective in the three-day workshops is not to show you how to photograph on the street but teach you methods, provide you with tools and empower you to capture visuals in your own unique way. Ultimately your personality, your life experiences and your inner strengths will guide the seeing.

There are very limited spots available in order to allow the maximum personal interaction, so please book early (see links below).

The Streets of London / March 9 – 11, 2018 

The Streets of Berlin / March 16 – 18, 2018 

Blowing my own horn is not something I like to do so let’s hear what others have to say about yours truly.

“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

 “One of the best street photographers out there” – Mac Sokulski, photographer and podcaster 

“Olaf’s stunning photography is a visual gift to the world” – Patrick, a founder of 

“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

Here are examples of the sort of images we will be crafting:

If you would like to see more of my imagery please visit

Just a sample what workshop participants think about the experience:

 I was extremely resistant to both (street and photography) because it meant I had to ask people for photographs or bypass their permission. Olaf’s teaching let me put the worst of that behind me, even (amazing!) made me enjoy it. The result? The best five days of my photographic life and some of the best images I’ve ever produced. I’ll never be the photographer he is but he shared enough of his knowledge and focus that I came out of the workshop a much better photographer than the guy that went in. – Robert Raisler, California

“Having just completed a workshop with Olaf I can honestly say my photography will never be the same. Much better I am sure. I was new to street photography and I appreciated Olaf’s style of explaining about, then demonstrating all that went into setting up and taking the shot, then showing us the result. That gave me the confidence to venture out on my own for some great people and town shots. His feedback on my shots was extremely helpful.” – Elaine, California

“The video and blog only gave a taste of what it was like to work with Olaf in person. He has a singular devotion to his work, and has acquired expert knowledge of how to capture amazing images. Fortunately, he is incredibly generous in sharing this knowledge. Without knowing Olaf, my biggest fear in taking the workshop (apart from the fear my images might suck) was that he might be a secretive hard-case who dribbled out crumbs of information. The exact opposite was true. Shooting sessions included solid approaches to getting good images, but were also filled with many creative suggestions. I have many more great images from the workshop, and many great memories as well. I highly recommend his workshop to aspiring photographers, and also to experienced photographers seeking inspiration and a unique perspective.” – Peter Faris, Calgary 

 “I want to thank you again for your work as teacher. At the end of first shooting session I was desperate, almost to tears. I felt that I was ridiculously wasting the time of a great photographer in an attempt to learn things that I would never be able to do, even to see. “But we went on, and your presence, the way you shot began to inspire me. Finally, I couldn’t believe I got it. With your vision and work I began to connect with my work. The images I previewed were there, even in ways I had not expected. Yes, I had been able to truly express myself photographically. “I began seeing. Thank you again, Olaf.” – Robert Mañé Velilla, Barcelona




2017 © Olafphoto. All rights reserved.