Thank you, Bailey

Thank you, Bailey

When you go on the internet and scroll through the feed you would think that Armageddon is coming. The 24/7 news hyperbole is in full swing and it’s so easy to get caught up in this end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it mentality. Doom and gloom preachers all get their five minutes to spread falsehoods and innuendoes. The demand is massive.

Then I phone my best friend and find out two of his family members are sick, very sick but not with coronavirus. How about going out? As I get my coffee, I watch people leaving the local grocery store with bags full of emergency supplies. It really gets into your head. There is no question that people with a compromised immune system are at risk but wait a minute – I’m one of them!   

I head home. Then I sit down and close my eyes for a few minutes. It all goes quiet. There’s no breaking news, nothing to analyse, share or repost. Then my beloved dog, Bailey, brings me her favourite toy – we call it Monkey. This ripped, slightly dirty piece of material in the shape of a monkey means a lot to my furry friend. Bailey puts it down at my feet and looks into my eyes with incredible excitement as if the world didn’t exist. I can hear her joyful plea: Come on, Olaf, why don’t you throw it for me! This trivial and banal act triggers something incredible – I feel good and alive again. Yes, my furry friend, you are right. This is no time to worry! This is time to throw Monkey. Could this dog be smarter than me? Go figure! 

After playing with Bailey, I reach for my camera, raise it to my eyes and this magical, calming and entrancing act of seeing and arranging elements in the frame convinces me – what a beautiful way of being. Thank you, Bailey, and thank you photography.      

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R-A-I-N with the X-series

R-A-I-N with the X-series

It has been pouring rain, cold and windy – normal weather at this time of the year in Vancouver. Most years this kind of weather would keep us at home, but not this year. For the last twelve months we have been working on a project appropriately called R-A-I-N.

Unfortunately, a few years ago we made the mistake of getting an unusually adorable dog with an uncanny ability to manipulate his owners to pursue his own agenda. On one particularly rainy day our dog convinced me to go for a walk, which I naturally tried to resist. Well, as he had long ago broken down my power of resistance I found I had no choice but to put on my raincoat and venture out to the unfriendly outdoors.


It was on this very day that I noticed something rather strange. Despite the lack of sunshine and its usual powers of jollification, the heavy rain along with a very subtle, almost hidden light, provided quite stunning visuals. The scenes I observed got me intrigued and stimulated my seeing as never before. The next day I grabbed my camera and ventured into the cold, wet and windy world voluntarily, taking the dog too, of course.

This realization made me think. Most people know that Vancouver, British Columbia is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. And most tourists visit Vancouver during the sun-soaked summer months, unaware that the key element of the DNA of this place is R-A-I-N. It is not uncommon to have 20 consecutive days of rain. For those of us that live here, rain has become almost a daily reality. And this reality which, on the surface, could be ugly, grey and uncomfortable, provides some very special visuals. That is exactly what prompted me to start working on this project, helped by my dog.


Of course, taking photos in heavy rain has its challenges but I will write more about this “fun” part in one of our upcoming posts. I will also cover this project from the seeing/technical/preparations perspective on our new platform, which should be launched this year.

While most of the imagery shot for this project is in black and white, today I would like to share with you some imagery in colour. The entire project is being shot with the X-Pro2, XF 35mm F1.4, XF 23mm F2 and on occasion XF 50-140mm F2.8. The X-Pro2, as well as two of the lenses, are weather-sealed which is vital for this wet endeavour. And my dog has a raincoat too.

All Classic Chrome except the last two images.
















next time…



2016 © Kasia & Olaf Sztaba Photography. All rights reserved.