Heritage Day In Port Moody

Heritage Day In Port Moody

Kasia and I had an opportunity to attend Heritage Day in Port Moody. Below please find a few images from this event.














If you would like to find more info please go to http://portmoodymuseum.org 

All images taken with the Fuji X-Pro2, the XF 35mm F1.4 and XF 56mm F1.2, Classic Chrome (CC) film simulation.  

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

Mystic Port Moody Morning

The September-October period has always been my favourite time for photography. At this time of the year, places are often pillowed by fog, the sun’s rays are much more gentle and… I don’t have to wake up at 4:00 AM to witness a sunrise.

Today, I stopped by Rocky Point Park in Port Moody, British Columbia equipped with my Fuji X-T1 paired with the XF 50-140mm F2.8 lens and the XF 14mm F2.8. 











2015 © Kasia & Olaf Sztaba Photography. All rights reserved.


Summary of 2013 and Top 10 images of the year

While heading to the ballroom on New Year’s Eve, we photographers had a lot of reasons to celebrate: 2013 was a year when many people rediscovered their passion for photography. After years of megapixel wars and an SLR monopoly, last year brought us new tools, which helped to redirect our senses toward image creation and away from technical mumbo-jumbo.

Of course, as many of you know, Kasia and I have been shooting exclusively with the Fuji X-series cameras. Since our first interaction with the game-changing X100, to the later-released Fuji X-Pro1, Fuji X-E1 and Fuji X100S, our way of seeing the world has found its camera match. While looking through our 2013 images we couldn’t have been more pleased. If there are any flaws or imperfections they could all be ascribed to our failure in the process of crafting an image rather than to any gear limitations.

We went through our images and decided to pick our favourites. Here are my top 10 personal favourites:


Lawless House, Fuji X100S, ISO 200, 1/240 sec, F5.6

© osztaba_port_moody_20120929_DSCF6839-Edit

Port Moody Pier, Fuji X-Pro1, XF 18mm F2, ISO 200, 1/40 sec, f/5.6


Man and Dogs, Fuji X100S, ISO 200, 1/900 sec, f/6.4


Shaniko Fire Truck, Fuji X-Pro1, XF 14mm F2.8, ISO 200, 1/350 sec, f/10


Hidden Stairways, Fuji X-Pro1, XF 14mm F2.8, ISO 200, 8.0 sec, f/8


The Shadow, Fuji X100S, ISO 200, 1/150 sec, f/5


Great Flood, Fuji X-Pro1, ISO 200, 1/140 sec, f/4

© osztaba_sun_peaks_20111230_DSCF0062-Edit

Barn, Fuji X100S, ISO 200, 1/500 sec, f/7.1

©osztaba_port_moody_Jan 22 2013_DSCF0195-Edit

Walk In The Park, Fuji X-Pro1, XF 35mm F1.4, ISO 200, 1.5 sec, f/8


Old Mill, Fuji X-Pro1, XF 14mm F2.8, ISO 200, 1/240 sec, f/5.6



Kasia’s top 10 favourites:


Graceful, Fuji X-E1, XF 18-55, ISO 4000, 1/125 sec, f/4


Woman, Fuji X-E1, XF 18-55, ISO 200, 1/110 sec, f/4


Chilling, Fuji X-E1, XF 18-55, ISO 200, 1/125 sec, f/8


Serenity, Fuji X-E1, XF 18-55, ISO 200, 1/350 sec, f/13


Magnificent, X-E1, XF 18-55, ISO 500, 1/125 sec, f/4


Vulnerable, X-E1, XF 18-55, ISO 200, 1/400 sec, f/8


Friends, X-E1, XF 18-55, ISO 320, 1/125 sec, f/3.2


Abandoned Farm, X100S, 23 mm, ISO 200, 1/850 sec, f/9


The Ghost Town, X100S, 23 mm, ISO 200, 1/125 sec, f/2


Shack, X-Pro1, 14 mm, ISO 200, 1/350 sec, f/9

There are many more images that we cherish but somehow these ones struck a chord with us. The greatest lesson we learnt this year was to be prepared, as the best images appear unexpectedly. Therefore, always having a camera with you is the most important step to capture the life of seeing. It doesn’t mean you need to take lots of photographs. Just carry a camera everywhere and teach your senses to be vigilant. This will unleash your creativity and train your eye to catch the unexpected (even if you don’t take a photograph).

For this reason, among many others, Kasia and I decided to name the Fuji X100S our camera of the year. It doesn’t matter whether we are going to the grocery store or a museum, the Fuji X100S is always with us. Its silence, size and lightness mean you are unnoticed and this is something you cannot underestimate. I am not even going to touch on the image quality and lens issues – enough has been said about it.

Our favourite lens of 2013? It must be the XF 14mm F2.8. It’s not only a truly exceptional glass but it covers a focal length that matches our way of seeing (along with the 35mm).

The biggest surprise of 2013? I think I would be the Iridient Developer software. Given early issues with the X-Trans sensor RAW files conversions, this previously unknown company (at least to us), came up with a demosaic formula, which put to shame all other software solutions available.

Despite that, in 2013 we started shooting more and more JPEGs, cutting our processing time and turning our attention to more important pillars of image creation. We will share more of our findings and settings in our upcoming posts.

Websites? It must be Patrick’s Fujirumors and Thomas’ Scoop it. Both provided us with numerous links and rumours about the world of photography.

Plans for 2014? Plenty!

We are already planning several photo trips, including extensive shooting with an upcoming XF 56mm F1.2 lens we have long been waiting for. We are also working on several projects and workshops. We will share with you more details in the upcoming weeks and months. There are many more plans but let us keep some secrets. After all, this is the art of seeing and surprise. Stay tuned.

Final thought. Since we started shooting with the Fuji X100, we have become fans of the X-series system. The philosophy that accompanies the creation of this system, along with the quality and feel of the cameras and superb rendering of the lenses won us over. Despite this well-deserved affection for the X-series, we want to remain 100% independent; therefore, you won’t find any adds on our blog. We want to keep our blog clean, on-topic and free from any outside influence. Image creation and the art of seeing is the only theme of this blog, period.

2014 © Olaf & Kasia Sztaba Photography. All rights reserved.


It’s Still The One

December in Vancouver is usually marked by wet, rainy weather that drags on for weeks. So last Sunday when we got a tip that the sun might appear for a few hours we were eager to grab this rare opportunity.

When we left the house it was still raining but I grabbed my Fuji X100S anyway. As soon as we arrived at Port Moody Rocky Point Park, the weather started to improve. The clouds were breaking up, giving way to the first rays of sunshine. At the same time and very unusually for the time of day, random patches of fog blanketed some areas of the park. What a great opportunity!

We took some family and landscape shots – all with the Fuji X100S.

When we got home, I started looking at the images and it dawned on me that three years after the debut of the Fuji X100/S camera, it’s still the one I enjoy using the most. It is still the camera I grab when I leave the house. It is still the camera that works with me unlike any other camera on the market (see our full review here).

It’s not that I haven’t tried others. For a few days, I brought home the Ricoh GR. Sure it has very good image quality and a great lens but its plastic feel and lack of a viewfinder and dedicated knobs made me long for the Fuji X100S. Then there was the Nikon Coolpix A – a total non-starter for so many reasons I am not going to waste your time. Most recently, I tried an FF Sony with its 35 mm Zeiss lens. Sure, it had great image quality but somehow felt dry and uninspiring (and expensive).  

It is unbelievable that three years after Fuji introduced the X100, no other camera manufacturer has been able to come up with a contender to match the usability, portability, quality and the “joy” factor of the Fuji X100S.

In fact, I have been shooting with the X100S so much that this “One Camera, One Lens” combo has become the natural extension of my sight.

What freedom!











and some from Buntzen Lake




© Olaf Sztaba Photography. All rights reserved.


This is my favourite time of the year for photography (Port Moody with the Fuji X-Pro1)

The September-October period is my favourite time of the year for photography. It is the time when the summer “blue skies” days are over and instead you begin to encounter morning fog, stormy skies and the sun trying to find a space to get through.

Recently, I was driving my son home from his late-afternoon activity. The conditions outside were plain horrible – dull light and never-ending rain (it is Vancouver, after all) – the kind of afternoon when you wished you had stayed home. As we were driving I noticed a sudden clearing from the west accompanied by fog and misty air. I quickly parked near Rocky Point Park in Port Moody and took out my Fuji X-Pro1. As I started walking toward the pier I couldn’t believe my eyes.

The dark rainy clouds had turned into a beautifully coloured mosaic. Fog was flowing above the water and naturally diffused golden rays accompanied the park lanterns, which were just turning on.

In this magical moment I shot about 15 images, each of them without a tripod. In a few minutes it had all disappeared. The openings in the clouds closed and the rain started.

Once again, one of my favourite images was taken unexpectedly. All shots were taken with the Fuji X-Pro1, Fujinon XF 18mm F2 and processed in Lightroom 4. 

You can see the images (20×30 prints on canvas) at the fantastic Port Moody coffee place Caffe Divano, where not only can you have a cup of premium coffee and delicious homemade baking but also see the local art on display. This place is like no other. Make sure to check it out.