The R-A-I-N project update

The R-A-I-N project update

We’ve been working on our R-A-I-N project for more than a year. There is no question that it has been one of the most challenging projects we’ve ever worked on – for several reasons. Luckily, there’s no shortage of rain in Vancouver!

First, spending hours outside in the pouring rain when it’s cold and windy is not the savviest choice for any reasonable human being. Fortunately, I am far from being reasonable. Not only did I often get soaked but my camera gear received a beating too. I must admit that so far, my X-Pro2, XF 50-140mm or XF 23mm F2 are taking the punishment without causing any scenes. I guess weather-sealing works!

Second, rainy days aren’t known for their abundant light. It may surprise you but there is an advantage to working in such dim conditions. Your visual senses are sharpened and you have to find subtle sources of light which are not obvious at first. However, once you find a light source, the effects can be stunning.

Third, the success ratio is extremely low. It takes a lot of time, physical effort and visual exploration to capture an image worthy of your attention. I sometimes spend two or three hours in the pouring rain and come back with nothing or a card full of visual scrap (which usually goes straight to the junkyard – I don’t keep images for later). At times, it’s discouraging and hard on your psyche.

Nevertheless, R-A-I-N and its ability to produce unusual lighting scenarios can provide stunning visuals. They are subtler and less in-your-face but once you uncover them, the results surprise. I never thought that soggy, wet, dark RAINY days could hide so many striking visuals. The R-A-I-N project continues…

Here are our latest images, shot mostly with the X-Pro2 and XF 50-140mm F2.8 WR lens. Fujifilm Classic Chrome, Velvia and ACROS film simulations.

Next time we may go BIG on some ideas or just HEAD off to get some TACOs. Get it? If not, watch this space for a special write-up. Hey, you may even like it!        

 

2017 © Olafphoto. All rights reserved.

 

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.

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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.

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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.

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next time…

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

Rainy Date (with the Fuji X-Pro1 and X100S)

If you live in Vancouver, you have to embrace rain as part of daily life. In fact, the winter months are usually associated with non-stop rain, sometimes for weeks. Such generosity in terms of wet weather could be viewed as a nightmare for a photographer … or it could be a great opportunity to challenge your photographic vision.

In fact, Kasia and I promised ourselves that this year we would try to see differently and reach for hard and uncomfortable. As a result, last Saturday while drinking our early morning coffee and looking at the droplets of rain on our window, we decided to have a photographic date with rain. Here are a few images from our rainy rendezvous.

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