Olaf Sztaba

The Interview Series: Ten Questions With Olaf Sztaba | Ian MacDonald

Welcome to the first interview in this series, featuring the work of photographers who inspire me.  The impetus for this series came last year when I watched a few artists step on each other to climb the industry ladder.  Honestly, it saddened me as we all have so much we can learn from each other.  This makes us all better, and raises the quality of the art we create and share.   I have been fortunate to have great success in my life in several industries, and my greatest successes have always come as a result of collaboration and networking.  I have learned something from every artist I hope to feature on this site, and if I can share their work with a few new people I’ll count that as a huge win. For this inaugural interview I am featuring the work of Olaf Sztaba, a fellow Vancouver based photographer.  I first found Olaf’s work two years ago, and was immediately caught by the beauty created in his images.  Olaf has a well developed  eye for light and composition.  Look at the image at the top of this post:  The bold light, those clouds, the colours, the composition, that lone tree… there is so much happening in that image……

Source: ianmacdonaldphotography.com
 


Fuji X-T1

Do you love my work and want to support me? If you’re planning on buying camera gear, you can check out above-noted links. Prices remain the same for you, but a small percentage of your purchase value is valued back to me. Thank you!


 

The Majestic Rockies – Connecting with the Landscape |
Olaf Sztaba

There is no place like it. Kasia and I first drove through the Canadian Rockies twenty years ago. I will never forget the impact of these incredible mountain ranges. The sheer size, beauty and toughness of this land gained my respect, absorbed all my senses and provoked a deeply spiritual experience in my inner being. Almost every year since then, Kasia and I have made a pilgrimage to this land of giants. But there is more. We were living in two Canadian cities, Vancouver and Calgary, and the trip through the Rockies became a rite of passage for our family. It has become a road of joy, sorrow and redemption. This road led me to Calgary where I nearly lost my life. Then I travelled through the mountains to a lengthy recovery process here in Vancouver. Through all these years and experiences, Kasia and I connected with this landscape as with no other……..

Source: olafphotoblog.com
 


Fuji X-T1

Do you love my work and want to support me? If you’re planning on buying camera gear, you can check out above-noted links. Prices remain the same for you, but a small percentage of your purchase value is valued back to me. Thank you!


 

A Summary of 2015 and our Favourite Images of the Year |
Olaf Sztaba

As this year comes to an end it is our turn to look back. Although 2014 was a year of transformation, search and renewal, this year could best be described as full-steam ahead. Our way of seeing has evolved and become more demanding. The general appeal of pretty, attractive, colourful and easy has gradually been replaced by unique, creative, emotional, difficult and simplified ways of seeing. As a result, 2015 was a year when the fruit of our 2014 detour ripened and we regained control on our route to seeing. Fortunately, we are not alone on this journey. You used your valuable time to visit our pages, view our imagery and read our essays. What a privilege! We are especially thankful for your commentary and for sharing your stories and experiences. We read them all and enjoyed every contact. There are so many people to thank for your generous support that it is impossible to name everyone. Thank you all. You know whom we are talking about……

Source: olafphotoblog.com
 


Fuji X-T1

Do you love my work and want to support me? If you’re planning on buying camera gear, you can check out above-noted links. Prices remain the same for you, but a small percentage of your purchase value is valued back to me. Thank you!


 

Industrial Landscapes – Part I | Olaf Sztaba

When you specialize in one genre of photography it is easy to get comfortable, box yourself in and become lazy about seeing. Contentment and self-assurance are one of the greatest enemies of a creative photographer. It is especially important for those who specialize in travel and landscape photography. Too often we see the same visuals, themes, places or even exactly the same compositions. An antidote to this frame of mind is to try new things even though they may pose a challenge or cause discomfort. Propelled by this aggressive attitude we decided to explore a different type of landscape – one that would not naturally lure the photographer but might provide a great visual reward. I found working with industrial landscapes a difficult but fascinating challenge…….

Source: olafphotoblog.com
 


Fujifilm Fujinon XF 14mm F2.8

Do you love my work and want to support me? If you’re planning on buying camera gear, you can check out above-noted links. Prices remain the same for you, but a small percentage of your purchase value is valued back to me. Thank you!


 

Winter Imagery with the XF 50-140mm F2.8 | Olaf Sztaba

The first time we worked with the XF 50-140mm F2.8 lens we were impressed with its optics, superb image stabilization and build/weather sealing, but disappointed by its size and weight. As a result, we decided not to add this lens to our bag. After a few weeks we had another an opportunity, this time while travelling to Death Valley, California. Upon returning from this trip we were dazzled by this lens’ rendering, sharpness and, most importantly, ability to cushion camera shake (we were mostly shooting from the hand). Then we had a photo session booked with an attractive couple and decided to do it exclusively with the XF 50-140mm F2.8 lens. We had such a good time and great results – all shooting by hand – that this time we decided to purchase this lens as our only telephoto zoom……….

Source: olafphotoblog.com
 


Fujifilm Fujinon XF50-140mm F2.8

Do you love my work and want to support me? If you’re planning on buying camera gear, you can check out above-noted links. Prices remain the same for you, but a small percentage of your purchase value is valued back to me. Thank you!


 

Which Lenses We Use And When | Olaf Sztaba

It was our first encounter with the original Fuji X100 back in 2011 that triggered a major shift in our approach to photography and prompted our adventure with the X-series cameras. For the last few years we have been shooting exclusively with the X-series. After the X100 it was the X-Pro1, X-E1, X100S/T and finally the X-T1. Of course, there is a plethora of reasons why we like working with Fuji cameras and you will find them all in other articles on this blog. However, it is not just the camera that is our rationale for shooting pictures with Fuji. The main reason is the Fujinon lenses. You can have the best sensor or camera in the world but without high quality lenses all the technological advantages are simply being wasted. To paraphrase a famous election slogan: It’s the lens, stupid! And what lenses they are! Since launching the X-Pro1 and three original XF lenses (XF 18mm F2, 35mm F1.4 and 60mm F2.4) things got even better. Over the last few years Fuji has managed to build a truly impressive lens line-up. There are more than 20 lenses to choose from now, from wide-angle and standard to telephoto. No wonder we receive numerous inquiries about lenses: which lens to buy first, which wide-angle lens to choose, etc? ……..

Source: olafphotoblog.com
 


Fujinon XF Lenses

Do you love my work and want to support me? If you’re planning on buying camera gear, you can check out above-noted links. Prices remain the same for you, but a small percentage of your purchase value is valued back to me. Thank you!


 

Fujinon XF 90mm F2 – First Take and Taken Aback | Olaf Sztaba

Each time we have an encounter with a new Fujinon XF lens, our expectations are high but we hold ourselves back, just in case – don’t want to get too excited. When we got our first Fujinon – the XF 35mm F1.4 – we were really impressed. Then, we added the XF 14mm F2.8 – they really know how to make lenses, we thought! Then the XF 56mm F1.2 arrived and… well, we immediately added it to our bag. So when the letter carrier knocked on the door with a package from Fuji Canada we thought: It’s going to be a really good lens but given our lofty demands there is no way that this new arrival is in the same class as the XF 56mm F1.2. After all, camera companies eventually misfire and produce a substandard glass – we all know that. Boy, was I WRONG! After shooting a few pics around the house I looked at the screen and I couldn’t believe it. Then I uploaded a few JPEGs on my computer and practised all the profanities I knew. How am I going to write a review of such a brilliant lens? Given that in our previous write-ups we showed so much affection for the Fujinon glass, this time the Internet is going to go berserk – I will be called Fuji funboy once again! Then, I went outside and took more shots. This can’t be right! After a few hours of shooting the most difficult things I could think of, I gave up. I couldn’t take it any more. I passed the lens to Kasia and asked her to find a problem with it. It’s not that she hadn’t tried. Quite the opposite! Eventually she came up with: “Shouldn’t the hood be all metal?” We burst out laughing and at this point we knew we were adding this lens to our bag. Come on, bashers, bring it on! The Fuji funboys await you! ……..

Source: olafphotoblog.com
 


Fujifilm Fujinon XF 90mm F2.0

Do you love my work and want to support me? If you’re planning on buying camera gear, you can check out above-noted links. Prices remain the same for you, but a small percentage of your purchase value is valued back to me. Thank you!


 

Death Valley – A Journey to a Visual Mecca | Olaf Sztaba

There is no shortage of stunning places in North America and Kasia and I have hunted out many fantastic landscapes. Despite our travels, no other landscape has made such a profound visual and emotional impact on us as Death Valley. It is a visual Mecca for those who find beauty in remote, strange and rare places. Death Valley is in California’s Mojave Desert. It is the lowest, driest and hottest place in North America. Death Valley holds the highest air temperature ever recorded on earth: 56.7 C. While planning our trip, Death Valley was last on our list (after the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Route 66 and San Francisco). The only reason for that was efficiency and logistics. Since we had never visited Death Valley before, our intention was to soak up the atmosphere and gaze at the landscape. Given that we entered the Death Valley National Park from the east, we stopped by Rhyolite Ghost Town……..

Source: olafphotoblog.com
 


Fuji X100T

Do you love my work and want to support me? If you’re planning on buying camera gear, you can check out above-noted links. Prices remain the same for you, but a small percentage of your purchase value is valued back to me. Thank you!


 

Two (amazing) hours in Monument Valley | Olaf Sztaba

During our recent photography trip south of the border, Monument Valley was not even on our itinerary. One morning we finished photographing the Grand Canyon and planned to head back. However, we knew that Monument Valley – a place that we have been always fascinated with – was only four hours away. We were not sure whether to go there since we would have only one or two hours before it got dark. We are glad we did. Indeed, it is a magical place. When approaching the Navajo Nation Reservation you notice the cluster of huge sandstone buttes, the largest as high as 1,000 ft (300m) above the valley floor. The scenery is so different from what we have ever seen that you have the impression of visiting a different planet. It should be no surprise that a place of such a beauty is one of the most photographed locations in the United States. As a result, it is difficult (especially in two hours) to capture the wonderful imagery. Regardless, equipped with the Fuji X100T and Fuji X-T1 paired with XF 14mm F2.8 and XF 50-140 F2.8 we thoroughly enjoyed photographing Tsé Biiʼ Ndzisgaii (Navajo: The Valley Of The Rocks)……

Source: olafphotoblog.com
 


Fujifilm Fujinon XF 14mm F2.8

Do you love my work and want to support me? If you’re planning on buying camera gear, you can check out above-noted links. Prices remain the same for you, but a small percentage of your purchase value is valued back to me. Thank you!


 

7700 km with the Fuji X-series | Olaf Sztaba

What a trip it was! We covered 7700 kilometres, ventured into the most incredible landscapes in the world and met fascinating people.

We travelled with Fuji X-T1, XF 14mm F2.8, a brand new XF 50-140mm F2.8 OIS and Fuji X100T. We have a lot of material for you, which we have only just started to review. Over the next few weeks we will be sharing with you imagery from this trip including many photos taken with the XF 50-140mm F2.8 along with more thoughts about this lens. We are also working on a full review of the Fuji X100T. Here are some teaser images…..

Source: olafphotoblog.com
 


Fujifilm Fujinon XF 14mm F2.8

Do you love my work and want to support me? If you’re planning on buying camera gear, you can check out above-noted links. Prices remain the same for you, but a small percentage of your purchase value is valued back to me. Thank you!


 

Page 1 to 612345...Last »