Friday odds and ends | April 4, 2014.

Boy, I haven’t done one of these in a long, long while… Chalk it up to a very serious case of winter blues, family matters to deal with and a general condition of fedupism (brand new word due to intense circumstances). I’m looking at you umpteenth provincial elections next Monday… Urgh.

Fortunately, there is light in the blogosphere, stuff to keep us on our toes and inspired in spite of harsher realities. That and I have to admit to an ongoing love affair with my new gear keeping me slightly above water level… Not only the X-T1 but also the 23mm and 56mm lenses I’ve recently added to the kit. Honest to goodness… I’m surprised to be this excited. I mean, the lenses were a given since I’d already had a chance to work with both of them and knew how brilliant they were, but the X-T1 was always more of a rational affair: I enjoyed using it, it performed well, it was next-gen compared to my X-Pro1 and it made sense to have two interchangeable lens bodies to work with. It was an objectively sensible purchase much more than a passionate one; and yet here I am, giddy every single time I pick it up; just as giddy as I first was with the X100. Everything about it works for me and I feel completely connected to it — which leads to essentially forgetting about it and shooting purely on instinct. Instinct is good; instinct is where I want to be. And I don’t want to start a debate on such a subjective and ethereal topic as IQ or rendering but damn it… I go nuts when I see the results of it all. Maybe it’s me, maybe it’s the shiny new stuff placebo effect in full swing, who knows? But whatever it is, it’s working — that’s all that matters.

The great challenge of art is not learning to use the tools of our craft, but learning to say something human with them. The second is learning to be OK with the silence until then.
— David duChemin

David duChemin is a great writer. Yes, he’s also a talented photographer but more often than not it’s his writing that pulls me in — or the one/two punch, which is something I’m obviously partial to. This post entitled Make it Human is a must read. In fact it touches on the very topic that I feel should remain at the center of every single thing we do, this connection to ourselves which holds a capacity to elevate seemingly insignificant moments into so much more. Brilliant stuff.

More brilliant stuff: Toward A New Documentary Expression by Stephen Mayes, former director of VII Photo. This text is so much in line with how I view today’s documentary landscape… Basically, a broadening of the concept of visual storytelling beyond purely factual content. We had a discussion about this article within KAGE, I’ve tweeted it, I’ve flipped it. Yeah, you could say I’m slightly impressed.

Speaking of flippin: if you use Flipboard don't forget you can subscribe to our Kage Collective mag. It's not just about our own work but also a collection of articles and links we find inspiring. No need to use the Flipboard app either: it can also be accessed directly on the web.

My buddy Robert Boyer has been on a rampage these past couple of months: not only is his Atomic Canary project taking off like crazy with workshops galore (if you’re in the Baltimore region check it out) but his blog is turning into some sort of wild, ranting encyclopedia of photographic reflection. His recent series on image quality alone is worth a trip.

Btw we’re thinking of doing a workshop together in Spain… Eventually… Just sayin’. Hey maybe a world tour? ;)

New rumours have again surfaced about a possible move to full frame by Fuji. To be clear: I have no idea if it’s true; I couldn’t tell you if I did mind you but I really don’t (!). But if you’re looking for some interesting thoughts on the subject Jorge Ledesma has a great post on his blog.

I met a Montreal photographer a couple of months ago for coffee — actually he’s french but now calls this city home. His name is Adéral Piot: great guy, talented, great ideas… He’s been working for awhile now on a project with another photographer called Benoit Paillé, something entitled Crossroads of Realities. The project is an exploration of virtual vs “real” realities, using GTAV environments. This is something I toyed with a few years ago on a slightly different level, a sort of mise en abîme, the idea of a camera within a camera. Interesting stuff. The results are now online and also include a documentary shot and written by Adéral. Nicely done.

That's it guys. 
Have a great weekend :)

Patrick La Roque

laROQUE, 311 Lorncliff, Otterburn Park, Canada