Introducing The Curated Archives

The flip side to writing a blog for any decent amount of time is that, at some point, content gets buried. Sure, there’s a search page and a tag cloud and categories to dig through but in the end —especially for a photo oriented site— all of it tends to lack visual appeal: you’re looking at a bunch of titles or scrolling a long list of posts, chronologically. Time pushes everything down, regardless of value. The other issue is formatting: over the years I switched from Wordpress to Squarespace; then new templates with bigger images, a different signature. It adds up to a disjointed look as you move back into the archived work.

So for a while now I’d been trying to find a solution, a way of unifying past and present. Not to wallow in old stories but just to level the playing field and bring buried content forward, a window into more than simply the newest of the new. Allow things to remain visible. The result is now available and can be found under the Blog heading: I call it The Curated Archives. Think of it as another way of browsing the site.

The main page of The Curated Archives contains two grids giving access to a selection of reviews (going back to the original X100) but also to stories and essays shot with every X-Series camera I’ve used over the years — a maximum of 30 posts per model. Using cameras as the differentiating factor allowed me to keeps things manageable while including material that went all the way back to 2011, which is when the site format really started to take shape (yup, when I got my hands on that X100).

I’m not just linking to existing posts: all images have been re-uploaded at the current resolution, larger and formatted just like they’d been shot yesterday. In some cases I re-processed the work in Lightroom but I did it as an exercise, staying true to the originals.

The selection is pretty extensive but I have, however, omitted two things:
1) Tutorials.
2) The Lutetia series.
Why? Well, in the case of the tutorials I feel they’re showing their age. A lot of these centre around Aperture and while most concepts are transferable to other software, they now seem woefully outdated. I constantly receive emails about this topic and have plans regarding processing articles, but I’m still brainstorming on the shape these will take. As for the Lutetia series: I just think 1EYE, ROAMING does a much better job of it; I spent a lot of time on that material and the original posts now feel like drafts—interesting but not worth revisiting all over again. Of course all of the above content is still available the same way it’s always been; those posts simply don’t appear as part of the selection.

It’s always interesting to go back and look at where we were before. It provides orientation, a sense of the path we’re on. In preparing these archives, I was surprised at times by things I’d forgotten, by certain experiments that could still prove useful in the future. I also couldn’t help but see how our kids have grown up through all of this… The biographical aspect of it is hard to deny.

I’ve set the archives up in a way that will allow me to easily manage content and I must say it feels pretty good:  like I now have an anchor, something to hold it all together instead of pushing stuff away as time passes and life moves on. I’m hoping you’ll see the value in this as well.

I leave you with a few weekend images, all shot with the X-T1 and XF 56mm f/1.2… Gotta let that X100T breathe a little ;)

Patrick La Roque

laROQUE, 311 Lorncliff, Otterburn Park, Canada