Peace, Return and Thoughts in Passing

It's like a fog suddenly lifting. For the past several weeks I'd been doubling down on a new conference due to premiere at the RCPM's annual meeting (a coalition of photo clubs from the south shore of Montreal), which finally took place last night. Many thanks to the organizers and everyone who showed up for a very enjoyable evening.

I take conferences—any speaking engagement really—very seriously. The fact that people are willing to pay, to drive down and listen to you means there's a responsibility there, to not waste their time and to bring something to the table that, hopefully, will resonate and fuel their passion. So I fret over every detail, every word and every single bit of content; I was still tweaking a few minutes before. 

I also tend to retreat pretty deeply inside my own head when I'm in the crunch phase of any project. I basically see and hear nothing else, which can make me a bit hard to live with at times—an unfortunate side effect. But the great thing about stress and adrenaline is the release that comes after—once you've made it through unscathed and realize all the work paid off. So yeah, as I said: fog has lifted.

It's nice to just be sitting down and writing this morning. There's a lot on my plate in the weeks ahead but I'm giving my thoughts a rest. I'm watching that damn snow falling slowly and covering the ground, but I don't care as much as I did yesterday. Time to refuel.

A few weeks ago I had a conversation with reader Imran Hussain through the comment section on the Close to Midnight post. He mentioned how, although he still enjoyed the photography, he didn't visit as much as he used to because most of my posts had become too spare in terms of process and...well, educational content. And strangely, he said this made him feel like I was merely trying to sell Fuji gear—which is the furthest thing from my mind when I post essays. In fact it's the polar opposite of what I'm trying to achieve. I sometimes get tired of the constant focus on gear and to me—although I always mention what I used—essays that are simply about moments in time are a way to get back to what truly matters: the creation of images. Regardless of anything else.

But I also realized he was right. It's easy to forget that a lot of this can still be out of reach, that the technique and thought-process we take for granted once we've assimilated it, still needs to be taught. Chalk it up to a mixture of lack of time and fear of repeating what's already been said. And then, there's also the issue of what I'd like to say and how best to express it so it becomes clear. As I told him in my answer:

"It's also hard to define certain things in writing, namely compositional decisions that mostly stem from instinct. It can be like retro-engineering something you did without thinking—or without ACTIVELY thinking anyway. Which is different."

Bottom line: I took his comment to heart. And while I can't promise anything in terms of deadline, I do plan on bringing back the mechanics of photography to this blog. I don't believe in keeping knowledge to myself.

For now though, I'm going to pour myself another cup of coffee. I'm going to clear my head and lose myself in the beauty of nothing. A few hours anyway.

Until it all comes rushing in. 

I leave you with a few fragments in passing. Shot some weeks ago, between words, sentences and paragraphs. Used Pro Neg Standard on these after discussing it during an online workshop. Simple and neutral.

Have a great weekend guys.

Shot with the X-Pro2 and XF 35mm f/1.4 R

Patrick La Roque

laROQUE, 311 Lorncliff, Otterburn Park, Canada