Introducing: The Process

PROCESS: a sustained phenomenon or one marked by gradual changes through a series of states;

For quite a few years now, I've tried to strike a balance on this blog between technical, personal and visual. It's not always easy—at times I veer too much towards one or the other, depending on how I feel, what I'm going through, shooting at the time etc. But to be honest I've often rebelled, internally, against the how-to side of it. Why? Well, for one I get tired of purely technical pursuits. I get tired of how without why. I'm also afraid of repeating what's already been said by photographers I respect, and to whom I have nothing, zero, nada to add—David Hobby, Joe McNally, Zack Arias...seriously, all the bases have been superbly covered already. If I'm to contribute anything serious, it would need to at least provide a different angle.

I've been promising a book on post-processing for what seems like ages. Questions about this subject come up over and over again, either through comments or via email and I'm always happy to help when I can spare the time. I totally understand the interest around this topic and consider it an integral and very serious part of the photographic workflow. But I've pushed back writing about this due, mostly, to lack of enthusiasm. My own enthusiasm that is. Again, it comes down to finding the proper approach. Last year I finally decided to start working on it... and instead found myself derailed, diving head first into what became These Kings. These Subterraneans—hell of a different ride. I've known—deep down—that a few people were probably disappointed when I released that project, expecting something else entirely.

But as some of you know (thank you btw) TKTS became more than a photo book: music's part of it, and some of the texts are essentially philosophical ramblings on the art of photography, experiences... So I had an "epiphany" regarding the next project: forget processing. Instead, why not talk about the entire process? Philosophy, mechanics, subject, narrative, clarity sliders and focal lengths. All of it. Yes, post-processing as well but as part of something much, much larger that would tie it all together. That got me excited. And given the breadth of the topic, a book didn't really make much sense anymore either—I wanted something open-ended and revisable, something I could add to and modify as a sort of living entity. Like...oh I don't know...a website? Hmm...

Long story short: no more waiting. Today I'm launching The Process, an ongoing series that I'll be publishing through this very blog, dealing with everything mentioned above. Because photography isn't just pixels— it’s an art form, a craft, a science. It's a method of experiencing what surrounds us, making sense of it in a way that also happens to prolong its consciousness. It's a pursuit that has to be about emotion just as much as sharpness. It needs the how while also begging for the why in order to avoid becoming an empty shell. 

The work-in-progress nature of this project means its organization will likely always be in a state of flux. For now, the index is divided between Techniques and Thoughts—rudimentary "chapters" that I've populated with a few relevant posts written over the years. You’ll also find the first article written specifically for The Process: A Film Curve. And to be clear: the new index is there simply as an additional way to browse and gather articles in one place. As you can already see, all articles will still be part of the regular content. This wasn’t obvious at first. I could’ve segregated the entire series to a separate blog—in fact I almost did that—but in the end, keeping these posts together with the rest of the site felt like a logical extension of the core concept: that all of it is one and the same, that everything feeds everything else. 

That The Process is ongoing, holistic and universal. 

Patrick La Roque

laROQUE, 311 Lorncliff, Otterburn Park, Canada