Monday Morning S.O.C (as in stream of consciousness)

laROQUE-SOC-001.jpg

I blame George W. Bush.

We woke up in darkness again, after weeks of sunlight—or at least some form of natural illumination—gently tugging at our circadian rhythms. Bush didn't invent Daylight Saving Time, but he did change the dates on which we do the clock dance for no good reason...and fucked it all up in the process. Legacy is a bitch. So I'm on my third cup of coffee, trying to get my ass in gear; and it's not really working so it's a good thing there's nothing urgent on the agenda. Stuff I should get to? Sure. But the current will need to flow before it happens.

I've got a serious case of G.A.S RE the GFX 50S, probably made worse by the fact that the order is in and I'm now in limbo...waiting for shipment and gushing over photographer Palle Shultz' latest portrait tests with that 63mm. Good. God. They're gorgeous. Most importantly, they confirm what I saw a few weeks back: that hard to define look of medium format images that's all about tone transitions and dynamic range.

Lightroom now supports the camera's raw files but I've heard they're apparently messing it up again, with high ISO noise results that don't represent what the camera can actually produce. I hate Adobe. Last week's update to Lightroom mentioned a fix for the Tone Curve cursor bug which has plagued the app since November. Good bullet point...except it's not fixed. No change at all on my end. But then they did work real hard on that new iPhone HDR capture so...way to go. Never mind how Lightroom is basically in standstill mode in terms of useful advancements to its core functionality: as if there's nothing left to add or refine. I'm talking about making that stupid app work as well as it did a year ago. Too much to ask?

I'm again working in Capture One and—in terms of pure processing—it makes LR look like a toy. Plus, it works gangbusters combined with Fujifilm X Acquire. But GFX support isn't here yet and may not come at all, in spite of what I'd heard. The Adobe curse is apparently eternal and all encompassing. Keep those monthly bills coming guys...love it.

Alright, enough bitching: I've made the cover of Photo Life again :)
The April-May issue features an article I wrote on documercial photography, entitled On Blurry Lines. It also includes the results of the annual photo contest I helped judge just before the holidays—and leafing through the issue I'm quite proud of our final selection. The magazine has loads of beautiful content as always and is out on newsstands right now if you're interested.

Speaking of contests: I'm also judging round 8 of the 12x53 competition held by fiftythreemm.com. It runs through the entire month (March 2017) on their Instagram account. A few tips and more info available here.

artsy3.jpg

Learning, in photography, is as much about seeing images as it is about developing technical skills. I'd even go so far as to say it's probably more important at a certain point. So I tend to retreat into other photographers' works when faced with downtime. I mentioned Koudelka last week, but I've also been revisiting Dan Winters as well as several other anthologies I own. I look at album covers. A few months ago, someone contacted me from Artsy—an art curation and auction platform. They reached out because of an article I'd written a long, LONG time ago on the beautiful and tragically haunting work of Francesca Woodman. So I downloaded their iPad app and discovered an amazing source of visual inspiration: a huge collection of artwork, all free to peruse and browse and lose yourself into. If you're looking to dive into painting, sculpture, photography...I definitely recommend this.

I'm still moved by the poetry of Woodman's images, her ongoing, all too fateful study in apparition—and disappearance. Something like a universe slightly out of reach. And as we stare into the unblinking eye of a March snowstorm, bracing for impact; as we long for warmth to return and colours to bloom again...her dark and unfolding parallel world seems as good as any.

Ok...more coffee.
More explorations.

Out.

Patrick La Roque

laROQUE, 311 Lorncliff, Otterburn Park, Canada