It's no secret one of my favorite photographers is Patrick LaRoque. For lots of reasons - of course a big reason I've had the opportunity to get to know him a bit is of course I love the pictures he makes. Recently I had the honor of providing my nutty 2¢ on a pre-press version of his latest book - 1 Eye Roaming. I thought for a change of pace since the cat's out of the bag and the book is now available for public consumption I would take the opportunity for a brief review and of course just a smidgen of my 2¢.
I will do my best to keep on point here which might be hard given all of the thoughts I shared with Patrick and my familiarity with the book and the concept. So let me get the important part out of the way before I go off on some semi-related tangent.
If you are at all into Patrick's work and even a tad curious about another photographer's process grab the book right now. I find that this first release in what I am assuming will be more to come is an extremely interesting mixture that I've not really seen before. It's not a how to book at all. It's a photo book that has had a lot of care and thought put into the curation, edits, and sequencing. The crazy hard part of any endeavor like this from my perspective. The book is a fantastic book as a stand alone body of photographs uninterrupted with any sort of technical mumbo-jumbo or how-to. It's a fantastic end result of why we all are interested in this photography thing.
The interesting part about this is that at the end of the book there are numerous insights into Patrick's process. Some of that process is about the taking of the photograph. Some of it is about the curation and selection and edit criteria. Lastly there are a few illustrative examples of how Patrick uses his tools to produce the final image output. I haven't really seen anything exactly like this before and I like it a lot (note to self = many ideas to <s>steal</s> borrow).
It's quite a significant departure from the typical how-to book with carelessly chosen illustrations to demonstrate some technical point. It's a serious body of cohesive work that is enjoyable and beautiful in it's own right. Typically you don't see a lot of these that also shares a bit of the photographer's process. I think it's wonderful. It's not just for photographers but the end notes are certainly interesting for photographers. This might just be the best way to do this kind of thing. Real work with a bit of insight. Definitely something that floats my boat as both a consumer that enjoys great photographic work as well as a photographer that is insatiably curious as to other's process.