A week's worth


By Patrick La Roque

We barely realize how much stuff we consume on a daily basis. We go through the motions, take out the trash, recycle as much as we can and now compost most of it...but it still just moves constantly, in/out, flowing like a river.

The images below barely scratch the surface. I picked through the recyclables before dumping them in the bin outside. I could’ve added Amazon packages and at least ten times more boxes and wrappers and cans. With five of us sharing the house and the kids growing up, it’s quite an exponential curve. And you can’t help but imagine all of this multiplied across every household, a thousand million times...we ingest and reject at a dizzying pace.

As photographers, this extends to our gear as well: the appeal of the shiny and the new is a siren’s song that’s hard to resist. This is why we made a point this month of shooting all our essays with our oldest camera—well, our oldest digital and usable camera anyway. In my case (and a few of my colleagues as well I think) this was the Fujifilm X100. Back when these were still called Finepix. And you know what? It wasn’t a pleasure to shoot and it quickly highlighted just how far we’d come. Technology really does shift insanely fast and our reflexes and expectations shift along with it. And yet I was profoundly surprised when I loaded the images on my computer: the files from this camera totally stand up, even in 2019; even on a 5K Retina display. In the rush of new features and medium format and ever faster performance I’d forgotten how good this little camera was, despite its flaws.

Images should always spring from who we are, not what we shoot—and yes, we know this in our bones.
But it was damn good to be reminded.