A little under two years ago, my friend and photographic rock star Patrick La Roque posted a short essay over on the Kage Collective entitled Rubicon. Although he didn’t explicitly state it, the essay was all about the U.S. midterm elections which happened the day after Patrick’s post.

Here we are, approaching the eve of another historic election, where the stakes could not be higher. Another Rubicon, to be certain.

I typically don’t write about politics, and I’m not going to start now.

When Patrick processed the images to accompany his short essay, he made some deliberate stylistic choices: crushed tones, deep reds in the shadows, enough grain to satisfy your daily fibre intake requirements… a very distinct atmosphere indeed. Beautiful, but not cheerful. Muted, but not dull. A certain unknown lurking in the shadows. Just like those damned U.S. elections.

Later on in 2019, Patrick deconstructed his Rubicon processing method, explaining how he achieved this unique look using Capture One.

This October, Patrick took things one step further, by starting the 1EYE Society, a premium site where he takes his subscribers down the rabbit hole. One of the members-only benefits is a handful of Capture One styles that are available for download, including—you guessed it—Rubicon.

Always keen to try something new, I applied Rubicon on some shots I took throughout October: Ottawa city scenes, things growing in my yard, even some night shots. There is nothing understated about Rubicon. Once you apply it, there’s no turning back. Those images will never look the same again.

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