Monday, April 30, 2012


As a Puerto Rican, it was both embarrassing and infuriating to see this sellout of humanity allowed an open forum to sell his credo of wanton opportunism and barbarism- especially since he should damn well be aware of how the country he tortured for, tortured his own people...

Saturday, April 28, 2012


Couldn't get online yesterday and, of course, I'm not quite sure what the hell is wrong. At best... it'll be back working tomorrow somehow, someway. At worst, I'll need to get a new computer and get myself that much closer to 5 digit debt- I can already hear AMEX cheering me on! I may be able to put up an occasional short post from work- or not, but until you hear directly that this has been resolved...

So if I seem to drop off the face of the earth for a few days, weeks, or... You damn well know why!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Africa In Fantasy, Myth & Reality

Two very different videos on Africa- one explores those seeking to break narrow minded, Hollywood scripted stereotypes, the other examines those who seek only to indoctrinate and perpetuate the most vile of racist stereotypes. The first arrived via Pete Brook of Prison Photography fame, the other found on Jim Casper's Lens Culture.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Double Blast From The Past

Battery Park, NYC- (Statue of Liberty, 100th Anniv)

Part of my continued and blatantly beleaguered attempt to update my earliest "miniature" jpgs on Flickr... I remember spotting these three incredibly dour faces in the foreground above and lifting my camera upwards, enthralled by the scene in my viewfinder of the continuous, non stop movement of the masses behind them, as if they were the very center piece of some spontaneous, yet highly choreographed dance ensemble. I clicked off two quick exposures, and the second with the guy entering from the left with furrowed brow had everyone hitting their mark on cue.

The one below was taken while I... was studiously scanning the crowd in the background looking for the possible picture opportunity. Turning my gaze downwards momentarily, I noticed little man about to go to town. The only one more surprised than I was the guy staring directly at him. 

Central Park, Gay Pride Rally '78

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Properly Activated

Time always allows one the the luxury of research and revision, I know I've had to examine and reexamine my own positions and biases. Questions regarding racism, colonialism, altruism- all come into question, particularly when concerning a region that few who don't live there could ever possibly understand.

This is one of the more enlightening and well nuanced explanations and breakdowns of the whole Kony 2012/Invisible Children video/movement.* The video did succeed in getting the message out- unfortunately, people often make their financial contribution and... problem over, or better yet- forgotten! Perhaps, more importantly, it has also succeeded in raising many more questions about the nature of activism, particularly when it comes to dealing with "The Dark Continent."  And quick fix Americans would be the last people on earth to initiate any kind of effective, long lasting solution. That would involve patience, diligence- and the willingness to understand how our country's own involvement and interests are intertwined in the affairs of peoples that exist mostly in the caricatures of our own mind and making.

*(the links on p.1 provide further clarity)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Greatest Single Threat to Humanity

September 23, 1979

When I scanned the above negative this weekend, I only knew that it was taken sometime in the latter '70s on what I thought was a previous Earth Day. A little cursory research however revealed it was taken on the date above- and I must say I'm somewhat gobsmacked to discover exactly what I was doing for 1/500 of a second some thirty three years ago when I was all of twenty four years old. Actually, it was an anti-nuke concert/rally (in response to Three Mile Island) celebrated on undeveloped landfill, around what is currently called Nelson A. Rockefeller Park west of Tribeca in NYC.

I was going to comment on the current ecological mess our planet is in, particularly what mass media is not reporting about the BP gulf area fiasco, that is certainly scary enough- until I read the article below which almost makes our current overall ecological peril seem like the proverbial cakewalk. This is the other shoe waiting to drop, dangling over all our heads and making the Sword of Damocles seem like an inoffensive pin prick. Basically, we're talking about the end of the world as we know it, not in song, not metaphorically, but in actual lives lost, unless we're able to do something about it (which we have not been able to thus far)- and there's a 98% chance of this sword falling within... 3 years!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Mark It Down!

Yes, I too had my suspicions! Why was he coming back, and why was he coming back now? Had he made some misguided, underhanded deal with the dark side to come back only if he's named to some Top Ten photo blog listing? Hhhmmm... And there, directly below his blog title, was all the answer I needed...


Yes, the man with red eyes is back in all his dignity and glory, free and unbound from the chains of Facebook to say and do exactly what needs be said and done! Mark Page is once again manning the helm of Manchester Photography. Some manner of sanity and irreverence has therefore been restored across the pond (and I didn't even have to reinstate his link)!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Photo Books In The Night...

What I often find particularly troubling in these digital times is the rapidity with which photographs are currently viewed, appreciated and replaced, like some kind of speed dating service, or wine tasting- immediately spit out once hitting the palette. Particularly ironic since we have supposedly now entered what some are calling the golden era of photography books (both commercial and privately published).

Back in the seventies, photo books were studied and revered as objects that withstood the test of time. Not just mere benchmarks of style, they were unique cultural icons of their particular era- like long playing albums, except rarer, and therefore treasured.

Given today's rapid, transitory viewing of the plethora of images available online, the quality of photography books (in terms of both aesthetics and reproduction) is still remarkably quite high, and in many cases, even better. But they can often pass before us under appreciated, undervalued, and in the case of many independent publications, often unseen by a public already looking beyond to tomorrow's menu offerings. Somehow the very essence of photography has been undermined- the fact that it is a technology raised to an art form that specializes in recording the past for our continued study and enjoyment in the present, and well into the future...

No, I'm not suggesting a return to the Luddite, halcyon days of yore, it's just that sometimes it's not only nice, but necessary to unhook from the technology which not only unites us, but often serves to separate us from seeing and feeling that which we seek to understand. Sometimes (sometimes) things just take... time.

BTW- Speaking of photography books- you can find out about independently published ones at Independent Photo Book, and catch up on the classics at Photo Book Club. And Flak Photo is currently running a photo book discount via photo-eye.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Gotta feel for these guys, lost their dog on a trip into town- these are now posted all over the city.

Sunday, April 15, 2012


Who would have ever guessed that spewing out the fastest, easiest answer that serves your own needs and fears without regard for others would be the one that requires the least amount of thought and effort? Or that that "low effort" thinking mode seems inexorably linked with... Conservatism.

Wow! Kinda makes ya think- or not. Guess the lesson learned here is, if you want want to be a successful Conservative- think small, not too much, or at very best, as little as possible...

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Snitches v Truth Tellers

One of the (many) things that adults have failed to convey and impart adequately unto the younger generation is the difference between a "snitch" and a truth teller, or whistleblower, if you will. What should be obvious (and many are completely oblivious to) is that a snitch is someone who discloses information for personal gain, be it financial, hierarchical, or petty, personal revenge. A person who discloses a truth for the greater good, often at great personal sacrifice, is not someone to be loathed or ostracized, but one to be praised, encouraged- emulated. Of course, it's always hardest teaching that which we ourselves don't practice.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Novacaine and Nikon

Finally- my red dot special!!! Show me any used $500 digital body that looks this hot (doesn't take a bad picture either).

I've had a chronic, festering near ER level of GAS building up over the past several years. The Digital Realm's recent introduction of cameras that actually peak my interest had only exacerbated the situation to near hysterical proportions. Unfortunately, pretty much all of what I so desperately desire (not necessarily need) is prohibitively expensive, and each comes with its own particular drawback. I'd love to have a film Leica M and a couple of cool ass, dime sized lenses- unfortunately, not only (still) expensive, but since I use a 20mm 90% of the time, the viewfinder (in)accuracy and lack of close focusing would eventually drive me bonkers. The Bessa R4M seems a tad unreliable, especially with the overnight $300 price hike a couple of years back. The new Fujifilm X Pro-1 is super hot, even the new D800 seems desirable- except for their price tags. Other recent offerings (as I'm sure more to follow) also come enchantingly close.

But the other day, returning from oral surgery with a head full of Novacaine, I lashed out at the gods in anger and frustration, unsheathed the plastic, and relieved this excruciating agony via eBay and one black Mint Cond. Nikon FM3A. Do I need it, no, can I afford it, no- but at $500 (almost half of what others were asking) I could no longer ignore the siren call of those slinky, low cut curves on that comely all metal body. Lighter than my F100, more robust and reliable than my everyday FG- it will make the perfect travel/vacation companion (for those leisurely European sojourns that... you guessed it-  I have long stopped being able to afford) along with a trusty 16, 20, & 28mm. Digital will just have to wait anew...

Monday, April 9, 2012

Two For One...

Photo: Rineke Dijkstra

The portraits at Rineke Dijkstra's Retrospective at SFMOMA are impressive not only for their size, but for the magnitude of depth and emotion she brings to her portraiture- they're plenty stoic alright, but seething with tension and mystery nonetheless! It's not uncommon for people to exclaim that a certain portrait really succeeds in capturing its subject, somehow revealing the person's true nature or inner workings. Dijkstra's portraiture however, seems to staunchly proclaim that her subject's emotions, feelings and personal attributes are forever hidden behind a bevy of looks, postures and presentations. They may not exactly be all that secure or confident of themselves, but they'll be damned if they're gonna give it up for you...

Photo: Rineke Dijkstra

The most memorable photo I took home with me that night however was the one below from the concurrently running Photography in Mexico exhibit. Well less than half the size of any of RD's photos, and minus any of her sensual color palette- Elsa Medina managed to render harsh reality into one iconic, cinematic tribute that made for one beautifully potent package.

Photo: Elsa Medina

Friday, April 6, 2012

No, It Doesn't...

In answer to question posed on 4/4/12, both in the The Case of Kenneth Chamberlain  (shot dead for having a heart condition), and Howard Morgan (sentenced to 40yrs.- for being shot 28 times)- no, you can't make this up...

Thursday, April 5, 2012

LaToya Ruby Frazier- Beyond The Odds

Yesterday's post and comments reflect how utterly depressing news and numbers can truly be- particularly considering subject matter and history fraught with negative "occurrences." Today we depart the world of the reoccurring, that world of predictably negative consequences- and celebrate the near subatomic world of success from the bowels of today's impoverished landscape. A rarefied world occupied by the very rarest of occupants- the successful, black, female photographer/artist. And one who made her success using and documenting her family and community, and the complex social, political and economic forces that shaped and influenced them.

I mention this now as welcomed relief having just received notice that she will be lecturing here on the Left Coast at CA College of the Arts at 1111 Eighth St, SF on Tues 4/10, 7pm.

Good on you, LaToya Ruby Frazier!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Dressing The Part

Exceptionally well attired San Franciscan gent.

St. Stupid's Day (on April Fool's Day) is yet another excuse for the citizenry of San Francisco to don even sillier costumes than they ordinarily wear during their everyday life. I suppose that's a somewhat cruel thing to say about my adopted hometown, particularly since I'm not exactly the clothes horse myself. But then, I'm hardly the first or only to comment likewise- it's the one sad fact about this town (other than how damn expensive it is)... people (straight or gay), and most sadly women, are absolutely clueless as to any sense of style. It's not unusual to see the latter actually sporting a floral print dress over a pair of jeans- simply inexcusable. Some kind of festering, post hippie vibe I suppose.

Monday, April 2, 2012

The Eugenics PreSchool Institute

Not the official name of the abomination called The Porsafillo PreSchool Academy, but might as well be...

Correction: Joke's on me!!! Guess I was so happy to get past my wife's prank this year, I, errr.... forgot about everyone else's. Gotta admit, it was a goodie--- Thanks, Colin!

Wonder if he's an alumnus?