Friday, August 30, 2013

Photoville Mania!

There's so much happening there this Sept, it really does boggle the mind; know where I'd go if I was back home... The other thing about it- it seems to have quite a few activities genuinely meant to draw in the public at large, not just the names and trust funds.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Wonderful World Of Color

Photo: Monika Merva

I once only half jokingly referred to this as the greatest color photo ever made. I think this one by Monika Merva gives it a good run for the money- can't stop looking at it!

Monday, August 26, 2013

"The Future Of Street Photography?"

I don't particularly get a rise outta raggin' on people- unless of course, they are truly, unquestionably evil. Otherwise, if ya have nothing good to say... Anyway, with all the attention (and money) that Brandon Stanton and his HONY project have accumulated, I hardly think my humble observations will incur any negative repercussions on his fame and fortune.

I’m like... happy for the guy, and I really wish him well. He's living the dream and he seems like a genuinely OK guy- more than OK! But I honestly just can’t get all that excited about... his work. It just strikes me as bland, commercial pap, which is in no small way why it is so readily accepted and celebrated. And I’ve seen too many photographers with way more unique and creative styles and visions that don’t get anywhere near this attention.

Yeah, I know- that’s life. And there's no accounting for taste. Like I said, I really wish him well. Very positive stuff (truly), and Lord knows we do need more of that. Having a photographer that makes people feel good on the street can't be all bad- and could be exactly what's needed in these security first, privacy challenged times we're living!

But, “The Future Of Street Photography?” I sure hope not… Hey, he's still young. Maybe, just maybe, at some point he'll start putting together something that goes beyond happy shots, beyond a mere Facebook celebration...

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Saturday, August 24, 2013


This is only up for the week (word to the wise).... Before you automatically ridicule it, listen to the whole segment, then come up with a plausible explanation that fits the actual evidence- instead of ramming the same square peg down the same round hole...

Friday, August 23, 2013

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

In Xanadu

Photos: Matt Slaby

Drug addiction, its causes, and effects have been a steady source of photographic exploration. I don't find this series by Matt Slaby as compelling as it should be (and probably is), and I tend to love diptychs such as these that incorporate self narratives. But in this case I find myself wanting more than what seems just a quick one-two combination. And I strongly suspect (as alluded to several times previously) that what is actually missing is no less than the power that the photos themselves can invoke in the viewer, particularly from what seem like very evocative portraits- unfortunately reduced to the size of near postage stamps in this online presentation. In other words, can't rightly judge what I can't rightly see...

Monday, August 19, 2013


When I finally get around to publishing the all inclusive retrospective tome, the grand culmination of a lifetime's work-
This will be the photograph at the beginning...

Photo: Stan Banos

 Photo: Stan Banos

And this'll pretty much wrap it up towards the end.

Yes, it's the same signpost front and back, and yeah, I spent enough time standing around waiting for the opportune moment(s) like some fool, or pervert... 
or guy without a dog.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Martin Manley

Why would anyone who could actually afford retirement these days kill themselves? Got me, nevertheless, I'm more than willing to give the now deceased his proper... props. Obviously, many will be quick to condemn, but this falls squarely in my official "it's not for me to judge" category- and if anything, I am just a tad too judgemental. It is curious however how many people will go out of their way to label him cowardly and inconsiderate, while not registering their righteous indignation on this truly inconsiderate (and unfortunate) guy. Not that it would serve any purpose whatsoever to judge either...

I guess I just find it odd that someone who wanted to end his life in such a 'responsible' manner gets such abuse- not to mention the desperate, artificial lengths that people will endure (or inflict on others) to stay alive at any cost. I get the sneaking suspicion that a lot of people who go on endlessly about preparing for the glory and wonder of the afterlife,* are really trying to talk themselves into believing in its actual existence...or trying to keep your attention from seeing what they're doing in this one.

Anyway, it is especially sad that "those concerned" have already seen fit to edit his final testimony.

*FWIW, I do believe in an afterlife- sans the celestial clouds and choirs, etc...

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Fate Finally Annoints Me!!!

The one man show long denied? The dreamed of mid life crisis retrospective? Acceptance into a private collection?


More like some bird finally shat upside my head. Yeah. The inevitable. On my bike. Heard a splat. Thought a twig from a branch had permeated the holes in my helmet- but there were no trees in sight. My middle aged head was bequeathed with what for all practical purposes looked exactly like mustard- though I dared not taste it. Fortunately, I had a few tissues on hand to wipe it off (one of the few advantages of having a shaved head).

And all I could think as I wiped was--- What short humorous anecdote of interest would I tell the audience if I was on Jeopardy! when Alex Trebek interviews you after commercial break???

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Like It Is...

Photo: S. Banos

Remember when the US would look down on banana republics for their overt political corruption and incompetency? And when you're young (or ignorant), you just figure those people are just incapable of anything better- often ignoring the fact that those are the very same institutions we would so often prop up and maintain to our benefit. Well, it seems we got so good at it, we pretty much established one right here at home...             -Update.    --X2.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Morgan Cowles Archive Party!

All Photos Courtesy The Morgan Cowles Archive*

The Morgan Cowles Archive

Honestly, have no idea how I wondered unto the Morgan Cowles Archive and The Center for Land Use Interpretation, but sure glad I did- despite the infuriating lack of captions that accompany their photos. These ain't "art" photos per se (more your vernacular blend), but many are pretty much just that save perhaps for the slightest difference in angle or lens selection, others still just downright funny. This collection is filled with the roadside sideshows that make a successful road trip both rewarding and memorable going to and coming from whatever main event you have had in mind (particularly when the latter just doesn't add up as is sometimes the case).

Just looking at these gets me plenty jealous and riled up to rush out, grab a rental with the Nikon, wife and Tri-X, and leave the rest behind (before global warming floods us into 100 mi squares of never ending conflict)! Haven't done that in too long a while... 

In the meantime, I'll just have to content myself with some quality time perusing these at leisure- and guessin' where the hell they were taken. 

UPDATE: The good people at CLUI were kind enough to direct me to their Database where you can access the photo locations- Thanks Guys (it'll due till the intern writes up the captions)!

* Haven't seen too many photos lately of a 'lynching' that could make me smile.
The Morgan Cowles Archive

The Morgan Cowles Archive

Monday, August 12, 2013

Cure For Cancer!?!

Well, it certainly seems promising to say the very least! But... the question on everyone's mind is, of course- can we make money on it? At least that's what Big Pharma wants to know, otherwise--- what's the freakin' point?!?

Kickstarter anyone?

Sunday, August 11, 2013

American Jurisprudence

A prosecutor can actually withhold and even manufacture evidence against a defendant, have that innocent person convicted and sent to jail (even for a capital offense!)- and still not be held accountable under "the law."    Read it and weep...

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Today's Fun Fact

Don't think this has any direct relevance to still photography (or does it?)- but quite the interesting nonetheless... And if you're not in the habit of reading the quotes* on the left hand side of A Photo Editor- they're well worth the occasional gander.

*like this little gem on the cost of art school

Thursday, August 8, 2013

China Must Be Held Accountable!

11,417 Sharks Are Killed Per Hour.

The Chinese government must be called on its wanton, en masse torture and slaughter of sharks (not even gonna get into how their penchant for ivory is practically guaranteeing the extinction of elephants- within out lifetime). And it has to happen NOW! 

And Steven Speilberg, who delighted in demonizing these animals, should be leading the charge with a few of his multi-millions in trying to save the very animals that made his name, fame and fortune before they're wiped from the face of earth...


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Two For The Road...


As recently alluded to, I spent a happy portion of my brief time in NY this June in the small patch of real estate directly under the Manhattan Bridge in... The Brooklyn Bridge Park. And amid all the almosts, there were two that managed to shine their way home...

Manhattan Bridge   Photos: S. Banos

Sunday, August 4, 2013

The House I Live In

I was reading this (the comments that is- full of the bigotry and hatred of "post racial America") just before I watched the documentary above (one of the best I've ever seen), synchronicity I suppose... Is living in Detroit dangerous? I've never been, but I'd be a fool to think that it in many ways it isn't. And as I've always stated here- yes, people have to take responsibility for their own actions, just as society at large has to take responsibility for the environment it creates. It's easy to point at, ridicule, blame and demean. The symptoms of a disease are visible to everyone, and any fool can come up with their own bogus cause rooted in whatever easy prejudice they believe, that other fools in turn will quickly latch on to. Such were the Dark Ages, whose reasoning extends to this very day. It's a lot harder to go beyond the surface, behind the smoke and mirrors, to methodically pursue and dissect the root causes wherever they lie, right down to the point of origin- that often hit a lot closer to home than people are willing to admit. No one here is free of sin.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Rule Of Law

Storefront gallery in The Tenderloin, SF; Photo: S. Banos

I grew up in a time in the US when you could look up to The Supreme Court and at least hope that they would do right- by law and... mankind.

Those who now make, interpret and enforce the law have effectively co-opted it to their own ends and empowerment- ignored when inconvenient or embarrassing, enforced only when it reinforces those who wield it. Such has always been the case- granted, but its blatantly biased and pernicious application is now impervious to even the most legitimate of challenges. Devoid of any pretense to unite and protect us, it serves mainly to: divide, disempower, alienate, and punish. Once the last resort of the oppressed, it is now the social and economic truncheon that caters to the whims of the elite.

Step off the plantation and you pay the price...