Sunday, May 31, 2015

"We Need To See Them...

Army Spc. Jerral Hancock sits for a portrait with his son Julius. It is believed that Hancock was trapped under the wreckage of his Army tank in Iraq for half an hour before he was rescued.
Courtesy of David Jay/Unknown Soldier

And for what? We're all made to feel guilty for not "supporting our boys" once the shit hits the fan- but we're never, ever asked to question why we put them in harm's way to begin with.

There are now countless people in and around Iraq who hate us; perhaps because they had nothing to do with 9/11, and yet had to suffer the revenge and full onslaught of the world's foremost military might. An yet the thousands we killed and maimed there for no good (or sane) reason will never get even this most perfunctory of acknowledgements.

Addendum:  David Guttenfelder also has an amazing essay on the plight of vets w/PTSD who are taking their own lives at home- an alarming 22 suicides each and every day! (via: PetaPixel)

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Been A Swell Ride- FAREWELL, AND PEACE...

I was looking at my website recently, and despite my plethora of art world rejections (as regular readers will attest), couldn't help feel some small sense of accomplishment. It was short lived. This weekend I discovered that much if not all of my 'photographic legacy' had been damaged to some extent by some insidious mold, fungus, whatever. Losing one's original images is every photographer's worst possible nightmare- losing all one's equipment is a cakewalk in comparison. You can never get back yesterday, the year before, let alone any decade previous.

Photography has been my one personal joy (and torment), and my photographs, more than anything, are my... friends. They accompany me throughout life, some go back aways and we know each other well, others, newly formed acquaintances, and we're just starting to have fun. But young or old, new or familiar, we were all family- and I wanted to protect them.

And protect them I did in a small, fireproof safe- but it was my very precautions that would prove my undoing. I 'upgraded' to a modestly priced safe that was not only fireproof, but also supposedly waterproof, complete with rubber linings. It helped put my mind even further at ease- not only would my precious negs not melt into an unrecognizable blob, they also wouldn't suffer water damage form the fireman's hose. I'll never know if those seals would have ever done their job of keeping water out, unfortunately, they were more than capable of keeping moisture in, therefore providing an excellent environment for negative devouring fungus/mold. How's that for some wicked Greek tragedy?

So now I get to wake up every morning for the rest of my life, and the first thing, the very first fuckin' thing to come to mind is- how does losing some of the most important moments in your life for the last forty years feel, Stan? Hhhhmmmm???

People tell me tomorrow is another day, there'll be other pictures to take. They mean well, and yes, there (hopefully) will. But how does one relive and redo the fleeting moments of forty years of youth? When you're about to break that most disgusting of numbers... 30 may be the new 20, 40 may be the new 30, 50 may be the new 40, but 60 is still fucking 60, and it sucks any way you look at it. And yes, I fully realize there are people throughout the world with much greater and much more pressing, real life problems- like... where are they going to eat or sleep at day's end? Granted.

I always strive to turn things around in some positive manner when hit by one of life's seemingly endless supply of pernicious, personal injustices. One of the reasons I feared this one so, is because I full well knew there would be no recourse, no positive spin, no happy face to put on it. Still, deal with it I somehow must- if only for my own sanity.

I took the following day off work (I could barely function), sat down and started cleaning said negatives with Edwal's film cleaner (Isopropyl alcohol) and managed to get through 350 strips of negatives (from 9AM to 1AM)- and that is just the start. I hope to salvage around 60% (maybe more) of my work- the alcohol actually cleans up some of the fungus on the less affected negatives and should cease any further damage; those more heavily damaged can only await some miracle software of the future. After cleaning, my first move, my only move, is to make high resolution files of what remains and go about restoring them as best possible with my admittedly limited skills. Hopefully, I'll be able to salvage enough to ultimately self publish what remains. Point is, that's one helluva load of work that starts now, and ends...


Which means my friend, that Reciprocity Failure has finally come to the end of its run. Perhaps, I'll post something in a fit of rage, or perhaps in a year or two to update my progress; but for all practical purposes- it really has been fun. Thank you, one and all (truly) for dropping by. Keep caring, keep shooting- and best to all...

Monday, May 4, 2015

The Ideal Indian

I have written about the Indian for scientific magazines all my life and I have never seen one, I would like to learn about their life and logic.    -"Indian scholar" in 1905 conversation with Edward Curtis

Sacajawea- unknown sculptor. Wonder what Edward Curtis would've thought- or any American Indian for that matter. Photo: © S. Banos

"The advent of the White man was a pleasant episode in the lives of these savage people," one of the first chroniclers of Seattle said. "Their arms opened to receive them as superior beings, and the lands they possessed were freely offered for their acceptance."

Friday, May 1, 2015

Thug Life!

Photo: Sergei Bachlakov/ZUMA Press/Corbi

Dang! These thugs don't have nothing better to do with their lives than go around starting riots for no good reason! All they know is how to break stuff up, stuff that other people have to work hard for- something they know nothing about!!! What's wrong with those people!?!?