Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Matt Eich

Photo: ©Matt Eich

I get weekly emails from Photo-Eye Bookstore and check out their offerings whenever of interest. Sometimes, it's slim pickings- but usually, they have more than I can afford. Last week, Matt Eich's Carry Me Ohio definitely caught my eye; and as I continued to explore his work further, it became obvious why- the man's a master photographer and story teller. Looking at his photographs is like a master class in how to work and photograph the subject matter at hand, delving into the beauty and darkness, the people and their environs, and the complex and all too human relationships and entanglements that help define and obfuscate them all... 

Hope, despair, a great photographic eye and emphatic heart open for all to share, contemplate, and maybe even... motivate.

Friday, May 25, 2018

My Yahoo Commentary!!!

I like reading Yahoo News comments; people ask me why I bother, truth is, I find it relaxingly therapeutic, particularly when they involve a certain dotard- ya know, the guy who said, "I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn't lose any voters." It's a free and easy pathway towards understanding my fellow citizens- think of it as the poor man's Twitter!

I also enjoy leaving the occasional comment. I try to get a general feel for those participating, and then try to respond in kind. For instance, recently there was an article on how the Trump admin is lifting regulations which now restrict the ways and conditions of how one can legally hunt wild animals. And I couldn't help but mirror the infectious enthusiasm...

Yeah- let's slaughter everything in sight!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! MORE GUNS, More Bullets, More Blood, More Death!!! Super MAGA!!!!! NRA FOREVER- TRUMP is GOD made Flesh!!!!!!!!!! 

PS- Hint: For those first starting out- more CAPS and PUNCTUATION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! make one appear both more knowledgeable, and sincere!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, May 21, 2018

Fujifilm vs. Windows 10 Update

Tried to upload files from my XT-1 to Windows Picture Viewer (or whatever it's called) as per usual on my desktop hard drive and they wouldn't open due to... lack of "permission!" HUH!?!? I have to ask permission from my computer, connected to my camera, using my memory card, holding my pictures, that I took!?!?!? Is that how this goes? Really???

This never happened before- but did happen immediately after uploading the latest Windows 10 Update. Managed to get a Windows tech rep on the phone, who went at it for around an hour, and allowed file access only upon my removal and replacement in a card reader. So naturally (as I predicted)... the camera got the blame. Had him replace previous Windows version (after unloading on him mercilessly for all the grief caused), and now things are back to the way they were prior to update- which seems I will have to do without, whatever wondrous, modern wonder of wonders I am now denied. Hopefully, none of you out there will suffer a similar, said fate.

AddendumFujifilm says they have no knowledge of this problem- which is odd, considering if you go online, you can see quite a few links concerning connection problems between various Fujifilm cameras and Windows 10 since the latter's debut in 2015...

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Westward Ho!

Native New Yorker that I am, I always fantasized about the American Southwest; and truth be told, twas one of the major reasons I moved to San Francisco- to have it that much more accessible. And disappoint in large part, it has not! Although gentrifying like every other goddang thing in this world, it still retains much of it's inherent character, from: its  rugged terrain and landscape, to the individual idiosyncrasies of its often sparse but ever growing population. 

Photo: © Ingeborg Gerdes

Ann Jastrab has curated a timely group show called Westward on just that particular parcel of Americana with an impressive array of female photographers. Of these, Ingeborg Gerdes was my personal fave, concentrating on the inherent humor and irony found in many of the most isolated of desert environs- and her B&W silver based prints are things of beauty and nuance (not so evident online) well worth seeing in person. Greta Pratt's work also embraces humor, as well as more serious tones in her portraits of a diversified West that varies in its customs and peoples. Both of these photographers, as well as several others, offer insightful  views into an ethos both well earned and misconstrued...

Photo: © Greta Pratt

Addendum: In the the crowd and hubbub of opening night, the true nature of Donna J. Wan's work completely escaped my notice- and important work it is... Fortunately, I always make a point of returning to shows I really like to prevent just such omissions both large and small- and you got plenty of time to catch this one at San Francisco City Hall, 5/11/18-5/10/19.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

The Dissolution of Good Into Evil

It's both sad and infuriating to see what Aung San Suu Kyi has allowed herself to become, basically- yet another, lying, self promoting politician turning a blind eye to the multitude of atrocities being committed by her military (on the Rohingya people). Women being mutilated, raped and slaughtered; children being thrown into burning homes and then pushed back in should they try to save their own lives. This once, would be heroine of peace and justice is now a most active apologist to the most horrendous crimes against humanity possible...

Monday, May 7, 2018

For The Most Part...

A Bunch of Unposed People © Stan Banos

I like to think I'm a fairly competent photographer at most things: portraiture, street photography, landscape... In other words, I'm a generalist. Then there are those things, like artificial/studio lighting, that I don't necessarily excel at. I'd get considerably better if I simply bothered to practice its technical aspects; I just don't have the burning desire to do so.

But there is one thing, one thing I really, really suck at... REALLY! And that would be... group shots, as in photos in which you are required to individually pose a numerous amount of people. One person, no problemo- it might take me some time, but I'll figure it out. Increase the number (and sometimes even just by one) and the wires simply short out on cue! I mean, I may just get lucky- if I'm really, really... miraculously LUCKY! Otherwise, I'm absolutely clueless! It's both a compositional and human relations endeavor that I am just flat out useless in even contemplating, let alone executing. Fortunately, not being a pro- it's something I really don't have to worry about! And yet, every once in a great while, I feel like somehow the day of reckoning will no doubt arrive and the ugly truth will have out- exposed, humiliated and banished for being the group photo failure that I truly am...

Friday, May 4, 2018


Warning- Spoiler alert...

Photojournalist has days to live, invites estranged son for one last road trip, hilarity ensues... well, not quite. I honestly didn't know what to expect here, most all depictions of photographers on screen have been sadly lacking to say the least. This story line however is not as concerned with depicting a photographer, as it is the life long separation between father and son; and on the latter, it is to be commended. The movie does descend into a classic tearjerker, if only in its closing moments- but to be fair, there's really no other way to go down this road. 

The actual journey leaves little doubt that our aging, dying photographer (on his way to Kansas to personally hand deliver his last rolls of Kodachrome to the very last photo finishing lab that will develop them on their very last day) is not just a little rough and gruff around the edges- the guy's a full fledged, self admitted dick, and goes all out outta his way to prove he's a full fledged dick at that!

It's an uneven film to be sure, where on one hand you can get a rather brief but insightful, "impromptu" speech about the value of analog and photography as a whole, followed by that character's very credible breakdown and deathbed confession- only to have that almost undone by an eye roll inducing scene where fellow photographers/fans of Ed Harris's fictional PJ do their own version of a 21 gun salute by lining up as his body rolls past and pointing their cameras skyward while clicking their shutters- whoever thought up that painfully mawkish scenario should be banned from screen, film and human contact for the remainder of their natural lives... and then some. It made the fictional photographer's nod to... Steve McCurry (of all people), or the limitations of unexposed Kodachrome for that matter, seem inconsequential.

Ohhh... Almost forgot- props for not including the song (yeah, that one).

Wednesday, May 2, 2018