Friday, March 29, 2019

That Does NOT Make It... OK!

Always thought Schiff somewhat of a whiner, even if he was consistently on the right correct side of things. So it's great to see him finally grow a pair and say what has to be said: loud, clear, unapologetically, while looking these lowlife suck up sycophants* straight-in-the-eye!

This is what needs to be said... how it needs to be said- just more often; as often, and as loudly as tRUMP repeats the LIE!!!


*Little boy Nunes doesn't look all that happy there- does he?

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Life With Bernie

I attended Bernie Sander's rally in SF this weekend. I hoped to get some decent shots, but honestly, I didn't expect much. And I was right. I don't so much document actual events, as much as try to get shots of the outliers. And Bernie attracts: the very rational, civilized and well behaved; you want colorful, visual whackos... go to a Trump rally (not much of a chance in San Francisco). 

Not sure if I'm all in with the superhero shot below, hoping it grows on me, but I do love that left foot. There was this comedian/performance artist walking about in a full length mink coat and a handlebar moustache complete with an attendant entourage of two photographers/videographers and two black suited "secret service agents," complete with shades, coiled ear pieces and protective hand gestures- they really had it down. He was going about introducing himself to anyone who would listen as "a Russian strongman oligarch" complete with mandatory central casting Russian accent. Got a few decent doc shots, but nothing, unfortunately, that stands on its own.

Photo: © Stan Banos

Bernie's not the greatest or even most inspiring orator- but unlike many another Dem candidate, he doesn't say we should do something, or that we really need to do something; he comes out and says it- we ARE going to do this, and this, and this! He really does check all the boxes (eg- health care, climate change, education, etc).

That said, he needs to FORCEFULLY and REPEATEDLY explain, reiterate and explain anew what Democratic Socialism is, and how we will (and already do) ALL profit from it. And he needs to do it over, and over, and over again. Normalize it, take the sting outta it! He needs to repeat The Truth to the American people as much as Trump repeats the lie- more so!!! He didn't do it enough last year, and if he doesn't do it this year- Trump will make a quick meal of him with the Socialist fear mongering he's already battering Warren with...

I'd like Bernie to be the Dem candidate, but I'll back whoever has the MOJO to beat Trump in 2020- yeah, even Biden!

Saturday, March 23, 2019


Photo: © Stan Banos

Been saving this photo for quite some time now, admittedly to herald the absolute and unequivocal Robert Mueller slam dunk concerning one Donald J. Trump. I am writing this on Saturday, before any of the report has been made public, other than that there are no further indictments- which in turn has fueled speculation that the report has no hardcore evidence substantiating criminal activity concerning our current POTUS. And perhaps as early as tomorrow, we will, in fact, know the substance of his report...

A life long Republican who Trump insists on calling "a Democrat," I don't see Robert Mueller, a man duly noted for doing seriously important work in a seriously impressive manner, as the guy who knowingly goes down in history as the chump who investigated someone for 22 months (with a hand picked, crack team of the sharpest prosecutors and investigators in the world), someone whose entire career has been bathed in criminality from the jump- and coming outta this shrugging his shoulders and saying, "I tried."  

For the last coupla years, we have repeatedly been subjected to someone who has lied, denied, fabricated and obscured his way through self imposed behavior and consequences that would have taken down the most honest and forthright of men. Let's give credit where credit is due... Donald J. Trump is the greatest con man many a generation has ever seen- full stop! He has done it through sheer force of will, and as with any and all con men- we have emboldened and allowed him to do it.

I don't know what the next few hours, days, weeks will reveal, conclusively. But I do know that Mr. Mueller, despite all his tenacity and expertise, was handcuffed in what he could actively pursue in this investigation (unlike Ken Starr). Wisely, he bequeathed what he uncovered in those areas to the jurisdiction of New York State, and that may be he his final and most redeeming legacy- having Donald J Trump found guilty in his hometown, where it all started, and where it will all end...

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

A Few Good Books and Photographers...

Two come courtesy of Photo-Eye Bookstore, another through Lens of The NY Times and one from Photograph. Jeff Mermelstein should be a familiar name, known for his street photography well before the term degraded into a video meme. The great photographers show us everyday things and occurrences in ways we haven't seen before, and that's exactly what Mermelstein's ARENA does- and at his age (as with Friedlander), it gives one hope to continue to see things anew and not rely on the usual tried and (truly over)done...
Photo: Jeff Marmelstein

Meanwhile, Ute and Werner Mahler provide an intimate and reflective look into small town life in Germany through their combination of portraits and environmental scenarios. This is the depth, power and poetry that B&W photos can impart when documenting a certain time, place, and the people within it.

Photo: Ute and Werner Mahler

Bruce Polin has received a lot of well earned accolades recently as he reminds us of the visual power and emotion that is still, and perhaps only, possible with the quality and technique of the view camera. His simple, direct portraits, devoid of artifice provide what is nowadays an other worldly intimacy made courtesy of photography's now oft neglected large format legacy.

Photo: Bruce Polin

Finally, there's John Lehr's Island Position. So many times, things catch our eye and we don't quite know how to make the best of it, how to frame it most effectively, how to draw the pure essence out and exclude the noise and chaff. So many of us have seen these very exact scenes, some of us have even bothered to take the occasional photo, and upon review- a boring storefront snapshot like a thousand million others, "Why did I even bother?" Well, John Lehr did- only he was able to transform your boring snapshot, my boring snapshot, into the the colorful, geometric dynamos that make up The Island Position. Brilliant! 

Which brings us full circle- showing the mundane in exciting, innovative ways...

Photo: John Lehr

Monday, March 18, 2019

The Street Photography Blues

I was contently perusing the high ground on You Tube (hey, I don't got cable), bouncing from: Robot Chicken, to Idiots at Work, to Russian Car Crashes, steroid addled body builders (M&F) and the requisite alien abductions when all of a sudden, I'm surrounded by a plethora of "Street Photography" videos by these hipster "photographers" of every possible persuasion and denomination. And they're all offering their personal, expert tips and advice based on what must be multiple w-e-e-k-s of actual hands on experience! And they do this while simultaneously mugging for the video- often in tandem with their street photo friends as they crack "jokes" and shove their cameras in people faces.

What passes for light hearted attempts at humor and frivolity is really enlightening us all as to how they "work the street" using their favorite camera kits and settings while spouting their favored photo philosophies and holding us captive to when they divulge their favorite software editing presets and workflow!

Of course, the real laughs are when you see the photos themselves- genuine replicas of mediocrities from decades past with well exposed shots highlighting and punctuating yet another super successful episode in their "professional" street shooting career; a career you get to learn from first hand- and please Click, Like and Follow...

Why let your photos do the talking when you can say it all on video...

I remember when I first viewed one of these street photo, life style videos of the hip and clueless a coupla years ago as the person in question paraded down a sidewalk, wrap-around shades and camera in hand (the serious, pro photo, shooting combo) with this shit eating grin that just begged to be smacked off his face ASAP. I thought that would be the end of such foolishness- instead, it has seemingly spawned an entire generation.*

There's one guy currently on Petapixel who's become a featured writer every week for a coupla months now. He kinda admitted being new to the game, not that that's in any way going to dissuade him from bequeathing us the keen insights he's thus far amassed. Now that's not to say there's anything wrong with a newbie (or anyone else) sharing their growth and experiences with whomever interested- I stand readily accused! But... it's a whole 'nother to actually monetize that experience of relative ignorance and inquiry into a pay to play workshop enterprise of supposed insight and education!

*Anyone know whatever happened to the guy who would jump outta doorways to photograph shocked passerby? At least he was "original," not to mention... amusing.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Why Repubs FEAR AOC

Ever wondered why Republican heads EXPLODE anytime AOC does so much as... Breathe? Sharp as a whip, White Repubs are absolutely incensed that they are forced to deal with this Latina as an actual equal rather than a hot, brown chambermaid they would consider worthy of propositioning, or worse...


Friday, March 15, 2019

Music A Go-Go!!!

This guy ROCKS! And as good as the horns are- make sure you listen carefully (very carefully) to the lyrics- because they're complete... gibberish! Nonsense syllables he manufactured to sound like American "English!" And damn good job he does of it- question being, who would have noticed?

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

75 And... STOP.

Actually, if (BIG if) all goes well, mediocre, as well as can possibly be expected, maybe 80- TOPS, then... pull the plug. Fast! Especially when you consider that Alzheimer's is going to TRIPLE by 2050. Like this author, my fear is not living long enough, it's... living too long- way past one's usefulness and general well being (was gonna throw in "happiness," but surely, you jest). People tell me I look pretty good for my age, and even if true, I know I'm slowly "dying" the proverbial death by a thousand cuts- that's what aging is, you don't: move as well, think as well, do anything as well... one-little-crack-in-the-wall-at-a-time. Until.

The author, however, goes on to state:

I have actively opposed legalizing euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide. People who want to die in one of these ways tend to suffer not from unremitting pain but from depression, hopelessness, and fear of losing their dignity and control.

Speak for yourself, bub. People deserve the right to make that decision for themselves, PERIOD- whether in abject pain, desperation or both, particularly at such an advanced age! Curiously, he never does address what his plan of action is if he does manage to survive past 75 in a seriously debilitated state. And I'm not even going to get into how vastly diminishing resources are going to come into play once Climate Change goes Full Frontal!

Me? I'm for keeping all options open- we'll see when and if we get there...

Monday, March 11, 2019

Resurrection City- Jill Freedman

Photo: Jill Freedman

One of the first bodies of work that "inspired" me to take up a camera. Damn good then, arguably even better now, if only for its historical value. Isn't that what photography is for? And her photographs most definitely do the event justice. 

Then there's: Street Cops, Circus Days, Firehouse, etc... Jill Freedman, one of the truly undervalued (and fortunately not forgotten) photographic treasures of days gone by...

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Sins Are Invisible

I really like this book, these images, this body of work; yeah, that's pretty much it... I-like-'em.

Awright, awright, I like 'em cause they're: square- kinda perfect little beings unto themselves; minimalist- don't have to answer to no one; different- never did anything like 'em, ever. That's right... and not one dick in any of 'em, so there!

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Last Dying Breath...

Not yet quite there in age- but certainly in anticipation! And if Mueller doesn't get the job quite done... Letitia James will!

My biggest concern is--- will "Hamberder Man" live long enough to see justice done?!

Monday, March 4, 2019

Life Framer- BS Supreme

Last year, as previously noted, I entered several competitions in my quest to get some work shown. Didn't win a damn thing, of course, but I did get this email out of the blue on 7/16/18 from Amaury Antoine, one of the co-founders of Life Framer saying that he likes my work and would like to feature it in their online gallery. I had entered a few of their competitions, came up empty handed each time, so this was a nice consolation prize.

As you can see below, he informs me it might take as long as a month- to which I reply, "No worries- and thanks again..." I figure even if it takes 2-3-4 months ... what the hell, still better than nothin'!

Meanwhile, every coupla months I get updates from the site of who's added- I ain't nowhere to be seen. And as 2019 rolls round, I've pretty much kissed it off.  But on 2/26/19, after I get the latest update (again w/o my name on it), the alarm bell goes off unexpectedly LOUD in my internal Enough IS Enough, Time To Call BullShit Alarm! I send him a Whassup email. Nothin'. On 2/27/19, I wave my arms again- Anyone home? Nothin' X2!

On 2/28/19, well over a half year later, I sent the email farthest down.* It's one thing not to be selected in a competition- ya deal with it. It's quite another thing altogether to have someone pop outta the ether, say they're gonna do something for ya, then crawl back into said ether without doing shit... That takes a special kind of lowlife asshole altogether.

Jul 16, 2018 at 8:33 AM

Dear Stan,
Long time no speak.... 

I think the photos of yours attached here: xxx  are fantastic and we would love to showcase it (you can upload up to 20 images).
I’d like to invite you to create a Life Framer Profile to display this series, which we can then share on our Collection and across our social media channels. The aim of this is not to replace or duplicate photographers’ online portfolio websites, but rather as an additional tool for each artist to celebrate individual series. All entrants can create their page themselves, and we feature our favourites on our Collection.
If you’d like to share your work in this way, please create your Profile (you can do this from your ‘my LF’ page and it should be self-explanatory, but just let me know if not). Once you have done so, please let me know and we will import it to the Collection too.
Best wishes,

Jul 17, 2018 at 3:29 AM

Wonderful! I am a big fan of your work.
Someone from the team will get in touch with you when it goes live... it might take up to a month as we have quite few inclusion lined up ahead of us already.

Jul 17, 2018 at 10:38 AM
No worries- and thanks again...

Feb 28 at 9:26 AM*
I take it you're either comatose, being held captive by an international terrorist cell, or just plain brain dead. At this point, I'm leaning towards the latter, and... my condolences.

Otherwise, it would've been a rather simple matter to just man up, own it- and at least try to make right the situation.  


Friday, March 1, 2019


Never (ever) thought anyone could top a Hal 9000 when it came to "Daisy." 
But damn this is GOOD!!!