Former Artist-in-Residence Eric Carroll featured in The Design Observer Group

Eric William Carroll’s work titled, “Plato’s Home Movies,” consists of a long blueprint photogram mural (60 ft. in length), a video projection piece, and a C-print photograph. Challenging the belief that photographs are meant to preserve moments or memories forever, Eric uses early photographic techniques from a time when light sensitive paper was used but the ability to “fix” and archive an image was not yet achieved. His subject is light itself and the ephemeral shadows it creates on the blueprint paper as it falls through trees in the forest. The show will change and fade to white throughout the course of the exhibition allowing the viewer a new experience, and the opportunity for a new memory, each visit.

Check out The Design Observer Group’s featured slideshow on Plato’s Home Movies.

photo: Eric Carroll

photo: Eric Carroll

2012 National Photography Fellowship Competition “Developed Work”- Juror Ann Jastrab

MARCH 30 – APRIL 13, 2012

photo: Christopher Capozziello  “The Distance Between Us #1” -Gelatin Silver Print

photo: Christopher Capozziello

“The Distance Between Us #1” -Gelatin Silver Print


$500 Developed Work Fellowship Recipient

Christopher Capozziello
New Haven, Connecticut

For more information, please visit Midwest Center for Photography.

SF Examiner: “Plastic cameras reveal the cheap and cheerful”

By: Lauren Gallagher | 02/01/12 8:15 PM - 

Special to The SF Examiner


Less is more: “San Fernando Valley,” shot by Thomas Alleman with a Holga camera, is among the images on view in a fun show at RayKo Photo Center.

Never underestimate the power and pleasures of a cheap toy camera. The humble hunks of plastic have a magic, mystery and whimsy that cannot be duplicated, not even by tech-savvy iPhone app impersonators like the Hipstamatic.

RayKo Photo Center’s fifth annual International Juried Plastic Camera Show, on view through March 6, celebrates the versatility of the medium with impressive results.

A white wedding dress rests on a faceless mannequin, posed in a storefront window. Other dresses, hangers and shop miscellany float across the photo like ghosts, with the city street reflected in the glass. Though it looks as if it could be by pioneering early-20th-century photographer Eugene Atget, Jacqueline Walters of San Francisco took the photo with a Holga, a camera invented in the early 1980s.

The Holga and its big sister, the Diana, seem to be the most favored cameras in the show, perhaps because an actual vintage camera is no longer required. Reproductions of these and other plastic toy cameras are widely available, continuing the lineage of their pleasantly fickle results.

Part of the fetishistic appeal of cheaply manufactured cameras lies in the complete uniqueness of each image. No two pictures are alike, and the results are unpredictable. The bare-bones plastic manufacturing is far from airtight, often allowing light to access the pre-developed film.

Read more at the San Francisco Examiner:

Read full article here.

SF Gate “Five Places For Photography Buffs”

1. Rayko Photo Center, San Francisco

Remember the days when you would cram into the mall photo booth with three of your best friends and mug for the camera? Now you can re-create those memories with a trip to Rayko’s 1947 vintage booth. Strike a pose and wait two minutes for your goofy black-and-white portrait shots to appear on RC paper. A $3 token buys you four images. 428 Third St., (415) 495-3773,


SFGate: Exhibitions Skirt Mainstream Via Photo Technology– Kenneth Baker

Feather Lumen” (2008), RA-4 process C-print lumen, by Claudia Wornum.

Feather Lumen” (2008), RA-4 process C-print lumen, by Claudia Wornum.

Kenneth Baker, Chronicle Art Critic, Thursday, July 14, 2011

When the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art hosted a symposium last year titled “Is Photography Over?” I thought it a premature, if not gratuitous, provocation. But several current Bay Area exhibitions have me wondering.

The Haines Gallery’s “Science of Sight: Alternative Photography” assembles work by 13 artists from three continents. Each participant deliberately deviates from the methods, tools and rationales conventional in the photographic mainstream.

RayKo Photo Center has in its gallery “No Mirrors: A Juried Show of Camera-less Photography,” another sampling of work by people both local and international.

Marco Breuer, who also appears in “Science of Sight,” has a solo show at the de Young Museum titled “Line of Sight” that sets photographic works among other light-sensitive objects and things drawn from the museum collections with associative connections to the camera and photographs.

Suddenly artists everywhere seem to be looking for things to do with photographic technology besides shooting pictures.

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The Bold Italic – “Flash Dance” The Photo Booths of SF


Any true photo booth connoisseur needs to take a trip to RayKo Photo Center on 3rd Street. The entryway of the building houses a gorgeous Model 9 booth, which, depending on who you ask is either from 1947 or 1949. Either way, it’s 40 years older than any other booth I came across in the city. It’s so old that it hasn’t even been retrofitted to take dollar bills and you have to give your $3 to the receptionist, who, in turn, hands you a token that she thinks might be made on site by the wild guys who like to work on the old beauty.

Caring for this relic is a real labor of love, and its clear that RayKo is staffed with people who enjoy the job. You can’t get parts for the machine anymore, so someone’s always welding it back together or adding makeshift pieces to keep it running. And it runs great—at least the day I was there. The pictures have a vintage sepia tone to them and this booth captures motion better than any other I found.

Luis Mendoza, a RayKo employee, showed me the inside of the machine. It’s a mess of wires, chemicals, and metal and with this intimidating and potentially dangerous mixture, I began to understand why most of the booths have gone digital. He told me that the chemicals are harsher and less diluted in the booth than a normal photo lab, and that a few months ago, a splash of chemicals almost cost him his sight.

Mendoza puts a token in, and with the door open we watch the process together. At first I worried that seeing the process from the inside would ruin the mystique. That some how knowing that the clicking sounds are the metal arm dunking the strip into the various baths will make a photo booth seem more scientific and less magical. But it only heightened my appreciation of the machine. After all, here is a full photo lab, hidden within a booth small enough to fit in the back of a dive bar.

Read more about S.F.’s photo booths.

SF Gate: “Signs that you are in the Bay Area” – Leah Garchik

– On July 13, the 29th birthday of Shane Bauer, about 100 photographers and friends gathered at RayKo Photo Center for a Free Shane Bauer birthday celebration and fundraiser. Bauer was arrested in Iran two years ago, along with Josh Fattal, and held on charges of espionage. Bauer’s fiancee, Sarah Shourd, was also arrested, but was freed in September. Bauer and Fattal’s trial is set for July 31 in Iraq. RayKo co-director Mia Nakano says a few hundred dollars were raised, for legal fees. But the larger purpose of the evening was to “highlight Shane’s incredible photography” and “to send one more reminder that Shane and Josh have not been forgotten.”

Read more

SFWeekly: Shane Bauer, Bay Area Hiker and Iran Detainee, to Be Honored with Benefit

By: Taylor Friedman Tue., Jul. 12 2011 at 2:10 PM

It’s been almost two years since three Bay Area hikers traveling through the Kurdistan region of Iraq were detained by Iranian officials for allegedly straying across an unmarked border.

Shane Bauer; his fiancee, Sarah Shourd; and Joshua Fattal, all graduates of UC Berkeley, were imprisoned on July 31, 2009, on charges of espionage. Shourd, who was released on bail in 2010 because of poor health, has returned to the United States and is actively lobbying for the others’ release.

On Wednesday, July 13, friends of Bauer will be attending a benefit at San Francisco’s RayKo Photo Center to mark the second birthday he’s spent in captivity and to showcase his work as a photojournalist in the Middle East. Proceeds from food and drink sales will go toward the Free the Hikers campaign.

Shourd will be joined by other guests — including Shon Meckfessel, the “fourth hiker,” who had the good fortune of being bedridden with a cold the day of the hike — to give speeches, show a documentary about the ordeal, and present Bauer’s own film about Darfur rebels.

President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch are among those who have maintained the hikers’ innocence and pressed for their release.

The event is open to the public and begins at 6 p.m.

SFBG: Benefit Wed. 7/13 for Hikers Imprisoned in Iran

07.12.11 – 3:41 pm | Rebecca Bowe |


Shane Bauer, a Bay Area photojournalist, will spend his 29th birthday in Iran’s Evin Prison on July 13.

He has languished in prison along with his close friend, Josh Fattal, ever since they were detained July 31, 2009 while hiking in Iraqi Kurdistan, near the Iranian border. Bauer’s fiancee, Sarah Shourd, was detained with them too, but was released from prison last September after spending 410 days in solitary confinement.

Shourd is joining with friends and supporters of Bauer on July 13 to host a benefit at Rayko Photo Center in San Francisco in support of ongoing efforts to push for Bauer and Fattal’s release.

The event will feature a reception and presentation of Bauer’s work. According to a press advisory, the evening is also being planned to recognize “the contributions of all the photojournalists who put their safety on the line to tell important and overlooked stories.”

Bauer wrote for publications such as The Nation, Mother Jones, and the Christian Science Monitor. A photojournalist who has won multiple awards and had his work published internationally, he’s documented everything from tenant conditions in San Francisco SROs to conflict-ridden regions in Africa and the Middle East. Bauer also wrote an article for the Guardian about an Oakland residence that is famous among East Bay anarchists.

There will be a screening of a new video made about his work, as well as a film Bauer produced with David Martinez documenting a group of armed rebels in Darfur. Speakers at the event will include Kim Komenich, a Pulitzer-Prize winning photographer who supports the Dart Center, an organization that works with journalists who suffer PTSD; Lou Dematteis, a former Reuters staff photographer who was based in Nicaragua during the US-backed Contra War; and Shon Meckfessel, a friend of the trio of hikers who nearly accompanied them on the trek in Iraqi Kurdistan but stayed behind because he was feeling ill, thus escaping captivity in Iran.

In Iran, a trial has been set for Bauer and Fattal on July 31, a full two years after they were taken into custody.

Earlier this month, their families of Bauer and Fattal released a statement calling for an end to the nightmare that began when the young men were first detained.

“Iran knows Shane and Josh are innocent and so does the world, which is watching how the Iranian authorities treat this case very closely,” the statement said. “Shane and Josh are being held without any due process and their mental and physical welfare is in grave danger. Their suffering needs to end now and they should be allowed to return home immediately.”

The event will be held Wednesday, July 13, from 6 to 9 p.m. at Rayko Photo Center, 428 Third Street, S.F. (Presentation starts at 7:15.) For more information, visit,

Original Article can be found here.

SF Weekly: No Mirrors Show

The World Is My Camera

By Keith Bowers


Film is said to be a dying medium, and Christopher Colville took that to heart. He laid out a piece of photo paper and on it he placed a decomposing squid. The only light source was the natural phosphorescence given off by the animal as its body broke down. The result is a bizarre underwater dreamscape in black, blue, and white — like a San Jose Sharks logo on LSD. On several other photo sheets — we’re guessing he wanted to make sure the medium was dead — he put gunpowder and ignited it. The visual results are (literally) an explosion of gray, white, and brown. Through still another piece he shot a bullet. What was he doing? Several variations of cameraless photography for the exhibition “No Mirrors.” Photography without cameras goes back a long way. Dadaist and Surrealist Man Ray was among the early artists to use it by placing ordinary objects in front of chemically treated paper and then exposing it to light. Gallery director Ann Jastrab says she was expecting rudimentary things such as this but got a lot more. [[[TK]]] made what’s called a cyanotype (so named because its chemicals give it a blue hue) by placing a person and some vegetation on a 72-inch piece of photo paper. Jastrab says that even in direct midday sunlight, that was probably a 20-minute exposure, so the model had to be still for that amount of time. The model doesn’t appear to be stationary — in fact she appears to be flying through tree branches. Such surprises occur throughout the exhibit. “People really went for it,” she says. “It’s better than I could ever have imagined.” The squid, however, won’t be around to see it.

PDN’s Benefiting from Portfolio Reviews: How To Stay In Touch

© Christopher Colville  A triptych by Christopher Colville, who landed a show at Rayko Photo Center after a review at Photolucida.

© Christopher Colville
A triptych by Christopher Colville, who landed a show at Rayko Photo Center after a review at Photolucida.

Recently, we talked to experienced portfolio reviewers about the most effective presentation methods and follow-up promos they have seen from photographers they’ve met on the portfolio circuit [See “Right Stuff: Making the Most of the Portfolio Review," PDN July.] Here more reviewers share their stories of photographers who got their attention, and then maintained their connection long after the 20-minute critique is long over. Each had their own opinions, however, about how they prefer to be contacted.

At the end of a review, photographers typically hand over a sample of their work—a promo card, a CD, a small booklet—as a leave-behind the reviewer can take home. Ann Jastrab, gallery director of Rayko Photo Center of San Francisco, tells photographers, “Keep in mind that most of the material we get is hard to bring back because we get so much of it.”

She jokes, “Unfortunately the leave behinds often get left behind” especially if more than a dozen photographers give them booklets, cards and CDs. Her advice to photographers: “Instead, follow up with me a few days or a few weeks later with an eye-catching 4 x 6 postcard that has an iconic image on the front and your contact information on the back. That works best for me.”

Jastrab, a frequent reviewer at Photolucida, Photo Alliance in San Francisco, and Review LA among others, says that the images that really wow her on a mailed card get pinned up on her office wall. It also helps her figure out which images might work together in a group show. For example, Rayko currently has a juried show of camera-less photography on view called “No Mirrors” that features work by nearly 50 artists from around the world. Christopher Colville is one of them.

Read more

SF Gate: ‘No Mirrors,’ Opens June 16


RayKo Photo Center

Zus Stapel shows that you don’t need a camera to make a picture.

You don’t need a camera – film or digital – to capture light and make an image. Such is the premise underlying this exhibition, in which artists find ways to exploit decaying organisms, falling bodies, saliva, explosions and odd artifacts – along with more recognizable media – in the photographic craft.

Reception 6 tonight. Through Aug. 2. 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Tues.-Thurs., 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Fri.-Sun. RayKo Photo Center, 428 Third St., S.F. (415) 495-3773.

- Mary Eisenhart,

Read more:

CNet does Analog: “International Juried Plastic Camera Show”


SAN FRANCISCO–Carolyn LaHorgue might seem like the type of teenager who would embrace digital technology. She designed her own Web site, is a Facebook aficionado, and is planning to study media and communications at New York University this fall.

Yet the 17-year-old, who lives just north of San Francisco, totes around an artifact right out of the 19th century: an analog camera that uses actual film. “It represents the individualist lifestyle,” LaHorgue says.

LaHorgue is not alone. Teenagers are leading a kind of backward transition, leaving digital devices behind, at least temporarily, for technology their grandparents pioneered.

Classic film cameras, such as Holga, Diana, Minolta, and Nikon, are being chosen over smaller-than-your-fist digital point-and-shoots on the theory that it’s cool to struggle with manual aperture settings. Or it’s rebellious to scope out the best lighting for a shot.

A popular clothing chain among teenagers, Urban Outfitters, has picked up on the trend and now offers more than 60 product combinations relating to cameras, which are overwhelmingly film-based.

“Everyone has a fascination with the past,” says Alana Shaw, 18, of San Francisco, who has been accepted at Bard College, adding that her peers “are reverting back to more vintage technologies as a way to express their personal taste.”

Film cameras live on among urban hipsters (photos)

“Digital photography allows for no mistakes by the camera,” Shaw says. “The picture is flawless, and you are the only one to blame for its apparent ugliness. But with film, you never really know what’s going to happen. It’s a surprise every time you develop and print your film. Sometimes there can be weird color granulations, random light splotches or double exposures.”

Though the trend has been building for several years, it’s now hitting its stride. While total sales of film cameras lag behind their digital counterparts, something odd is happening that would have recently been seen as inconceivable: digital camera sales are decreasing, and sales of analog cameras are increasing.

The Photo Marketing Association’s most recent report (PDF) on U.S. camera sales from September 2010 says digital camera sales dropped 2 percent between the summer of 2009 and 2010, perhaps because the market was becoming saturated. Analog camera sales increased from 30 percent to 40 percent during that time, the PMA calculates, with much of the increase coming from instant camera purchases.

A popular iPhone app called Instagram mimics old-school film “flaws” but with the ease of digital. Another iPhone app does the same for videos, making them look like vintage home movies. There’s even an International Juried Plastic Camera Show–analog, of course–now in its fourth year.

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Flavorpill: 4th Annual International Juried Plastic Camera Show


“This exhibit at the respected photo center is composed entirely of images taken on cheap plastic cameras — you know, the kind where light leaks and cloudy lenses are just par for the course. What photographers get in return for showing love to the plastic camera: unpredictable, lo-fi, often hauntingly beautiful images. Just for tonight, put away your Hipstamatic iPhone app and appreciate the real deal of what the plastic camera can do.” 

Bonnie Chan, Flavorpill

Dwell: Rayko’s Plastic Camera Show


If you’re in San Francisco this Friday, stop by RayKo Photo Center for the opening reception of their 4th International Juried Plastic Camera Show—featuring images by 80 different photographers from around the world, including Thomas Alleman, Sam Grant, and Michelle Bates (author of the book “Plastic Cameras: Toying with Creativity”). In this age of Hipstamatic iPhone apps and Photoshop effects, it’s refreshing to see images produced with film and actual analog cameras. The pieces will be on display through April 30th. I myself just receieved one of Lomography’s latest plastic cameras—the Diana Mini En Rose—which I plan on taking out for a spin soon, and sharing on In the meantime, here is some plastic camera inspiration.

By Jaime Gross 
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