RAYKO PHOTOGRAPHY EXHIBITION
Features the best images from the worst cameras:
100 photographs from around the world made with fantastic plastic lenses
RayKo’s 5th Annual International Juried Plastic Camera Show
RayKo’s Fifth Annual Plastic Camera Show includes stunning and sometimes surprising images made by the crappy camera-toting winners of this competition (often the cameras themselves are more tape than plastic. Not just being held together with bits of electrical tape and black gaffers tape, but the tape also makes these cheap cameras light tight…not that the light leaks don’t often make the resulting pictures even more interesting). Photographers from all over the Bay Area as well as national and international artists are featured in this dynamic exhibit. Each year we receive thousands of entries and this year was another challenge to select only 100 compelling pieces. Why does the plastic camera continue to be so popular? Is it because the toy camera is a backlash to this digital age of photography? It could be nostalgia for the soft, square pictures with vignetted edges. It could just be nostalgia for film and the latent image- you actually have to wait to see what you shot! Or it could be love of the creak of the cheap plastic dial as you wind it, wondering if it will break off. (Forget the Hipstamatic app, this is the real deal). It could be too that we all missed the simple freedom of making pictures that aren’t perfect, that don’t have to be sharp or real or saturated or taken with a camera that costs thousands of dollars. All you need is $35 (or less) and a roll of film, and you’re in business. After seeing the exhibit, you may be inspired to start shooting one of these beauties yourself. Luckily RayKo is offering a class where you can reconnect with the simple joys of photography and have the ultimate plastic experience. Jeanne Hauser will be teaching a 3-week class on Plastic Cameras starting March 8th, just after the exhibition ends.
Also highlighted in this year’s plastic camera exhibit is the work of Bay Area artist, Robert Holmgren, who’s been our best of show winner in the past for his unique way of seeing this land of ours. He transforms familiar and foreign scenes with his singular vision, his beat-up camera and his special (and secret) printing technique. Come see the magic and experience nostalgia on more than one level. You can fall in love with Holga and Diana* and a world of other lo-tech cameras, like my new favorite, the Sprocket Rocket.
*The Holga and the Diana are plastic medium format cameras that have limited controls, a fixed focal length lens, and, luckily for artists everywhere, each one is unique…
RayKo Photo Center & Gallery is a comprehensive photographic facility, located near the Yerba Buena Arts District, with resources for anyone with a passion for photography. Established in the early 1990’s, RayKo Photo Center has grown to become one of San Francisco’s most beloved photography darkroom spaces; it includes traditional b&w and color labs as well as a state-of-the-art digital department, a professional rental studio, galleries, and the Photographer’s Marketplace – a retail space promoting the work of regional artists. RayKo also has San Francisco’s 1st Art*O*Mat vending machine and a vintage 1947 black & white Auto-Photo Booth.
RayKo Gallery serves to advance public appreciate of photography and create opportunities for regional and national artists to create and present their work. RayKo Gallery offers 1600 square feet of exhibition space and the Photographer’s Marketplace, which supports the work of Bay Area artists, and encourages the collection of artwork by making it accessible to collectors of all levels. The Photographer’s Marketplace offers photography collectors unique and affordable work from artists living and working in the surrounding area.
RayKo Photo Center & Gallery
428 Third Street
San Francisco, CA 94107
Tuesday-Thursday: 10-10 pm
Friday-Sunday: 10-8 pm
*RayKo is located in the SOMA arts district of San Francisco within walking distance of SFMOMA, the Moscone Center, Yerba Buena Gardens, as well as AT&T Ballpark.