A new exhibition at San Francisco’s RayKo Photo Center celebrates great photography made with the humblest means. Now in its eighth year, RayKo’s juried show of photographs made with cheap, plastic analogue cameras showcases images that are surprising, interesting and often possessed of a depth that belies the simple tools used to create them.
While countless photographers invest hundreds, sometimes tens of thousands of dollars in the latest digital cameras and smartphones in an effort to make better images, a sizable subset of photographers use inexpensive cameras, rolls of film and photographic prints in the same pursuit.
“Each year we receive thousands of entries and this year was yet another challenge to select only a fraction of these images,” RayKo noted in a statement about the show.
It’s voguish to view the popularity of plastic cameras, film and other forms of analogue photography as a reaction to digital technology. Analogue practitioners may even set themselves up in opposition to those who prefer to work with the latest gear. Any us-versus-them argument, however, is missing the point: that photography is varied and fascinating and thriving.
RayKo’s Juried Plastic Camera Show opens tonight, and continues until May 3. The Photo Center will also offer a two-week plastic camera class for those interested in going back to the future.