Location:San Francisco, CA, United States
Since 1991, RayKo Photo Center has provided traditional darkroom rentals and educational resources for photographers. In 2002, construction began in an industrial building at 428 Third Street, and the third incarnation of RayKo was opened in the fall of 2004. Housed in a spacious 16,000 square foot building, RayKo is the largest public photographic community center west of the Mississippi.
Our commitment to traditional photographic arts remains intact with B&W and color darkrooms available for rent. The facility also houses a rental studio, state-of-the-art digital lab, and gallery that features work by emerging and established photographers. Our expansive resources include affordable high-end digital services, wet plate collodion photography, and a darkroom trailer for portable photographic experiences. The diverse educational programs include year-round workshops in historic and contemporary processes, on and off-site tutoring, and a youth education program for schools, libraries, and summer camps. RayKo also has a thriving residency program. Because of our dedication to traditional and digital processes, RayKo provides an invaluable educational resource for numerous regional and national non-profit groups and schools.
RayKo’s goal is to provide a brick and mortar space where photographers have affordable access to a professional lab environment, and to foster artistic and professional development. We serve the full spectrum of photographers, whether it’s a beginner just discovering the magic inherent in photography, to the seasoned pro seeking to produce work or expand their knowledge of this ever-changing field. Our commitment to the photographic community is to celebrate a broad range of photographic techniques and make them accessible to everyone through rentals, services, and workshops.
Our staff comprises a diverse group of working artists whose interests range from mastering the art of traditional darkroom printing, to creating new digital printing processes. We’re constantly working on refining old and new printing techniques, experimenting with alternative processes, and are dedicated to spreading our passion and knowledge throughout the universe.
Why does the plastic camera continue to be so popular? Because they are soft and imperfect and rely a lot on the element of chance? Here are 19 winning images that show how great the results can be.