Solo Exhibition of Spring ’14 Yefim Cherkis Memorial Scholarship Recipient – Joseph Wang


Joseph Wang’s winning portfolio
On Display in Gallery Obscura October 9 – November 1
Artist Reception on October 15, 5-7pm

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Faculty Spotlight: Prof. Steven Raskin

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To see more photographs visit

How did you become involved in photography? Describe the journey that led you to your current relationship with the medium.

I began making photographs in my mid-twenties, primarily because I had a couple of housemates who had gotten involved and it looked like fun. My earliest work was frankly pretty boring – flowers, family, and fire trucks. I was primarily self taught and moved from color slide film to B&W within a couple of years. Ask me sometime how to improvise a darkroom in a rented bathroom! What also happened at that time was a major change in my life circumstances – an unexpected loss that I considered a “moment of agonizing reappraisal” – when one’s circumstances and the decisions that led to them come into painfully sharp focus. I needed a distraction, I needed answers to fundamental personal questions, and I desperately needed to explore and express myself. I discovered that making photographs could fulfill all of these requirements. I found that photographs could facilitate a conversation that I needed to have with myself, and they became an amazing tool for self-discovery. I consider every photo I’ve made since then to be a self portrait in one form or another.

I was passionate about making images, took a couple of classes here and there, and became an active member of the photography community flourishing in the Bay Area in the late 1970s and 1980s. I started exhibiting work in 1978 and was teaching photography by 1982. I found that sharing my passion for image-making and my skills in doing so was an avocation that was extraordinarily fulfilling. My bread-and-butter came from another career entirely, but by the late 1980s I realized that teaching was the direction my life needed to go in. I enrolled at California College of Arts and Crafts (now known as CCA rather than CCAC) in their graduate program in Photography. At the time there were only two of us in the program, so I had the benefit of incredible resources in the faculty and facilities at CCAC. My son was born and I left my job, both in the month before school started. Big changes were in the works!. I expected to motor through grad school as fast as I could and get on with building a new career, but once I started I realized that this was one of the most important opportunities in my life. I invested myself fully in the program, and took every class I could. What should have been a two year program I managed to stretch to three, and only left when my grad advisors were pushing me firmly towards the door. If there were a doctoral program in Photography I’d still be there. I graduated in 1991 with an MFA “With High Distinction” in Photography, immediately started teaching at UC Extension in SF, and soon found adjunct teaching work at College of Marin, Academy of Art College, Foothill College, and City College of San Francisco. I worked at those of schools until I landed this full-time job at City College in 2000. I continue to produce my own work, though ironically not at the level of production that it used to be. Full time teaching is way more than a full time job! That brings me to the present. As member of the CCSF faculty for 23 years, I think of my students, and colleagues as family.

Which photographers have influenced you?

I think most of my primary influences come from my formative years in photography. I loved the narrative dreamscapes of Duane Michals, and his ability to weave incredible stories through a handful of images. His in-camera multiple images and the scrawled writing on the photos spoke to me of the psychological potential of photos. Likewise, Jerry Uelsmann’s surreal composites are like waking dreams. Cartier Bresson, Robert Frank, Dorothea Lange, Dianne Arbus, ‘Danny Lyon, Ralph Gibson, Lisette Model, Lee Friedlander – the list goes on and on. I got very involved in landscape photography, though not in terms of depicting place. Rather, I found that landscapes were a perfect metaphor through which I could explore my psyche. I also became fascinated with early landscape photographers and the life of a photographer in the days of glass plate and colodion. My master’s thesis explored how 19th century photography interwove with the exploration and expansion of the US and how that continues today. The civil war, the rise of an industrial nation, the use, exploitation, and also preservation of our natural resources – all of these things happened in part as a result of the efforts of photographers. Carleton Watkins, William Henry Jackson, Timothy O’Sullivan, Alexander Gardner, John Hillers, George Fiske…

Those photographers coupled with my love of the outdoors led me to a more current crop of photographers; those who understand their roots yet explore the landscape through fresh eyes: Robert Adams, Henry Wessel, Bob Dawson, Lewis Baltz, John Pfahl, Mark Klett, Richard Misrach, John Divola, Joel Sternfeld, William Garnett, Linda Connor, Robbert Flick, Kenda North, Peter Goin, William Garnett, Stephen Shore, Frank Gholke. The photographers of The Rephotographic Survey Project, and those of the New Topographics and The Great Central Valley Project. Is that list long enough? I’ve of course left out hundreds of other influences on my work, my attitudes, and my teaching.

As I mentioned, I think of my work as self portraiture, and used the landscape to describe moods, fears, and epiphanies. The emotional tone of my black and white work moved from certainty and serenity through confusion, noise, confrontation and fear, reflection, and ultimately naked revelation. At the conclusion of my grad program, a project that had been many years in the making came to a close. It took a few years for my work to begin to move on a new path.

What classes do you teach at CCSF?

That one’s easy. I teach PHOTO 51; Beginning Photography, PHOTO 81A; Intermediate B&W Photography, PHOTO 81D; Intermediate Digital Photography, PHOTO 60A; Beginning Photoshop, and I have on occasion taught PHOT 130; Portfolio Production, and PHOTO 50B; History of Photography Since 1945. PHOTO 81D is a new course, and I’m very excited to be teaching Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop as tools in service to image-making rather than as “applications classes.” Of course students’ continued interest in learning film and darkroom-based photography warms the heart of an old timer – it’s great for me to be active with both analog and digital tools and techniques. I truly love teaching 2nd semester courses – it’s an exciting time to be working with students. They’ve taken a beginning class and something has stimulated them to the extent that they are back again for more. What a great time to be available as an influence!

Tell us about your latest photographic excursion.

During the past year I revisited the American Southwest and the California desert – landscapes that I fell in love with many years ago. For a number of weeks I ranged through California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona. My work is no longer strictly landscape, but I found a richness of opportunity to make photos in all of these places nonetheless. It’s really enlightening to look at this current work next to the images I produced in these same areas 30-odd years ago. Fascinating to see how I and my vision have changed; perhaps more enlightening to see how I and my vision have remained constant. The newest work is called Error Messages. I’ve been working on it over the past 10 years or so. It centers around how we miscommunicate on a public scale, and frankly the pictures indulge my [often sophomoric] sense of humor. As I’ve aged, my need for angst has thankfully diminished! Still, I think there are personal and cultural truths to be found lurking among the paradoxes and enigmas explored in the photos.

Where can we see your work?

One of my projects before the start of the Fall 2014 term was to get my website up and running. No more excuses – I now have work available online at This site holds a sampling of what I’ve produced since the mid-80s. I’m very interested in the progression of ideas, so I intentionally included older work along with the newest. I encourage you to visit the site and I’d be delighted to receive any feedback or questions that might come up.

Solo Show: Brian Churchwell “Orinda Cattle”

Orinda Cattle
In late 2013 I discovered this herd of cattle in the hills above
Orinda. In spring 2014 while dreaming of grand photographic projects in
faraway places I decided to revisit the cattle while the hills were
green and was pleased with the results, leading to many hikes and a
project for Photo 81D. I learned a great deal by hiking into the hills
and watching and waiting for the cattle to be in the right place with
the clouds in the right place and the sun in the right place. More
importantly I learned that interesting and satisfying projects are where
you make them, even within walking distance from home.

Photography by Brian Churchwell
On display at Gallery Obscura
September 15th – October 8th

Artist Reception on September 18th, 6-8 PM

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Alternate Realities: Mixed Media Photographs from CCSF Students

Modern Times Bookstore Collective
2919 24th St. (near Alabama St.) San Francisco, CA
tel. 415 282 9246
12-8pm daily, closed Tuesdays
Exhibition dates: Sep 11– Oct 31, 2014
Opening reception: Sep 11, 2014 6.30 – 8pm (Thursday)

Alternate Realities is a student-run show featuring the work produced during Spring 2014 as part of the course PH86 Mixed Media and the Photographic Image in the Photography Department at the City College of San Francisco.

The artists transform self-made and appropriated images and objects to achieve new interpretations through a variety of alternative photographic processes and mediums. The images, which are one of a kind, explore creative expression through sometimes unexpected results. Through Gum printing, sun exposures, Cyanotypes, Van Dykes, paints, tints, glue transfers and unexpected subject matter, the work pushes us to look at these images and objects in different ways.

The course, PH86 is taught by Gillian Spragens each Spring and is an exploration of the photographic image, exposing students to the concept of manipulation of the original to reveal forms of expression which are unattainable through straight photography. Emphasis is given not only to established non-silver processes, but also to the integration of more contemporary mediums. The course transfers to CSUs.

The students below participating in Alternate Realities seek to connect with the larger community, in order to showcase CCSFs diverse photography department. The show is particularly relevant at this time as the school itself reflects on itself as an educational institution.

Rese Cohen
Laura Downey
Beatriz Escobar
Ludmila Kukalová
Haley Mannix
Antony Ngo
Naomi Onaga
Pam Tristam
Briana Shewan
Amberly Vigil
Michael Walters
Emi Williams

Solo Show: Adrienne Johnson “One Word”

One Word
Say the name of your first love and that one word is a whole story that opens up without any effort. Not every photograph needs to replace a thousand words. Sometimes just one will do.

Black and White Photography by Adrienne Johnson
On display at Gallery Obscura
Aug 25 – Sept 13

Artist Reception on Sept 3, 6-8pm

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Spotlight: PHOT 102A – Architectural Photography

Lec-2, lab-1, field trips, P/NP Available
Late start Fall 2014 – first class meets 9/22/2014-11/19/2014
Mondays 12:40-4:40 HC213 and Wednesdays 12:40-2:40 V145
Instructor Nadereh Degani / REGISTER
Contact the Instructor or Come by the issue Room V160 for an add code

Catalog Description: The process of documenting buildings and other structures in their environments. Interiors and exteriors of domestic places are photographed for architectural applications. Topics specifically related to issues of architectural photography include: perspective control, use of different format cameras, filtration for incompatible light sources, attention to detail, and daylight effect on form.

“Architectural photography is specialized photography of structures. It involves special lenses and techniques to portray the subjects in proper perspective and without photographic distortion. It is primarily concerned with accurate portrayal of the structure. A tilt-shift lens can be used for 35mm photography… or a large format camera that has tilt, swing and shift, can be used.” – Gregg Anderton

Student Reviews:
“I loved Nad’s architectural photography class. She is very knowledgeable and shares that knowledge and her photographic vision passionately. I came away with a great portfolio from the various assignments. I really enjoyed the class/field trips and guest speakers. Thanks Nad for making the class so rewarding.” – Maxine Bauer

“Nad is a very good teacher. She is always giving you a clear feedback and always trying to find ways to expand her teaching. I really enjoyed her class. She creates a very nice atmosphere. A lovely person.” – Erika Castaneda Magana

“Photographing unique buildings has been my passion for many years. But it wasn’t until I took Nadereh Degani’s Architectural Photography course that I learned the best-practice techniques for capturing stunning images. This is the second course I have taken with Nadereh and both times her teaching skills made for a very rewarding experience.” – Gary Rocchio

“Nad taught the principals of good architectural photography in an interesting and very supportive fashion. Her strengths are her informative, constructive assessment of student work and her supportive, encouraging style. I have also taken advanced
darkroom techniques with Nad. I highly recommend Nad for that class as well.” – Bill Hickerson

CCSF Photo Register Now for Fall 2014

student and alumni work

Check out work by our students, staff and alumni. Click above.

CCSF is open and accredited Fall 2014- your units are good for life and will always transfer. Have you registered yet for a photography class? Registration is open! Save your seat now – classes start in mid-August.

1. Visit our website and look at our schedule of classes: . Visit our website to see our degree and certificates of completion:

2. Follow the admissions process if you haven’t yet:

3. Register for your classes.

Classes which don’t require pre-reqs are PH100 “Design Fundamentals”, PH51 “Beginning Photography”, PH50A or PH50B Photo History, PH52 “Photographers and Their Images”. After completing PH100 and PH51 you can move on toward more advanced applied classes in following semesters.

If you have previous experience please contact our department secretary to take a challenge test to waive pre-requisites or make an appointment with the department chair so you that can register for advanced classes. Dept Secretary: Joanne Bilodeau, (415) 452-5173,

For other questions feel free to give us a call or visit our website: or (415) 239-3422.


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