PH52 “Photographer and Their Images” Spring 2019 Lecture by Artist Adrian Burrell

Wednesday April 10, 2019
CCSF Ocean Avenue Campus
50 Frida Kahlo Way, Room HC202
The public is invited and a donation to CCSF’s Photo Department to help support this series is appreciated. See a list of past lecturers here.

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Adrian Levi Burrell is an avid storyteller from Oakland, California. He holds a BFA in Film from the San Francisco Art Institute, and co-founded Mother of Exiles, a video production company in Berkeley, CA. Adrian was the producer and casting director on the dramatic feature Licks (2013) that premiered at SXSW and was distributed internationally by Blue Sky Media. Adrian is the director of a documentary photo and video project titled Picture A Change, documenting people and communities around the world fighting for change.Adrian loves to tell stories through his passion for photography and filmmaking, and is always looking for the next story to tell.

“Back Talk” opens at Gallery Obscura March 6, 5-7pm


Please join us for Gallery Obscura’s opening of “Back Talk”, photographs by Anton O’Donnell. Opening Reception will be Wednesday, March 6th from 5-7pm in the Photography Department, Visual Arts 160.


In this series of photographs, I followed people around the
streets of San Francisco and photographed them without
their knowing. My intention was was to capture a spontaneous
moment that would allow the viewer to come up with their
own backstories for the subjects based upon the information
given from this alluring vantage point.
By deliberately avoiding a reciprocal emotional intimacy
with my anonymous subjects, I was able to have conversations
with people whose backs were turned to me.
I discovered that the back talks with a personality of its own.
Sometimes eye-contact or cognizance of the
photographer’s presence can mean game-over for a
successful candid street portrait. For these portraits,
the back was compliant. It did not back talk in the rude
or cheeky sense we are accustomed to, but it did speak
out in a way that told me it wanted to be photographed.
The back offers a sort of ‘grace period’,
a momentary slow-down of time to dial in a shot.
The front can quickly dismiss, and the moment…gone.
I felt the backwards Polaroid was an interesting and punny
way to frame these medium format ‘windows of opportunity’.
On the front of these Polaroids are pictures of faces
taken by friends that now face the wall. These faces
aren’t visible to you, and in this way resemble the
photographs I’ve taken. Invisible or not, each face comes
with its own backstory. For this project I’ve decided to let
those stories remain in the background.
-Anthony O’Donnell

Faculty Spotlight: Profs. Weston & Williamson show in “Something Blue”



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On view: Saturday, February 16 – Saturday, March 23, 2019
2nd Friday Jingletown Reception: Friday, March 8, 6:00 – 9:00 pm
Closing Reception, Saturday, March 23, 4:00 – 6:30 pm

Gray Loft Gallery presents Something Blue…, our 4th annual photography show selected by Ann M. Jastrab, independent curator, photography consultant, editor, writer; and Jan Watten, founder of Gray Loft Gallery. On display will be blue inspired images from a wide array of traditional and alternative photographic processes – including traditional, pinhole, toy cameras, cyanotypes, collage, alternative and mixed media works by Bay Area photographers.

2889 Ford Street, third floor
Oakland, CA 94601


Alumni Spotlight: Gordon Szeto

Gordon Szeto is a fine art photographer and the co-owner of Glass Key Photo, a specialty analog photography store located in San Francisco, CA. Gordon, who is also a CCSF Photography Department Alumn, is a recipient of the Yefim Cherki Memorial Scholarship recipient  and had two solo exhibitions in the department’s Gallery Obscura.


© Gordon Szeto

Tells us more about your fabulous store, Glass Key Photo.

Glass Key Photo is a specialty store that services the analog photo community. We sell supplies such as film, developer, dark room paper, cameras and much more. We look at ourselves as more than just a store but rather a place that is a focal point for the film photography community.  We offer unique workshops like an alternative development process where you develop your b&w film in coffee, wine, beer and other liquids. Our next one will be a b&w reversal process where you develop your negatives so that they become positives (b&w slides!). If you are instant photo shooters we also have a instant camera walk that happens the last Sun of every month. If you are into Zines, we have a bi-annual zine fest called Photo Gods Zine Fest. So many fun things happening at Glass Key!


© Gordon Szeto


Why did you choose to take classes in the Photography Department at CCSF?

I really wanted to learn about more about photography and heard that CCSF had a great photo department. I was ready for a change in careers and wanted to focus on something creative. I loved photography my whole life and thought that it was time to pursue a career in photography.


© Gordon Szeto

How did taking classes in the CCSF Photography Department help you get where you are now?

For my photography, I learned more about the technical aspects of photography and created a better foundation for me to grow as an artist. It also gave me a community to be a part of and share ideas about photography.


© Gordon Szeto

You are also a leading member of the 81bees Photography Collective, can you tell us a bit more about it?

Speaking of communities, the 81 Bees is one of those groups that I connected with while at CCSF Photo. We are a photo group that originate from the CCSF Photo class, 81B Advanced Black and White Darkroom Techniques thus our name. Our goal is to be a collective of photographers that help each other grow as a photographer. We hold meetings, critiques, have photo outings, and photo exhibitions, etc.  Currently we are looking for new active members of all skill levels!


© Gordon Szeto


What projects are you working on and what direction you would like to take with your photography?

I have been concentrating on a Chinatown series and and a model series. In my Chinatown series, I am trying to capture today’s Chinatown through the eyes of my younger self, how I remember the sights of Chinatown as I was growing up there. My other series is a little less defined. The model series involves the use of a singular model in each image interacting with the environment around them. That series is definitely more of a work in progress. I am still trying to find the voice of that project and what it means to me.


© Gordon Szeto

Go-to camera and lens?
I have been mostly a film shooter for my photo projects. My main cameras are my Rolleiflex, pinhole camera and my large format camera, Speed Graflex with an Aero Ektar lens.
For More Gordon Szeto:
instagram – bokchoyboy

Gallery Obscura Opening Reception Thursday, 1/31, 5-7 with Cherkis winner Julia Lomax

Gallery Obscura is pleased to present ‘Alone Together’, a photography exhibition by Julia Lomax, winner of the Yefim Cherkis Memorial Scholarship. Join us for an opening Reception on Thursday 1/31, from 5-7pm, for refreshments and to meet the artist!

Alone Together
photography by Julia Lomax, Cherkis Memorial Scholarship winner

Opening Reception Thursday, January 31, 5-7pm

Exhibition dates: January 28-February 25, 2019

Gallery Obscura is located in City College of San Francisco’s Photography Department, Visual Arts 160 on the Ocean campus.



Fall 2018 Yefim Cherkis Memorial Scholarship Recipient – Julia Lomax

Congratulations to Julia Lomax for winning the Fall 2018 Yefim Cherkis Memorial Scholarship! Julia will be exhibiting her winning portfolio, “Alone Together” in Gallery Obscura, during the Spring 2019 semester.


© Julia Lomax

Fall 2018 Barbara Stewart Scholarship Winner and Honorable Mentions

Congratulations to our Fall 2018 Barbara Stewart Scholarship Winner and honorable mentions!

Self Portrait as Subject
Winners currently on display in Gallery Obscura

Winner ($250 scholarship):
Caina Li

Honorable Mentions:
Huitzi Herrera
Alvie Morris
Paloma Torres
Tingting Xu

Slideshow of all entries: