Jason Andrescavage is an alumni of the Photography Department at City College of San Francisco and earned a Masters Degree in Photography from Kingston University in London in 2014. He has been creating photographs for 10 years concentrating on traditional film and analog wet darkroom techniques. Jason also shares his knowledge at Harvey Milk Photo Center in San Francisco, CA where he teaches photography and darkroom techniques. See our interview with him below:
Jason – how do you think the Photography Program at CCSF help prepare you for a masters program in photography?
I think the CCSF Program is a great first step on the road to a graduate degree because of the intensive technical courses on offer throughout the curriculum. If you are willing to put in the time as a student, there is absolutely no limit to what you can accomplish there. Between the facility and the amazing faculty I was always able to grow as an artist and a practitioner during my time there. In addition to the technical courses, the artistic development classes, business courses, and comprehensive history curriculum I always felt like I was well prepared for a graduate-level education.
Was graduate school always your goal?
No! I started at CCSF as a pure hobbyist looking to get some instruction and improve my photography. It’s hard to understate how important my time at CCSF was in changing my mind in regards to photography as a profession and academic pursuit versus a pleasant pastime. The steady pace of advancing skills and knowledge through the curriculum was addicting and led me to want to continue on to the next level.
PUT IN THE WORK! The CCSF Photo Department as a resource is second to none, and someone who is truly serious about growing as a photographer would have no excuse not to exploit it to the fullest. When I was a student at CCSF, I would frequently be at class or in the darkroom 4 nights a week, and Saturdays. If I wasn’t at work or on location shooting photos, there was a good chance I was on campus. And I was a part time student! When I got to my Masters Program, I was already used to the serious work commitment required and I was able to enjoy the experience all the more thanks to the reduction in stress that meant for me.
What made you focus on traditional film and darkroom techniques?
It wasn’t specifically a “film-vs-digital” choice to continue on with traditional film. I started photography with an inexpensive 35mm SLR I bought on Ebay. At the time, the first class in the CCSF Program was Photo51, and it was still a film-only course. As I worked up through all the classes in the Program and became more competent behind the lens and in the darkroom, my style and choices evolved around the medium. At some point, the look I got was so tied up in traditional wet photography that a digital practice just wasn’t an option for my personal work. Since then I’ve gone even farther down that rabbit hole, shooting my most recent project with an 8×10 camera and paper negatives.
Do you have a go-to camera and lens?
I shot with a 35mm Leica R4 SLR for many years with the occasional medium format roll here and there. Right before I went to grad school I bought a medium format camera for the work I would be doing there and have since then not shot any 35mm besides for backup purposes. During my grad program in in the years since I have moved up to large format 8×10 for specific projects while doing my typical work in medium format.
The two cameras in my bag are:
-Hasselblad 500C with 80mm and 150mm lenses.
-AGFA Ansco 8×10 from old timey times with a newer Schneider 300mm lens.
What is your main source of ideas or inspiration for your work?
It really depends on the project, but for the last few years inspiration for my large format project has come from early artist photographers such as Henry Peach Robinson and Julia Margaret Cameron, up through the Pictorialists- and especially California Pictorialist Anne Brigman. My inspirations for my typical work include the works of Lillian Bassman, Dan Winters, Richard Avedon, and Tim Walker.
I don’t shoot socially-themed works, mostly concentrating on portraiture and themes that excite me within the world of photography, such as the interaction of photographer and subject.
Finally – Do you have any advice for our film & darkroom students wanting to pursue fine art traditional photography?
Have a reason to use traditional wet photography and make it your own as a reflection of your artistic concepts. Have the traditional process be as much of the “why” as the subject matter itself. The fact is, the medium is a choice- make it an interesting one.
Working at a fine art practice is a difficult and your work may go unnoticed for a long time. I’ve had many works dear to my heart get no attention at all when others are unexpectedly selected for exhibitions all over the place. Work with a style and subject matter that excites you, and you will have the enthusiasm to constantly improve and evolve your work.
For more Jason Andrescavage: www.andrescavage.com
Jason’s workshops and class offerings at Harvey Milk Photo Center
It’s time to register for Fall! Save your seat now – classes start in Friday August 12, 2016.
Everyone who registers by August 9th will be entered into a raffle to win $50 in print credit at the CCSF Photography Issue Room.
CCSF is open and accredited! Your units are good for life and will always transfer. Have you registered yet for a photography class? Registration is open! . Low enrolled classes may be
cancelled as early as August 3rd – so register now.
ENROLLMENT IS AS EASY AS 1-2-3
1. Visit the the Fall 2016 schedule to choose your classes
3. Register for the class (registration is required to attend). Only $46 per unit for CA residents!
4. Don’t have the pre-requisite but feel you have adequate experience? You may challenge into any class.
Contact Erika Gentry, Department Chair to schedule a challenge test. Note that if you challenge any class – you waive your right to take it in the future. firstname.lastname@example.org
Grahame Perry, CCSF Photography Department Alumni is in the upcoming group show at San Francisco Camera Work Long Term Survivor Project with artists Hunter Reynolds (New York), Frank Yamrus (New York . He created some of his images on view while being a student at CCSF. The opening reception is June 4,2015 (details below).
LONG-TERM SURVIVOR PROJECT Grahame Perry, Hunter Reynolds, Frank Yamrus June 4 – July 18, 2015 Opening Reception: Thursday, June 4, 2015, 6 – 8 PM Public Programming: PRESS RELEASE
In celebration of annual Pride month and in honor of National HIV/AIDS Long-Term Survivor Day (June 5th), SF Camerawork is proud to present the Long-Term Survivor Project. Taking place from June 4 – July 18, 2015, this is an exhibition and public programing series addressing the experiences of HIV survivorship in our society. The exhibition features the work of artists Hunter Reynolds (New York), Frank Yamrus (New York), and Grahame Perry (San Francisco). The associated public programming includes two nights of documentary photography-based projects and roundtable discussions: Portrait of Caring: Living With AIDS at the Bailey-Boushay House by Saul Bromberger and Sandra Hoover on June 10th, and The House of Bangy Cunts: Kiki Ballroom in New York by Anja Matthes on July 14th. As a whole, the Long-Term Survivor Projectexplores the history of AIDS, the current state of health, diagnosis and treatment of HIV, and the more personal, humanistic stories of those living with the past and present realities of the disease.
A collection I created to maintain my own muddy existence. Each image is inspired my own perplexing dreams and captured intuitively with my grandfather’s large format camera.
Photography by Amanda Aceves
On display at Gallery Obscura
February 5th – 28th, 2015
Artist Reception February 9th, 6-8pm
on August 25, 2014 4:38 PM
To people who remember film and darkrooms and heavy manual cameras, Leica has always been the coolest, like Triumph motorcycles, and the BMW 2002.
The machines were built to last and just to prove it, against the onslaught of the iPhone, Leica has opened a store and gallery on Bush Street, to the side of Union Square.
The store is done in the red of the Leica logo and red-brick, and the black-and-white of gelatin prints that display the richness of detail Leica is known for. The gallery, which runs the length of the store on the brick wall, will showcase works of the famous Leica shooters, which includes about everybody who made a war picture through Vietnam…to read more,click here
Leica Gallery San Francisco is at 463 Bush St. Hours are Monday through Friday, 10-6 and Saturdays 10-4.
NOW SHOWING “The Beautiful Cliche” by Renato d’Agostin[vimeo http://vimeo.com/110086929 width=”600″]
Fall National Juried Exhibition
August 31 – October 6, 2013
Reception: August 31, 5-7 pm
Marin Museum of Contemporary Art presents a National Show on Photography that represents new directions and fresh voices within the genre. This show includes 50 artworks from around the nation that integrated photographic processes and materials.
Many of the artists represented move fluidly through old and new processes, incorporating conventional darkroom techniques and digital manipulation in the creation of their works. Simon Pyle’s work pushes at the edges of digital media’s capabilities by displaying a jpeg image evolving and degrading as it is resaved 262,144 times in his piece Grandpa Back from the War. C. Wright Daniel’s work is camera-less, but uses the paper and photographic chemicals to create abstract prints of crumpled planes. MarinMOCA member Christie Stewart’s work incorporates flash bulbs and other miscellaneous photographic equipment into thoughtfully assembled grids. Other works include 22 year-old San Francisco artist Chantel Beam’s photo entitled Girl Gang, which integrates fashion photography and narrative portraiture, and LA artist Douglas Ito’s photo of a lone milk jug is emblematic of the isolation and empty promises of a consumerist culture.
The juror for this year’s exhibition is Jessica Brier, curator and writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. As Curatorial Assistant of Photography at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), she has assisted in organizing exhibitions including Francesca Woodman (2011), Jay DeFeo: A Retrospective (2012), and South Africa in Apartheid and After: David Goldblatt, Ernest Cole, Billy Monk (2012). Independently, she has organized exhibitions at the Wattis Institute of Contemporary Art and Park Life, in San Francisco, and Headlands Center for the Arts, in Sausalito. She has contributed writing to Art Practical (artpractical.com), art on paper magazine and SFMOMA’s blog, Open Space. She holds a BA from New York University and an MA in Curatorial Practice from California College of the Arts.
Ms. Brier will give a talk on her process and the themes of the show on September 21, at 6 pm at MarinMOCA. Artist and CCSF Professor Erika Gentry will be part of the talk and has a piece in the exhibition.
Pamela Tristram Solo Exhibition of Cyanotype and Gum Bichromate Prints