Student Spotlight: SAS Spring ’16 Photography Student AV Show

Prof. Erika Gentry and 55 photography students along with 700 total students, faculty, staff, crew and life long learners sailed during Spring 2016  on the Semester at Sea Voyage “Around the World” hosted by the University of Virginia. The voyage started January 5, 2016 in San Diego, CA and ended on April 16, 2016 in South Hampton, England. The floating University (a 1998 cruise ship outfitted to contain 10+ classrooms) visited 11 countries and 15 cities. The above student produced AV slideshow takes us from Hawaii to South Africa through the lens of 55 photographers.

Gentry to Sail with University of Virginia’s Semester at Sea Program Spring ’16

Erika Gentry has been selected as a faculty member to teach with the University of Virginia in their Spring 2016 Semester at Sea Voyage “Around the World”. The voyage begins January 5, 2016 in San Diego, Ca and ends April 16, 2016 in England. Together with 600 students and 35 faculty, the floating University (a 1998 cruise ship outfitted to contain 10+ classrooms) will voyage for 101 days stopping in 11 countries and 15 cities starting in San Diego, CA and continuing on the below route.

Gentry will take an unpaid Professional Development leave from the City College of San Francisco (CCSF) in the Spring and return Fall 2016 to resume her normal duties as Professor & Chair of the Photography Department. During the voyage, Gentry will teach three sections of Fine Art and Documentary Photography and lead students on photography field labs in Mauritius, Vietnam and Myanmar. She says “It’s quite interesting to plan three separate day-long, meaningful excursions for groups of 20 students to places I’ve never been before – but I am excited about it as well as connecting with local artists”. The lectures she will deliver will focus on local image-makers and technical jargon for many of the 15 ports visited. Gentry also has plans to work on her own fine art projects during the three months at sea.

“I can’t wait to make images and deliver an exciting set of courses and lectures for my students as well as to the general public if they choose to follow me virtually and with a donation. I plan to Instagram, blog and podcast lectures to my supporters” she said. Become a virtual passenger on the tour by supporting Gentry with a micro donation.

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PORTS over 101 Days
Honolulu, Hawaii
Yokohama, Japan
Kobe, Japan
Shanghai, China
Hong Kong, China
Ho Chi Minh City, Việt Nam
Rangoon, Burma
Cochin, India
Port Louis, Mauritius
Cape Town, South Africa
Takoradi & Tema (Accra) Ghana
Casablanca, Morocco
debarking in Southampton (London), England.

Photography in France 2015 Show

 “A Photographic Journey” 


SHOW DATES: December 9th-January 15, 2016
Opening Reception: Wednesday, December 9, 2015 6-8pm

LOCATIONRayko Photo Center
428 3rd St, San Francisco, CA 94107
(415) 495-3773

A small group of photographers journeyed through Provence, France in July 2015 as part of the workshop Photography in France led by Professor Erika Gentry. Provence, a region rich in history, is famous for its Roman ruins, bustling markets, ancient costumes, bull games and scenic landscapes explored by the likes of Vangogh, Koudelka and Picasso among others.

Come see photographs made by workshop participants inspired by the region and its beautiful light on view during the dates and times below. Consider joining Erika this July 11‐18, 2016 to photograph with like-minded travelers at the best times of day. Enjoy guided tours of the region and the largest photography festival in Europe the Rencontres d’Arles to inspire your own work. Register now to hold your seat. Only 7 slots available.

Henry Bortman, Maxine Heiliger, Wendy Mann, Jim Miglian and Prof Erika Gentry.


Assignment: Before & After / Tutorial: Frequency Separation

Today in my CCSF PHOTO class Intermediate Photoshop – my students and I explored the frequency separation technique as part of a lab module on retouching. This is part of a series of lab modules implemented to build the skills that they’ll need to complete the below creative assignment “Before and After”. With frequency separation – an image is separated into two spatial frequencies, so that image details can be edited independently. “There can be any number of frequencies in each image, and each frequency will contain certain information (based on the size of the details). Typically, we break down the information data in our images into high and low frequencies.” Source FStoppers.

Download the below image to follow along:


Mona Lisa Professor – my head in a cardboard cut out. Paris, France, 2008.


1. To become an advanced retouching artist.
2. To restore a historical image or other image and restore it back to emulate its original condition OR to choose a portrait from your portfolio and give it a “beauty makeover”. Pay careful attention to skin detail, tone and color.
3. To experiment more with producing imagery that employs the learned techniques of this module.
4. Study and view related images that are created in historical and contemporary contexts with like visual techniques.

Guidelines: Choose between repairing a historical image OR making a portrait more “glamorous”.

1. Choose an image that is need of extensive repair, scan the image for a minimum 8×10, 300ppi size using a flat bed or film scanner or use an existing digital camera file.

2. Using coloration, retouching tools, curves and masking, dodging & burning and other repair techniques to bring the image back to life again. Present the before and after images.

3. Provide a written paragraph with screen captures of your Photoshop layers describing the work and your process. Participate in the class critique and present your work.

Turn In: TOTAL, (2) 8x10s or larger
1. Output the before and after images as two separate 8x images. Show both the original and the digitally retouched version side by side.

I’ll show the work of many artists relevant to this project in class. Don’t miss these lectures.

In the spirit of Martina Lopez and Maggie Taylor, produce another image that re-contextualizes your photograph in a new scene, add yourself to the image etc. OR create a new background for the beauty portrait as well as a new stylized version using collage or other. (1) 8×10

STUDENT & PRO “Before & After” SAMPLES

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Tips and Tutorials for Old Images: 
Operation Photo Rescue
Replacing the background with paint

Tutorials for Skin and Beauty:
Carrie NYC (beauty retouching) 
Reducing Wrinkes (healing brush)
Colorizing with Selective Color

Professional Samples
Pixel Chick Studios (before/after)
Carrie NYC – (before/after)
Digital Retouch (Reader Gallery: glamour before/after, antique restoration or 1950s to present)
Barber Shop retouching

Grading Rubric (100pts)
– Followed guidelines and chose an image that needs extensive repair or makeover / use of retouching tools (30)
– Technical quality, retouching, color and tonal corrections, selections, burning dodging, output (30)
– Creative interpretation, uniqueness (30)
– Submitted on time, participated in class critiques (10)

Artist Spotlight: Zanele Muholi

Somnyama Ngonyama
Zanele Muholi
Exhibition runs: October 23 – December 5, 2015
Yancey Richardson Gallery
525 West 22nd Street
New York, NY. 10011

I first met Zanele Muholi in Arles, France in 2012 where she was one of the Discovery Award nominees and a favorite of mine at the festival. She was very kind in taking the time to talk to me and to walk me through her work (bottom right). Her projects and her passion for giving voice to marginalized LGBT South African people left a lasting impression on me then and her work continues to do just that in her latest show “Somnyama Ngonyama” on view in New York at the Yancey Richardson Gallery.
Read the press release below:

Yancey Richardson Gallery is pleased to present Somnyama Ngonyama, the debut exhibition of self-portraits by South African artist Zanele Muholi and her second solo exhibition at the gallery. Somnyama Ngonyama, meaning “Hail, the Dark Lioness”, represents a newly personal approach taken by Muholi as a visual activist confronting the politics of race and pigment in the photographic archive.

In contrast to her ongoing project Faces and Phases, which documents members of the black LGBTI community in South Africa and beyond, Muholi has now turned the camera on herself to make portraits in which she is both participant and imagemaker. Over the last two years Muholi has traveled to Amsterdam, Charlottesville, Durban, Johannesburg, London, Mayotte, Oslo, Paris and New York City, for various engagements relating to her work and dedication to visual activism. It was on these trips that she used found props and simple equipment to rethink the culture of the selfie and the concepts of self-representation and self definition as evidenced in these portrayals of her mood at the time each image was made.

Inspired by family, friends, society and consumer culture, Muholi experimented with different characters and archetypes, drawing on the performative and expressive language of theatre, and the highly stylized archetype of black and white fashion photography. The exhibition images form part of the ongoing series MaID (My Identity) or, read differently, “maid”, the quotidian name given to black women domestic workers. Individual portraits reference specific events in South Africa’s political history, from the advent of the mining industry to the fame and infamy of the “Black Madonna”, to the recent massacre of miners at Marikana.

A number of photographs are processed and printed to emphasize the blackness of the artist’s skin. As the artist states, “By exaggerating the darkness of my skin tone, I’m reclaiming my blackness, which I feel is continuously performed by the privileged other. My reality is that I do not mimic black; it is my skin and, the experience of being black that is deeply entrenched in me”. At the core of her photographs, Muholi strives to exorcise the culturally dominant images of black women that infiltrate media today.

LensCulture Magazine’s Top Picks at This Weeks’ Photo Paris

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For nearly two decades, the annual Paris Photo fair has punctuated the photography’s world fall calendar by bringing together some of the top artists, collectors and professionals to the City of Light. This year’s edition promises to be no different: thousands of lovely images and an exciting, stimulating week of presentations, discussions, signings and off-shoot programming.

As ever, the fair this year is underpinned by the invited galleries. 140, from 33 countries, will be featured at the Grand Palais, presenting both historical and contemporary works. Joining them are 27 publishers and specialized art book dealers providing a complete panorama of the photographic medium.

As in the past few years, the photo-book will have a prominent place. In partnership with the Aperture Foundation, Paris Photo presents the 2015 Paris Photo-Aperture Foundation Photobook Awards ( see last year’s winners!). From just over 1,000 titles, the Awards will present a shortlist of 35 books. There will ultimately be three winners in the following categories: “First PhotoBook,” “PhotoBook of the Year,” and “Photography Catalogue of the Year.” READ ALL

Tutorial: Inkjet Printing Color and Black and White from LR and PS CC

Here is an updated printing video to print in color and BW to an inkjet printer from Photoshop CC and Lightroom CC.


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