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Best Black-and-White Photo Booth San Francisco 2010 - Rayko Photo Center

Rayko Photo Center

Rayko Photo Center

428 Third St.

San Francisco, CA 94107

415-495-3773

Map & Details>>

It's easy to sail right past the gray, no-nonsense facade of Rayko Photo Center, but step inside and you'll be transported. The interior is wide and airy, all high ceilings, exposed wooden beams, and brick walls. Stationed in one corner is a vintage photo booth. The big, monochromatic machine can be operated only with little gold tokens ($3) purchased from the attendant. Pull your partner inside, choose a black or white background, and strike a pose. Then sit and listen while the photos develop with a series of cartoony clunks and whirs. The finished product, still wet with chemicals, spews out of a slit in a round metal orb inside the booth. The strip of stark portraits has an ethereal, otherworldly character, and each image is slightly different from the next. They've got that rare quality digital photography can't master: imperfection.

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