“A photograph is a secret about a secret. The more it tells you the less you know.” — Diane Arbus

Night Gamers

Gamers may know when it’s late, but it’s hard to tell by their demeanor. Hours fly by and they’re leaning in with a laser-like focus. For gamers, the experience is much more than virtual.

Gamers are usually joyful and aren’t easily distracted. These images from local Esports tournaments focus on gamers at night — and gamer culture. 

This is an ongoing series shot initially in Oakland and San Francisco.


Night occupies a prominent space in the murky area between dreams and reality. But night is a tricky canvas. When our vision is obscured, we misperceive our surroundings, and things don’t always add up. The interplay of light and movement can distort our perception and our awareness. Yet our innate powers of pattern recognition enable us to stitch together a sense of place or even intuit an emotion from the barest of details. These nocturnal images spotlight our urban anxieties — and false impressions that can happen in the blink of a shutter.

Work from the series Unrealized was selected The Photo Review, a publication, in 2018, and juried competitions in both 2018 and 2019 by Black Box Gallery in Portland, Oregon. In April 2019, four of these images appeared in a BAPC group show at the Dohjidai gallery in Kyoto, Japan — part of KYOTOGRAPHIE (KG+) international photography festival.

The Unrealized images were shot primarily in San Francisco, Oakland and Southern California in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

Extensions + In a Haze

I rarely think about time when I'm in the zone and shooting photographs, and I try never to rush my experience. But the reality is time is always a factor.

The light is becoming too bright. Or it's almost too dark. People in this neighborhood are starting to hit the streets. It may rain soon. Or someone is texting me and I need to be somewhere else.

Yet, I have a much larger personal concern about time ... and I feel it even as I write these words to you. I believe that through photography we can capture and reveal the meaning of these moments. Both the "In a Haze" and “Extensions” series express my ongoing attempt to come to grips with those feelings and concerns about time.

One constant in my work is a quest to find fresh and engaging subject matter outside of a studio or digital workspace. The Extensions images were shot in 2016 and 2017 in San Francisco, Oakland, New Orleans and San Diego. The In a Haze images were shot in morning light along the SF Bay; several were captured in La Jolla and Carmel, Ca. All were shot in 2016 and 2017.


In Sept - Oct. 2019, three images from my series Night Gamers will appear as a triptych in the Bay Area Photographers Collective 20th Anniversary Exhibition, a curated group show called Marking Time at the Harvey Milk Photo Center in San Francisco.

In May, my image “She Heard Footsteps” from the series Unrealized was included in Portraiture: Through the Lens, a juried group show at Black Box Gallery, in Portland, Oregon.

In April, four images from Unrealized appeared in a Bay Area Photographers Collective group show at KYOTOGRAPHIE (KG+) in Japan.

In December, 2018, my image “The Office,” was named a winner in a juried competition by The Photo Review.

Also, in December, 2018, three images from my series Extensions were included in a juried group exhibition called “Advanced,” in California State Sen. Scott Wiener’s San Francisco office. The three images were Patchwork, Industrious and Canned Heat.

In September, 2018 my image “Sublimation” was included in Photo Shoot: 2018, a juried group show at Black Box Gallery in Portland, Oregon.

In 2016, I participated in my first two public exhibitions.

A little more about me ...

I've shot photos since I was a teen and had a photo published in a San Francisco newspaper before I graduated from journalism school. A content creator my entire career; in recent years, I've pursued my dream to explore fine arts photography, embracing new ideas, techniques and possibilities.

In 2018 I joined the Bay Area Photographers Collective, a nonprofit organization with artists who are dedicated to honing their craft and enhancing their community.  

All images Copyright © 2019 Rusty Weston. All rights reserved. 

I'm on Instagram @rusty.weston

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