China Photo Workshop with Stephen Johnson

Classic landscape photography in a spectacular setting in the south of China: November 7-19, 2011

The setting: The Yangtze River divides China north and south. North of the Yangtze River the land is often dry and dusty plains, and the peoples of the North primarily the dominant Han Chinese.

South of the Yangtze River the climate can be semi-tropical, with hills and low mountain ranges typical. While the Han Chinese still predominate, the south and southwest areas of China include many ethnic minority peoples.

The workshop: We visit three major scenic areas within driving distance of Guilin. The first of these is the recently designated World Heritage Site near Ziyuan, featuring red sandstone formations known as danxia.

The second area is the Dragon’s Backbone rice terraces, which are among the most dramatic in China, rising to over 3,000 feet. We finish our workshop with five days amongst the karst formations in and around Yangshuo.

The role of the Guest Artist: Stephen Johnson, a renowned fine arts traditional landscape photographer with deep experience in the digital age, will lead the photographers group for the duration of the workshop.

Steve has three decades of experience leading workshops, and has a passion for teaching. Check out the media/podcast page of his website, for a video of Steve talking about his experience in leading photo workshops.

Mentor Program. After the workshop is over, Tours Abroad is pleased to offer two months of free one-on-one mentoring with Steve. Photography today is much more than simply capturing wonderful images with a camera. The post-capture editing process is equally important, indeed crucial. Pairing the field workshop in China with a follow-up mentor relationship can help you get the most out of your images.

Next Steps. If you are interested in joining Steve in China, a non-refundable deposit of $500 will hold your place. Final payment is due March 10. Please visit for more details.

The group is limited to 12 photographers. Companions are welcome, and a separate slate of activities are planned for companions.

Workshop price US $7,800
Companion price US $3,900


Stephen Johnson

A photographer, teacher and designer, Stephen has been teaching and working in photography since 1977. His books include At Mono Lake, the critically acclaimed The Great Central Valley: California's Heartland and Making a Digital Book. He runs his own photography, publishing and design company--scanning and designing his photographic books using a Macintosh computer and since 1994 photographing in the field with digital view cameras.

Current projects include With a New Eye, his groundbreaking and historic all digital national parks project, a new book Stephen Johnson On Digital Photography for O'Reilly, ongoing portfolio development and extensive lecturing.

Stephen's pioneering work in digital photography, desktop color separations and digital imaging has included software and product development for clients such as Apple, Adobe, Eastman Kodak, Leaf, Ricoh and SuperMac. His work with Adobe includes the creation of the duotone curves shipped with their Photoshop software

His photographic clients have included the Ansel Adams Publishing Trust, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, and the Friends of Photography. Johnson's photographs have been widely published and collected internationally

.In 1999, Folio Magazine declared the publication of Johnson's digital photographs in Life Magazine to be one of the Top 15 Critical Events in magazine publishing in the twentieth century. Stephen Johnson was named as a 2003 inductee into the Photoshop Hall of Fame, recognized for his achievements in Art. Canon named Steve as one of their Explorers of Light in 2006.

In 1997, Life Magazine described Stephen Johnson as an artist that "...applies science to nature and creates art." His images create " intimacy that brings subject and viewer close in ways conventional photographs cannot." 

The Photographer’s Gallery wrote in 1998: “Stephen Johnson's photography rides on the "bleeding edge" of photography's transition to a digital media. Schooled in the traditions of fine-art western landscape photography, Johnson has taken his understanding of traditional photographic processes and brought those skills to bear on the emerging technologies and aesthetics of digital photography. He has pushed technology companies to rise to the best of what imagemaking can be, and pushed his own vision of how we see and record light in the natural world. This has led him to conclude that the way we have traditionally captured images with silver-based photography has been a poor and distortive view of the real and rich world before our eyes. His photographs look almost "unphotographic" in their clarity and purity of color. He shows us a world we know, but rarely see on paper. His is a truly remarkable vision.”



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Last updated on work February 23, 2011 . Mail comments to:
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