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The Landscapes of America

High and Eastern
A High Sierra, Owens Valley, and White Mountains
Photography Workshop with Stephen Johnson

A 7 Day Digital Photography Field Workshop
August 19-25, 2012. $1850
Enrollment limited to 12 people

Enroll before 6/15/12 and take $400 off the tuition!

To Register by credit card or check, call 650 355-7507


The Trip

Join us on a seven-day trek through the landscapes of eastern California's mountains and desert.

From the fabled high country of Yosemite, to eerie Mono Lake, strange crystal boulders of Devil's Postpile, the ancient Bristlecone pines of the White Mountains, to the classic views of granite boulders and high Sierra made famous by Hollywood Westerns at the Alabama Hills, this workshop takes us through an amazing variety of landscapes and history.

The trip is designed to be a complete immersion in landscape photography and its digital evolution with the pioneer in digital landscape photography.

We will move at our own pace, a photographic pace, that gives you time to really look, appreciate and work with the landscape, your camera, and Steve.

Tentative Itinerary

  • Day One: Yosemite high country, Tioga Pass
  • Day Two: Mono Lake, Mono Craters
  • Day Three: Devil's Postpile, high Sierra
  • Day Four: to Bishop and field work up Hwy 168
  • Day Five: White Mountains
  • Day Six: Alabama Hills, Movie Road
  • Day Seven: Whitney Portal, Owens Lake


From the Southwest 2003 Workshop:
Our photography workshop to the American Southwest was enlightening, intense, fun, exhausting, incredibly rewarding and resulted in some fine photographs. The workshop itinerary was an overview of the Southwest’s wonders. The workshop was an innovative and deep photographic learning experience.

"An experience of a lifetime!"


And from other workshops:

There is no better teacher than Stephen Johnson. YOU are the reason for the workshop and he is passionate about helping YOU become a better photographer. Honest, kind and always willing to help make a Stephen Johnson workshop a remarkable experience. Stephen Johnson is a great photographer- and a greater friend. His love of nature and its beauty will inspire your work."

Paul Tornaquindichi, Connecticut



The Workshop

This digital landscape workshop explores these landscapes with the new tools of digital photography, including on-site visualization, and technical evaluation.

Lectures will include digital exposure, composition, visual distillation, archiving, color management and fine-art printing. We will discuss technical and aesthetic issues, tapping into your emotional response to this landscape, working toward images that are uniquely your own. The emphasis will be improving the composition and technical finesse of the participants, empowering the individual photographers to better pursue their vision, from image-making to print-making.

We will hold group critique sessions in the evenings, using a digital projector to display selections of the day's work.

Likely Route


The Workshop Program

Individual problem solving has been a high priority in this workshop program all through its 30 year history. Classes are kept small to maximize individual attention. Plan to bring some of your work to demonstrate how you see, what you are happy with, and photographs that indicate problems you are encountering. Some digital cameras will be available to experiment with during the workshop.

Participants are responsible for their own transportation, food, lodging and park entry fees. Suggested places to stay for both camping and motels will be provided. Limited to 12 students.



Participants supply their own transportation, although carpools to specific destinations will be organized. Lodging options will be arranged along the way, with group discounted reservations at selected motels. Camping is also available at most sites. Details and a trip guidebook will be sent after enrollment.

We will be doing a fair amount of walking on trails, some at very high elevation of around 10,000 feet above sea level.

A full agenda is planned for this workshop, including dawn and dusk sessions.


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 has run his own photography, publishing and design company since the late 1980s--digitaly scanning and designing his photographic books using Macintosh computers 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, the aclaimed 2006 book Stephen Johnson On Digital Photography, new work Exquisite Earth and ongoing portfolio development and extensive lecturing.

Stephen's pioneering work in digital photography has included software and product development for clients such as Apple, Adobe, Epson, Kodak, Hewlett Packard, 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 "...an 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.”

To Register
Registration fee must be paid in full to secure a spot in the class. Additional information will be sent upon registration.

To Register by credit card or check, call 650 355-7507

Refunds and Cancellation (note changes)

This workshop is financially dependent on adequate class registration. Where minimum enrollment requirements are not met, the class will be canceled, and a full refund given. You will be notified at least one week in advance if a workshop is not going to take place. Student initiated cancellations received prior to one month before the workshop will receive credit for a future workshop of similar value, a 50% credit will be given for notice received at least 2 weeks immediately prior to the workshop (a full credit less a $50 overhead fee will be given if another student is able to fill the spot from a waiting list). No credit will be given if cancelled less than 2 weeks prior to the workshop. Credits need to be redeemed within one year.


Last updated on May 30, 2012 . Mail comments to: info@sjphoto.com
Photographs and Text Copyright ©2012, Stephen Johnson. All Rights Reserved.