The Landscape of the California Coast
Mendocino and the North Coast
A Digital Photography Field Workshop

with Stephen Johnson

Friday evening May 1, 2009
Saturday and Sunday, May 2-3, 2009

$750. Enrollment limited to 10 people


Co-sponsored by

Dive into the lush seascape of California's North Coast on this intensive two-day photographic workshop to Mendocino. Dark, musty redwood rainforests pierced by sunbeam shafts, spectacular rocky cliffs with the tumbling surf below, and rolling shoreline dunes will fill our two days with remarkable varied photographic experiences. The north coast architecture of this beautiful little township and the fishing port of Noyo will add plenty of man-made subject matter to our weekend. And, of course, we will find time to sample a few of Mendocino's good eating establishments.

The misty north coast light will likely be as much our subject matter as the landforms. This special quality of light is part of what makes this area so visually interesting and dynamic. Come prepared for rain, fog and sun.

Trails, town streets, dunes and beaches will all be more rewarding because we will take the time to see them slowly, on our own two feet. Walking will be our main mode of transportation during the weekend.

Field instruction will concentrate on composition , exposure, and individual photographic problem solving.

I hope you can join us on this immersion in photography on California's spectacular North Coast.

The workshop will be a dynamic combination of a traditional landscape photography workshop while diving deep into the digital age. Technical and aesthetic considerations will be discussed in detail. Our concentration will be on controlling your camera's operation to achieve your desired technical results, while building composition and visual skills to make the photograph what you want it to be. Digital exposure and dynamic range, composition, emotion and amazement-all will be part of our 2-day excursion into the evolving world of digital photography.

Lodging: Jug Handle Farm. We've bought the farm for the weekend in a special group lodging arrangement (included in the workshop fee for Friday, and Saturday). The rustic farmhouse at Jug Handle Farm will serve as home for the weekend and workshop head quarters. Sleeping arrangement are dorm style (a limited number of private rooms are available) and a few chores around the place are part of the deal.

Staying together at the farm will give us a chance to make the weekend a total commitment to photography and getting to know the landscape of the area. The farm is set in 39 acres of beautiful preserved coastal forest and adjoins Jug Handle State Reserve. Other lodging and camping is available in the area, but should be reserved as soon as possible. You will be responsible for your own transportation. Lunch stops will also be pre-arranged but are not included in the fee.

Some BetterLight and possibly Dicomed Scanning camera inserts for 4x5 view cameras will be available for use. Participants who want to use the scanning cameras will have to supply their own 4x5 camera and laptop and give us one month's notice.

Explorers just wanting to use film, but anxious to learn the ropes, are also welcome.

About 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.

He was named to the Photoshop Hall of Fame in 2003 and as a Canon Explorer of Light in 2006. 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 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.”

see Stephen Johnson Biography
see Workshop Review


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

Credit Card Registration by phone 650 355-7507 (preferred)
Click here to register online now with a credit card.

Photography Workshops with Stephen Johnson

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 a full refund, a 50% refund will be given for notice received at least 2 weeks immediately prior to the workshop (a full refund less a $50 overhead fee will be given if another student is able to fill the spot from a waiting list). No refund will be given if cancelled less than 2 weeks prior to the workshop.

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