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The Landscapes of America
California's White Mountains, the Eastern Sierra and a Full Moon

Photography Workshop with
Stephen Johnson

4 Day Digital Photography Field Workshop
August 8-11, 2014. $1250

Enrollment limited to 12 people

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


White Mountains and Eastern Sierra Digital Landscape Photography Workshop
The Trip

This four day workshop explores the high altitude environments of the White Mountains in eastern California. It is the home of one of the oldest known living organisms on earth, the Bristlecone Pines, at close to 5,000 years old. These ancient wonders are quite visually engaging and command a respectful presence with their sculptural twists and alluring forms, taking on anthropomorphic personas with unique character. The flora, fauna and the stark lunar-like environment at the 10,000 to 14,000 ft. elevations of the White Mountain range, offer great opportunities for interesting compositions and image making.

Our last day will move on the the dramatic eastern Sierra as seen from Lone Pine and the wonderful boulders of the Albama Hills. We will be up for the full moonset into the Whitney Crest and explore the wild bouldescapes of Movie Road and the Alabama Hills.

Our days will be spent in the field with personalized instruction and attention to technical issues, composition, difficult exposure problems and individual problem solving. We will also be working together on files, in lectures and enjoying good spirited times together. The skies are very clear at these altitudes and the full moon phase will illuminate the land nicely for night time photography

We will headquarter at the University of California White Mountain Research Center's Crooked Creek Research Station and Lodge, surrounded by the ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest at an elevation of 10,200 ft. where spectacular views, lodging, meals and meeting spaces will be provided.

Crooked Creek Lodging Research Station Details and photos. Lodging costs are not included in the workshp fee.

Elevation sickness can be a serious factor for some people and therefore a very important consideration with regard to taking this workshop.

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

And from other workshops:

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!"






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.

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 and lodging. The lodging package we have reserved on your behalf at Crooked Creek includes meals . Limited to 12 students.

Participants supply their own transportation, although carpools to specific destinations will be organized. Lodging is pre-arranged.

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

A full agenda is planned for this workshop, including dawn, dusk and starry night - full moon 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 June 10, 2014 . Mail comments to: info@sjphoto.com
Photographs and Text Copyright ©2014, Stephen Johnson. All Rights Reserved.