Alaska Parklands
A Digital Photography Field Workshop

August 5-17, 2013

12 days $6500

Class is limited to 10 participants. Only 3 spots left.

includes lodging, some meals, transportation within Alaska (including airfare to Katmai) and extensive photographic instruction.

America's Natural Wonderland

We are now taking enrollments for the remaining 3 spaces..
Email if interested

Co-sponsored by

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Join us on a 12 day photographic excursion to three of Alaska's wonderlands, Kenai Fjords, Katmai and Denali National Parks travelled by train, boat and plane, explored with photographer Stephen Johnson.

The Parks

Katmai National Park and Preserve
air transportation and dorm-style lodging at Brooks Camp included

Katmai National Park and Preserve encompasses 4.7 million acres of pristine wilderness on the Alaska Peninsula, across from Kodiak Island in Southwestern Alaska. Wild rivers and streams, rugged coastlines, broad green glacial hewn valleys, active glaciers, volcanoes and brown bears characterize Katmai. Katmai contains Alagnak Wild River; Aniakchak National Monument and Preserve, a 30-square-mile volcanic caldera; and a very large population of brown bears.

Katmai National Park and Preserve is an area rich with history and wildlife. It is the site of the Brooks River National Historic Landmark, with North America's highest concentration of prehistoric human dwellings. The park is also home to the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes, the result of a volcanic eruption in 1912 which buried more than 40-square-miles of wilderness under as much as 700 feet of ash. The name was derived from the thousands of small holes and cracks in the ash deposits that gave off gas and steam from heated ground water. Fourteen active volcanoes lie within the park today and the Alaska Volcano Observatory operates 19 monitoring stations there.

Katmai NPS website

Katmai Map

Brooks Lodge

Kenai Fjords National Park
lodging and all day boat tour included

Kenai Fjords National Park is comprised of 669,983 acres on the southeast coast of the Kenai Peninsula, near the town of Seward in Southcentral Alaska. Kenai Fjords includes three main areas - Exit Glacier, Harding Icefield and the coast. Exit Glacier, a half-mile wide river of ice, is the easiest section of the park to access. The 700-square-mile Harding Icefield is one of only four remaining icefields in the U.S. It is also the largest icefield entirely within U.S. borders. The park's rugged coastline includes beautiful tidewater glaciers and abundant marine wildlife.

Snow and ice cover 60 percent of the park. As the ice recedes, it uncovers glacially carved valleys that fill with seawater to form the stunning fjords. House-sized ice masses crash from tidewater glaciers into the sea. Glacier and wildlife cruises are a popular way to experience the tidewater glaciers within the park. Seward, located on Resurrection Bay, is one of Alaska's most popular towns for scenery, wildlife and fishing. With a nice selection of restaurants and lodging, visitors can choose from a wide variety of options.

Kenai Fjords NPS Website

Kenai Fjords Map

Example: Kenai Fjords Northwestern Fjord Cruise



Denali National Park and Preserve
lodging and all day drive-in and photo work on 90-mile Denali Park Road

Denali National Park and Preserve is the well-known home of Mount McKinley, also known as Denali, which stands at 20,320 feet and is North America's tallest mountain. The Alaska Range also includes countless other spectacular mountains and many large glaciers.

Covering more than six million acres in Interior Alaska, Denali boasts 750 species of flowering plants, 39 mammal species, 165 bird species and 10 species of fish. Creatures commonly spotted are grizzly bears, caribou, moose, Dall sheep and fox.

Denail NPS Website
Denali Map
Denali Lodge

The Workshop
We will spend our first half day preparing for our outings. Topics covered will be optimal digital camera use in a variety of formats, file size and printing considerations. Fieldwork with intensive presentations and assistance will fill our days. We will photograph in some of the most spectacular places in the world, see a huge variety of wildlife and work on our photography, opening files, review successes and challenges of the photographs made during the day, constantly going back in the field putting into practice lessons learned.

The advent of the digital age of photography provides unique opportunities for field photography instruction. We will be reviewing work on camera screens as it is made and on portable computers, examining exposure, composition and emotional impact. Group evening reviews will also be conducted using digital projection.

Field instruction will concentrate on technical and aesthetic issues, working to develop a personal vision of these places. We will be doing some walking and hiking.

Weather will be vairable, and Alaska does have rain during the summer and possible early snows. The workshop will adapt as the weather creates and blocks opportunities, always providing more instruction and often beautiul light.

Digital exposure and dynamic range, color management, printers, papers and pigments, b&w and color, composition, emotion and amazement-all will be part of our ambitious 12-day excursion to Alaska and into the evolving world of digital photography.

What is Covered by the Tuition: transportation within Alaska from Anchorage to the workshop sites listed above. Lodging at all of those sites. Tour fees to Kenai Fjords Exit Glacier, and boat tour, Valley of 10,000 Smokes tour, Denali Road bus fees. Some meals.

What is not Covered by the Tuition: airfare to and from Anchorage Alaska, meals, incidentals. Lodging in Anchorage the night before the workshop begins and on the evening of the last day in Anchorage not included.

To Register
Registration fee must be paid in full to secure a spot in the class. A deposit of $1500 is required to hold your place for 30 days and the balance within 30 days. Deposit refunds for cancellation are dependent on our various vendors policies. Additional information will be sent upon registration.

Registration by phone 650 355-7507. Checks preferred.

Refunds and Cancellations

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 two months in advance if this workshop is not going to take place. Student initiated cancellations received prior to two months before the workshop will receive a credit for other workshops or products, a 50% credit will be given for notice received two months immediately prior to the workshop. Trip insurance is always recommended where airline travel is involved


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. 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.”

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Last updated on March 19, 2013 . Mail comments to:
Photographs and Text Copyright ©2013, Stephen Johnson. All Rights Reserved.