Galapagos Adventure
A Digital Photography Field Adventure Workshop

One of the Earth's Natural Wonderlands

March 23-April 2, 2012
7 days. tentative price $5500 (may be a little less)

Workshop PDF
Email if interested

Join us on a 7 day photographic excursion to Ecuador's Galapagos Archipelago explored with photographer Stephen Johnson. A 12 person catamaran will be our home and vessel, with a journey through one of the wonders of the world.


Testimonial from the 2009 Trip...
 
Despite having travelled the world seeking adventure, I have to say the trip with Steve Johnson was beyond compare.  There is nowhere on earth like the Galapagos.  Walking among blue-footed boobies, swimming and playing with sea lions, and watching the world’s only northern hemisphere penguins dart past you in the water were just a few of the spectacular sights we saw.  The Galapagos are a place everyone should see in their lives.  To be able to do it with a professional photographer like Steve who cares deeply about passing on his art, to learn how to see the wildlife through his eyes and capture them digitally and on film, made the trip even more spectacular.
 
The trip was organized superbly, care was taken for our safety and our enjoyment, and perhaps most important, deep care was taken to protect the wildlife and environment of a truly unique  setting.  Tremendous thanks from Katie and from me for a trip, for memories, and for photographs that will last a lifetime.
 
David Ross

 

seals

The Archipelago

San Cristobal

San Cristóbal (Chatham) Island: It bears the name of the Patron Saint of seafarers, "St. Christopher". Its English name was given after William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham. It has an area of 558 square kilometers (215 sq mi) and its highest point rises to 730 meters (2395 ft). This is the first island in the Galapagos Archipelago that Charles Darwin visited during his voyage on the Beagle. This islands hosts frigate birds, sea lions, giant tortoises, blue- and red-footed boobies, tropicbirds, marine iguanas, dolphins, swallow-tailed gulls. Its vegetation includes Calandrinia galapagos, Lecocarpus darwinii, and trees such as Lignum vitae.The largest fresh water lake in the archipelago, Laguna El Junco, is located in the highlands of San Cristóbal. The capital of the province of Galápagos, Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, lies at the southern tip of the island.

Espanola

Española (Hood) Island: Its name was given in honor of Spain. It also is known as Hood after Viscount Samuel Hood. It has an area of 60 square kilometers (23 sq mi) and a maximum altitude of 206 meters (676 ft). Española is the oldest island at around 3.5 million years and the southernmost in the chain. The island's remote location has a large number of endemic fauna. Secluded from the other islands, wildlife on Española adapted to the island's environment and natural resources. Marine iguanas on Española are the only ones that change color during breeding season. The Waved Albatross is found on the island. The island's steep cliffs serve as the perfect runways for these large birds which take off for their ocean feeding grounds near the mainland of Ecuador and Peru. Española has two visitor sites. Gardner Bay is a swimming and snorkeling site as well as offering a great beach. Punta Suarez has migrant, resident, and endemic wildlife including brightly colored Marine Iguana, Española Lava Lizards, Hood Mockingbirds, Swallow-tailed Gulls, Blue-footed Booby, Red-Footed Booby and Nazca Boobies, Galápagos Hawks, a selection of Finch, and the Waved Albatross.

Floreana

Floreana (Charles or Santa María) Island: It was named after Juan José Flores, the first president of Ecuador, during whose administration the government of Ecuador took possession of the archipelago. It is also called Santa Maria after one of the caravels of Columbus. It has an area of 173 square kilometers (67 sq mi) and a maximum elevation of 640 meters (2,100 ft). It is one of the islands with the most interesting human history and one of the earliest to be inhabited. Flamingos and green sea turtles nest (December to May) on this island. The "patapegada" or Galápagos Petrel is found here, a sea bird which spends most of its life away from land. At Post Office Bay, since the 18th century whalers kept a wooden barrel that served as post office so that mail could be picked up and delivered to their destination mainly Europe and the United States by ships on their way home. At the “Devil's Crown”, an underwater volcanic cone, coral formations are found.

iguanas

 

Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz (Indefatigable) Island (Galápagos): Given the name of the Holy Cross in Spanish, its English name derives from the British vessel HMS Indefatigable. It has an area of 986 square kilometers (381 sq mi) and a maximum altitude of 864 meters (2834 ft). Santa Cruz is the island that hosts the largest human population in the archipelago at the town of Puerto Ayora. The Charles Darwin Research Station and the headquarters of the Galápagos National Park Service are located here. The GNPS and CDRS operate a tortoise breeding center here, where young tortoises are hatched, reared, and prepared to be reintroduced to their natural habitat. The Highlands of Santa Cruz offer an exuberant vegetation and are famous for the lava tunnels. Large tortoise populations are found here. Black Turtle Cove is a site surrounded by mangrove which sea turtles, rays and small sharks sometimes use as a mating area. Cerro Dragón, known for its flamingo lagoon, is also located here, and along the trail one may see land iguanas foraging.

Newsletter Essay from 2008 Trip

 

Santiago

Santiago (San Salvador, James) Island (Galápagos): Its name is equivalent to Saint James in English; it is also known as San Salvador, after the first island discovered by Columbus in the Caribbean Sea. This island has an area of 585 square kilometers (226 sq mi) and a maximum altitude of 907 meters (2976 ft). Marine iguanas, sea lions, fur seals, land and sea turtles, flamingos, dolphins and sharks are found here. Pigs and goats, which were introduced by humans to the islands and have caused great harm to the endemic species, have been eradicated (pigs in 2002; goat eradication is nearing finalization). Darwin Finches and Galápagos Hawks are usually seen as well as a colony of Fur Seals. At Sullivan Bay a recent (around 100 years ago) pahoehoe lava flow can be observed.

North Seymour

North Seymour Island: Its name was given after an English nobleman called Lord Hugh Seymour. It has an area of 1.9 square kilometers (0.7 sq mi) and a maximum altitude of 28 meters (92 ft). This island is home to a large population of blue-footed boobies and swallow-tailed gulls. It hosts one of the largest populations of frigate birds. It was formed from geological uplift.

Just north of the Baltra Airport is the small islet of North Seymour. North Seymour was created by seismic uplift rather than being of volcanic origin. The island has a flat profile with cliffs only a few meters from the shoreline, where swallowtail gulls and tropicbirds sit perched in ledges. A tiny forest of silver-grey Palo santo trees stand just above the landing, usually without leaves, waiting for rain to bring them into bloom. The island is teeming with life. Visiting the island you may have to give way to a passing sea lion or marine iguana. Flocks of pelicans and swallow-tailed gulls feed off shore and seasonally Nazca boobies can also be seen.

North Seymour is an extraordinary place for breeding birds and is home to one of the largest populations of nesting blue-footed boobies and magnificent frigate birds. Pairs of blue-footed boobies can be seen conducting their mating ritual as they offer each other gifts, whistle and honk, stretch their necks towards the sky, spread their wings, and dance—showing off their bright blue feet. Magnificent frigatebirds perch in low bushes, near the boobies, while watching over their large chicks. The frigates are huge, dark acrobats with a 90-inch (2.3 m) wingspan. Male frigates can puff up their scarlet throat sacks to resemble a giant red balloon. Boobies and frigates have an interesting relationship. Boobies are excellent hunters and fish in flocks. The frigates by comparison are pirates, they dive bomb the boobies to force them to drop their prey. Then the acrobatic frigate swoops down and picks up the food before it hits the water.

Island Text from Wikipedia

 

The Workshop
Fee includes lodging in Quito, shared cabin on boat, food during voyage, park service guide and extensive photographic instruction.3 nights in hotels, 7 nights on a catamaran (see below) at sea and in harbors. Expenses not included, airfare to Quito, and Galapagos (+-$425), nor the $100 National Park fee.

We will spend our first day in and around Quito, with an optional side trip to the Otavalo Market, then on to the Galapagos by air the next day. Once on the boat, food, lodging and obviously transportation is taken care of. 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.

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 7-day excursion to the Galapagos and into the evolving world of digital photography.

 

boatboat plan

The 70 foot catamaran Nemo II, our home for our Galapagos Voyage.


To Register
A deposit of $800 is required to hold your place in the class. Registration fee must be paid in full to secure a spot in the class. Additional information will be sent upon registration.

Call 650 355-7507
or email info@sjphoto.com



bio

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 acclaimed 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 2007 X-rite named Stephen as a founding member of their exclusive Coloratti group of photographers and educators honored for their skills in color management.

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.”


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 shortly after our closing date of November 15, 2011 if this workshop is not going to take place. For international workshops, it is reccommended that you purchase refundable tickets and investigate trip cancellation insurance.

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Last updated on October 24, 2011 . Mail comments to: info@sjphoto.com
Photographs and Text Copyright ©2011, Stephen Johnson. All Rights Reserved.