The Landscape of California

Autumn at
Mono Lake and the Eastern Sierra
A Digital Photography Field Workshop


October 11-14, 2014

4 days  $1275

A strange lunar-like lake, eerie tufa towers, and fall colors...

Co-sponsored by
maine logo

Workshop is operated under a permit with the Inyo National Forest

A full-time photo student tuition scholarship is available for this workshop. To apply, please download the application form and send it to us by mail or email.


These four days 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, while we explore this high desert lake and its strange environs.

The workshop will be taught by the pioneer in digital landscape photography, Stephen Johnson. Also the organizer of the "At Mono Lake" exhibition from which selections are currently on display at the National Forest Visitor's Center, Steve has been teaching at Mono Lake for almost 30 years.

The video to the right is both invitation to the workshop, and a short history of how the "At Mono Lake" Exhibition came to be.



The Place
The stark and beautiful scenery of this legendary lake is unlike any other landscape in the world. Its alkaline water, desert vistas, volcanoes and unusual tufa towers make it a remarkable place.

The presence of this huge lake in the eastern sierra desert is improbable at best, its out of place character is pervasive, at times seeming more lunar than terrestrial.

Mono Lake can change from a tranquil expanse of silver water to a blue-green stormy sea in minutes. It is a most intriguing place. It is both a challenge and a pleasure to photograph at Mono Lake. But Mono Lake's beauty does not necessarily make it easy to photograph here. The desert sun can be harsh, and the horizon can appear endless. It takes time and patience to catch the subtlety of Mono's moods. The autumn weather should provide some interesting cloud formations. The lake's strange landforms can easily become ordinary when photographed casually. Consequently this place demands a certain intensity to do it visual justice. A primary goal of our time spent together will be to slow down and understand the lake on a more intimate level than might normally be possible.

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 along the lake, in the volcanic craters, and through the fall-color lined canyons with intensive presentations and assistance will fill our days. We will open 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 this endangered lake. We will be doing some walking and hiking. The workshop will include a survey of the area's photographic history, natural history of the basin, and the development of the photo exhibit "At Mono Lake."

Graduate Thesis on the exhibit posted!

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 4-day excursion into the evolving world of digital photography.

Students are responsible for their own transportation and lodging.

Stephen Johnson Photography is an equal opportunity provider and this workshop is operated under special use permit with the Inyo National Forest.


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

Credit Card Registration or by phone 650 355-7507




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--digitally scanning and designing his photographic books using Macintosh computers since 1988 and photographing in the field with digital view cameras since 1994.

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, 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.”


Cancellation Policy

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.


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Last updated on September 29, 2013 . Mail comments to: info@sjphoto.com
Photographs and Text Copyright ©2013, Stephen Johnson. All Rights Reserved.