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Bristlecone Pine. See our next field workshop: High and Eastern: A High Sierra, Owens Valley, and White Mountains Workshop August 21-27, 2011

Welcome to the August 2011 Edition of the Stephen Johnson Photography Newsletter.

This past month has been spent just up from the Pacific ocean, in the studio and classroom here, teaching, printing for portfolios and planning/writing for some new projects to be announced shortly.

This month's View From Here column explores some soft coastal light, upcoming international workshops and the new Exquisite Earth portfolio.

On the workshops front, August brings our new workshop High and Eastern: A High Sierra, Owens Valley, and White Mountains Workshop August 21-27, 2011 working some of the classic landscapes of eastern California. We are hoping some more of you can join us on this 7 day photo journey. Our current students enrolled under a special discount, so call (650 355-7507), let's talk...

By popular request we have scheduled the next Fine Art Printing Hands-on for September 8-11 with additional critical new features including two after class custom profiles for every student and a round of print critiques.

Our evening critique session resumes for a September Critique on the 15th.

Our classic and engaging Mono Lake Workshop is October 8-11, exploring this high desert sea, its surrounding volcanoes and high Sierra canyons. The Death Valley in Winter Workshop starts the new year running January 7-10, 2012 .

There is one scholarship spot in each of these classes.

Don't miss the international trips we have coming up to China, the Galapagos and Iceland. We are really looking forward to our trip exploring southern China, The China Guangxi Landforms Photography Workshop in mid-November.

Our return to the awesome Galapagos archipelago will be a high point of 2012 with the wondrous Galapagos Photography Expedition in April.

In August of 2012 we will journey back to the land of fire and ice for a 10 day photographic expedition to Iceland.

This month's Tutorial features a video of the Q&A Session July 22nd. in the studio as we continued our new Video Q&A with Steve. Our Advanced Fine Art Printing class was able to ask Steve some interesting photographic questions and he gave detailed answers to each of them.  Send in your own questions and our next video day in the studio we will put your question in the queue for future sessions.

Our new Virtual Online Consulting Program continues this month with only a few slots available. This new service allows all of you out there around the globe to consult online live with Steve on technical, aesthetic and workflow issues using Skype and your webcam.

We hope you can come by the gallery and see the Exquisite Earth exhibition, join us on a workshop, rent lab space, or just say hello and let us know what you are up to photographically and what you might like to see us offer.


Workshop Testimonials



Contrail and Sun. Pacifica. 2011

New Photo Link

The strange things you see sometimes....a jet flying through the sun....



Columns, Marshall Point Lighthouse. Maine. 2006
Canon 1Ds II
11x14 Pigment Inkjet Print on Cotton paper
$195 each. Purchase this print.

Afternoon soft light on the portico of the Marshall Point Lighthouse in Maine.

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2011 Stephen Johnson Workshops and Event Calendar
High and Eastern: A High Sierra, Owens Valley, and White Mountains Workshop
August 21-27, 2011
Fine Art Digital Printing September 8-11, 2011
Critique Session September 15, 2011
Introduction to Digital Photography in a Day September 17, 2011
Mono Lake and the Eastern Sierra
October 8-11, 2011
Guangxi China
November 7-19, 2011
Death Valley in Winter
January 7-10, 2012
Galapagos 2012. April 2012
Iceland. August 21-September 2, 2012







San Francisco Digitally Workshop 2011.


Summer Ramblings

Summer on the northern California coast is not the summer I grew up with, nor what most of us think of as summer. Our summer sun is often hidden here, grayed out by coastal overcast and occasional fog. When the sun comes out, it is glorious and mild, making it very difficult to stay indoors and work. The back and forth can lead to a profound seasonal confusion.

Of course, as a boy of the San Joaquin, to me summers are supposed to be hot and dry, sometimes searingly so. East coast summer humidity was unknown, and summer rain almost impossible to imagine. The long summer days of course also conjure up nostalgic memories of 3 months off from school and sense a sense of freedom little known in any other part of life.


However, this coast light is often magical, even if its not what my gut expects of summer. The cloud banks streaming over the mountains are poetry in motion on a scale that can take my breath away.

It's interesting that my kids think of this soft light as summer. And I can see its beauty, but I still yearn for more sun.

Exquisite Earth Portfolio

We're almost done with the manufacture of the Exquisite Earth Portfolios we announced last December. The September Newsletter will feature a longer article about the process and considerations going into making a portfolio.

In the meantime, it seemed worthwhile to talk a little bit about the process...

When we curated and hung the show of new work last November, I was thinking about a sub-group of the work that could work as a portfolio. So even though I hadn't fully selected the prints, a number of portfolios were sold, forcing the issue to the forefront. As the months passed, I narrowed the selection and started making the prints.

We also needed to initiate the manufacture of the clamshell portfolio cases. It turns out that the cost of such custom boxes have gone up considerably since my last round of production and it took me a number of months to find a producer of quality at a reasonable price.

The next steps were to pick a fabric and finalize the design on the foil stamping of the case. On the fabric, I wanted something in earthtones, but a weave that could survive some handling without great sensitivity to dirt and scuffing.



left: the first printed boards and prints.

above: comparing the new portfolio print to the exhibition print

On the printing and matt boards, I wanted to take this effort further than I ever had before, with custom imprints on the board and prints for the portfolio labels and identification information.

The story will deepen with the first of the finished portfolios which should be ready this month. We'll explore the whole process next month.


Slide Show. Exquisite Earth Portfolio Selections



...continued top of right column


Slide Show. RAW to Print Workshop July 2011. Stephen Johnson Photography.


We have a number of international workshops coming up in the next 12 months and I thought it would nice to highlight them here.



China: November 7-19, 2011

Our trip to China is coming up in November and we are quite excited to see the famed karst towers of Guilin and the Li River. We hope you can consider joining us on this exciting photographic excursion.


Galapagos: April 2012

This is my third return to this famous and wondrous group of islands on the equator off South America. This volcanic chain is unlike any other place I've been and really is a must see in a life of exploring the earth. We are very lucky to have the chance to put together a dedicated photo trip on a small boat with only 12 people, extensive time on the islands and working through the images on the boat during island transit and evenings.


Iceland: August 21-September 2, 2012

I am enthralled with Iceland. It is one of the most beautiful places I've been and I feel a deep pull to continue to explore and share this place. This is a new trip customized for my photographic interests and curiosities, dedicated to a wonderful and deep photographic experience. email for preliminary info


A Workshop Review: Advanced Fine Art Printing Workshop- July 2011

I recently attended Steve Johnson's  Advanced Fine Art Printing Workshop.  I have taken a number of Steve's workshops before and was looking forward to this one.  This workshop did not disappoint me.  Steve has an uncanny ability to see ways that an image could be improved and helped me see them too.  He helped the students slice through the extensive capabilities of Photoshop to the relatively few tools that are important to creating a quality photographic print.  Steve has an impressive knowledge of Photoshop and gave each student all the personal attention needed to address issues with their images.  I learned image processing workflows that would have taken me years to figure out on my own.  In addition, he created a relaxed atmosphere that made the workshop fun, both in interacting with Steve and with the other students.

Bottom line, this workshop was not only fun to attend, but it was very rewarding in terms of the knowledge and skills that I gained.  Thank you Steve.

Carl Schwab. Pacifica, CA



Q&A with Stephen Johnson 7/22/11


7/5/11 Session

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From "With a New Eye" Beautiful 300 line screen offset reproductions with envelopes in clear box. A perfect Christmas gift.




or call to order 650 355-7507



Please come visit us at our gallery and see our original prints in person. The subtle detail of the prints and the beautiful texture of the fine art paper have to be seen to be understood. And while you're here, browse through our books, cards, posters, and specially priced prints.

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Stephen Johnson Photography at the Pacifica Center for the Arts
1220-C Linda Mar Boulevard, Creekside Suites, 5-7
Pacifica, CA 94044
(650) 355-7507



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Stephen Johnson Photography at the Pacifica Center for the Arts
1220-C Linda Mar Boulevard, Creekside Suites, 5-7
Pacifica, CA 94044
650 355-7507

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Last updated on August 29, 2011 . Mail comments to:
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