Petrified Dunes. Zion National Park. Utah. 200i6.
Canon 1Ds Mark II.


Checkerboard Mesa. Zion National Park. Utah. 2006.
Better Light Scanning Back.


Welcome to the August 2008 Edition of the Stephen Johnson Photography Newsletter.

I'm sitting in Keflavick on the last day of my July trip to Iceland, again putting the newsletter together for you all from out on the road. It has been a fascinating trip, with rich visual and cultural experiences. I look forward to doing a workshop here next year.

Our Zion National Park workshop is coming up at the end of the month and is currently low on enrollment. If you ever wanted to see this park this may be a great opportunity with a small workshop along with an intense lover of the southwest.

Our upcoming Summer and Fall workshops include Yosemite in the Fall, studio workshops include the Professional Image Editing class in September and the Fine Art Digital Printing Hands on class in early October. The first 2009 workshop is up, Death Valley in Winter.

I've been doing field workshops since 1978, they are good fun and I strive to make them substantial learning experiences. I believe our upcoming schedule of workshops can be of great benefit to many of you out there and hope you will consider joining us on one.

Our workshops are designed to enhance your photographic talents and skills. Tell us about your needs, talk to us about photographic destinations. This is continuing new program of letting people request the workshops they want. Email the Workshops Currently Building List so we can build a list of people and determine dates.

Great teaching, great facility.
What more could you need for the plunge into digital photography?

Steve at Geothermal Vents. Iceland 2008. Ragnar Sigurdsson


...New Ted Orland Poster
...Al Weber book
...Art and Fear
Featured Print Offer
...Geothermal Travertine. Iceland.
The View From Here
..Iceland Reflections
The Digital Book
...Stephen Johnson on Digital Photography
Workshop News
...Zion National Park
...Professional Image Editing
...Fine Art Digital Printing
...Yosemite in the Fall
...Death Valley in Winter

Upcoming Events
...Photoshop World Las Vegas
Recent Publicity
...Parks Book Interview. May 2008.
...book reviews
For Sale
...Older Epson Printers for sale that are no longer being used
Photographic Services
...Stephen Johnson Editions
Visit Us
Newsletter Administration
...Newsletter Subscription
...Newsletter Archive


Our Online Store

We continue to offer a wide variety of Steve's posters, books, notecards and a video or two from our Products page.

Please take a look and browse. There many one of a kind items there, available nowhere else.


The Bookstore

Ted Orland's New Photographic Truths Poster. 24x36 inches. $20.

An underground classic, gracing the walls of university darkrooms and professional studios alike. But now (finally!) it’s available again in a new edition — still illustrated with the same friendly picture of Ansel Adams, but with a text that now includes many newly-discovered digital truths.

Advice for Photographers: The Next Step
by Al Weber
2007. $12

Based on decades of teaching, Weber has collected and organized ideas and suggestions to aid those who would be photographers. A 72-page field manual.

Art and Fear
by Ted Orland and David Bayles
1993. $12.95

A terrific book. A must read for every artist who has struggled with working, creating, reaching out and hanging in there.

Featured Products

GrayCapsTM Digital gray card. The Digital gray card you will always have with you, even among 10,000 penguins.

August 2008
Geothermal Travertine. 2008
11x14 Pigment Print on Rag paper
$195 each

The geothermal vents in Iceland can produce run-off areas of amazing complexity and color. This one ran down a hillside into a turquoise lake, producing classic travertine pools on its way.

We're offering an 11x14 inch print, matted to 16x20 and ready to frame for $195, framed for an additional $75. This print at this price is offered through August 31. We'll be taking orders until then, and shipping them out by September 15th.

About the Program
Each month we offer a signed, original print, at a special price. This is a great opportunity to own a very affordable fine-art photograph. Orders are taken for a 30-day period, then printed and shipped within two weeks after the close. When it's over, it's over, these prints won't be available again at this price.


falls and rainbow

Saljalalandfoss Falls and Rainbow. Iceland. 2008.

Iceland Reflections

My long anticipated first trip to Iceland became a reality in July. Since an early National Geographic article on an emerging volcanic island off the south Iceland coast, I have wanted to see this land. My many trips to Ireland left me thinking that this year I would go on the way home form my Irish workshop. As it happened, an email arrived from my friend JP Caponigro suggesting there might be a teaching opportunity in Iceland this summer. And so there was with a new program birthing in Iceland, Focus on Nature championed by Einar Erlendsson. Although word got out late and none of the workshops filled, John Paul's got a few and is running. I ended up being invited for a get familiar trip and so my first visit. Einar was my host and tour guide for this great trip.

As almost always happens, the place is bigger and more complex than I imagined. Way bigger. We drove all day and were less than a quarter of the way around this island nation. When you don't know much about a place, it is somehow always a surprise to find it highly developed, modern and rich in culture and land. There were even a number of vegetarian eating places for me.

The language and names were hard. Basically, they speak Viking here, and it is a very different sound which leaves this poor west coast American boy with no ability to pronounce anything. I did try and butchered their words. Fortunately, almost everyone spoke English.

The country was a mix of green lush hills, expansive almost impenetrable volcanic plains, geothermal vents with their minerals, sulfurous odor and telltale yellow surrounds, and rough mountains with glaciers pouring down the slopes almost into the sea. As elsewhere, the glaciers are receding.

The volcanism seems hard-edged and fresh, even flows a thousand years old. Some features are indeed merely yesterday with a vast plain being hugely expanded and recreated just within the last hundred years. Some of the photographers I met talked about the lava flows they've seen. Everyone seemed anxious to explain their land, mixing a national pride with an intrinsic awe at the power of the earth.

Some of the roads we traveled were freeways, some familiar two-lane highways, but the best were barely there, carved from glacial tailings or right through streams and lava flows where there was always a question as to whether the vehicle could make it through. At times it almost seemed like the classical road to nowhere, with no discernable destination, or in one case no setting at all as we were engulfed in a volcanic ash dust storm.

Reykjavik, or smoky bay, is a modern city of 200,000, holding most of the country's 300,000 citizens. Although most everything must be imported, you would not guess that by the variety of goods and foods available. You could be walking the streets of most any other European city by most visual clues.

Dusk, Broken Land. Landbrotsholar, Iceland. 2008.
Canon 1Ds Mark III.

One area I found particularly intriguing and unique was a near sea plain of volcanic domes that seemed more humps on the land than imaginable as the huge plain of small domes they actually must be. It was called the "broken land" and is a place I must return.


Glacier. Iceland. 2008.

Bridge to Nowhere. Myrdalssandur, Iceland. 2008.
Canon 1Ds Mark III.

After a few days of travel with Einar, we did need to start back toward Reykjavik from the south. Einar had quite a beautiful ride planned as we went up and over a range of mountains and behind the Myrdalsjoekull glacier field we passed earlier in the week. The reward was a large inland range of verdant expanses, waterfalls, alpine streams and volcanic upheavals. It was truly an area of unique beauty and wonder.

I owe a great thanks to Einar Erlendsson for organizing my trip and his dedication to photography. His generous friends, well-know Icelandic photographer Ragnar Th. Sigurdsson and Ellert Grétarsson each spent a day taking me to some of their favorite places and are due many thanks.


Steve with Beach Pooch. Reynisfjara, Iceland. Einar Erlendsson. 2008.

Order Now for a signed copy!

Professional Photographers of America 2007 Hot One Awards

Stephen Johnson on Digital Photography

Book Reviews
Book Comments online

* Upcoming Workshops
We trust you find our selection of classes interesting and useful for your needs. We take the imparting of information and the empowerment of our students quite seriously. The digital age has considerably enhanced our ability to teach, and we believe, your ability to capture what you see. This program is designed to help you benefit from both of these advances.

We hope you can join us on a workshop.

Request a Workshop

We are also starting a new program of letting people request the workshops they want. Check out the Workshops Currently Building List and help us build a list of workshops and people so we can then determine dates. See the workshops page for a list of previously offered classes that we would be happy to teach when we have enough people.


Zion National Park
August 30-September 1, 2008

Join us on a three-day adventure through the visual wonderlands of southern Utah's Zion National Park. The trip is designed to be a complete immersion into landscape photography and its digital evolution with the pioneer in digital landscape photography. Extremes of brightness and shadow, distance, haze, perspective and form can make Zion a real challenge to photograph, but are at the heart of its beauty as well. Thoughtful seeing and good use of digital tools assist greatly in this process, and the workshop will emphasize those aspects of digital imaging and processing for which this location creates such a unique need.

We'll work on creating photographs which succeed in carrying some feel of what is special about this place with a visual integrity that speaks to you. The place was named "Zion" as a sanctuary by the early settlers, and was a holy place to the Native Americans before that. Zion is more than just a scenic national park; it is at once wild and unknown to most visitors, while at the same time managing to be comforting and intimate, becoming nature at its most intriguing. If you haven't been to Zion, imagine huge rocky outcrops, similar to Yosemite, but much closer together. There are towering red sandstone cliffs accented by pines and chartreuse cottonwood foliage; mossy seeps and creeks; sandstone in every color from mustard to raspberry, eroded into sensuous forms; petrified dunes with their layers, angles and striations; aspens, slot canyons, slickrock, sage; wide views and precious details.

Infusing your reactions to all this into your photographs will be the second focus of the workshop.

Professional Image Editing
September 18-21, 2008

Stephen Johnson Studios & Gallery
Pacifica, California.

This is a great chance to explore digital photographic editing with Steve. Hands-on help and demonstrations of his use of editing tools with restraint and finesse will benefit all of your digital photography work. This class is designed with the time to really understand the processes, and to work through difficult images.

Fine-Art Digital Printing Hands-On
October 2-5, 2008
Stephen Johnson Studios & Gallery
Pacifica, California.

This workshop focuses exclusively on improving your fine-art digital printing in our new Digital Lab, primarily using Epson inkjet printers. Concentration will be on inkjet printing with color pigments and black/gray ink combinations on coated and rag papers. Learn from the digital pioneer how he obtains his impressive results during four days of lectures, printing, and feedback in the studio.

We will cover workflow issues, color management, correcting color casts, adjustment layers, custom profile generation, editing and inspection. There being no magic bullet to making good prints, the workshop will also explore old fashioned testing, careful color judgments and interactive honing in on the best print possible.

Yosemite Valley in Autumn
October 11-14, 2008

The fall colors of Yosemite offer photographers a wide variety of hue and texture. As the weather cools, the valley begins to change, subtle and beautiful colors start to emerge. People begin to disappear, bright greens turn to browns, yellows, blacks and golds. The valley smells fresher, the air clears and invites the walking we will be doing during this workshop. We'll spend four activity packed days in the valley, sometimes rising before dawn and lingering for the last moment of twilight.

The trip is designed to be an in-depth landscape photography workshop in the context of this digital age. We will discuss technical and aesthetic issues, tapping into your emotional response to this landscape, working toward images that are uniquely your own.

death valley

Death Valley in Winter
January 31-February 3, 2009

Transformed from a searing 120 degree desert in summer to January's mild 60-70 degree weather, Death Valley is filled with intriguing landforms, delicate flora, strange mineral deposits and expansive views. Mile high Dante's View overlooks the patterned salt flats of Badwater and the Amargosa River below (the lowest point in the United States). Badwater's still water in turn mirrors the blue and white Panamint Mountains to the West. The lunar landscape of Ubehebe Crater's black volcanic fields rise from the rolling desert at the valley's north end with the steep gorge of Titus Canyon and Red Pass to the southeast

Personal Workshops and Art Consulting

Arrangements can be made to work with Steve individually at his studio or at custom locations. Call for a discussion of the possibilities. 650 355-7507

Steve and Tom
Olympic Peninsula, 2002

* Check out our workshop web page for information on all of our workshops, including both our field and studio workshops.
UPCOMING EVENTS with Stephen Johnson

Photoshop World Las Vegas
September 4-6, 2008

Aesthetics and High End Digital Photography
Friday September 5. 10:45am-11:45am

Down to Earth Color Management.
Saturday September 6. 11:00am-12:00pm

PhotoPlus New York City
October 23-25, 2008

The Elegant Black & White Image
Thursday, October 23, 2008. 9:00am - 11:00am

The Fine Print: From Concept to Exhibition
Friday, October 24, 2008. 1:00pm - 3:00pm



Book Reviews
Book Comments online




Printers I'm no longer using. Make an offer. Must pick up.

  • Epson 1280
  • Epson 5500 (with lots of ink supplied)
  • Epson 9000 (dye inks and Lyson grayscale set included)
  • Epson 9500
  • Epson 10000

Printers being replaced:
  • Epson 2200 $300


We are now offering rental time in our new lab on an hourly basis during our normal business hours.

Tuesday-Friday 10am to 5pm.
$25 per hour, plus a per print charge

Includes full access to calibrated monitors, fast G5 Macs, Epson pigment inkjet printers, 5000°k viewing lights and color profile creation hardware and software.

Appointments can be made by calling 650 355-7507.
Familiarity with Mac OSX and Photoshop CS2 or 3 or Adobe Lightroom recommended. Staff tutorials available for additional charge.

A Great Opportunity!
  • Fully equipped lab
  • Make your own printer profiles
  • Finally have access to the equipment you need


Digital Portraits by
The Studios of Stephen Johnson Photography

  • Instant Feedback
  • Special prices
  • Satisfaction or no fees


  • Artwork Copying
  • Custom Printing
  • Custom Profiles
watercolor by Ralph Putzker


To purchase original prints, see:

11x14 pigment on rag paper $450 from existing prints

•Information on Stephen Johnson's Original Prints

With a New Eye: The Digital National Parks Project


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.

We're happy to mail you a copy of our product catalog, just send a note to michelle@sjphoto.com or call us.

We're located at:

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


Pacifica Center for the Arts from Linda Mar Boulevard

We're open by appointment. To find us, use our map online at:

Map to studio
Studio directions and site layout.


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Last updated on 8/13/08 . Mail comments to: info@sjphoto.com
Photographs and Text Copyright ©2008, Stephen Johnson. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.