big bend clouds

Fence in Rain. Conor Pass, Dingle Peninsula. Ireland. 2008.
Canon 1Ds Mark III.


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

I'm sitting in Ennis on the last day of our Ireland Workshop, putting the newsletter together for you all. It has been a great trip. It convinces me once again of the great value of working with people in the field in addition to the classroom. 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.

I do want to draw your attention our special week-long digital immersion class, back this summer in July, From RAW to Print in One Week: Summer Digital Boot Camp. I put this class together to meet the widespread need to really get up to speed with digital photography. Time is limited, one week really committed can make a big difference. One student remarked last summer that nowhere else could they have learned so much, so quickly as in the digital boot camp.

Our upcoming Summer and Fall workshops include the, Zion National Park, and 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.

Our Maine Media workshops still have some space so check out The Digital Landscape and Fine Art Digital Printing in Rockport Maine during early August.

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 Healy Pass. Ireland 2008. Anthony Hobbs.


...New Ted Orland Poster
...Al Weber book
...Art and Fear
Featured Print Offer
...Road and Rainbow, Ireland
The View From Here
..Travel, Photography and Home
The Digital Book
...Stephen Johnson on Digital Photography
Workshop News
...From RAW to Print Bootcamp
...Zion National Park
...Professional Image Editing
...Fine Art Digital Printing
...Yosemite in the Fall
...Death Valley in Winter

Upcoming Events
...Maine Media Workshops
...Canon Lectures
...New England Camera Club Conference
...Photoshop World Las Vegas
Recent Publicity
...Parks Book Interview. May 2008. 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.

July 2008
road and rainbow
Road and Rainbow. Healy Pass. 2008
11x14 Pigment Print on Rag paper
$195 each

On the West Ireland Workshop coming over Healy Pass on the Beara Peninsula we encountered a wild winding road down the south side of the pass. We were enjoying the space, light and marks on the land, when a rainbow broke out above the road. It was one of those moments when fantastic became spectacular.

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 July 31. We'll be taking orders until then, and shipping them out by August 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.


Travel, Photography and Home

The world is remarkable. I well know it is too obvious to say really, but having traveled so much over the last few years, seen so much and yet touched so few of the earth's wonders, I keep trying to keep up with my own imagination of what our reality here really holds. In just the last few weeks I've been to the Andes, the Galapagos, New York, Miami, Ireland and home in San Francisco. The head goes through quite a stretch with airline travel and ambitious schedules.

Teaching along the way only deepens the sense of appreciation as others eyes widen and their experiences broaden. I get to see those new places through their eyes, in their reactions and through their photographs. It is a privilege to see them and help the process along. It is also always a challenge whether to guide students toward art or just help with travelogue. The degree to which document plays a role in their desires is sometimes at odd with artistic response. Of course, it is wonderful when both desires can be reconciled and beauty emerges with document.

Yes, the hassle of airports, security, hand-carrying cameras/computers, missed connections and lost luggage puts a real damper on the experience. I know what is called for, to just steel myself for the hassles, and move through the experience with a bit of grace. I've been managing to lately, mostly. Noise canceling headphones, a good adventure book, some fatigue inducing pre-departure over work, all of these add up to getting through the traveling part of seeing the world.

I am well aware of contributing to carbon emissions by using jets to fly about. I also know of no other way to see this huge planet. It remains a conflict though, and although it does little real good, I try to stay aware of the total impact of what I'm doing. Part of how I make my living is by leading workshops. This very fact induces others to travel as well, multiplying consequences. It also is intended to create awareness and appreciation of the places we visit and learn to work in. So much is about striking a balance.

The way we experience the world is so different from any previous generation. We think we know places from television, photographs, books and the internet. We can visit almost any place on earth in a matter of hours. We dream of going places only the very wealthy could travel in the past. The wonders are more within reach than they've ever been.

Coming to know the earth and its people has always been important to me. It's both about home and the exotic. It is our home, and yet so vast with so many different cultures and landscapes that it cannot really be known in a single lifetime. Yet the desire remains.

Fences and Sea. Inishmean. Ireland. 2008

We explore through our photographs. They are records of our journeys, pulls of our hearts and bring visual curiosities home to ponder yet more. They can be travelogues, even earning income from travel writing and photography. They can hold images that won't let go of us. The sheer labor of building the stone walls of Ireland will haunt me for awhile––fields once so boulder-strewn as to be unusable for agriculture, endless fence building as make-work for the starving during the famine of the late 1840s. The image in my mind remains the backbreaking work, the now almost clear fields, the rock hard fact of the walls still there as testament, the sheer visual weirdness of such extensive geometry imposed on the landscape. All of this and more. Even if successful artistically, the photographs can only go so far to suggest such emotional reactions. They are, after-all visual impressions.

Farm House and Valley. Healy Pass. Ireland. 2008

Mother and Eight-day Old Foal. Inishmean. Ireland. 2008.

Ireland is a tempting place. I speak the same language, mostly. My culture is partially derived from theirs, theirs is influenced back by mine. Artists are appreciated in Ireland to a very different degree than in America, they don't even pay taxes. The rural beauty of the country is very seductive, just like this garden I'm sitting in now, or the wandering eight mile walk I took on country roads around Ennis this afternoon. Many have come to Ireland, many have stayed and found the pace of life altered from our American working world. There is a romantic pull to that notion. Of course that could just be me wanting relief from having bought into the working world mentality of my homeland. It is a choice.

But the pull of home is strong. As a native Californian, the pull of my home state is very strong, its diverse and spectacular landscapes hold my heart in an entirely different way. I'm always anxious to go home.

The fact that my photographic work has given me a reason to explore, almost an imperative, is a fact for which I am grateful. As I said in an email home yesterday:

"The trip has been good. I realized as I was sitting there riding along, getting shown Ireland from the big front windows of our mini bus, feeling other’s excitement and spending the time with my friend Anthony, how lucky I am to have built a kind of life where I dream up a trip, and it happens. Sure it is work and sometimes economically marginal, but the sheer contentment of watching the Irish landscape flow by felt pretty special."

Steve at Inishmean. Ireland. John Odem. 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.

From RAW to Print in One Week
Summer Digital Boot Camp
July 20-24, 2008


An intense immersion into digital photography with one of its pioneers. In five days you will go from perhaps not even understanding what a RAW file is, to making well-crafted and thoughtful prints. Some fieldwork and extensive lecture and lab work will fill our time together. Every student will have full access to their own workstation in our lab. Topics include practical experience with digital exposure, RAW processing, image editing, color management and printing.


Included in the workshop is a copy of Stephen Johnson on Digital Photography, courtesy of O'Reilly Media.


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

mmw logo

Maine Media Workshops

New England Camera Club Conference
Friday through Sunday, July 11-13, 2008

University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA

A Landscape Photographer in the Digital Age by Stephen Johnson (CA)

Spend this program with digital photography pioneer Stephen Johnson exploring landscape photography with the power of the new tools of the digital age. Emphasis will be on our newfound freedom to capture what we see, rather than what we can do to a photograph later. Traditional aesthetics blended with innovative techniques and deep digital experience will be the perspective from which Johnson will lecture. This lecture will be jam-packed with information and inspiration. Primary emphasis will be on empowering participants to get past technological hurdles and pursue their vision. Sponsored by Hewlett-Packard

Canon's Explorer of Light Photographer - Stephen Johnson
Photographer Lecture Series

Stephen Johnson Talk
Adobe Technology Exchange of Southern California
Saturday, July 19, 2008. 9:00 AM to 12 noon
Location of event: Toyota USA's headquarters at the corner of 190th street and Gramercy Place in Torrance, California

Photoshop World Las Vegas
September 4-6, 2008

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

Down to Earth Color Management.
Saturday September 6. 11:00a-12:00p



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 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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