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

Having just returned from the Galapagos workshop and about to leave for our Ireland Workshop, we are running a little late getting this month's newsletter out.

Our special week-long digital immersion class is back this summer In July, From RAW to Print: Summer Digital Boot Camp. One student remarked last summer that nowhere else could they have learned so much, so quickly as in the digital boot camp.

Up comming 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?

big bend clouds

Male Frigate bird with Courting Sack Inflated. Galapagos. 2008.
Canon 1ds Mark III.


...New Ted Orland Poster
...Al Weber book
...Art and Fear
Featured Print Offer
...Aerial, Biscayne National Park
The View From Here
..Galapagos Workshop, Part One
The Digital Book
...SJohnson on Digital Photo
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
Recent Publicity
...book reviews
For Sale
...Epson Printers no longer used
Photographic Services
...Stephen Johnson Editions
Visit Us
Newsletter Administration
...Newsletter Subscription
...Newsletter Archive


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.

June 2008
Aerial, Biscayne National Park. Florida. 2008
11x14 Pigment Print on Rag paper
$195 each

Coming home from the Galapagos just outside Miami, this beautiful stack of cumulus and silver above Biscayne caught my eye.

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 June 30. We'll be taking orders until then, and shipping them out by July 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.


Galapagos Workshop 2008. Part One.

Saturday was a great day out through the countryside to Otavalo. On the way we passed views of distant volcanos, terraced fields climbing up mountainsides, fields with llamas, alpacas, and a town known for its special biscuits with carmel sauce. Lunch was at a lakeside resort that bordered another set of towering mountains rising out of the lake.


We stopped at a new roadside display where the equator crosses. It was very well done with a plaza sundial configuration and good interpretive signage.

The market in Otavalo has been going on for hundreds of years. It occupies the downtown square and many side streets. People of many sizes, ethnicities and dress have stands, wander as tourists and do their basic shopping. The goods vary from manufactured alpaca warmers to handmade dolls. The spice racks always draw me in with their intense varieties of earthen color and saturation.


We stopped a number of times on the way back to Quito, taking in the stunning clouds breaking across mountains at sunset.

Sunday. Quito to Galapagos
Our airport bus ran late early Sunday morning. It turns out there were foot races across the city that morning, including a wheelchair race. Streets were blocked off all of the central city. When our driver finally arrived, he told us to follow him a few blocks to where he was able to park the bus. We became a string of tourists with too much baggage hurrying through the streets of Quito, It was a harried ride through Quito, strung out over about 3 blocks running to a bus that was not a few blocks away but rather 8 or ten. After finally getting everybody on the bus, navigating the street to the airport was equally challenging. It seemed that every turn we made trying to eek out a route was block by the police for the races. Our driver knew the city well and started weaving down small sides street, going the wrong way down one way streets and eventually offering a construction worker a little financial aid for letting us through a closed street. At that move, the whole bus exploded in applause and we did make our plane to the islands.

The flight was full of school kids also bound for the Galapagos and for most it seemed on their first airplane ride. Some were scared, most were exuberant and amazed. They were very loud, but so full of life as to continue the trip's already lively pace.

After landing on San Cristobal, we went out to load our van and found people already in it waiting for a ride. After it was explained to them that it was a charter, we packed up with way too many bags piled everywhere and moved on to load the boat. We spent a couple of hours in town before boarding for dinner. The Evening light in San Cristobal was beautiful. Warm yellows and oranges on the old painted brick work and painted metal, young men sitting in the park in good humored conversation, a lonely dog barking in defense of mixed media courtyard and the sun setting over the harbor as we watched for the green flash.


The night ride to Espanola became a bit of a baptism at sea, being a bit of a rough ride. Eventually the engines stopped and we dropped anchor, with a few hours of peaceful sleep to follow.


Monday. Espanola
We woke to a quiet harbor and hot coffee. After breakfast we hit the Zodiac for our landing. The trail at Punta Suarez is wondrous, with one of the greatest variety of wildlife most of us had experienced. From Sea Lions to Sea Iguanas, Blue-footed Boobies to Albatross', gulls, Lava Lizards and bright orange/red/blue crabs, the place is teaming with life. The luxury of being a photo workshop was immediately evident as we simply took our time, spending more time than any other group, filling our allotted 5 or 6 hours on shore with no problem. The well known tolerance of the wildlife for human proximity was clear, and our group and others seemed duly respectful. The intimacy of the experience was precious.


Gardner Bay brought our first snorkeling experience which proved everyone was capable and able to enjoy the experience. Our landing only brought a few of us out as time was short before we had to be off the island by 6pm. The bay is graced with very light sand and turquoise water. With few of us there, low light and a day well spent, it was a great walk along the shore with the Sea Lions and Iguanas.

Tuesday. Floreana
Our requisite stop in Post Office Bay provided some context for all of the visitation and commercial use the island had seen over the last 150 years. We did the normal look through the cards left by other visitors and continued the tradition of taking them home for delivery to places near our homes. The lava tube walk was worthwhile, with two of our group even going deep enough for a swim in the dark waters of the underground pools.


The walk at Punta Cormorant is a visually rich experience––Pink Flamingos on a lake with volcanic hills and flows, and Serringetti like white trees against the reddish-brown lava. The viewing area gave us a great look at the birds, while the trail climbed up the ridge for some great over looks. Our first extensive experience on the trip with Frigate birds found them swooping and diving picking baby turtles out of their nests. The male's red courting sack clearly evident from the ground even uninflated.


to be continued next month...

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

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



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 6/16/08. Mail comments to: info@sjphoto.com
Photographs and Text Copyright ©2008, Stephen Johnson. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.