Stephen Johnson Photography News, Events & Info July 2007

Lava Rock and Sky, Volcanos National Park. Hawaii. 1996.
BetterLight Scanning camera.


Welcome to the July 2007 edition of the Stephen Johnson Photography Newsletter. As always, we hope you enjoy this edition.

Due to the success of our week-long From RAW to Print: a Summer Digital Boot Camp we've added a second session July 23-27.

The RAW to Print class features fieldtrips and work in our great digital lab.

We have also added new sections of the Professional Image Editing class August 16-19, the Fine-Art Digital Printing Hands-On August 23-26 and a Yosemite in Autumn October 12-14.

Great teaching, great facility.

What more could you need for the plunge into digital photography?


...Book Now Shipping!
...Special Edition
Lab Rental
...Panoramics Poster
...Pearl Collection Poster Sale
Featured Print Offer
...Hands and Skull
The View From Here
...The Parks Book: A
Work in Progress
Workshop News
...From RAW to Print: A Digital Boot Camp #2
...Professional Image Editing
...Fine Art Digital Printing

...Digital Fundamentals
...Yosemite in Autumn
...Death Valley in Winter

The Book
...Stephen Johnson on Digital Photography
Upcoming Events
...Monthly Critiques
Recent Publicity
...book reviews
New Products
...HPZ3100 printer
...Gelatin Rag Inkjet Paper
Photographic Services
...Stephen Johnson Editions
Visit Us
Newsletter Administration
...Newsletter Subscription
...Newsletter Archive


Stephen Johnson on Digital Photography
Signed Copies Now Shipping!
Stephen Johnson on Digital Photography Special Edition
Limited Edition Slip-cased edition with original print

Now Shipping!

Some still available from early edition numbers at the best price.

State of the Art Digital Lab
Now Available As Classroom or Individual Workstation Rental
  • printing
  • profiling
  • image editing

Book Poster: Four Panoramics
GrayCapsTM Digital gray card The Digital gray card you will always have with you, even among 10,000 penguins.

Pearl Collection Parks Poster Sale
15x21 inch. All 5 for $20 (July only)

Gallery Events

Critique Session
July 26, 2007, 7-10pm

July 2007

Hands and Skull 1993
11x11 Pigment Print on Gelatin Rag paper

$195 each

We're offering an 11x11 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 30. 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.


The Parks Book: A
Work in Progress

As I come down to the last of the prep for the publication of my book on the national parks, a few substantial challenges remain. I've decided to share some of the process and considerations with my readers.

Last fall, in updating the book and reviewing parks included and photographs, the book expanded to over 300 pages instead of the contracted 256. This allowed me the freedom to reshape some of the approaches and reorganize sections in ways that has made the book stronger. As many in this audience may well know, the costs of book production run very high, and it has never really been an option to expand the length. So now the challenge is how to edit the work back to its production length, while still retaining the character of the more expansive design and layout. The text and inherent strength of the included photographs will ultimately dictate what stays and goes, with the eyes of many trusted colleagues and friends lending input.

In reviewing the photographs made, a real tension has developed thematically between the thousands of photographs I made with 35mm digital SLRs and the large-format scanning photographs. Most of these were made with the Kodak DCS460, but the work continued all the way up through my use of the Canon 1Ds II. These are often more intriguing than they seemed when shot, as the RAW processing is now dramatically more advanced than what was available in 1995. There are obviously so many more of the handheld photographs to choose from, many in weather that the large-format work simply couldn't be used in, others simply fleeting moments that would be lost by the time the 4x5 was set up. All of the aerial work was made with the digital 35s. Adobe Lightroom has made this process a pleasure. Reviewing these again and looking for the gems has turned into a exercise in presenting myself with way too many choices. No doubt many will be included as some already have, but it is almost an entirely separate body of work, with its own integrity and point of view.

An additional design and inclusion issue has come up as many of the 2mb preview files from the BetterLight scanning camera have an exposure time and movement quality that is quite intriguing, more so in many cases than the full resolution 140mb files. These preview files are not large enough to go full page, so in some cases are currently featured as smaller images integrated into text or on multi-image pages. This approach changes the rhythm and cadence of the book, and I am looking hard at whether this actually works and the inclusions are important enough for such a change.

Despite many good efforts over the years, my tracking of image indexes and various additional data such as GPS has become somewhat scattered and in some cases I am having to go in and relocate sites on memory and simulated views in Google Earth. This has proved fascinating and deeply informative, as many unnamed features in my notes become known, and consequently the captions and understanding of the scene become more informative. Recently the GPS data was found after I had relocated the site virtually, and I was amazed at how close my derived location turned out to be. In short, the whole exercise continues to deepen my understanding of these complex and wonderful places.

These are a few of the current issues to be worked through. I should shortly have the edits from my editor, then the last round begins.

Prototype map, Death Valley.

Some Business Questions:

  1. The parks book will be 12.5x15.25, 256 pages, 300 line screen reproduction. How much is a reasonable price for the softbound? For the hardcover?
  2. What do you think of our current workshop offerings? What additional subjects or locations would you like to see offered? Weekends only? Thursday-Sunday? Weekdays?
  3. How could our website and newsletter be improved?
  4. What kinds of activities would help build photo community in the San Francisco Bay Area and virtual community?

Mail answers to: info@sjphoto.com and receive a 10% discount on your next 2007 workshop.

Stephen Johnson on Digital Photography

Book Reviews
Book Comments online

* Upcoming Workshops
We hope 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.

From RAW to Print in One Week
Summer Digital Boot Camp

Second Session added: July 23-27, 2007

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.

Professional Image Editing
August 16-19, 2007
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
August 23-26, 2007
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 judgements and interactive honing in on the best print possible.

Yosemite Valley in Autumn
October 12-14, 2007

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 three 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.

Fundamentals of Digital Photography

September 15-16, 2007
Stephen Johnson Studios & Gallery
Pacifica, California.

This is an exciting exploration of photography's powerful new digital tools with one of the most knowledgeable artists in the field. This class is designed to provide you with the background and understanding to transition your work into the digital realm. The digital basics are covered here, in real world terms, with care to make sure the concepts are understood and the complications simplified. Those basics are built on to tackle the thorny issues of camera design and choice, data storage, color management and printing.

Death Valley in Winter
January 19-22, 2008

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

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 Penninsula, 2000

* 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

Critique Session: July 26, 2007
Stephen Johnson Studios & Gallery
Pacifica, California.

Maine Photo Workshops
The Digital Landscape, July 8-13
Fine Art Digital Printing, July 15-20


O'REILLY podcast
MacVoices Podcast
MacEdtion Radio

March PCPhoto Magazine: Panoramic Article
ASMP NorCal April Newsletter: Reprint from book
Newsday, June 5th. Article on Digital Printing

Book Reviews
Book Comments online


Hewlett Packard Z3100 Printers

First, a word of disclosure, I helped design these printers over the last four years with many trips to HP's Large-format printer unit in Barcelona. They built much of what I and some others suggested.

The printer's main feature is its built-in Gretag/X-Rite Eye-One spectrophotometer and profile creation software, giving it the ability to make custom profiles of any inkjet paper you choose, those from HP or anyone else. The profiles are remarkably good and embedded in the printer once created. The profiles can also be downloaded to your computer so that Photoshop can do the color management if you choose. The HP Z3100 is producing the best first prints I've ever made.

Added to this mix is HPs new Vivera pigment inkset which is giving me good color and in Henry Wilhelm's accelerated aging test is lasting over 200 years.

I'll be writing more as time allows.

Gelatin-Rag Inkjet Paper

We finally have some inkjet papers that begin to resemble traditional gelatin-silver photographic papers. Companies like Hahnemuhle, Crane, Innova and PremierArt now have on the market viable papers with a heavy gelatin coating, capable of making very handsome color and black and white prints. I found I have been able to use the matt blacks inks normally made for rag papers (like the Hahnemuhle Museum Etching which I designed).

These papers are about the same or a little heavier than double-weight gelatin-silver paper, 15 grams for an 8x10 silver print, averaging about 17 grams for the new inkjet papers (8.5x11 trimmed to 8x10).


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


Snake, watercolor by Mary Ford


  • Artwork Copying
  • Custom Printing
  • Custom Profiles


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.


We've sent you this newsletter because, at some point, you told us you were interested in hearing from us.

If you'd like to unsubscribe, change your email address, or give us comments about the newsletter, please send a note to lists@sjphoto.com.

To subscribe to the sjphoto-news mailing list
web: http://sjphoto.com/mailman/listinfo/sjphoto-news

To communicate with us regarding the list, email: sjphoto-news@sjphoto.com

Newsletter Archive

Home | Fine Art Prints | Products | Workshops | Announcements | Online Gallery
Consulting Services | Contact Info | Site Index | Related Web | Mailing List

Last updated on 7/31/07. Mail comments to: info@sjphoto.com
Photographs and Text Copyright ©2007, Stephen Johnson. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.