Ice Arch at the shrine, Iceberg Graveyard. Antarctica, 2007

Stephen Johnson Photography News, Events & Info March 2007


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

Having just returned from Antarctica, it is much on my mind, as are the photographs from the trip. This newsletter may indulge in that concentration.

Don't miss our San Francisco Digitally Workshop March 17-18, and our Fine-Art Digital Printing class March 29-April 1.

Steve at Sea, South Atlantic.
Photograph by John Paul Caponigro.


...Book Now Shipping!
...Special Edition
Lab Rental
New Products
...Panoramics Poster
Featured Print Offer
...Light Light, Gerlache Strait, Antarctica 2007
The View From Here
Antarctica 2007
Workshop News
...Hands-On Fine Art Digital Printing
...San Francisco Digitally
...Mendocino and the North Coast
Ireland’s Spectacular West Coast
...One Day Seminars

The Book
...Stephen Johnson on Digital Photography
Upcoming Events
...Monthly Critiques
...PMA Las Vegas 2007
Recent Publicity
...podcasts reviews
Photographic Services
...Stephen Johnson Editions
Visit Us
Newsletter Administration


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

New Products

New Poster: Four Panoramics
GrayCapsTM Digital gray card you will always have with you
Gallery Events.....

Critique Session
March 22, 2007, 7-10pm

Newsletter Subscriber's Benefit

Adobe Lightroom 1.0 for $199 ($100 discount available beyond Adobe's 90 day offer). Email for discount code.

March 2007

Last Light Gerlache Strait, Antarctica 2007
11x14 Pigment Print

$195 each

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

Stephen Johnson on Digital Photography

Four Panoramics poster by Stephen Johnson
promoting the book

24x32 inches, 300 line screen reproduction.


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


Antarctica 2007

It was a long trip, 3000 miles across the southern Atlantic from Argentina to the Falklands, South Georgia, the Orkney Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula. The experiences ran from a visit to a Carcass Island Farm, a beach filled with thousands of Penguins, Fur Seals, carcasses of many that didn't make it, rain and mud, to towering glaciers, a huge variety of exotic and beautiful icebergs, and humpback whales circling the ship giving us a show.

The photographic mainstay of the trip for me was my Canon 1Ds Mark II with a few lenses. I was also able to use my BetterLight scanning camera once, and the PhaseOne P45 back for a day.

The seas were sometimes rough with canyons and hills of water in constant motion and reformation, but overall not bad. Many did get seasick, but most coped with anti-motion sickness pills and patches.

The length of the trip was daunting, and the stops at the Falklands and South Georgia seemed a distraction from Antarctica. But, as always, real places have real meaning and the experiences were very worthwhile. That was particularly true of South Georgia. I had seen from Google Earth that the island was both huge and glacier ringed. The experiences we had were not anticipated.

King Penguins Gold Harbor, South Georgia, UK. 2007. Click to Zoom.

How can I describe the experience of being among 10,000 penguins? Their sound, their sheer numbers, their fearless curiosity. We were clearly in their world, and they really didn't seem to mind. Looking down from a hill at Gold Harbor, the sight of penguins carpeting every open space, huge fields of them, hearing their calls from high above, seeing them surf the waves, brought an inevitable sense that I was in a very different reality.

However, our first stop after days on rather rough seas were the Falklands' Carcass Island, and after a great morning of beaches, penguins, rocky outcrops and tufted grass towers, we set out for high tea and cookies at the local farm. It was bizarre and wonderful at the same time.

Drygalski Fjord was our last stop in South Georgia. The wind was blowing hard as we turned into the Fjord. The steep rock and broken sun made for quite a sight, but as we got deeper into the waterway, the wind continued to increase to the point that melting glacial waterfalls were actually being blown back uphill, causing me to rename them water rises. It was an absolutely amazing site, that despite the wind made it impossible to take shelter inside the boat. I had to stay on deck.

Our first landing on the continent was Brown Bluff on the north tip of the peninsula. Our dawn visit to the shore was graced by a dramatic sunrise, penguins and glacial ice. Many of us went over to the glacial edge, where low light and penguins coming right up to us made for some nice images. The afternoon stayed sunny and as we cruised around to the southeast we enjoyed the skin-warming sun for the first time in days. It felt almost like picnic weather. The ice sheet blocking our way south turned out to be too thick for our merely ice-hardened hull so our southeast peninsula experience was cut short, and we turned around toward Hope Bay.

By early afternoon, the wind had picked up considerably, and we chose to keep going rather than battle the wind for a near glacial edge experience in the Zodiacs. The late afternoon had us rounding the NW tip of the Antarctic Peninsula through quite a display and clouds, mountains and glaciers pouring over every landform in sight.

Neko Harbor presented the first landing with time and good weather for me to take the 4x5 CamboWide view-camera and my BetterLight Scanning camera ashore. It was great to finally set up on a rock and just work through making an image. Taking the time to see, to think, to look. It is such a different process than handheld work from a moving boat. I made two large panoramics and a few normal rectangular images. I was just starting to get into the rhythm of being there when it was time to go on to Paradise Bay.

While in transit between Neko Harbor and Paradise Bay we ran across a pair of humpback whales who hung out with us for more than an hour. After many close up encounters, suddenly one of them lunges up and breeches into a head up swing onto its back spectacular show. Few of us were prepared, some got terrific photographs.

South out of Paradise Bay, the Gerlache Strait led us down to a narrow passage called the Lamaire Channel. The light was somber and it was cold, but eerily lit and still quite beautiful. At the end of the channel was a place nicknamed the Iceberg Graveyard, where it is apparently shallow and icebergs run aground. One berg stood out, it was a magnificent most exotic ice-form, a long arched set of classical Greek-like columns framing a great arch of ice. It seemed natural and uncannily human in its form and origin. The shrine, as I came to think of it, was one of the most amazing natural forms I have ever encountered. With all of the sensuality and abstract design we had been seeing in the bergs for weeks, this one huge block of eroded ice was the most impressive.

A nasty cold virus on-ship started to catch up with many of us and slowed us down. Not that the pace of the trip slowed, but some of our participation did. I know I started sleeping in-between almost every activity, and unfortunately missed out on a few. Many were laid low by the trip back across the Drake Passage.

Along the way, and when the seas we not too rough, we gave presentations in the lecture room on our work, on Lightroom, Exposure and Composition, Metadata, Color Management, and Creativity, along with individual portfolio reviews and group critiques. The Quark Expeditions staff kept us up on the natural history with lectures along the way as well.

We were ready to come home. Still there was regret at the adventure being over. The thirty hour trip home loomed over us from the northland.

Starting to review the photographs is revealing more than I could see at the time. This is typical for me, I often don't understand what I am doing in the midst of producing the work. I rely on intuition, and as such, conscious thought about the process is less often relevant. For me, it often impedes the vision, but it leaves me vulnerable to purpose and meaning only coming later. Still, it was a time set aside for seeing, and that in itself is too rare in most of our lives.

I'll post more photographs over the next few weeks as I get caught up from being away so long.

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.

San Francisco Digitally
March 17-18, 2007
In and around San Francisco for the workshop and 15 miles south at Stephen Johnson Photography Studios in Pacifica for the pre-meeting and critique.

A two day digital photography workshop exploring some of San Francisco's most visually interesting areas. We'll spend time in the Presidio with its old forts and forests, downtown skyscraper cityscapes, the Palace of Fine Arts World's Fair remnants, Fort Point with its spectacular views of the Golden Gate Bridge, (and possibly the Marin Headlands) and the urban eden of Golden Gate Park. We will also take in the restored Cliff House and its historic Camera Obscura. Much time will be spent walking and looking, knowing we will be in the area for awhile, giving you the freedom to explore, but also keeping help nearby.

* Fine-Art Digital Printing Hands-On
March 29-April 1, 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.

* Mendocino and the North Coast

May 4-5, 2007

Dive into the lush seascape of California's North Coast on this intensive two-day photographic workshop to Mendocino. Dark, musty redwood rainforests pierced by sunbeam shafts, spectacular rocky cliffs with the tumbling surf below, and rolling shoreline dunes will fill our two days with remarkable varied photographic experiences. The north coast architecture of this beautiful little township and the fishing port of Noyo will add plenty of man-made subject matter to our weekend. And, of course, we will find time to sample a few of Mendocino's good eating establishments.

The misty north coast light will likely be as much our subject matter as the landforms. This special quality of light is part of what makes this area so visually interesting and dynamic. Come prepared for rain, fog and sun.

* Ireland’s Spectacular West Coast - 2007
June 20-30, 2007
Seats limited to 12 students

Join Stephen Johnson and Anthony Hobbs for an unforgettable journey along the rustic West Coast of Ireland. This workshop will include hotel stays in several towns along our route from County Clare towards Connemara and Achill Island. Along the way, participants will explore western Ireland's landscape with its lush greens, rocky islands and remote castles. 

If you are interested in joining the reservation list for this workshop, please email us at  We are limiting this workshop to 12 students. Photography instruction, transportation, lodging and some meals included. Airfare to and from Shannon will be participant's responsibility. A $500 deposit will reserve your place in the class for 30 days. Please see Irish Workshop link above for details.


-Color Management: April 21, 2007
-Digital Black and White: May 19, 2007
-Beauty in Photography: Inspiration & Composition: June 2, 2007

* 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: March 22, 2007
Stephen Johnson Studios & Gallery
Pacifica, California.
PMA Las Vegas 2007

Canon Booth: Talks Thursday 12 noon, Saturday 2:15pm
O'Reilly Booth: Book signings Thursday 1:30pm, Saturday 12 noon

Pictures in Art, Science, and Engineering
1st Workshop, UC Berkeley Men's Faculty Club, March 23-25 2007


O'REILLY podcast
MacVoices Podcast
MacEdtion Radio

PCPhoto Magazine: Panoramic Article
ASMP NorCal Newsletter: Reprint from book

Book Reviews
Book Comments online


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 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

Stephen Johnson Editions Announced


  • 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 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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Photographs and Text Copyright ©2007, Stephen Johnson. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.