Stephen Johnson Photography News, Events & Info May 2007

Mountain Shadow on Sky. Panamint Range, Death Valley. 2007.
Canon 1Ds II


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

We're adding new summer programs including the week-long Mono Lake, Bodie and the High Sierra, and RAW to Print a Digital Boot Camp.

Don't miss our Mendocino and the North Coast Workshop May 5-6, and the back to back Professional Image Editing and Fine Art Digital Printing classes in May.


...Book Now Shipping!
...Special Edition
Lab Rental
New Products
...Panoramics Poster
Featured Print Offer
...Grand Canyon in Haze, 1998
The View From Here
Photographs, Memories, Connections
Workshop News
...Mendocino and the North Coast
...Professional Digital Imaging
...Hands-On Fine Art Digital Printing
...Mono Lake, Bodie and the High Sierra
From RAW to Print: A Digital Boot Camp
...One Day Seminars

The Book
...Stephen Johnson on Digital Photography
Upcoming Events
...Monthly Critiques
...Photo Film Night
Recent Publicity
...book 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
May 17, 2007, 7-10pm

New Free Photo Community Event

Photo Film Night: May 24, 7-9pm
Ruth Bernhard: Illuminations
Featuring Filmmaker Robert Burrill

May 2007

Grand Canyon in Haze 1998
11x14 Pigment Print

$195 each

I often use this photograph to illustrate a talk I give on photographic clichés determining our expectations of what the real world looks like. It was on a hazy day, much like this, that I witnessed a couple getting off a tour bus at the Grand Canyon, shaking their heads, turning away, while saying "it just doesn't look like the postcards."

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


Photographs, Memories, Connections

I've been going through some old family photographs recently while testing a handsome new scanner Epson sent in (the Perfection V750 Pro). Some were of my own youth, old girlfriends, and of course, going further back in time to relatives whose names and images are in hand, with little else known other than relation.

The power of photographs to hold these past moments, at least in a small way, has been often discussed. Their power, their truth. Yes, I should have shaved that lengthening peach fuzz in the early portrait with my first girlfriend. I could yet fix it in Photoshop, but the actual story would remain, just ego-altered in retrospect.

Many icons and memories have come to mind, stories of loss and love, precious connections, suggestions of hope and spirit: the photographs of lower Manhattan island in 1998, the Space Shuttle Columbia on the launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center, glimpses of George Harrison from long ago, and the very common "the kids when they were young."

Photographs help us make connections. Their power extends so deep that they even fuse with our memories and become part of our mental image of the experience. The image gets inserted into our mental version of experience.

I've often been challenged regarding my assertions that photographs contain limited, but critical truths, and that in this age of digital manipulation, these attributes of photographs should be cherished. At a recent celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the Canon EOS system, two Canon employees from Japan sat next to me. As we talked, this issue of photographic veracity came up, and they told me that in Japanese, photography literally means "capturing reality." Their sketch on the back of a business card became the genesis for the image below.

Perhaps we've become cynical, certainly justifiably suspicious about people with notions of truth in hand. But we do live with truisms that actually have value and meaning. Kindness is important, friendship matters. Photography's emergence into our collective consciousness was, and remains, a notion of recorded reality. It connects us to a time and place, the image often becoming more important over time. As art, photography connects us to another heart as well.

We rarely know the value a photograph might come to hold as document. It's value is more often clear if it seems to have risen to the level of art. The evidence of a concrete reality, a glimpse into a time or culture, these are all part of what we hold dear in photography. When we add to that mix an emotional response and a sense of intrinsic beauty, then we tap into three cornerstones of photography.

I suppose these are all thoughts in support of a kind of straight-forward photography. There are certainly other kinds of photography, some of great beauty. However, straight photography can embrace a unique set of concerns and values. I find great value in such an embrace.

New York City, October 1998.

I made this photograph carefully and with great intention. Never did I dream that this photograph would end up in my mind as being a tribute to over 3000 taken lives.

Space Shuttle Columbia, Pad 39B, Kennedy Space Center, 1997.

I was in awe of the space program since my early youth.
I even joked with my NASA friends as we were driving to the pad
that I felt like a 12 year old in Star Trek heaven.

Family, Merced County, circa 1925. Frank Day Robinson.
Part of a 600 glass plate collections found at the Merced County Dump
around 1940, then stored in a local garage until the early 1980s.

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.

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.

Professional Image Editing
May 17-20, 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
May 22-25, 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.

Mono Lake, Bodie and the Yosemite High Sierra
A Roving Digital Photography Field Workshop
June 16-21, 2007

The high desert sea of Mono Lake, the ghost town of Bodie, the 10,000 foot high Sierra, all in a single workshop exploring one of the most scenically spectacular regions in the world.

These six days will be a dynamic combination of a traditional landscape photography workshop while diving deep into the digital age. Technical and aesthetic considerations will be discussed in detail, while we explore this high desert lake and its strange environs.

From RAW to Print in One Week
Summer Digital Boot Camp

June 25-29, 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.


-Digital Black and White: May 12, 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: May 17, 2007
Stephen Johnson Studios & Gallery
Pacifica, California.

Free Photo Movie Night

May Movie: Illuminations Ruth Bernhard
A Documentary Film
Featured Guest: Filmmaker Robert Burrill

May 23, 7-9pm

Stephen Johnson Studios & Gallery. Pacifica, California

Video projection and surround sound with a discussion afterward.

Space is limited. Call to reserve your spot. 650 355-7507.


O'REILLY podcast
MacVoices Podcast
MacEdtion Radio

March 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 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 5/6/07. Mail comments to: info@sjphoto.com
Photographs and Text Copyright ©2007, Stephen Johnson. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.