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Beauty in Photography: Inspiration and Composition

One-Day Digital Photography Seminar with Stephen Johnson

Stephen Johnson Studios & Gallery
Pacifica, California.

Seeing Beauty in Photography: Vision and Craft
April 21, 2018 9am to 5pm

$195 (special early enrollment price $95 for first 4)

online registration

Stephen Johnson Studios & Gallery
Pacifica, California

Why do some images move us, and others leave us cold?
What makes a good photograph? What makes us pick up the camera at a particular moment? How do we work toward understanding our momentary visual curiosities and turn them into strong photographs? Why do we point the camera in one direction instead of another when the subject matter might be very similar? Why does a photographer take so long to make a photograph? What constitutes a beautiful print?

Talking about Art is hard. There either doesn’t seem to be words to describe the motivations or reactions, or there are too many words obfuscating meaning. Learning contemporary language and references of modern art criticism may help some understand art history, but “art-speak” is rarely a tongue I hear used by artists themselves. Plain talk, real dreams and real passions are what drive us forward, sometimes irrationally, sometimes with a plan. Photography fits neatly into this long and confused history.

These and other such inspirational and compositional questions will be discussed in this seminar on photographic composition. Sources of inspiration will be explored, from photography to other art forms, ideas and people. There will be no rules of composition propagated here, but explorations and suggestions. A good nuts and bolts day for improving your photographs..

This seminar is designed to help you make stronger photographs by empowering your technique and vision.

As is always the case, Stephen's workshops are full of information and he works to create a relaxed atmosphere where questions are answered, inspiration is at the core, and people return for more.

Workshop Testimonials





More Tutorials, Technical discussions and Essays are linked from the Techniques Button on our Home page.

Techniques Page

Photography Workshops

Interested in learning more? Perhaps one of our digital photography classes would be of help? 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.

Next Workshops:

Yosemite in Winter
February 24-26, 2018

Flora and Form
March 22-24, 2018

Seeing Beauty in Photography
April 21, 2018

Image Editing in Photoshop
April or May 2018. Date to be determined.

Fine Art Digital Printing Hands-on
April or May 2018. Date to be determined.

Desert Light Photography Workshop. Palm Springs.
May 6-10, 2018

From RAW to Print: A Digital Photography Bootcamp.
June 4-8, 2018



For a full list of current workshops, click here.


Stephen Johnson

A photographer, teacher and designer, Stephen has been teaching and working in photography since 1977. His books include At Mono Lake, the critically acclaimed The Great Central Valley: California's Heartland and Making a Digital Book. He has run his own photography, publishing and design company since the late 1980s--digitaly scanning and designing his photographic books using Macintosh computers and since 1994 photographing in the field with digital view cameras.

Current projects include With a New Eye, his groundbreaking and historic all digital national parks project, the acclaimed 2006 book Stephen Johnson On Digital Photography, new work Exquisite Earth and ongoing portfolio development and extensive lecturing.

Stephen's pioneering work in digital photography has included software and product development for clients such as Apple, Adobe, Epson, Kodak, Hewlett Packard, Leaf, Ricoh and SuperMac. His work with Adobe includes the creation of the duotone curves shipped with their Photoshop software.

His photographic clients have included the Ansel Adams Publishing Trust, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, and the Friends of Photography. Johnson's photographs have been widely published and collected internationally.

In 1999, Folio Magazine declared the publication of Johnson's digital photographs in Life Magazine to be one of the Top 15 Critical Events in magazine publishing in the twentieth century. Stephen Johnson was named as a 2003 inductee into the Photoshop Hall of Fame, recognized for his achievements in Art. Canon named Steve as one of their Explorers of Light in 2006. In 2007 X-Rite named Stephen as a founding member of their exclusive Coloratti group of photographers and educators honored for their skills in color management.

In 1997, Life Magazine described Stephen Johnson as an artist that "...applies science to nature and creates art." His images create "...an intimacy that brings subject and viewer close in ways conventional photographs cannot." 

The Photographer’s Gallery wrote in 1998: “Stephen Johnson's photography rides on the "bleeding edge" of photography's transition to a digital media. Schooled in the traditions of fine-art western landscape photography, Johnson has taken his understanding of traditional photographic processes and brought those skills to bear on the emerging technologies and aesthetics of digital photography. He has pushed technology companies to rise to the best of what imagemaking can be, and pushed his own vision of how we see and record light in the natural world. This has led him to conclude that the way we have traditionally captured images with silver-based photography has been a poor and distortive view of the real and rich world before our eyes. His photographs look almost "unphotographic" in their clarity and purity of color. He shows us a world we know, but rarely see on paper. His is a truly remarkable vision.”


Stephen Johnson Biography
Workshop Testimonials

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Last updated on February 3, 2018 . Mail comments to: info@sjphoto.com
Photographs and Text Copyright ©2018, Stephen Johnson. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.