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Wildflowers Schoodic Peninsula. Acadia 10213. Email to order a print. Next Workshop: Raw to Print Summer Digital Bootcamp August 21-25

Welcome to the July 2013 Edition of the Photography Newsletter.

Just home from Maine and off again, to DC and then to Massachusetts to teach at a conference and give a gallery talk on my Exquisite Earth work.

This month's View From Here column discusses recent journeys and the Cloud world our flying about moves us through. We hope you find the column of value and will consider sending us some comments. Our Tutorial this month talks about photographic seeing, contrast and color.


  • Next installment of our new workshop: Flora and Form September 12-14, 2013. Shelldance Nursery and Stephen Johnson Photography Studios and Gallery...a great opportunity!

Raw to Print Workshop. 2009.

  • A second section of our annual and popular RAW to Print Summer Digital Bootcamp has been added to the summer schedule for August 19-23, 2013. There is still one discounted space available..
  • With a special $375 discount for the first 5 students, the next section of our popular printing workshop Fine Art Digital Printing Hands-on runs from August 27-30, 2013
  • New Workshop: Explore the Golden Gate region for two days of fieldwork on headlands, overlooks, the bridge and lighthouses September 7-8, 2013.


Wawona Grove of Giant Sequoias, Yosemite. 2009.

We are offering our Yosemite in Autumn workshop this year for the the first time in many years October 17-20, 2013. Hope you can join us.


Workshop Testimonials



Silver Sky over Pacific. 2013.

Silver Sky over Pacific. 2013
9x14 Pigment Inkjet Print on Cotton paper
$195 each. Purchase this print.

silver light over the edge of a vast sea.

Scholarships and Mentoring

As part of our ongoing commitment to photographic education, there is one student scholarship spot in many of our classes. Please pass the word along.

For discounted time studying with Steve, keep in mind our Mentoring Program.

With all of our busy schedules and limited budgets, destination workshops or classes become a challenge, but many of you still have questions you need answered, or feedback on some new work. We want to remind you of our Virtual Online Consulting Program. This service allows all of you out there around the globe to consult online live with Steve on technical, aesthetic and workflow issues using Skype and your webcam.

Our Essays and Tutorials from the past couple of years can now be found on Google Blogger.

We hope you can come by the gallery and see the new Panoramic Prints we've added to the National Parks Gallery, and the Exquisite Earth exhibition with its accompanying very special Exquisite Earth Portfolio 1. We invite you to join us on a workshop, rent lab space, or just say hello and let us know what you are up to photographically and what you might like to see us offer. We value your input.


Stephen Johnson Workshops and Event Calendar
Alaska's Parklands: August 5-17, 2013  NEW!
RAW to Print Summer Digital Bootcamp August 21-25, 2013
Fine Art Digital Printing Hands-on August 27-30, 2013
The Golden Gate September 7-8, 2013  NEW!
Flora and Form September 12-14, 2013  NEW!
Mono Lake and the Eastern Sierra October 12-15, 2013
Yosemite in Autumn October 17-21, 2013
Death Valley in Winter January 11-14, 2014
Speaking Events (see below)

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sleeping bear dunes


New Photo Link

James Searcy and Flag Over Highway One. July 4, 2013.
Canon 1Ds III


st helens

Cloud Field and Thunderhead over Mid-west. 2013.

by Stephen Johnson

We've been on the road the past few weeks, in Maine teaching in both Acadia National Park and at the Maine Media Workshops for a week-long digital printing course. There was a wide range of weather, from torrential rain, to fog, oven-like heat and just plain beautiful sunny yet cool days. The light kept changing throughout the trip.

Traveling became cumbersome as flights were delayed or cancelled, some of the clouds we flew above and through along the way explained some of the flight delays. That journey became a fascinating fly through an aerial wonderland.

Flying Through the Cloud World

Moving through these clouds is a fantasia, another realm of existence, ephemeral and light, weightless by ordinary measure, a landscape of rise and fall, water and heat, static power of enormous voltage, all parading under us in a slow crawl across America. It is impressive, unreal, dynamic in form, cotton balls to abstract fog banks. The parade goes on and on. I'm clueless to scale, measuring the near and far mostly by relative movement.

There is a real world below, it comes and goes in glimpses of geometry, vague and blue, small and only gesture like, insubstantial.

Another bank rolls in, obscuring everything but a band of blue above. Not blue at all of course, but scattered photons holding back the black and cold of space.

This cloud world, so alien from our life below, so complex, in such deep violation of the rules of gravity and substance. The towers churning with energy, building up to a release of such intense heat it will melt sand to glass, set forests afire, and possibly burst a giant sequoia cone to life.

Unearthly plateaus and peaks, valleys and sudden fatal canyons. A complexity unfathomable, but common, familiar to the point of being almost unnoticed, but seen from above, screamingly unbelievable.

As we fly through a bank, we get tossed around like a toy, the forms themselves not being understood for the winds within, even with the obvious up-flaring and billowing.

I've photographed clouds for years, naturally. As an image maker, clouds are irresistible when flying so much. It is hard to know how many gigabytes of cloud photographs there may be in the files, but every trip is different, every glance later at the thumbnail collections insufficient to see the detail I made the photograph to hold.

It is a bit of a dilemma, as I am constantly reminded, I can expose many more photographs that I can ever deal with, or fully appreciate. That can pose a barrier to making yet more images, but the seduction of the remarkable remains a motivation I cannot resist, nor do I want to.

Sunsets are hard too.

But perhaps, that is what I have so enjoyed moving around this planet with my camera, the seduction of the remarkable.


Flora and Form Workshop Coming Up

Check out the Flora and Form  Workshop Sept 12-14, 2013 at Shelldance Orchid Gardens. Any and all cameras welcome.

Shelldance Nursery. 2013.


...continued top of right column


The Acadia Class, Some Happy People at a Beautiful Park. 2013.

A Week at Maine Media Workshops

Back for another few summer classes in Maine, having become a traditional part of my summers. This year I taught a weekend workshop in Acadia National Park, and the Maine version of my Fine Art Printing course, Printing Photographic Beauty. The students did well in both classes, coming up with some very beautiful work. It was a warm and supportive group, a real treat to teach.


Class Photos. Printing Photographic Beauty. Maine Media Workshops. 2013. Photos by Kari Wehrs.

I usually give an artist's lecture during the week, and this year the Workshops did a video of the talk. I talked about the origins of some new work and put together a slide show from some selections. I usually don't show such new work, but it seemed like the thing to to do, take the risk, and felt good in the end.

We'll post it when we get the editing done.

email your comments to us

Consulting Programs and Speaking Events

Virtual Education: Our Virtual Consulting and Mentoring Program is working well. Readers of this Newsletter can still get a discount by mentioning this reference when you enroll.

Our One on One Program links you up with Steve at his bay area studio, or when he is on the road near you. Keep an eye on when Steve will be near your town.

Catch Steve Live: Steve will be speaking here and there over the next year, such as Amherst and Boston, MA in July, near Portland, OR and New York City in October.

  • Pacifica: At the Gallery

Come by and talk with Steve about his ongoing Exhibitions of work on display.

  • NewYork City. PhotoPlus Expo 2013 seminar "12 Steps to Improve Your Digital Photography" Friday, October 24th from 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM


Northern California Field Workshops Coming Up

The Golden Gate: September 7-8, 2013

A two day digital photography workshop exploring San Francisco's Golden Gate. We'll spend time in the Presidio with its tremendous views of the Golden Gate Bridge, Fort Point with its spectacular views of the bridge, the Marin Headlands with Point Bonita Lighthouse, views along and San Francisco's ocean headlands of Land's End and the Sutro Baths near the restored Cliff House and its historic Camera Obscura.


Seeing and Photographing

A few words improvised from an question that arose in the printing class about seeing, blacks, luminosity, color, in the real world, and processing black holes and deep saturation in and out of our photographs.

During this short off-the-cuff talk, I challenge people to find any blacks in the real world and suggest that this lovely planet we live on would instantly vanish if indeed there were any black holes here.

One of many video snippets we hope to post from the Maine Media Workshop "Printing Photographic Beauty" June 2013


.Previous Tutorial and Technique Posts

The Stephen Johnson Photography Gift Shop Featured Product

National Park Notecards

note card

National Park Color Notecard Set
Stephen Johnson
12 cards/envelopes $20 set

From "With a New Eye" Beautiful 300 line screen offset reproductions with envelopes in clear box. A great gift.




or call to order 650 355-7507



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

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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

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Last updated on January 3, 2014 . Mail comments to:
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