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Heathers. Filoli. 2018. Canon EOS 5DSr.  Click to purchase a print. Upcoming Workshop Flora and Form. Sept. 19-21, 2018


Welcome to the September 2018 Edition of the Photography Newsletter.

The opening of Life Form last month, promo visits, some marketing and print fulfillment, have made for some very full days. The loss of my beautiful dog Sandy has been a real and deep challenge. Remembering our wonderful friendship is life-giving.


This month's View From Here column features recent happenings, photographs and new workshops. We hope you find the column interesting and will consider sending us some comments.


  • Life Form Exhibition on display at Stephen Johnson Photography.
  • 2018 Workshop Schedule is building with these and other great courses coming up. See what a great experience students have had on Steve's Workshops by exploring Workshop Testimonials.

    Flora and Form. Sept. 19-21, 2018. Have you ever visited a nursery or greenhouse, and thought about how great it would be to capture the beauty, color, line and form of an orchid, or unusual succulent that inspires you and preserve it in a photograph? Access can be hard, and using a tripod can be impossible and not allowed. Perhaps you hesitated because you felt the need for instructional help with the technical, aesthetic and compositional framework to make it happen. This workshop is designed to enable careful photography exploring the wonder and beauty of orchids and other-worldly flora. We want to encourage slowing down, taking the time to make a well-crafted photograph built from these beautiful forms, your own emotional reactions, and studied composition. We are lucky to have this exclusive and private access workshop at the very special Shelldance Orchid Gardens Nursery.

    Fine Art Editing & Printing Hands-on. September 22-25, 2018. Focusing exclusively on fine-art digital printing, Stephen explores the possibilities of printmaking using Epson inkjet printers. Concentrating on printing with color pigments and black/gray ink combinations on coated and cotton papers, students learn from the digital pioneer how he obtains his impressive results. Stephen covers workflow issues, color management, correcting color casts, adjustment layers, custom profile generation, editing, and inspection, as well as paper visual qualities and the challenges and advantages of printing.

    Critique Session. September 27, 2018. 7-9pm. Feedback on our work has proven critical to many of us involved in the arts. In this emerging age of digital photography, it is hard to find people knowledgeable in the technology and with a background and experience in the fine arts. Steve will go through your photographs, talk with you about what he thinks works, and aspects that could be improved. Composition, original execution, editing and printing will all be discussed. You can explore your concerns and aspirations for the work and you will get honest feedback and encouragement on how to make the images stronger.

    Image Editing. September 29-30, 2018

    Mono Lake and the Eastern Sierra. October 18-21, 2018.

    Pt. Lobos, Carmel and Big Sur. December 1-3, 2018.

    Death Valley in Winter. January 12-15, 2019



Fine Art Printing Workshop July 2018.

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 our Newsletter Archive and some on Google Blogger.

We hope you can come by the gallery and see the original prints in the new Life Form 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.


Workshop Testimonials

FEATURED PRINT September 2018

Trentepohlia and Cypress. Fitzgerald Reserve. Moss Beach, CA. 2018.
Canon EOS 5DSr.

Trentepohlia and Cypress. 2018.
Canon EOS 5DSr.

9.5x14 Pigment Inkjet Print on Cotton paper
$195 each.

The green and orange created a surreal scene I was pleased to see and record as a photograph.


Workshop Schedule

Flora and Form. Sept. 19-21, 2018
Fine Art Digital Printing Hands-on September 22-25, 2018
Critique Session. September 27, 2018. 7-9pm
Image Editing. September 29-30, 2018
Mono Lake and the Eastern Sierra. October 18-21, 2018.
Pt. Lobos, Carmel and Big Sur. December 1-3, 2018.
Death Valley in Winter. January 12-15, 2019


Linda Mar Bay, just down the road from Stephen Johnson Photography.


Speaking and Exhibition Events


Continuing Installation. Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA January 2017 onward. Make Software Exhibit

July through December 2018. Life Form. Stephen Johnson Photography. Pacifica, CA

Fine Art Digital Printing Lecture. PhotoPlus 2018. New York City. October 27, 2018

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NEW Photograph



Redwood in Decay. Butano State Park, CA 2018. Canon EOS 5DSr.

Redwood gradually returning to the earth via multi-hued burn, tree, moss and who knows what else.









Rocks. Pebble Beach. 2018.
Canon EOS 5DSr.


by Stephen Johnson

Knocking Around in August

With the Life Form Exhibition opening follow-up and needing to keep regular gallery hours, I've had to stay close to home this month. It is also true that my beautiful 14 year old Golden Retriever Sandy seemed on her last days and I need to stay very close to her.

Living next to the Pacifica Ocean always provides opportunity to connect with nature. With the occasional whale visits the photographic possibilities keep pulling me in.



Lunging Humpback Whales. Pacifica, CA. 2018.
Canon EOS 5DSr.


The whales have not been as numerous this year, but we have spent hours watching in fascination with their movement and amazement at their presence. At one point a few weeks ago, three Humpback Whales were lunge feeding at sunset. Sometimes a too slow shutter makes for magic. What a great coastline.



Great Blue Heron. Pacifica, CA. 2018.
Canon EOS 5DSr with Canon 100-400mm lens.


A Great Blue Heron was hanging out in the Pacifica Center for the Arts fields hunting gophers. I love it when they take off or land, with wings spread out in reaching grace. But this one was happy to be watching carefully. I was unwilling to approach him too close and cause him to fly, so I was also content just to watch for a little while and enjoy its feathered wonder.



Murray Ranch State Park. Half Moon Bay,  CA. 2018.
Canon EOS 5DSr.


Almost any tree-lined trail seems worth taking. The road into Murray Ranch in Half Moon Bay, now a state park, has been one of those wander roads. It is not dramatic, perhaps not even spectacular, but it does take me on another little journey through this planet. It is certainly quintessential California mid-coast.



Trees, Murray Ranch Park. Half Moon Bay, CA. 2018.
Canon EOS 5DSr.



Redwood Forest. Butano State Park.. 2018.
Canon EOS 5DSr.



Eucalyptus Forest. Murray Ranch Park. Half Moon Bay. 2018.
Canon EOS 5DSr.



Evening Cloud Shadows. Pacifica, CA. 2018.
Canon EOS 5DSr.


...continued top of right column of the essay


Don't forget to Check out our next workshops

Next Studio Workshop

Fine Art Editing & Printing Hands-on. September 22-25 2018


Next Field Workshop

Flora and Form. Sept. 19-21, 2018





Reflections. Little Butano Creek.. 2018.
Canon EOS 5DSr.

The Highway One Coastal Journey Workshop

We had a good weekend in the studio and on the road in the Highway One Coastal Journey Workshop. Extra time was spend in the studio customizing the class to the student's needs on depth of field, histograms and composition.

Exploring the meeting of land and sea is often a wonder. Our coastal stops on this workshop were filled with form, texture, salt air and varying light.


redwood and ferns

Redwood and Ferns. Butano State Park.. 2018.
Canon EOS 5DSr.



Redwood and Ferns. Butano State Park.. 2018.
Canon EOS 5DSr.


On the coastal workshop, I conducted a number of demonstrations on depth of field, abstraction and black and white renditions. One demo included previewing black and white renditions by changing the Canon Picture Style Menu to Monochrome. I pointed out, that as I was photographing in Raw, a color image would supplant the BW thumbnail when later viewed in a Raw Processor such as Camera Raw or Lightroom. Canon Digital Photo Professional would preserve the BW preview. A workaround to preserve the BW view I experienced in the field, I changed the camera settings from Raw alone, to Raw plus JPEG so as to hold onto the BW rendering I experienced in the field.



Pampas Grass. Fitzgerald Reserve. Moss Beach, CA. 2018.
Canon EOS 5DSr

California Academy of Sciences

A day wandering the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park birthed a few images as well as a great experience. The visit was to celebrate a birthday, but I did manage a few photographs to share.



Condor Wing. California Academy of Sciences. Golden Gate Park., CA. 2018.
Canon SL2



Rays. California Academy of Sciences. Golden Gate Park. San Francisco, CA. 2018.
Canon SL2


There was a great photography exhibit on display at the Academy from their annual photo contest BigPicture: Natural World Photography. One particular photograph of a Humpback Whale by Renee Capozzola, Playtime In Mom's Bubbles caught my eye.


CAS website



At Stephen Johnson Photography

Current Exhibition

Life Form Opened in the Main Gallery at Stephen Johnson Photography on July 21. We have had many visitors come by the gallery since the opening. Many have then joined workshops and certainly helped build community. Please come see the show. Pass the word.

Seeking Good Venues for Life Form

We are seeking good venues to show this work. The Life Form Series is now available for museum and gallery exhibition after December 2018.


Life Form Announcement. 2018


Our Tutorials Page 

Many of you likely subscribed to this newsletter list to learn about photography. Let this serve as a reminder that many of the past tutorials and essays are online. 

There is also a Vimeo Video Tutorials Album available to see if thy might be of help. Let me know if there are other subjects your would like to see me address. 


Video Archives Online

Over the years, I've built a large library of video connected with my work. Making that video available is an ongoing process. In the last few weeks I've taken advantage of Vimeo's Album Feature and organized the videos. Check out the page.




My Golden Retriever Friend Sandy

On a personal note, my dear friend and near constant companion Sandy, passed away peacefully last night, August 28th.

Sandy will forever be in my heart with her enthusiasm, her gentleness, her goodness and her love. I was blessed to have this beautiful soul in my life for 14 and a half years. I miss her greatly.


sandy steve

Sandy and Steve. Pacifica, CA. 2010.
Phase One P65 on Hasselblad 500cm.


please email your comments to us

Free Stuff (a few still left)

Last summer we replaced the Epson 2400s in our lab with their new P600s and consequently have some printers to seed to photographers in need. We were also given some Epson Canvas to share. These are available for pick-up to those of you on my mailing list. Let me know of your interest. I do want to spread them out among a few people.

We've had a few takers, but more are left. Take Advantage.

Epson Canvas Rolls 17 inch


1 Epson 2400 printer left


Equipment for Sale

Canon Lens for sale. EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM


The EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM is a lightweight, compact L Series telephoto zoom lens with Image Stabilizer. The optical Image Stabilization in the new EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM lens provides up to an incredible four stops of shake correction-a first for Canon IS lenses. The use of fluorite UD lens elements provides excellent optical performance in terms of resolution and contrast. These features, together with its water-and dust-proof construction, provide both the performance and portability to meet user demands.

EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM. $600. I m selling this pristine 1 year old lens as I have replaced it with the new version II.


The Stephen Johnson Photography Gift Shop

Featured Products



New Life Form Folio

pacifica book


lf book page

The Life Form Folio

As we are premiering the Life Form Exhibition, I wanted to have a collectible item and record of the show prior to the full book I plan. So, now available is the 36 page 11x17 wire bound book, 5 years of work from 2013 to 2018 exploring these magnificent lives.

  • Photographs from 2013-2018
  • 36 pages
  • 11x17 wire-bound book
  • $40

Preview and Order Here

Exquisite Earth Exhibition Catalog

pacifica book



ee book pageee book page

The Exquisite Earth Exhibition Catalog

As I've been on a roll on fixing bodies of work into POD books, I decided before the Exquisite Earth show could come down for new upcoming show, I wanted to create a printed record. So, now available is the 56 page 11x17 wire bound book, 5 years of work from 2005 to 2010 traveling this wondrous planet.

  • Photographs from 2005-2010
  • 56 pages
  • 11x17 wire-bound book
  • $50

Preview and Order Here

New Pacifica Book

pacifica book



pacifica bookpacifica book

  • 74 pages
  • 11x17 wire-bound book
  • Pacifica Trail Map
  • 32 years in Pacifica
  • Drawn from 10 years of calendars
  • $75

Preview and Order Here


Pacifica Land Trust Trail Map

Pacifica Trail Map by Pease Maps special to the Pacifica Land Trust.

11" x 17" folded
(free shipping) proceeds go the Pacifica Land Trust, a non-profit corporation.

I'm proud of my 16 years on the board of the Pacifica Land Trust, and happy to have Ben Pease's great trail map as part of our outreach to bring attention to the natural wonders of Pacifica.


trail maptrail map


Gift Certificates for Prints and Workshops!

Emailed or shipped with beautiful gift note card.


To Purchase



gift certificate

Life Form Note cards

5x7 inches (now in stock)



Click to Purchase

12 image Note card set with envelopes featuring photographs from Steve's new Life Form work.

Printed by Steve in his studio in very limited numbers on a color laser digital press


gift certificate

National Park Note cards

note card

National Park Color Note card 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.


gift certificate



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

Studio Lab Rental

We're open by appointment. To find us, use our map online at:

Google Map to Studio
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Studio directions and site layout.


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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 September 11, 2018 . Mail comments to:
Photographs and Text Copyright ©2018, Stephen Johnson. All Rights Reserved Worldwide