Eroded Hills and Gully, Badlands National Park. South Dakota. 1997.

Stephen Johnson Photography News, Events & Info August 2005


Welcome to the August 2005 edition of the Stephen Johnson Photography Newsletter. As always, we hope you enjoy this edition.

Don't miss the Beauty in Photography Seminar, the Fine Art Digital Printing, the Fundamentals of Digital Photography, and the Yosemite in Autumn workshop October 14-16.


...New: One-Day Seminars
...New: Critique Sessions
...Stephen Johnson Editions Announced
...Portraits by The Studios of Stephen Johnson Photography
Featured Print Offer
...Half Dome from Orchard, Yosemite National Park
Workshop News
...Fine Art Digital Printing
...Fundamentals of Digital
...Yosemite in Autumn
...Highway One: San Mateo Coast
...Photoshop Illustration with Bert Monroy

Upcoming Events
...Maine Photo Workshops
...Photoshop World Boston
...PhotoPlus New York
The View from Here
...Camera Needs
Photographic Services
Please Visit Us
Newsletter Administration


New Gallery Event.....
Stephen Johnson Studios & Gallery Pacifica, California.

*Photography Critique Session
Thursday evening, August 18, 2005, 7-10pm
$45 per session for showing work
$25 per session to attend

Stephen Johnson Editions Announced

NEW--One-Day Seminars...
Stephen Johnson Studios & Gallery Pacifica, California.

Beauty in Photography with Stephen Johnson. Sept. 15, 2005

Photoshop Illustration with Bert Monroy. Nov. 18, 2005

Digital Portraits by
The Studios of Stephen Johnson Photography

August 2005

Half Dome from the Orchard, Yosemite National Park. 1998.
11x14 Pigment Print on Rag paper

This view looking up at Half Dome came at the end of a multi-day video session for Apple Computer in Yosemite Valley. The video crew had gone home and I felt free to wander again. This photograph was made with BetterLight's then brand new Model 8000 with a resolution of 8000x10000 pixels. The quiet and isolation of sitting amid the old apple trees, looking up at Half Dome's massive face was a great end to the trip. I've always enjoyed the sheer size of the rock that seems to come through well in this photograph.

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 August 30. We'll be taking orders until then, and shipping them out by September 15th.

Featured Print Web page

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.

* Upcoming Workshops

NEW--One-Day Seminars

Beauty in Photography: Inspiration and Composition
Sept. 15, 2005

Stephen Johnson Studios & Gallery
Pacifica, California.

Photographic composition, inspiration and aesthetics will be explored in this one-day seminar. Examples of Steve's influences and inspirations will be discussed, as well as practical structural considerations in putting photographic images together. Nuts and bolts plus romance will define the day. To Register

Fine-Art Digital Printing
September 22-23, 2005

This workshop focuses exclusively on fine-art digital printing, 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 two days of printing demonstrations 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

Fundamentals of Digital Photography
October 1-2, 2005
Stephen Johnson Photography Studios
Pacifica, California.

This is an exciting exploration of photography's powerful new digital tools with one of the most knowledgeable artists in the field. This class is designed to provide you with the background and understanding to transition your work into the digital realm. The digital basics are covered here, in real world terms, with care to make sure the concepts are understood and the complications simplified. Those basics are built on to tackle the thorny issues of camera design and choice, data storage, color management and printing.

These two days are designed to breakdown misunderstanding, build enthusiasm and make clear fuzzy concepts that can hold your work back from feeling comfortable and in control. Many experienced photographers have taken this class and raved about its helpfullness in their digital transition and understanding.

Photoshop Illustration with Bert Monroy
Friday November 18, 2005. 9am to 5pm. $250
Register by Credit Card
for questions email:

You are offered a chance to attend an intimate small workshop with photo realist master Bert Monroy. In this one-day workshop Bert will lead you on a journey taking the blank screen and, with the power of Photoshop, turning it into a work of art. You will learn the techniques he's developed over the years to create realistic images that boggle the imagination.

It's the perfect seminar for Photoshop users, photographers and illustrators alike! You will master features overlooked by most people, yet powerful enough to make any imagined effect a reality. Bert will inspire you to look at Photoshop in ways you never thought possible.

The Landscape of the California Coast
Highway One San Mateo: A Digital Photography Field Workshop
November 12-13, 2005.

The coastline of San Mateo County is one of the most beautiful stretches of land and sea anywhere. From eroded, rocky shorelines, to cliffs, long beaches, redwood forests and small towns, this coast is complex and varied. We'll spend the days roaming the coast and mountain roads, stopping at state parks, county parks and checking out the lunch options along the way.

The workshop 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. Our concentration will be on controlling your camera's operation to achieve your desired technical results, while building composition and visual skills to make the photograph what you want it to be. Digital exposure and dynamic range, composition, emotion and amazement-all will be part of our 2-day excursion into the evolving world of digital photography. Enrollment limited to 10 people.

Yosemite Valley in Autumn
October 14-16, 2005

The fall colors of Yosemite offer photographers a wide variety of hue and texture. As the weather cools, the valley begins to change, subtle and beautiful colors start to emerge. People begin to disappear, bright greens turn to browns, yellows, blacks and golds. The valley smells fresher, the air clears and invites the walking we will be doing during this workshop. We'll spend three activity packed days in the valley, sometimes rising before dawn and lingering for the last moment of twilight.

The trip is designed to be an in-depth landscape photography workshop in the context of this digital age. We will discuss technical and aesthetic issues, tapping into your emotional response to this landscape, working toward images that are uniquely your own.

* Death Valley in Winter
January 14-17, 2006
with the Magical Digital Bus

Transformed from a searing 120 degree desert in summer to January's mild 60-70 degree weather, Death Valley is filled with intriguing landforms, delicate flora, strange mineral deposits and expansive views. Mile high Dante's View overlooks the patterned salt flats of Badwater and the Amargosa River below (the lowest point in the United States). Badwater's still water in turn mirrors the blue and white Panamint Mountains to the West. The lunar landscape of Ubehebe Crater's black volcanic fields rise from the rolling desert at the valley's north end with the steep gorge of Titus Canyon and Red Pass to the southeast.

Ireland’s Spectacular West Coast - 2006
June 24 – July 4, 2006
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.

* 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

The Digital Landscape: Maine
Maine Photo Workshop
August 21-26, 2005

A Day in Boston: A Documentary Photographic Workshop
with Stephen Johnson at Photoshop World
Pre-Conference workshop on Tuesday, September 6 from 9:00 a.m. 7:00 p.m.

PhotoPlus, New York City
Thursday, Friday and
Saturday October 20-22, 2005

Antarctica Workshop
November 30 — December 11, 2005

My friend Michael Reichmann of The Luminous Landscape has organized a Photography Workshop to Antarctica in December 2005. I will be teaching the workshop with Michael, John Paul Caponigro, Jeff Schewe, Seth Resnick and Chris Sanderson. We will have the entire boat for our 10 day trek to the Antarctic Peninsula. The workshop filled with Michael's pre-announcement to his own list and so is listed here for information purposes or in case you want to be added to the waiting list.


People are always asking what digital camera should they buy. It is a hard question to answer without asking many questions. The desire for maximum megapixels doesn't answer all the questions. As small sensors cram more sensing sites into the same form factor, the pixels get smaller, noise increases and image quality often suffers. Here are some considerations that might help your decision making process in digital cameras.

Needed Camera Resolution Determined By Print Size Desires

What Resolution Do You Need?

The number of pixels you need for a print is not much of a mystery, even though a dozen conditionals come into play. Basically you need enough digital information being sent to the printer so that it does not resolve pixels nor start to breakdown due to digital enlargement (interpolation). First of all, let’s get some basic terms straight, dpi refers to dots of ink on paper which have a real size, ppi refers to pixels in an image which have only the size you assign. If we accept as a general rule of thumb that the input file needs to be around 300 ppi (which, of course, can be debated) at whatever size you intend to print, the following numbers give a simple but reasonable calculation of the data needed.

Print Resolution Pixel Dimensions

-300 ppi print at 8x10 inches requires
-300 x 8=2400 pixels x 300 x 10=3000 pixels
or 2400 x 3000 pixels
-2400 x 3000 pixels=7.2mb x 3 (RGB for color)=21.5mb

So, by simple calculation, you can assume a 20mb file has about enough data for an 8x10 print. This could be considered the file’s “native size” on this printer. There may be substantial disagreement with this calculation, based both on big print desires and a legitimate difference of opinion as to what is acceptable print quality. Although I occasionally drop the input ppi below 300 for printing, this is my input resolution rule of thumb, which has generally been born out by my own experimentation and desire for pristine prints.


Many variables influence print appearance, including printing technology, paper and ink choices. The basic variables are:

-Quality of original file (usually sharpness)
-Quality of printer
-Output pseudo dpi: ie 360, 720, 1400, 2880
-Paper surface (rag shows less detail and breakdown)
-Your own lust for print size vs breakdown in print quality

Digital Camera Input and Resolution

Keep in mind that many printed files will come from Bayer pattern sensors, where the apparent resolution has already been synthesized upward from what the camera could actually see. The above 20mb file needs would be generally met by a 6mb camera whose images is interpolated to 18mb.

Then, in turn, the photographer often decides they want a big print. This is not a formula for great image quality and can easily represent a step backward from film-based enlargements.

Many will argue that prints made with Epson printers should have 360 ppi going in as their print heads are 720 ppi and an equal division downward makes sense. You should experiment yourself.

Digital Camera Features To Look For

-RAW file capability and camera support in Adobe Camera RAW
-Compact Flash cards
-USB2 or Firewire connector
-Manual controls for shutter/aperture
-Histogram display
-Depth of field preview button
-External flash sync connector

Lens Feature: Depth of Field scale (hard to find these days)

-from "Stephen Johnson On Digital Photography"
available late fall or early winter


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 Sanchez Art Center
1220-C Linda Mar Boulevard, Creekside Suites, 5-7
Pacifica, CA 94044
(650) 355-7507

The Sanchez Art Center 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 ©2005, Stephen Johnson. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.