Backlit Clouds, Tehachapi. 2006.

Stephen Johnson Photography News, Events & Info February 2006


Welcome to the February 2006 edition of the Stephen Johnson Photography Newsletter. As always, we hope you enjoy this edition.

Don't miss the premier of our new hands-on lab in the
Fine Art Printing Hands-On workshop March 9-12, 2006 and our last minute addition to the schedule of the Landscape of the Highway One: the San Mateo County Coast on February 11-12.


...Hands-On Fine-Art Printing Workshop
...Limited Edition Neil Young print
Online Galleries Added
The View From Here
...Fine-Art Printing
Featured Print Offer
...Trees and Fog, Sacramentor
Workshop News
...Highway One San Mateo
...Fine-Art Digital Printing Hands-On
...Ireland's West Coast

...Lobby Gallery at 333 Bush, San Francisco
Upcoming Events
Photographic Services
...Stephen Johnson Editions Announced
Visit Us
Newsletter Administration


Hands-On Fine Art Printing Workshop Announced

Special Limited Edition Neil Young Print to Aid Bridge School donation to school extended.

Online Galleries Webpage Added

Gallery Events.....

Critique Sessions: Thursday Evening February 23, 2006

One-Day Seminars 2006


Printing Fine-Art

Printing is joyous and painful. It is about beauty and witness, fixing an idea into form, taking the fleeting moment and holding an impression of it. It is peculiar and wonderful. Ansel used to call printing a performance of the negative's score. Dodging and burning in the darkroom did often feel like conducting an orchestra.

It is different now. Setting up new equipment feels more like tuning a delicate instrument than setting up a darkroom to print. In many ways darkroom prep was much more forgiving.

The mechanics of making a print has certainly changed, both for color and black and white. Working balance into a silver print certainly took skill, but always had a potential randomness that some found delightful and I found frustrating. The imprecision of it all could be a real downer. The beauty and satisfaction of a truly fine print of your work overcame it all. Of course, that was all we knew.

It is now very different. I am dramatically less tolerant of imperfections, off-balance color, and tonality less than I had in mind. White spots I would regularly remove with spot-tone and brush on a silver print are now forever part of the image. Of course, they come from different places now, instead of dust embedded in emulsion the new spots that stay are real image content. They were there.

Now, shortcomings of camera characterizations, filter-sets and profiles add their complexities and screwy color to the process. But a nuance of color creeping into a transition of shadow to midtone can be isolated and made neutral. That is wondrous.

Papers are central to the evolution of printing photographs. By the time I became involved with photography in the early 1970s, color paper had all become plastic, BW resin-coated was starting to show up everywhere and the love of gelatin-silver prints was rapidly becoming the domain of only fine art photography. Sure we could be fascinated by alternative processes like Cyanotypes and VanDyke Brown prints, even using real rag printmaking paper. Platinum and palladium prints were generally the only photographic prints that still looked like paper. Even they were often printed on the smoothest of papers to maintain detail and minimize problems.

The digital age has birthed a new realm of possibility in print aesthetics. Although people still often chase the look of contrasty plastic paper, options are there that can liberate our vision into a much broader range of possibilities.

Even as we press hard for a coated inkjet paper that resembles gelatin-silver, I want to refine the art papers we are using. I have been working Hahnemühle in Germany to develop a rag paper to my specifications, slight texture of "real" paper, 100% cotton rag, no optical brighteners and sufficient weight to really hold up. I am very grateful that their new Museum Etching in now shipping so everyone can have the access to it as I have had since late 2004.

The New Lab

I have often been frustrated in teaching digital printing. I wanted hands-on classes, but my own space was limited to seminar and demonstration. Other labs were under-powered, under-equipped and constrained on ink and paper. I gradually became determined to build my own facility that could rise beyond those constraints.

It is with these desires in mind that I am assembling the equipment to teach printing the way I think it ought to be done, with solid information, great facilities and careful feedback with proper lighting, time and thought. We premier this new capability with our Fine-Art Digital Printing Hands-On Workshop this March 9-12.

Every station will have a PowerMac G5, its own 13x19 printer with dedicated Color Management and Profiling tools (no sharing). A full RIP will be installed on every machine and enough RAM to really print, with good viewing lights available all of the time. These classes should prove very rewarding.

-Stephen Johnson, February 2006

Lab Sponsored by
Apple, Adobe, X-Rite/Gretag, Hahnemuhle, Colorbyte

February 2006

Trees and Fog, Sacramento. 1985.
from The Great Central Valley Project
11x14 Pigment Print on Rag paper

This photograph was made on a foggy Sacramento morning across from the state capital. It seemed so typical of so many valley mornings I had known that I had to wander with my camera. I was in Sacramento to deliver a talk about being an artist in todays landscape, the photograph seemed a perfect place from which to start the day. Later, as we were creating the Special Limited Edition of the The Great Central Valley: California's Heartland book, it was one of two photographs I choose in include in the boxed set.

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 February 28. We'll be taking orders until then, and shipping them out by March 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.

Featured Print Web page

* Upcoming Workshops

Fine-Art Digital Printing: A Hands-on Workshop
March 9-12, 2006

This 4 day 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 four days of lectures and printing 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 judgments and interactive honing in on the best print possible.

Steve and his assistants will work with you to tune your printing into the vision you have of what it should be, always guiding you toward asking the most of the media. Each student will have their own 13x19 desktop printer, as well as network access to large-format printers. Paper will be supplied by Hahnemühle and Epson.

The Landscape of the California Coast
Highway One San Mateo: A Digital Photography Field Workshop
February 11 (12), 2006

$250. Enrollment limited to 10 people
Optional 2nd. day an additional $200

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 day roaming the coast and mountain roads, stopping at state parks, county parks and checking out the lunch options along the way.

Ireland’s Spectacular West Coast - 2006
July 22 to August 2, 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.

*Death Valley dates for 2007 posted: January 13-16, 2007

* Check out our workshop web page for information on all of our workshops, including both our field and studio workshops.


Digital Photography Workshops with Stephen Johnson
Stephen Johnson Studios & Gallery, Pacifica, California.
9am to 5pm. $250 each.

*RAW Image Processing in Adobe Photoshop:
Saturday March 18, 2006

*Digital Portfolios:
Saturday April 1, 2006

*Digital Black and White:
Saturday April 22, 2006

*Professional Exhibition:
Saturday May 6, 2006

*Beauty in Photography: Inspiration and Composition:
Saturday June 3, 2006

*Color Management Seminar with Bruce Fraser:


Nine Prints: Selections from With a New Eye.
Lobby Gallery: 333 Bush, San Francisco.
Through March 1, Open 24/7.

Trees, Fitzgerald Reserve
Foresta Burn, Yosemite

Dune and Brush, Death Valley
Ice Wall, Exit Glacier, Alaska
Dune Pattern I, White Sands
Dune at Dusk, White Sands
Cliffs at Dawn, Grand Canyon
Trees and Cliff, Arches
Alluvial Sweep, Hawaii

UPCOMING EVENTS with Stephen Johnson

*Lecture: A Life in the Arts with Stephen Johnson
Academy of Art,
Morgan Auditorium  
491 Post Street corner of Mason and Post
San Francisco, California

Tuesday evening February 21, 2006
7:00pm -9:00pm  

*Everglades One-Day Pre-Conference Workshop
Photoshop World. March 21, 2006.

(sold out)


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 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.


We've sent you this newsletter because, at some point, you told us you were interested in hearing from us.

If you'd like to unsubscribe, change your email address, or give us comments about the newsletter, please send a note to

sjphoto-news mailing list

Newsletter Archive

Home | Fine Art Prints | Products | Workshops | Announcements | Online Gallery
Consulting Services | Contact Info | Site Index | Related Web | Mailing List

Last updated on 4/5/06. Mail comments to:
Photographs and Text Copyright ©2006, Stephen Johnson. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.