Paradise Bay, Antarctica 2005. BetterLight Scanning Back.

Stephen Johnson Photography News, Events & Info January 2006


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

Don't miss the Fundamentals of Digital Photography on January 28-29, 2006 and the
Fine Art Printing Hands-on workshop March 9-12, 2006.


...Hands-On Fine-Art Printing Workshop
...Limited Edition Neil Young print
Online Galleries Added
The View From Here
...Antarctica 2005
Featured Print Offer
...Iceberg Tower
Workshop News
...Death Valley in Winter
...Fundamentals of Digital Photography
...Fine-Art Digital Printing Hands-On

Upcoming Events
...Lecture Series: Basic Digital Camera
...Antarctica 2007
Photographic Services
...Stephen Johnson Editions Announced
Please Visit Us
Newsletter Administration


Hands-On Fine Art Printing Workshop Announced

Special Limited Edition Neil Young Print to Aid Bridge School

Online Galleries Webpage Added

Adobe Announces On-line Beta of new LightRoom software

Gallery Events.....

Digital Camera Fundamentals Lecture
Thursday January 5 2006, 7-10pm

Critique Sessions: Thursday Evening January 26, 2006

One-Day Seminars 2006


Sculpted Iceberg and Mountains. Antarctica 2005.

Antarctica Workshop. December 2005
Michael Reichmann, Jeff Schewe, Seth Resnick, John Paul Caponigro, Stephen Johnson

It was hard to write on the trip, the experience of the place was at once so foreign and yet so familiar; the open sea, the remoteness, a sense of the earth-bottom righted into simply earth, of isolation and community, a floating home with ever-changing surroundings...

There were fulfilled expectations and unbelievable wonder. This place was real, it was here, I was taking it in with my own eyes, but it was so concentrated, so lovely, so wild. My camera often seemed incidental, an artifice to throw at the experience, rather than an artistic response. There were other moments where the only way I felt I could believe what I was seeing was to hold it, and try to re-experience it later through the photograph. The emotional ups and downs of the constant movement, at times unrelieved opportunity, and amazement was overwhelming. Many conversations and critiques were cut short by the announcement of yet anther impressive iceberg or wildlife sighting ahead.

It was not that cold. The gear provided was fine. I was over-dressed more often than not. There were 42 students on the trip, and although that seems like a lot, we became family very quickly. It was noticed when someone failed to show up for food or conversation, and their potential seasickness was looked into. All told, we didn't see a few people for a day or two on the journey down, but were still blessed with a moderate crossing of the potentially wild Drake Passage. The camaraderie on the trip was very heart-warming.

The photographs I was seeing from the workshop participants were very good, sometimes exquisite. I was very impressed, both the group dynamic and people's sensitivity.

I came home with about 75 gigs of photographs, backed-up on ship on my 12 inch PowerBook, DVDs and my Epson P2000. Keeping track of places and sequences of visits was a challenge as we seemed to never stop. With no real night, sunset and sunrise were separated by mere hours, and the desire not to miss an opportunity was pervasive. Sorting through these images will take months.

There was magic in the Antarctic. Even though we barely touched the northern edge of the peninsula, it was chilling (no-pun intended) to set foot on Antarctica. We knew we were getting merely a tiny taste of a very big experience, but the mystery and challenge of this lonely expansive space could be felt, viscerally and physically. Antarctica was emotional, scary, exciting, lonely, strangely compelling, a link to a time long ago before this was a frozen world at the most southern point of earth.

There was an immediate and certain notion that this would be the first of many trips, and that I must come to know more of this place, experience some of it's vastness and variety. The dry valleys beckon, the volcanoes, the severe and utter loneliness. I longed to stay on at most every place we landed, imagining weeks of solitude and exploration, wondering just how to make that happen and if I would be up to such an experience. Antarctica draws you in.

The photography was almost like sports or wildlife. It was mostly rapid-fire moving target landscape, ice, birds and whales from the ship or inflatable boat. It was difficult to consider the photograph, the scene was almost always in play. The landings were great, but even with a few hours, departure loomed and wandering into getting visually lost in the space was an effort. Though challenging, the trip was extraordinary, an experience of a lifetime, except for the fact the I know I will return.

My most frequently used camera on the trip was the Canon 1Ds Mark II. It performed beautifully in the cold and during frequent low light conditions. Although my inclinations are toward my large-format work, the moving ship and full itinerary often necessitated hand-held work. I chose the Canon not only as the highest resolution 35mm format DSLR on the market, but also because of Canon's continued innovation in the medium.

I was able to use my BetterLight Scanning Back on more than one occasion, which, as usual, pulled off it's magnificent resolution and held the strange color with ease. Special thanks go to Calumet for the loan of a fine new Cambo-Wide DS which provided the 4x5 format in a portable form that worked splendidly in this challenging situation and in the Galalpagos last spring, to Bogen Photo for my wonderful Gitzo carbon-fiber tripod and Lexar for supplying lots of 4 gig cards. My dear friend Anthony Hobbs (co-instructor on next summer's Ireland workshop) helped carry my gear and keep my spirits high.

We all enjoyed the trip so much we are going back in 2007.

-Stephen Johnson, December 2005

Steve with the Cambo-Wide at Half Moon Island.
Antarctica 2005. Jeff Schewe.

Stephen Johnson above Neko Harbor.
Antarctica 2005. Anthony Hobbs.

Instructor Galleries:
-Michael Reichmann's Trip Report
-Jeff Schewe's Trip Report
Seth Resnick

January 2006

Iceberg Tower, Antarctica. 2005.
11x14 Pigment Print on Rag paper

Looking through 75 gigs of photographs from our December Antarctica trip was somewhat overwhelming. There was so much work, so many glaciers, snow and icebergs, much as document and much abstraction. Finding a single image to feature this month proved very hard. I finally decided on one of the iconic ice towers from the trip, feeling that its scale, grandeur and grace stood out. I hope you enjoy this month's selection from this wondrous trip.

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 January 30. We'll be taking orders until then, and shipping them out by February 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.

Fundamentals of Digital Photography
January 28-29, 2006
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 helpfulness in their digital transition and understanding.

* Death Valley in Winter
January 14-17, 2006
(full with waiting list)

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
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.

* 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:

UPCOMING EVENTS with Stephen Johnson

*Digital Camera Fundamentals Lecture. Thursday January 5, 7-10pm

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

*Antarctica 2007 Workshop:
February 2-23, 2007.

Michael Reichmann, Jeff Schewe, Seth Resnick, John Paul Caponigro and Stephen Johnson.

The ship for 2007.
Group Photo from 2005 by Stephen Starkman


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.