Stephen Johnson Photography News, Events & Info June 2007

Penguins at Brown Bluff. Antarctica, 2007.
Canon 1Ds II


Welcome to the June 2007 edition of the Stephen Johnson Photography Newsletter. As always, we hope you enjoy this edition.

Don't miss our new summer programs including our Photo Film nights and the week-long From RAW to Print: a Summer Digital Boot Camp.

The RAW to Print class features fieldtrips and work in our great digital lab.

Great teaching, great facility.

What more could you need for the plunge into digital photography?


...Book Now Shipping!
...Special Edition
Lab Rental
...New Products
......Panoramics Poster
Featured Print Offer
...Dried Flower
The View From Here
Survival in the Arts
Workshop News
...From RAW to Print: A Digital Boot Camp
...Professional Image Editing
...Fine Art Digital Printing

...Mono Lake in Autumn
...Death Valley in Winter

The Book
...Stephen Johnson on Digital Photography
Upcoming Events
...Monthly Critiques
...Photo Film Night
Recent Publicity
...book reviews
Photographic Services
...Stephen Johnson Editions
Visit Us
Newsletter Administration


Stephen Johnson on Digital Photography
Signed Copies Now Shipping!
Stephen Johnson on Digital Photography Special Edition
Limited Edition Slip-cased edition with original print

Now Shipping!

Some still available from early edition numbers at the best price.

State of the Art Digital Lab
Now Available As Classroom or Individual Workstation Rental
  • printing
  • profiling
  • image editing

New Products

New Poster: Four Panoramics
GrayCapsTM Digital gray card The Digital gray card you will always have with you, even among 10,000 penguins.
Gallery Events

Critique Session
June 28, 2007, 7-10pm

New Free Photo Community Event

Photo Film Night: June 29, 7-10pm
American Experience: Ansel Adams (2002) with special guest Ted Orland, former assistant to Ansel Adams.

June 2007

Dried Flower 1996
11x11 Pigment Print

$195 each

I love the natural, sensual form of flowers. I never cut them, but sometimes they do come my way fresh, and I tend to hold onto them through their transformation into another form. This one was in a vase on my desk for months, and slowly became a small gesture of form, hanging onto the edge of the glass.

We're offering an 11x11 inch print, matted to 16x20 and ready to frame for $195, framed for an additional $75. This print at this price is offered through June 30. We'll be taking orders until then, and shipping them out by July 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.


A Few Thoughts on Survival in the Arts

I'm not an authority on survival as an artist, but I am a survivor. As my late friend Bruce Fraser used to say, "Steve, you've already succeeded, you're still doing it." To some degree, tenacity is no small part of working in the arts. The deeper need is, of course, to feel that you have no choice but to make art. We make art because something inside says we have to. Trying to make art your vocation as well is much trickier.

It has been said many time about businesses, but it is worth repeating, that the people that work with you are a key to making the process work. People that you trust, that also believe in the dream, that are moved by the beauty and care about the craft. The atmosphere they help create is often the reason that makes you want to go into your workspace in the morning.

But there must be real business skills as well. Tracking files, income and expense planing, good accounting, constant PR and outreach. Some I've done well, much I've found lacking in my skills and interests. Fortunately, there are better and better digital tools to help, but it remains the people.

I've always believed that a diverse income stream is critical. Print sales, workshops, posters, note cards, speaking engagements, contract work, all contribute to financial stability. That level of activity also can lead to a feeling of schizophrenia, if not at the extreme to a real condition. We do tend to be jacks of all trades, and sometimes we have to be.

Membership in professional organizations can also be helpful. For photographers, the is the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP), the Society for Photographic Education (SPE). From educational programs, legal advocacy, group insurance and conferences, it's amazing how much being part of these communities can help. But only if you participate, and the arts often breed loners.

Community can be very important. When frustration overwhelms creativity, when the why tramples the must, then it really does help to share experiences, perspectives and find that critical mutual encouragement (and sometimes good criticism) that a community of people involved in the arts can bring. Our Photo Film Nights are meant to help build community.

Trading for services is also a good strategy to cooperate with liked-minded people who have skills that complement your own. In fact, other photographers can make for good cooperative relationships as well, not only for the obvious companionship and commiseration that takes place, but to share resources like color management equipment.

These are merely a few considerations. The reasons we make art are separate from what it takes to live art. Unless you are financially set to begin with, living art is not only passion and talent, but good fortune and hard work.

for some other thoughts, see a good resource I've citied before
Art and Fear
David Bayles and Ted Orland

Some Business Questions:

  1. The parks book will be 12.5x15.25, 256 pages, 300 line screen reproduction. How much is a reasonable price for the softbound? For the hardcover?
  2. What do you think of our current workshop offerings? What additional subjects or locations would you like to see offered? Weekends only? Thursday-Sunday? Weekdays?
  3. How could our website and newsletter be improved?
  4. What kinds of activities would help build photo community in the San Francisco Bay Area and virtual community?

Mail answers to: info@sjphoto.com and receive a 10% discount on your next 2007 workshop.

Friends, Advisors, Co-Workers

Bruce Fraser and Steve, Cancun. 2000.
Darin Steinberg and Steve. Alaska. 1995.


Mike Collette and Steve, Pebble Beach, 1994.
Michelle Perazzo and Steve. 1999.


Michelle, Steve and Elizabeth Bredall, 2006.
Dave Gardner and Steve. 1999. Photo by Chris Hunter.


Jim Rubino and John Csongradi from Death Valley Workshop 2007.

In letting the design idea of pictures with me rule my thinking and leave common sense behind, I inadvertently left out the initial post some of my most trusted and helpful compatriots of the last few years, Elizabeth Bredall, John Csongradi, Jim Rubino and Susan Hall. Pictures will be added when found. Others have been extremely helpful over the years, Heather Conrad, George Hartzell, Stephen Brown, and Robert Pimm.

Stephen Johnson on Digital Photography

Book Reviews
Book Comments online

* Upcoming Workshops
We hope you find our selection of classes interesting and useful for your needs. We take the imparting of information and the empowerment of our students quite seriously. The digital age has considerably enhanced our ability to teach, and we believe your ability to capture what you see. This program is designed to help you benefit from both of these advances. We hope you can join us on a workshop.

From RAW to Print in One Week
Summer Digital Boot Camp

June 25-29, 2007 (now full with waiting list)
Second Session added: July 23-27, 2007

An intense immersion into digital photography with one of its pioneers. In five days you will go from perhaps not even understanding what a RAW file is, to making well-crafted and thoughtful prints. Some fieldwork and extensive lecture and lab work will fill our time together. Every student will have full access to their own workstation in our lab. Topics include practical experience with digital exposure, RAW processing, image editing, color management and printing.

Included in the workshop is a copy of Stephen Johnson on Digital Photography, courtesy of O'Reilly Media.

Professional Image Editing
August 16-19, 2007
Stephen Johnson Studios & Gallery
Pacifica, California.

This is a great chance to explore digital photographic editing with Steve. Hands-on help and demonstrations of his use of editing tools with restraint and finesse will benefit all of your digital photography work. This class is designed with the time to really understand the processes, and to work through difficult images

Fine-Art Digital Printing Hands-On
August 23-26, 2007
Stephen Johnson Studios & Gallery
Pacifica, California.

This workshop focuses exclusively on improving your fine-art digital printing in our new Digital Lab, 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, printing, and feedback 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.

Mono Lake and the Eastern Sierra
October 11-13, 2007

The stark and beautiful scenery of this legendary lake is unlike any other landscape in the world. Its alkaline water, desert vistas, volcanoes and unusual tufa towers make it a remarkable place. These four days 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, while we explore this high desert lake and its strange environs.

Fundamentals of Digital Photography

September 15-16, 2007
Stephen Johnson Studios & Gallery
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.

Death Valley in Winter
January 19-22, 2008

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

Personal Workshops

Arrangements can be made to work with Steve individually at his studio or at custom locations. Call for a discussion of the possibilities. 650 355-7507

Steve and Tom
Olympic Penninsula, 2000

* 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

Critique Session: June 28, 2007
Stephen Johnson Studios & Gallery
Pacifica, California.
Canon Yosemite Day Walks
June 22-24

Maine Photo Workshops
The Digital Landscape, July 8-13
Fine Art Digital Printing, July 15-20

Free Photo Movie Night

June 29, 7-10pm

American Experience: Ansel Adams (2002)

Special Guest Photographer Ted Orland.
Assistant to Ansel Adams in the 60's and 70's.

Stephen Johnson Studios & Gallery. Pacifica, California

Video projection and surround sound with a discussion afterward.

Space is limited. Call to reserve your spot: 650 355-7507

Photographs by Ted Orland. ©2007.

Even Ansel Adams has to make a Living. Ted Orland. 1973.

Ansel, Imogen & Jerry. 1968.

Ansel in Yosemite. 1973.


O'REILLY podcast
MacVoices Podcast
MacEdtion Radio

March PCPhoto Magazine: Panoramic Article
ASMP NorCal April Newsletter: Reprint from book
Newsday, June 5th. Article on Digital Printing

Book Reviews
Book Comments online


We are now offering rental time in our new lab on an hourly basis during our normal business hours.

Tuesday-Friday 10am to 5pm.
$25 per hour, plus a per print charge

Includes full access to calibrated monitors, fast G5 Macs, Epson pigment inkjet printers, 5000°k viewing lights and color profile creation hardware and software.

Appointments can be made by calling 650 355-7507.
Familiarity with Mac OSX and Photoshop CS2 or Adobe Lightroom recommended. Staff tutorials available for additional charge.

A Great Opportunity!
  • Fully equipped lab
  • Make your own printer profiles
  • Finally have access to the equipment you need


Digital Portraits by
The Studios of Stephen Johnson Photography

  • Instant Feedback
  • Special prices
  • Satisfaction or no fees


Snake, watercolor by Mary Ford


  • 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 michelle@sjphoto.com 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.


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Last updated on 6/27/07. Mail comments to: info@sjphoto.com
Photographs and Text Copyright ©2007, Stephen Johnson. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.