Stephen Johnson Photography News

December 2018

On the Road to Badwater. Death Valley. 2012.  To order a print, click here .

On the Road to Badwater. Death Valley. 2012. To order a print, click here.


Upcoming Workshop:


Welcome to the December 2018 Edition of the Stephen Johnson Photography Newsletter.

I’m just back from teaching at Pt Lobos, and loved being there again. A Fine Art Printing class followed in a few days so the Newsletter has taken some extra time to get out. Hope you enjoy this issue and have a happy holiday season.

                 
                                                      — Steve

This month's View From Here column describes my Pt. Lobos workshop, some visits along the way and shares a few words about the Value and Respect for photography. We hope you find the column interesting and will consider sending us some comments.


Harbor Seals, Kelp and Beach. China Cove. Pt. Lobos, CA . 2018

Harbor Seals, Kelp and Beach. China Cove. Pt. Lobos, CA . 2018

Harbor Seals, Kelp and Beach. China Cove. Pt. Lobos, CA. 2018

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

Broken Sunlight on Turquoise Water with Harbor Seals enjoying the Beach.

We're offering a 9.5x14 inch print of the photograph, matted to 20 inch wide board and ready to frame for $195, framed in silver for an additional $100, wood for $250. This print at this price is offered through December 31. We'll be taking orders until then, and shipping them out by January 15, 2019.

If any buyer really needs the print as a Christmas present, let us know and we’ll see what we can work for out an earlier delivery. Gift notecards available.


LATEST NEWS:

Life Form Exhibition on display at Stephen Johnson Photography.

2019 Workshop Schedule is forming with these and other great courses coming up. See what a great experience students have had on Steve's Workshops by exploring Workshop Testimonials.

Upcoming Events & Workshops


Custom Workshop Scheduling: We have set up polls for recently requested workshops to see who might be interested and able to make some dates:

Image Editing
Fine Art Printing
Photography Critique Session

Fine Art Printing Workshop July 2018.

Fine Art Printing Workshop July 2018.


NEW PHOTOGRAPH

Pebble Beach Panorama. 2018.

Pebble Beach Panorama. 2018.

On my way down to teach my Pt. Lobos, Carmel and Big Sur Workshop this weekend. I've been stopping at Pebble Beach for almost 40 years, and never fail to be glad I did. This is a multiple image stitch making a 56 inch wide image (16394 x 7996 pixels) from my Canon 5DSr camera.


Big Sur Silvery Sky and Sea.

Big Sur Silvery Sky and Sea.

THE VIEW FROM HERE
by Stephen Johnson

To Pt. Lobos and Big Sur

Teaching field workshops keeps me on the move to country I love. More importantly, it puts me in a position to work hard to make a real difference for student’s photo aspirations. When possible the field workshops set me up for visits along the way.

Any time I have an excuse to head down Highway One from Pacifica south, I am up for it. Not only do I get to pass by, and stop, at some favoirtite places along the way, if I’m on top of it I leave time to visit friends too.

I can’t pass through Santa Cruz without wanting to pay a visit to my longtime friend Ted Orland. I first met Ted taking a UC Santa Cruz Extension course from him on the Zone System in 1975. Our paths crossed many times over the years, through Friends of Photography, the At Mono Lake Exhibition, and through many mutual friends. It has now been so long, it’s hard to say when the acquaintance became friendship, but it was in the late 1970s I suppose. Ted’s warmth, enthusiasm and kindness made friendship easy.

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Ted Three Views. the literal, the monochrome, the imagined.

Ted Three Views. the literal, the monochrome, the imagined.


Here is Ted, my black and white friend (and great photographer!) finding color in his artwork. Guess he spent so much time with Ansel that the color just wore off. But he keeps finding it.

Ted is a fine photographer, a formal assistant to Ansel Adams, but also an author and great source of visual irony, perspective and delight.

The Ansel Adams Gallery has an online gallery featuring some of Ted’s work.

A Few of Ted’s Publications.  Amazon’s Ted Orland Store.

A Few of Ted’s Publications. Amazon’s Ted Orland Store.

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Along the Way

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My photographer’s eyes are always on the lookout for the telling, the out of place, the symbols we erect and the images we create. This friendly Salinas farmer seems to be many of those things, complete with irrigation pipe, canal, warning signs and the requisite “no trespassing.” He looks very friendly though.

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This white egret was in the connecting canal, looking graceful and very photogenic. It was not the color of the scene that drew me to this beautiful bird, but its form and line, it’s inherent live sensuality. A black and white photograph was more in order.

Bixbee Creek and Big Sur. 2018.

Bixbee Creek and Big Sur. 2018.

Crashing Surf from Weston Beach. Pt. Lobos, CA. 2018.

Crashing Surf from Weston Beach. Pt. Lobos, CA. 2018.

The Pt. Lobos Carmel and Big Sur Workshop

The trip down to the Monterey Penninsula was to teach. This workshop is always a pleasure, to wander such beautiful lands and aid in capturing that beauty. Pt. Lobos holds a special place in the history of photography, particularly west coast landscape photography. In many ways, abstraction in natural form became celebrated here, whether on the rocks of the point, or the peppers up the hill in Wildcat Canyon.

Pt. Lobos is the place where I saw in stone what I had seen portrayed in silver. It is where the opportunity abounded to also try to see and photograph the beauty of sensual line and form. It is where we literally waved at Ansel Adams heading for the beach leading my first Pt. Lobos workshop in 1978. I’ve been coming to this headlands for 40 years. There is peace and challenge here.

Rock Wall. Pt. Lobos, CA. 2018

Rock Wall. Pt. Lobos, CA. 2018

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California Brown Pelican. China Cove. Pt. Lobos,, CA 2018.

California Brown Pelican. China Cove. Pt. Lobos,, CA 2018.

Pt. Lobos Workshop. 2018.

Pt. Lobos Workshop. 2018.

Pt. Lobos Workshop. 2018.

Pt. Lobos Workshop. 2018.


An Editing Adage

Raw to Reveal, Photoshop to Finesse

While explaining Raw Processing and Photoshop during a recent workshop, I scribbled a note “raw to reveal, Photoshop to finish (finesse). The note to me was meant to remind me to toss it out there. Inherent in this adage is my contention that our raw data is often underutilized and Photoshop’s ability to fine-tune with great control is unrealized.


Art as Nourishment

Our Rights of Ownership and Respect

Ethics is a broad topic. I usually refer to issues with regard to photographic deception and deception. But ethics also extends into how photographers are treated, as respected owners of their work and our natural rights to earn income from that work. 


As photographers, we create whole complete works. We share them, sell them, and donate their use for good causes.

Many people who love photography have aspirations to earn money from their love. Many corporations and non-profits prey on the desire for exposure expecting people to cede rights they really should not.

It is perfectly reasonable to ask for rights addressing the need for which the image is being offered up. In my judgement, it is not ok to ask for broad rights of re-use, directive works, in all media, for all time. That kind of greedy rights grab is completely out of line. It is also common.

In some cases such a rights grab is simply out of convenience, they don’t want to bother to ask for additional things they might want to do, nor offer compensation for them. Lawyers often get into the mix contributing a perspective that if all rights are acquired, they really can’t misuse anything, because they can do anything..

I have seen these kind of contracts for years, in corporations, and in good-cause non-profits. Few artists have the confidence to stand up to such demands, red-line the contract of walk away. We do want the opportunity, but that should not be used against us.

Sensitivity to the contributor’s ownership should be paramount. That is particularly true where no compensation is being offered. Non-profits that benefit greatly from contributions should be most sensitive of all. But they seem to buy into the corporate model, take it all and don’t incur the overhead of asking for further permission. Of course, that permission might not be granted, giving the corporation/non-profit a hick-up of negotiation. 

Imagine that, having to negotiate for additional rights when additional uses are dreamed up. These creative types are so demanding. You would think they thought their art was of actual value, like a business supplying the corporation with actual tangible items (of course, such an entity would expect to pay additional moneys for additional product). Additional use, is additional product.

For many, photography is simply another commodity to be consumed, whole or in part, compensation or not. Would we be less likely to ask a musician to donate any and all use of their material, or a painter, or a writer? Photographs seem to be perceived as of less and less monetary value as it assumed they can be obtained from anywhere. And if you don’t give the corporation what they want, they’ll simply find someone else who will give it away or agree to rights grabs.

In a non-profit that counts on people believing in the cause, this behavior can be worse. “Why wouldn’t you give us rights to do as we please with your work, it is for a good cause?” Exploitation has many faces, dangling feel good for the cause, and exposure for your work, becomes a constant refrain.

One thing that is particularly jarring about this sort of behavior in non-profits, is that as artists we are trying to assist a cause. We assume that the non-profit working for that cause would have empathic values of appreciating the art contributed and not then turn around and ask for virtually unlimited rights to the work.

In this age of the internet, this also quickly gets involved in file resolution issues. How many pixels we make available and allow to be posted have a direct line effect on the ability of others to steal the files and use it for their own purposes. In my own work, I limit the posted resolution of my photographs to 1000 pixels, which looks good under most circumstances and on most computer screens. As higher resolution screens gradually become available, even 4000 pixels wide, a 1000 pixel wide image might not look as good, but the fact remains that given the uses that a higher resolution file can be put to, posting high-res files becomes tantamount to giving away your work to anyone who wishes to grab it. Most image makers prefer to control who has access to high resolution versions of their artwork.

It may also be true that artists hungry for exposure will give away anything, just to get noticed. Corporate preying on these aspirations is rampant. Countess times, I have been told that there is no budget to pay for work, but it will be great exposure for me. This as every other vender the corporation buys from, is paid. Additionally, where the “great exposure” incentive implies possible income, as the very practice of no monetary value for photographs spreads, the likelihood that income is out there simultaneously diminishes. Great exposure at some point just feels cold and naked.  

Theft is theft, sometimes through coercion, and even if the owner/creator becomes complicit in that exploitation. Corporate responsibility should not only be to earn profit for the corporation, but for all of its suppliers as well. I know this is an argument for a kind of compassionate capitalism, which may be a steep hill to climb, but we should at least expect it of our non-profit corporations supposedly in the business of making a positive difference for good causes.


My 1995 Keynote at the first Photoshop conference in New York City was titled “Imaging Ethics in the Digital Age” and discussed many of these issues long ago. The Ethics chapter in my last book, “Stephen Johnson on Digital Photography” was based on that lecture. The April 2005 issue of Royal Photographic Society Journal references some of those ethical issues I raised my Ethics talk from 10 years earlier.

Beginning of Imaging Ethics in the Digital Age Keynote. First Photoshop Conference in NYC 1995.



John F. Kennedy painting by Aaron Shikler. 1970. White House Portrait Collection.

John F. Kennedy painting by Aaron Shikler. 1970. White House Portrait Collection.

Economic justice for the arts is a good thing for the culture, it grows the arts, and the arts are vital to our nation and humanity.

” When power corrupts, poetry cleanses, for art establishes the basic human truths which must serve as the touchstone of our judgment."

- John F. Kennedy
1963 Amherst College Tribute to Robert Frost.

 

At Stephen Johnson Photography

As I was getting ready to teach my Pt. Lobos, Carmel and Big Sur workshop, I was also working on a new project to turn my Newsletter into small monthly books. I’ll keep the list informed as to progress. Let me know if you are interested.

The upcoming Death Valley, Image Editing and Digital Black & White workshops are avaialbe for enrollment now. Enroll while there is time and space!

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.


Parks Project Poster Bundles

I've decided to bundle some of my National Parks Project Collector posters together for a special price, 6 for $50. This series was created to celebrate photography's evolution into a digital media with Stephen Johnson's all digital "With a New Eye: The Digital National Parks Project."

Foresta Burn Yosemite Poster

Foresta Burn Yosemite Poster
With a New Eye: The Digital National Parks Project
Stephen Johnson
$25 unframed
Black trees with spring wildflowers returning after the Yosemite fire of 1992. Six color reproduction on a 24x30 inch poster beautifully printed with stochastic screens on heavy paper. 

Mt. St. Helens Crater Poster

Mt. St. Helens Crater Poster
With a New Eye: The Digital National Parks Project
Stephen Johnson
$25 unframed
Photographed from the volcano crater rim looking north toward the blast zone and Mt. Rainier. Amazing color and clarity revealing steam venting from the lava dome inside the crater and landslides in progress on the inner slopes. A new 24x30 inch poster beautifully printed on heavy paper. 

Mt. St. Helens Hills and Haze Poster

Mt. St. Helens Hills and Haze Poster
With a New Eye: The Digital National Parks Project
Stephen Johnson
$25 unframed
Hills and Haze from the volcano crater rim looking south towards the Columbia River and Oregon. 24x30 inch poster beautifully printed with a 200 line screen on heavy paper. 

Arches National Park Poster

Arches National Park Poster
With a New Eye: The Digital National Parks Project
Stephen Johnson
$25 unframed
A beautiful reproduction of desert color--predawn light, bare trees, sage and red cliffs--all rendered with Steve's classic appreciation of subtle color. Amazingly sharp and richly detailed on 30x24 inch heavy paper printed with 200 line screen. 

Kenai Fjords National Park Poster

Kenai Fjords National Park Poster
With a New Eye: The Digital National Parks Project
Stephen Johnson
$25 unframed
Startling glacial ice and lush green tundra rendered as never before possible because of digital camera technology. Printed on 30x24 inch heavy paper with a 200 line screen. 

Dawn. Merced River Canyon. Yosemite Poster

Yosemite National Park
Stephen Johnson
$25 unframed
Dawn over the Merced River Canyon on the west side of Yosemite Valley. Printed direct to plate with a 240 line screen and varnishes on 30x24 inch heavy paper. 


Don't forget to Check out our next workshops

Next Studio Workshop

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Next Field Workshop

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The Studio, 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 its new Life Form Portfolio, 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


Print Mentor Program

Many of my mentoring students have wanted help with their printing, often to make sure they can produce a specific print. Consequently, I am starting a Print Mentoring Program that sets up a 2 hour time slot and the production of a finished print, all with the tutorial video of how we did it together. Prints can be up to 16x20 and on either Hahnemühle Museum Etching or Photo Rag Pearl paper. Fee is $500. Email for more information and to set up times. 


Free and For Sale

Free Stuff (a few items 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

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1 Epson 2400 printer left

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Equipment for Sale

Canon 1.4x Tele-extender for sale. $175

 

Featured Products

New Life Form Folio

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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


New Exquisite Earth Exhibition Catalog

Page 41

Page 41

page 13

page 13

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

  • $40


New Pacifica Book

Page 27

Page 27

Page 7

Page 7

  • 74 pages

  • 11x17 wire-bound book

  • Pacifica Trail Map

  • 32 years in Pacifica

  • 10 years of calendars

  • $50


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

11" x 17" folded
$10 (free shipping) proceeds go the Pacifica Land Trust a non-profit 501c3.

Gift Certificates for Prints and Workshops!

Emailed or shipped with beautiful gift note card.


Life Form Note cards

5x7 inches (sold-out, on backorder)

$25

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

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National Park Note cards

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.


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