Death Valley in Winter: A Digital Photography Field Workshop
4 days $1250
January 23-26, 2016
Co-sponsored by Maine Media Workshops
Enrollment limited to 10 people.
Registration online or by phone 650 355-7507
Since 1979 I have led winter photography workshops to Death Valley. I keep returning to this desert because there is a magic here, a quiet and vast expanse of sensual and strange earthworks, remarkable in color, resting under the soft winter light of January.
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.
We will spend our first half day preparing for our outings. Topics covered will be optimal digital camera use in a variety of formats, file size and printing considerations. We will open files, review success, constantly going back in the field putting into practice lessons learned.
The advent of the digital age of photography provides unique opportunities for field photography instruction, reviewing work on camera screens as it is made and on portable computers, examining exposure, composition and emotional impact. Group evening reviews will also be conducted using digital projection.
Digital exposure and dynamic range, discussions of color management, printers, papers and pigments, b&w and color, composition, and amazement-all will be part of our ambitious excursion into the evolving world of digital photography.
We'll spend four activity packed days in the valley, sometimes rising before dawn and lingering for the last moment of twilight. Vistas encompassing hundreds of square miles of desert and mountains, marble-lined canyons, multi-colored hills of yellow, purple and turquoise, and a curved expanse of sand-swept dunes, make the trip very worthwhile for photography.
The trip is designed to be a complete immersion in landscape photography and its digital evolution. We will discuss technical and aesthetic issues, tapping into your emotional response to this landscape, working toward images that are uniquely your own.
Individual problem solving is a high priority in my workshop program. Classes are kept small to maximize individual attention. Plan to bring some of your work to give me an idea of how you see, what you are happy with, and photographs that indicate problems you are encountering.
Lodging can be arranged at Furnace Creek Ranch760-786-2345, camping at Texas Springs Campground near Furnace Creek where sites are available on a first come, first served basis.
A full agenda is planned for this workshop, including dawn and dusk sessions. We will be doing a fair amount of walking in the canyons and on the dunes.
A photographer, teacher and designer, Stephen has been teaching and working in photography since 1977. His books include At Mono Lake, the critically acclaimed The Great Central Valley: California's Heartlandand Making a Digital Book. He has run his own photography, publishing and design company since the late 1980s--digitaly scanning and designing his photographic books using Macintosh computers and since 1994 photographing in the field with digital view cameras.
Current projects include With a New Eye, his groundbreaking and historic all digital national parks project, the acclaimed 2006 book Stephen Johnson On Digital Photography, new work Exquisite Earth and ongoing portfolio development and extensive lecturing.
Stephen's pioneering work in digital photography has included software and product development for clients such as Apple, Adobe, Epson, Kodak, Hewlett Packard, Leaf, Ricoh and SuperMac. His work with Adobe includes the creation of the duotone curves shipped with their Photoshop software.
His photographic clients have included the Ansel Adams Publishing Trust, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, and the Friends of Photography. Johnson's photographs have been widely published and collected internationally.
In 1999, Folio Magazine declared the publication of Johnson's digital photographs in Life Magazine to be one of the Top 15 Critical Events in magazine publishing in the twentieth century. Stephen Johnson was named as a 2003 inductee into the Photoshop Hall of Fame, recognized for his achievements in Art. Canon named Steve as one of their Explorers of Light in 2006. In 2007 X-Rite named Stephen as a founding member of their exclusive Coloratti group of photographers and educators honored for their skills in color management.
In 1997, Life Magazine described Stephen Johnson as an artist that "...applies science to nature and creates art." His images create "...an intimacy that brings subject and viewer close in ways conventional photographs cannot."
The Photographer’s Gallery wrote in 1998: “Stephen Johnson's photography rides on the "bleeding edge" of photography's transition to a digital media. Schooled in the traditions of fine-art western landscape photography, Johnson has taken his understanding of traditional photographic processes and brought those skills to bear on the emerging technologies and aesthetics of digital photography. He has pushed technology companies to rise to the best of what imagemaking can be, and pushed his own vision of how we see and record light in the natural world. This has led him to conclude that the way we have traditionally captured images with silver-based photography has been a poor and distortive view of the real and rich world before our eyes. His photographs look almost "unphotographic" in their clarity and purity of color. He shows us a world we know, but rarely see on paper. His is a truly remarkable vision.”
Stephen Johnson Biography
Registration fee must be paid in full to secure a spot in the class. Additional information will be sent upon registration.
Credit Card Registration by phone 650 355-7507 (preferred)
Refunds and Cancellation (note changes)
This workshop is financially dependent on adequate class registration. Where minimum enrollment requirements are not met, the class will be canceled, and a full refund given. You will be notified at least one week in advance if a workshop is not going to take place. Student initiated cancellations received prior to one month before the workshop will receive credit for a future workshop of similar value, a 50% credit will be given for notice received at least 2 weeks immediately prior to the workshop (a full credit less a $50 overhead fee will be given if another student is able to fill the spot from a waiting list). No credit will be given if cancelled less than 2 weeks prior to the workshop. Credits need to be redeemed within one year.
You should consider the purchase of refundable airline tickets as we cannot guarantee adequate enrollment to conduct the workshop.