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Flora and Form Workshop: from Orchid Gardens to Digital Lab



Thursday Evening May 5, 2016 7-10pm through Friday-Saturday May 6-7, 2016. 9am to 5pm
Stephen Johnson Studios & Gallery and Shelldance Orchid Gardens. Pacifica, California.

$650.  Registration online or by phone 650 355-7507. There is one scholarship spot in this class.

Topics Include

  • Composition
  • Digital Exposure
  • Still Life Photography
  • Macro lenses
  • Extension Tubes
  • Depth of Field Expansion (Focus Stacking)
  • White Balance
  • RAW Processing
  • Image Aesthetics

Have you ever visited a nursery or greenhouse, and thought about how great it would be to capture the beauty, color, line and form of an orchid, or unusual succulent that inspires you and preserve it in a photograph? Access can be hard, and using a tripod can be impossible and not allowed. Perhaps you hesitated because you felt the need for instructional help with the technical, aesthetic and compositional framework to make it happen.

This workshop is designed to enable careful photography exploring the wonder and beauty of orchids and other-worldly flora. We want to encourage slowing down, taking the time to make a well-crafted photograph built from these beautful forms, your own emotional reactions, and studied composition.

We are lucky to have this exclusive and private access workshop at the very special Shelldance Orchid Gardens Nursery. (voted Best Specialty Nursery in Northern California by San Francisco Magazine.)

Filling an evening and two full days, this workshop is designed to help you make stronger photographs by empowering your craft, vision and compositional skills along with some specialized technique for flower imagery. Tripods are encouraged.

Workshop PDF


 Student  John Klingel

Student John Klingel



May 2013 Flora Class

A Few Photographs from Shelldance Orchid Gardens

Workshop Details

Evening Pre-Meeting: We will begin at the studio/gallery, from 7pm-10pm the first night, with topics covering: macro and other appropriate lenses, camera settings, ISO, aperture, shutter speed, lighting, depth of field expansion techniques with tools like Helicon Focus, tripod usage and the important steps in setting up interesting compositions.

Day 2: We will meet from 9am-5pm at Shelldance Nursery on Hwy 1 in Pacifica, CA. Shelldance Nursery is a very special place and unique among nurseries, as it is modeled after a tropical rainforest and offers an impressive collection of orchid varietals, cacti, succulents and the largest private collection of bromeliads in the world! We will walk about the rooms, taking full advantage of the compositional opportunities found in the sensuous line and form of the colorful orchids, bromeliads, flowering cactus, otherworldly succulents and architectural features of the greenhouse.

Specially issued discount coupons will be available at the nursery if you fall in love with your models while photographing and would like to provide a loving home.

Day 3: We will meet from 9am - 5 pm at the Studio/Gallery where we will work in our Digital Lab. You will be guided through a workflow process from offloading your photos, to working with RAW processing and image editing techniques.

These two days and an evening will be spent exploring the tools really needed by photographers for fundamental image control in the camera and finishing. Color correction, careful tonal control, and preserving options into archive versions of your files will be our primary concerns. Software concentration will be mainly on Adobe Camera RAW and Photoshop CS6. A number of images with various challenges will be worked through to satisfaction during the course of the workshop. Full lab access is provided. Some previous exploration of Photoshop is useful.

As is always the case, Stephen's workshops are full of information and he works to create a relaxed atmosphere where questions are answered, inspiration is at the core and people return for more.

Overnight Accommodations near Stephen Johnson Photography in Pacifica, California

Credit Card Registration by phone 650 355-7507