Stephen Johnson Photography News
Welcome to the July 2017 Edition of the Stephen Johnson Photography Newsletter.
Sometimes, looking back over the month, I wonder what on earth I have to write about, after-all, I've just been working away, chipping away at tasks that often seem more complex than they ought to be. But then, as I sit down to write the newsletter, my month comes back to me, and I realize, that as I'm in the business of photography, my tasks and my curiosities not only fill the days but there is a continuum of new photographs and experiences.
FEATURED PRINT June 2017
Rocks. Pebble Beach.. 2017
Canon 1Dx II
Eroded landscape on the San Mateo County Coast.
I just finished work on a new Pacifica book, a gathering of work from my Pacifica Calendar series over the last few years and other photographs I've made in the course of living here for 30 years. I'm happy to have Ben Pease's great trail map as part of our outreach to bring attention to the natural wonders of Pacifica.
2017 Workshop Schedule is building 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
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.
We hope you can come by the gallery and see the new Panoramic Prints we've added to the National Parks Gallery, and 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.
THE VIEW FROM HERE
by Stephen Johnson
This past month has largely been spent working at the studio on internal projects, but a special 50th anniversary of 1967's Summer of Love scene brought me into Golden Gate Park on the first of many celebratory wanders.
Celebration of the Summer of Love
1967 is being celebrated as the Summer of Love on it's 50th. anniversary around San Francisco all summer. The first event was a show opening at the De Young Museum. For the Solstice, a celebration was held with live music and light show at the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park. A couple of my good friends gathered and we kicked back to soak up the scene. Apparently 9,700 tickets were issued to the free event.
There was a lot of gray hair outfitted in tie-dyed shirts, scarves and dresses. Young faces were everywhere too, often retro attired in seeming 60s garb. Face painting, picnics and general good spirited hanging out filled the afternoon. The live stage featured appearances by various local bands with Country Joe McDonald, David Freiberg and Jack Casady all sitting in on tunes from Quicksilver, the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Jesse Colin Young and some Beatles covers.
As darkness fell, lights on the crowd dimmed and we were greeted with a few comments by politicians and event organizers, drones and helicopters overhead and some technical delays. The delay left the basin in front of the Conservatory strangely full of people and pretty dark for a few minutes. Then then a few songs from the Sixties filled the air and the light show began.
The light show was a bit cheesy, lacking in inspiration, but still fun to see. I grabbed some pretty shaky. hand-held video with my 70-200mm lens. Looking at the video back at my studio, I remembered that Adobe Premiere had a shake reduction plug-in, Warp Stabilizer, and it worked very well. It makes me want to move any hand-held video from one on my Canon cameras in video mode or the iPhone into Premiere.
and now for something completely different...
A very strange photograph turned up among the archives. I have little memory of taking it, only the date tells me where it was. Better records would be better, but the story of artistic construct and social commentary seems clear.
A few weeks ago we ran into a fellow named Dan Koopman on the cliff side at Devil's Slide flying his drone in an automated mapping mode. Although it made perfect sense, I was not fully hip as to how far this software and infrastructure had come for such efforts. Dan was very encouraging and helpful, just the kind of encounter we always hope for.
Of course I had to try it, and the next day mapped the Art Center where my studios and galleries are located.
The idea is to load a drone controlling software, then select an area you want mapped. You then fly a programmed path, automatically making photographs that overlap and build a fairly high resolution image set that then gets stitched together into a product that looks like a much higher altitude rendition.
I used Drone Deploy to program and fly the route with two different sites to stitch the images together for the online produced map. Any uploaded maps can then go into a shared database that anyone can access in an open source environment. The whole thing is a kick.
My first mapping attempt had me fly the drone right into a mountainside as I had not fully appreciated the altitude of the hillside. The drone flew to it to cover my selected area. With GPS still sending out signal from the aircraft, I was able to locate my quad-bird. It was fine, and was shortly up and flying again, making new photographs.
One downside, the programmed flights take only jpgs, thus reducing the usefulness of the individual images as photographs.
I can tell already, this capability is deeply seductive. As I learn more, I will likely continue to write about it.
A Few New Stereo Cards
I can never resist a stack of stereo-cards in antique stores, and I found a few I really liked recently right her in Pacifica. Both the dignity of work and craft, with a strong sense of struggle came through to me in this card. I thought it would be nice to share it. I also found the text on the back interesting.
From the back of the card circa 1910:
I3499--Weaving Woolen Blankets on a Primitive Hand Loom, Telemarken, Norway.
In the matter of manufactures, Norway is very backward. It contains very few mills or factories for making cloth and these are in or near the larger cities. In the rural districts women may be found spinning and weaving just as they did in the earlier days in the United States.
Most Norwegian families raise their own sheep and spin their own wool and very many of the homes contain rude looms such as the one shown here, where the yarn may be made into homespun cloth for the family. Down below may be seen a roll of the cloth already woven. It is very durable and warm, suitable for the long, cold, dark Norwegian winters. Very often it is colored with home-made dyes and may be made beautiful by a skillful worker.
The weaver shown in the picture, with her fair skin and 'heavy braids of light hair is a good type of Norwegian women. They are industrious and thrifty people, otherwise they could not gain a living in that mountainous country with its short summers.
In recent years large numbers of these thrifty Norwegian people have come to the United States. They have settled in most of the northern states but are most numerous in northern Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota and the Dakotas.
Copyright 1910, Keystone View Company
Recently at Stephen Johnson Photography
The Exquisite Earth Exhibition Catalog
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 upcoming exhibit, 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.
New Exquisite Earth Exhibition Catalog
- Photographs from 2005-2010
- 56 pages
- 11x17 wire-bound book
New Pacifica Book
- 74 pages
- 11x17 wire-bound book
- Pacifica Trail Map
- 32 years in Pacifica
- 10 years of calendars
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.
20 scenes in and around Pacifica, California where Stephen Johnson Photography is located. Full page trail map included. Printed on a color laser digital press.
11" x 17" $25.00
Gift Certificates for Prints and Workshops!
Emailed or shipped with beautiful gift note card.
Life Form Note cards
5x7 inches (sold-out, on backorder)
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
National Park Note cards
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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