Life Form Exhibition at Pacifica Center for the Arts

July 21, 2018 – June 1, 2019

1220c Linda Mar Blvd. Pacifica, California

My fascination with sensual organic form knows no limits. The natural beauty that drew me to photography is most profoundly manifested by the very sensuality of natural form itself. It's beauty is deeply emotional, bound up in the basic instinct and desires of our humanness. Finding such form in the real world has been my career. This work concentrates that intrigue on the wonderful and strange form found in plant life. Closely examined, these seemingly familiar, fellow creatures of this planet, become profoundly compellingly, strange, almost alien and and irresistible to explore with care, deep focus, sensitively and without embellishment.

Life Form Exhibition. Stephen Johnson's Opening Lecture. Pacifica Center for the Arts. July 21, 2018

Genesis of this Work

The Life Form Series has grown from my lifelong fascination with organic form and design. Not only have I found solace in the natural world for all of my adult life, but my respect for all living things has profoundly effected how I’ve lived my life.

Life Form opened on July 21, 2018 to the public and was celebrated in a Invitational Opening on the evening of July 20th. The public opening on July 21 and featured a lecture by Steve that afternoon.  The prints will be on display at Pacifica Center for the Arts through December 31, 2018.


Pacifica Center for the Arts
1220c Linda Mar Blvd.
Pacifica, CA 94044

Phone: 650-355-7507




Life Form Online Gallery.  Invitation pdf.

Life Form Online Gallery. Invitation pdf.

Some Comments on Life Form at the Pacifica Center for the Arts

Once again your show was stunning. Unlike many photographs that you look at and move on to the next yours invite looking at all around the framed area and being drawn in.  -Steve Baczewski



Past Venues

Life Form at Viewpoint Photographic Art Center. Sacramento. March 2018.

Steve with the Life Exhibit, Viewpoint Photographic Art Center. Sacramento. 2018 Canon 1DX II.

Steve with the Life Exhibit, Viewpoint Photographic Art Center. Sacramento. 2018
Canon 1DX II.

Life Form  installation at Viewpoint.

Life Form installation at Viewpoint.

Steve's Opening Remarks, March 9. Viewpoint Photographic Art Center, Sacramento. 2018.

A Review of the Viewpoint Show

Today we live in a world where photography is digital, the product of the ubiquitous cell phone camera. It is perhaps fortunate, given that this is “Photography Month Sacramento,” that we are treated to an exhibit that allows us to see what this technology makes possible. The photography of Stephen Johnson, at the Viewpoint Gallery in Sacramento, allows us to realize a view of our environment where we do not live in the Kodachrome world many photographic artists embrace. Johnson’s intimate explorations in this exhibition titled Life Form depict the organic forms to be found in flowers and other flora. 

Although Life Form marks a departure from his much praised grand landscapes, Johnson maintains a high ethic that only someone with a total understanding of digital photographic technology can achieve. By mastering techniques known as focus stacking and obsessive color management, and joining them in marriage with his unique vision and respect for the natural world, Stephen Johnson’s Life Form exposes the often-ignored subtleties in his themes. These are large prints depicting small subjects and yet they retain, in exquisite detail, the structures to be found therein. It is hard not to find oneself drawn into this world that we are surrounded by yet seldom see.

Gabriel Unda. Fellow, BioCommunications Association.


I’m still so impressed with the images you exhibited at Viewpoint this year.  I think that when we are moved by a significant event or experience that is deeply personal, we express how this touches us in some of our best work.  What impresses me about your Life Form images is that you reached into the depth of your subjects as if you were reaching deep within yourself.  What came across to me was essence and beauty.  I was really touched.

Judy Yemma, Viewpoint Gallery

Exhibition Guide and Poster


Project photographs made with Canon cameras. Prints are being made on the Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-4000 using the Hahnemühle Museum Etching paper which Steve designed with Hahnemühle.

Stephen Johnson Photography Gallery Directions

Stephen Johnson Photography at the Pacifica Center for the Arts
Studio Map Link