Stephen Johnson Photography News

March 2019

Other Worldly Opening Sunday March 17 12 noon to 5:30pm

A Giant Hubble Mosaic of the Crab Nebula. NGC 1952. NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope  from 50 Years of Space Photography opening Sunday March 17.   Purchase

A Giant Hubble Mosaic of the Crab Nebula. NGC 1952. NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope

from 50 Years of Space Photography opening Sunday March 17.


Upcoming Workshop:

Welcome to the March 2019 Edition of the Stephen Johnson Photography Newsletter.

We open the Other Worldly show this weekend on March 17. It has been quite a process of discovery, hard work and sheer love of the wonder of what these photographs reveal. I hope many of you can join us this weekend for the opening.

— Steve

This month's View From Here column jots down a few thoughts on the new exhibit 50 Years of Space Photography opening March 17. We hope you find the column interesting and will consider sending us some comments.

Check out the new workshops we’ve added, including Lighthouses of the Bay Area and Color Management.

Saturn on Edge with Rings and Titan

NASA Cassini. 2012.

11x11 Pigment Inkjet Print $75 each

One of Cassini’s most spectacular photographs of Saturn. With the rings on edge, casting a bizarre shadow and fuzzy Titan in front, this is a remarkable and memorable image.

We're offering a 11x11 inch print of the photograph for $75, optionally matted to 16 inch wide board and ready to frame for $150, framed in silver for an additional $100, wood for $250. This print at this price is offered through March 31. We'll be taking orders until then, and shipping them out by April 15, 2019.


New Lightouse Workshop: We are excited to be offering a new workshop In 2019 that focuses on the lighthouses of the San Francisco Bay Area coastline and the beautiful landscape and ocean settings that they have become monuments to.

Other Worldly opens Sunday March 17 joining the new Space Exhibit with the 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.   

Pigeon Point Lighthouse

Pigeon Point Lighthouse

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

Black and White Printing Workshop February 2019.

Black and White Printing Workshop February 2019.


Rainbows Everywhere.

Rainbows Everywhere.

Oilslick on Asphalt. iPhone 2019.

Rainbows everywhere.

Other Worldly Exhibition opening March 17, 2019.

Other Worldly Exhibition opening March 17, 2019.

by Stephen Johnson

Other Worldly Opens Sunday March 17

The wonders of our stellar neighborhood, and even the Universe beyond, are being revealed to us by space probes and telescopes.

Humans have long stared at the starry sky, wondered, conjectured, and evolved stories about the mysterious cosmos above. Since Galileo, we have used optics to aid that exploration. With the invention of photography in the early 19th century, it has gradually played an ever larger role in that exploration. Photography and telescopes combined have given us an ever growing picture of our Universe all through the 20th. century. 

That all began to change again as our machines first left the earth in the late 1950s. At first it was to spy on each other, then race to space for political gain, but soon transformed into a grand and unimaginable quest for knowledge. 

This exhibition celebrates that reach outward to understand the cosmos. Initially with spy satellites carrying ejectable film, soon with film processing/scanning imagery, live video, eventually photo-diode imaging, and now of course silicon sensors recording and transmitting broad wavelengths of light and beyond made into digital data. We can now see the invisible.

We sent video cameras to crash into the moon, followed by camera/darkroom/scanners into Lunar orbit, then astronauts equipped with film cameras to land on the moon and bring the film back.

We now have a magnificent digital telescope in orbit, space probes that have left our solar system and pictures from the farthest reaches of our Solar System. We have landed cameras on the Moon, Mars, Venus, Saturn’s Titan, comets and asteroids.

We are truly in a golden age of Space Photography. This exhibit will hopefully reveal even more, how amazing these photographs are.

Time-Lapse Installation of 50 Years of Space Photography Exhibit at Stephen Johnson Photography. February 2019. Canon EOS 5DSr.

Research for my chapter on Electronic Photography in 2006 book   Stephen Johnson On Digital Photography   inspired much of what I’m up to on the   50 Years of Space Photography   Exhibit.

Research for my chapter on Electronic Photography in 2006 book Stephen Johnson On Digital Photography inspired much of what I’m up to on the 50 Years of Space Photography Exhibit.

My Lunar Orbiter 70mm film re-construction mock-up.

My Lunar Orbiter 70mm film re-construction mock-up.

Exhibit Development

We hung the basic show on February 17. I have been working on fine tuning the details ever since. So many details remained, not the least of which was developing an interpretive booklet and a gallery flyer. This naturally forced me to do an about-face and verify all of my general understanding of the images and technology, and of course the details of location and date.

Went to see the Apollo 11 movie last week. It was deeply engrossing 70mm visual feast rekindling the feelings I remember so clearly from that week in 1969.

Flushing out my understanding of the camera technology also proved to be even more complex and interesting than I anticipated. When I started building the exhibit, I thought I knew the subject reasonably well. I am once again amazed by what I’ve learned. The sheer engineering genius that went into making these photographs possible does boggle the mind.

I long thought I wanted to display some camera and electronic imaging pieces to help make real some of the processes used to make these space photographs. I started gathering cameras, sensors, lenses and schematics, resulting in a nice little artifacts display. One little task I had fun with was re-imaginaing a piece of 70mm film taken of the moon from onboard the Lunar Orbiter probe/camera/darkroom/scanner/transmitted in 1966. Printed out on inkjet transparency film, it looks almost spookily real, imitating the actual film that crashed into the moon after its mission was completed. Another discovery along the way was stumbling into pdfs of some of the original Apollo astronaut instruction manuals. The 12 year boy in me was gleeful.

Details can overwhelm the big picture, and deadlines are always closer than I imagine. At one point I realized I had spent almost an hour looking for the name of a crater, delaying work on other far more critical items. One of those was the back-up of the now too valuable exhibit prep drive, which, or course, went down shortly after the show was printed. Never put off the back-up, particularly on the drive you consolidate scattered projects onto. Most all of the files were also elsewhere, but some final edits lost may be worth the cost of recovery. We’ll have to see what sells at the show.

Thanks for the installation help goes to Fiona McDonnell, David Gardner, Eleanor Normile, Carl Schwab and Alex Dziesinski.

Smithsonian Website Caption: Dec. 13, 1972, scientist-astronaut Harrison H. Schmitt is photographed standing next to a huge, split lunar boulder during the third Apollo 17 extravehicular activity (EVA) at the Taurus-Littrow landing site. The Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV), which transported Schmitt and Eugene A. Cernan to this extravehicular station from their Lunar Module (LM), is seen in the background. The mosaic is made from two frames from Apollo 17 Hasselblad magazine 140. The two frames were photographed by Cernan.

In the Apollo Gallery..

Experimenting with show titles.

Experimenting with show titles.

At Stephen Johnson Photography

35 prints are up and we’re ready to show it off. Please come to the opening or visit us later. We are very proud of these exhibits.

There are more prints to show than I have wall space, so there will be a number of prints in bins to view and purchase.

This new space exhibition will be seen in conjunction with my current show “Life Form.” The joint exhibition is called "Other Worldly.

The upcoming Photoshop Editing, Color Management class and Fine Art Printing workshops are open for enrollment now. Enroll while there is time and space!

Invitation pdf.

Invitation pdf.

Stephen Johnson Editions

I’ve always been drawn to historical photographs and maps. I’ve been collecting 19th century books, engravings and now making scans of photos and maps. Printed on just the right paper and sheen, the reproductions are often vey special in their own right. So I’ve decided to make some of these prints available as I print them and discover more.

The first few are from the San Francisco Bay Area, local to my home in Pacifica, We’ll make them both available as 8x10 ($75) and 11x14 ($125) with larger sizes available for quote. Click to order. Email for more information.

Current Exhibition

Life Form opened in the Main Gallery at Stephen Johnson Photography on July 21, 2018. The show has been extended through August 2019. 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 August 2019.

Don't forget to Check out our next workshops

Next Studio Workshop


Next Field Workshop


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)

I have been printing out nice copies of the Constitution and Bill of Rights on rich cotton paper. You are welcome to a copy if you come by the gallery.

Additionally, I rescued a few Besleler Enlargers, a 23c and 4x5, hoping to find good homes for them. Make an offer.

Equipment for Sale

Canon 1.4x Tele-extender for sale. $175


Featured Products

New Life Form Folio


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)


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

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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