Stephen Johnson Photography News
Welcome to the April/May 2017 Edition of the Stephen Johnson Photography Newsletter.
I've been doing a lot of printing lately, finishing additional copies of my soon to be available Life Form Portfolio and working on longer-term 2017 projects including more care invested in my archive and a new Pacifica Land Trust Trails map.
FEATURED PRINT April 2017
9.5x14 Pigment Inkjet Print on Cotton paper
Classic Cottonwood Trees in soft light along the Eastern Sierra in the Owens Valley.
I couldn't pass by the shell while strolling Shelldance one recent afternoon. The ferns seemed a perfect setting, and the color simply not needed.
Upcoming Events & Workshops
I just finished work on a new Trail Map of Pacifica for the Pacifica Land Trust. My work with the Land Trust continues to make real my need to give back to this precious earth. Where my graphic design and photography experience can produce useful publications, I want to help. I'm proud of my 16 years on the board and 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.
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.
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.
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
I know I am interested in too many things, photographic and nothing to do with photography. Music, the cosmos, understanding our place among those stars and galaxies. It is that general curiosity that makes us well rounded humans. There is much to embrace and learn even if it were only confined to photography. Broad Interests makes for interesting human life, but it can make the breadth of overlapping photo interests and tasks large.
For most of us seduced by light and image making, the things we incidentally see become as important as any imagery we plan. Thus, even our photographic interests are broader than we might sum up, as visual seduction is everywhere.
Enjoying a sunset with a glass of wine on the front deck can instantly switch into a photo experience when a giant ray of light suddenly juts upward from the setting sun. Remarkable moments held in some fashion are worth the effort, even with no expectation of making a great photograph. We try, but most importantly to me, I get to witness.
How many skies over ocean can one person photograph? But honestly, they do continue to seduce me and seem ever-changing. The draw of the oceanic space, and the great unknown feeling to that space continues to grab me. I hope some of you continue to find some of them worthwhile. Apparently I do.
Or a simple dog walk on a trail climbing the ridge behind our house up to the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) where views of the mottled sky and my coastal town kept drawing my camera.
The GGNRA preserves many remnants of WWII observation and artillery emplacements. Walking up the Milagra Trail takes me past a few of these, and takes my mind back to what the world must have looked like after Pearl Harbor and the crisis facing the world. The old concrete bunkers carry the life of that time, even now, covered in graffiti, but still there.
We collect images as we collect experiences. More often than not, these are simple experiences, the makings of everyday life.
So often I see wonder. Frequently they are scenes that clearly will need photo craft to hold and reveal the light. But I have the craft, it just requires time. This newsletter often provides the incentive to focus.
These spirals have turned up south of the Mori Point section of GGNRA. I first noticed them from the air with my Phantom 4 drone. I don't yet want to know anything about how they got there. For now, a fantasy about some spiritual beings from another dimension laying out markers of wonder works for me. There seems no point in shattering illusions just yet.
They could be portals to some other place. But given the steepness of the eroding cliff side, the most likely journey would be a quick one down to the sea below.
Sometimes little moments of life reveal so much visual magic and tenderness that they can become important in their own right.
A broken wine glass and a dark post-election mood made the shattered line, stain of red and beautiful blue sky compelling. I've worked a bit on redoing it a little better. But the redos have not yet had something the original possessed, probably the spark of spontaneity.
I'm sure we all snap the shutter on incidental scenes we find, with no illusions as to them being great photographs. But they do build up in numbers over time, and the unusual, the quirky, and yes, sometimes the adorable is part of what makes photography so damn rich.
The Tunnels at Devil's Slide keep pulling me to photograph. They are architectural passages hinting at a portal into a 1950s vision of the future. They have now also become the real portal to the San Mateo County Coastline south of my home and studio in Pacifica.
The bridge connecting them to Highway One on the northside has been getting my attention since construction started in 2006.
The San Mateo coast pulls me into the world constantly. The cliffs, the fog, the smell of salt air and endless beaches are a continuous draw out into the world. Some of those beaches are populated with stone creatures that almost seem to come alive. Being near the sea has become sacred to me.
I am grateful for all of you that read this Newsletter, and let me know that you appreciate these musings. I rarely know ahead of time what the subject will be. It usually just evolves as I try to articulate what's been wandering through my mind and the photographs I've recently made. The writing itself stimulates more thought.
Recently at Stephen Johnson Photography
About 25 35mm transparencies from 1975 had gone missing for about 15 years. As is typically the case, looking for something else, there they were. And not even a slide pages. My recent work with the Canon 5DSr for slide copying got instantly employed and they were all digitized within about an hour.
It was a difficult lighting situation for the photography that cold overcast day in March 1975. The sky was white, the stage back lit. and the lost slides were not the best from the day, but I am very grateful to have them back.
The black and white negatives generally worked better. I offered a set of them with Bob Dylan and Joan Baez as featured prints in 2011. Of course, prints are still available, just at regular prices. The emcee for the day was Marlon Brando, Neil's band featured Rick Danko and Levon Helm of the Band. Bob Dylan was the surprise guest. BW proofs can be found here.
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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