Stephen Johnson is a photographer, designer and teacher. His photography explores the concerns of a landscape artist working in an increasingly industrialized world. His work has also concentrated on refining the new tools of digital photography and empowering individual artists to use these tools to express their ideas.
He was the Curator, and Editor/Designer for At Mono Lake, a book and National Endowment for the Arts funded exhibition which toured the United States from 1980-1983, reaching an audience of over two million people. In 1988, he was awarded a Congressional Special Recognition Award by the U.S. House of Representatives for his work on behalf of Mono Lake.
Mr. Johnson was co-creator of The Great Central Valley Project (a photographic exhibit and book) that used landscape photography to examine the dramatically human-altered heartland of California. Using a Macintosh computer, he edited, designed, and created the graphics for the award-winning The Great Central Valley: California's Heartland a 264 page book published by the University of California Press in 1993. His Making a Digital Book was published late in 1993 documenting how computers were used in creating California's Heartland.
Since 1989, Johnson's photographic work has explored computers as new photographic and design tools. He is finishing work on a major new endeavor, the groundbreaking digital national parks project With A New Eye, using digital sensors to make his photographs rather than film. Longterm projects also include the digital restoration of a 600 glass-plate negative collection from the early nineteenth century, and two projects based on his original photographs.
His work in digital photography, desktop color separations and digital imaging consulting has included software and product development for clients such as Adobe Systems, Agfa, Apple Computer, Eastman Kodak, Epson, Foveon, Hewlett Packard, Leaf Systems, Newer Technology, Radius, Ricoh Corporation and SuperMac Technology. His work with Adobe included the creation of the duotone curves shipped with Photoshop and two quadtone posters. He designed an innovative rotating negative-carrier system for the Leaf Scanner. Additional clients have included Hatcher Press, Bentlyhouse, and the University of California Press.
Internationaly recognized as a digital photography "pioneer," Johnson's photographs have been exhibited, published and collected in Europe, the US and Japan. His photographs are part of the permanent collections of many institutions including the Oakland Museum, the Getty, the City of New York, and the National Park Service. Corporate collections include Apple, Minolta, and the Packard Foundation.
Photographic clients have included the Ansel Adams Publishing Trust, the Friends of Photography, the National Park Service, the Wadsworth Anthenium, and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Friends of Photography chose his work as their first digital image in their fine print collector's program.
In 1999, Folio Magazine declared the publication of Johnson's digital photographs in Life Magazine to be one of the Top 15 Critical Events in magazine publishing in the twentieth century. Stephen Johnson was named as a 2003 inductee into the Photoshop Hall of Fame, recognized for his achievements in Art.
His work on environmental issues dates back to his early involvement in political campaigns, working for the California Coastal Initiative in 1972, helping to form a high school Ecology Club, and helping to found and manage a community Recycling Center in his hometown of Merced, California. His efforts continued into his professional life as an adult with his work on behalf of Mono Lake, the Great Central Valley and the national parks including recent direct involvement of saving Mori Point for addition into the GGNRA. His photographs have appeared in Sierra Magazine, Audubon, Pacific Discovery and numerous other environmentally focused publications. He currently serves on the board of the Pacifica Land Trust and continues his work with a number of organizations.
He has taught for the Center for Creative Imaging in Camden Maine, numerous workshops for industry, designed digital photography programs, and has an ongoing photography, publishing and consulting business. He has lectured for leading digital and photographic industry forums: Seybold, MacWorld, Image World, VISCOM, PhotoEast, PhotoWest, PhotoPlus, Fotofusion, the Agfa Technology Expo, FOGRA (Germany), Digital 95 (Great Britain), the International Symposium on Electronic Photography at Photokina (Germany), the University of California, Xerox PARC, and at Stanford University.
Johnson's photographs are in public and private collections across the country, and have appeared in Life Magazine, American Photographer, Communication Arts, pdn's PIX, Camera Arts, Omni, Audubon, Sierra, Publish, Hemispheres, Electronic Publishing, Adobe Magazine, California Magazine, California History, MacWeek, MacUser, Photo District News, Photo Electronic Imaging, MicroPublishing News, Landscape Magazine, Popeye Magazine (Japan), HallÂ Magazine and Fotografisk Tidskrift (both from Sweden), Page Magazine (Germany), Advanced Imaging Magazine, IdN Magazine (Hong Kong), the Adobe Photoshop Deluxe Edition CD ROM, Nautilus CD ROM Magazine, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, On-Line Design, Digital Video Magazine, US News and World Report, and featured on television's The MacNeil Lehrer Newshour, The Discovery News, New Media News, and The Computer Chronicles.