University at Buffalo
Department of


Art & Design

Art History

Visual Studies

Stephen Johnson: Photography, Realism and the Environment, Feb 25

February 15, 2011  by: Dom ©2011 by Stephen Johnson

The UB Department of Art invites you to attend a presentation by Canon “Explorer of Light” Photographer Stephen Johnson, February 25, 2011, 7-9p.m. in the Center for the Arts Screening Room, CFA 112, on the UB Amherst Campus. Free and open to all.

Photography, Realism and the Environment

“Photography swept into global popularity in the 1840s with its ability hold an image of the real world. The first photographic book by Fox-Talbot was even called “The Pencil of Nature” and we have since thought of photography as a record of what was before the camera. It has always been a limited record, and one that got pushed into “artistic interpretations” early on so as to reference other arts like painting where interpretation rather than record flourished. The environmental movement was enabled in its early mid-19th century efforts by photography’s unique ability to depict amazing natural wonders and be believed. Paintings from the same era often became huge exaggerations of the real, substituting melodrama for reality. It is this interplay of natural world views that is explored in this talk with a particular emphasis on modern “environmental” photography styles and affectations folded into Photoshop’s perceived ability to “enhance” reality that gives rise to discussions of photographic truth, realism and honesty about those place we seek to protect.”

Stephen Johnson is a photographer, teacher and designer. His books include At Mono Lake, the critically acclaimed The Great Central Valley: California’s Heartland, its tutorial companion, Making a Digital Book and the 2006 Stephen Johnson on Digital Photography.

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 2oth. century. Stephen Johnson was named as a 2003 inductee into the Photoshop Hall of Fame, recognized for his achievements in Art. Canon named Steve as one of their Explorers of Light in 2006.

Stephen’s work in digital photography, desktop color separations and digital imaging has included software and product development for clients such as Apple, Adobe, Eastman Kodak, Epson, Foveon, HP, Leaf, Radius, Ricoh and SuperMac. His work with Adobe includes the creation of the duotone curves shipped with their Photoshop software. Photographic clients have included the Ansel Adams Publishing Trust, and the Friends of Photography. Johnson’s photographs have been widely published and collected internationally. His work has been featured in Life and dozens of other magazines and in televison specials including features on ABC News/Discovery Channel, PBS, internet TV and many local stations.

For more information, contact Domenic J. Licata, UB Visual Studies, 716-645-0531

202 Center for the Arts, North Campus
Buffalo, New York 14260-6010
(716) 645-6878
(716) 645-6970 fax
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