Interview with photographer Stephen Johnson
Stephen Johnson is one third of the acclaimed photographers that are running an advanced photography course at Chester Zoo later this year. Together with Sue Flood and Cindy Miller Hopkins, he’ll share his skills and knowledge with you so you can develop your photography skills even further.
Stephen provides is with more information about what he will be delivering on this unique course and what participants will be able to take from it:
You’re one of the tutors on the Sue Flood Advanced Photography course, how do you know Sue?
I met Sue at a Wildphotos conference many years ago where I gave a talk on professional retouching standards in wildlife (and other) photography. Sue had just been given a Getty Images contract to supply their photo library and needed help in delivering her images to their (very) demanding standards, I help her achieve this.
Is retouching photos a difficult and time consuming process?
It can be, but I have discovered over the last 26 years of professional imaging that there are things that you can do to shorten the time you need to edit, retouch and deliver images that can make a considerable difference.
Will you be using Lightroom and Photoshop on the course?
I will but it won’t be four hours of turgid ‘going through the menus’. I will be presenting something a bit more interesting. Having worked in professional photography before my involvement in early electronic imaging (before Photoshop), I think I have a perspective on how photography has changed and developed.
I will be discussing some big themes around the differences between advanced amateur photography and professional photography and on a practical level to discuss how to pragmatically manage the whole cycle of image processing and delivery of images. Imaging workshops have, until now, tended to be based around a particular piece of software – sometimes promoted and sponsored by software companies with an agenda. Youtube videos (another way of learning) tend to be a bit amateur and misleading. In my workshop I will be putting the images front and centre and discuss the path to getting better results and working faster.
Will it be quite a technical workshop?
I know some photographers are a bit shy about their abilities in this area, what I cover is no more technical than operating a camera really. With good colour management, the important adjustments are made by ‘eye’, retouching is an emotional activity, the ability to work on images and bring out a vision in them is something that everyone can do. It’s easy once you know how.