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JOHN SEXTON PHOTOGRAPHY NEWSLETTER
July 2019



 


Greetings,

It has been more than six months since our last eNewsletter. Winter and spring have come and gone. Things have been busy here. Anne and I spent nearly a month photographing in Venice, Italy shortly after the first of the year. This was our 7th and final trip for our long-term photographic project – which we anticipate will end up as a book, along with exhibitions by the two of us, in the fall of 2021.

As some readers may recall, last year our photographic trip to the Southwest was cut short after traveling just over two hours when I severed my biceps tendon and tore my rotator cuff. This was followed a few days later by surgery. I am pleased to report that we were able to re-do our Southwest trip this May, and had a great time. We have been on photography trips to the Southwest in May more than twenty times, and we anticipated the typical warm weather we had encountered on our previous sojourns. After two days of temperatures pushing 100 degrees, as we headed further east into Utah, the temperature dropped dramatically and for the remainder of the trip the temperature never reached 80. It did get down in the 20's some nights. We had rain almost every day of the trip and snow – even at lower elevations – just about every other day. The main photographic challenge however was the nearly constant wind. Anne and I found ourselves visiting new locations searching for subjects that would not move in the wind! We meandered along small roads and trails we had never explored previously. We had a great time on our trip - with absolutely no planned agenda.

Yesterday, July 23rd, marked the 40th anniversary of my first day working as Ansel Adams full-time Photographic and Technical Assistant. As you probably can imagine, I have a vivid memory of that first day. I also recall a few months earlier on March 10 at 8:00 am when I received an unexpected call from Ansel, asking me if I would be interested in moving to the Monterey Peninsula to come to work with him– since his assistant at the time, Alan Ross, was returning to the San Francisco Bay Area to open his own commercial photography studio. It was actually a difficult decision to make as I had recently purchased a house, was teaching photography for the local community college district, and had gallery representation in Southern California. I sought advice from my good friend and photography professor David F. Drake, and in the long run certainly made the right decision by accepting Ansel's generous and surprising offer.

I had gotten to know Ansel over the years when I first attended his annual Yosemite workshop in 1973, returning multiply times as a workshop assistant, and eventually becoming Ansel's personal assistant during his Yosemite Workshops. I learned a great deal from Ansel over the years. He was not only a generous person in terms of sharing information, even more importantly he provided great inspiration – as a photographer and as a human being. I have no doubt that my photographic career has benefited from my association with Ansel. Hopefully he would be pleased by what I've accomplished over the decades.

Anne and I wish you all the best for the coming summer – may it be filled with good photographs for all of us!.

John


 

TWO ANNE LARSEN SILVER GELATIN PRINTS
AVAILABLE ONLINE AT DISCOUNTED PRICE

A few weeks ago, when John and I were planning this eNewsletter he suggested that in this issue it should just be me offering prints for sale. On previous occasions we have had print offers together, but it has never just been me having the solo honor of sharing two of my prints with his email Newsletter list.

I am pleased to offer the images Rose No 1, Carmel Valley, California and White Door, Silverton, Colorado at a special discounted price. From now through August 31, 2019 I am offering these silver gelatin prints for $360 each - a 20% discount off my current gallery retail price of $450. Effective September 1, 2019 the price for all of my open edition prints will increase to $550.

 

Rose No.1 by Anne Larsen

Rose No.1, Carmel Valley, California
©1999 Anne Larsen. All rights reserved.

To learn more about the print, Rose No.1, or to place an order, follow this link:
https://ventanaeditions.stores.yahoo.net/rono1cavaca.html

Like painters over the centuries, many photographers have made images of flowers and I am no exception. To me each flower is a unique masterpiece – so simple and yet so complex in its design, patterns, texture, color combination, and its aroma. You can get lost in the world of beauty each unique flower creates.

That was exactly how I felt the day I saw this yellow rose and decided to photograph it. I knew how I wanted to portray the rose. To me the rose had to be light, delicate, and fill the entire frame of the photograph. My studio is very simple - I often use our entry to make my still life images. One wall is sliding glass doors, and the afternoon light is very soft, but directional – perfect for the way I had visualized my rose image.

In the darkroom the biggest challenge was revealing the subtle local contrast within the very light rose petals, and at the same time maintaining the delicacy and luminosity of the flower. I hope you enjoy this image as much as I do.

 

White Door by Anne Larsen

White Door, Silverton, Colorado
©2001 Anne Larsen. All rights reserved.

To learn more about the print, White Door, or to place an order, follow this link:
https://ventanaeditions.stores.yahoo.net/whdosico.html

 

Silverton is a small historic mining town in the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado, nestled in a lofty valley at an elevation of 9,300 feet. It is an interesting and quaint little place, and one we have often visited on our photographic wanderings over the years.

On this particular day we were just putting through town in our van, looking at the changes that had occurred since our last visit. I noticed a white door off-center on a darker building facade. I thought, that looks kind of interesting. As we continued down the street, the scene with the door became more and more appealing and finally I said to John, "We have to turn around!"

I was excited when we pulled up near the dilapidated building with the white door. I set up my 4x5 view camera and organized the image on the ground glass to match the way I had visualized it as we meandered down Greene Street. In my mind's eye the door was much brighter than the aging plywood wall, but when I measured the objects with my spotmeter the difference in brightness between the door and the wall was much less than I anticipated. This was not at all what I had envisioned. I wanted the door to be nearly white, and the surrounding wall to be mysteriously dark with subtle detail to show the weathered plywood. In order to accomplish my desire, I marked the Kodak T-Max 100 film for N+2 development hoping for a considerable increase in contrast. It was a fun morning.

I know John and I have passed this building many times on previous trips, but for some reason, that particular day the door stood out and 'spoke' to me. I am glad I 'listened,' and we turned the van around. As John often says, "A U-turn is a very important photographic tool!"

Both of these intimate size prints are approximately 5x7" personally printed by me (as are all of my prints), selenium toned, processed to current archival standards, signed, mounted, and overmatted to 14x17" on 100 percent rag museum board. Prints will begin shipping on August 1, and all of prints ordered will be shipped no later than September 30, 2019.

All prints will be carefully prepared and packaged in specially designed protective shipping boxes and shipped fully insured via UPS Ground. If you have questions about my prints, please feel free to contact me at 831-659-3130 or email: info@johnsexton.com. Our office hours are Monday through Thursday from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm Pacific time.

You can see these two images and place a secure online order for these prints at the Ventana Editions web store:
https://ventanaeditions.stores.yahoo.net/anlaorsipr.html

 


 

ANNE LARSEN PRINT PRICES TO INCREASE SEPTEMBER 1, 2019

Anne has decided to raise her gallery retail print price on open edition prints to $550 effective September 1, 2019. Anne's current gallery retail price for those prints is $450, but you have an opportunity to save 20% off of the current price with the two prints that Anne is offering in this newsletter at a special discounted price.

Anne's prints are impeccably made and have a common quality of delicate luminosity - no matter what subject she is photographing. I must admit I am a bit biased, but here is something that legendary photographer Ruth Bernhard said about Anne's photography, "Anne Larsen has the ability to transform the commonplace into the unforgettable. Her beautiful photographs are made from the heart."

 


 

MARCH 2020 EXPRESSIVE BLACK AND WHITE PRINT WORKSHOP
WILL BE LAST OFFERING FOR TWO YEARS

The March 2020 offering of The Expressive Black and White Print workshop (along with the Fine Tuning the Expressive Print workshop in April 2020) will be the last time we will offer these two workshops for a year or two. There are still a FEW openings left in the Expressive Black and White Print workshop for 2020. If you've been planning to take this workshop, and your schedule permits, I encourage you to apply for the workshop as soon as possible. I am sorry to say that the Fine Tuning the Expressive Print workshop in March 2020 has long been filled and has a waiting list, but those who meet the prerequisites are welcome to apply to the waiting list – no deposit is necessary – simply submit a completed and signed application form, which can be downloaded here.

Anne and I will be shifting our concentration and efforts toward the photographic work we did on seven trips to Venice, Italy that took place from 2008 until 2019 – spanning a total of nearly four months. Our plan is to publish a photography book by the two of us of the images we have made in and around magical Venice. The book is planned to be of similar size and quality as to my two most recent books, Places of Power and Recollections. Like those two volumes, it will be published by Ventana Editions. We are working with our long-time designer Cliff Rusch on the layout, design, and production details of the book. We are also planning exhibitions in conjunction with the release of the book, and have already booked one museum exhibition (details to be released at a later date!). That is the reason why after the March 2020 offering of the Expressive Black and White Print workshop Anne and I are taking a sabbatical from teaching darkroom workshops at our home and studio through 2021.

We will continue to offer the very popular Mono Lake and the Eastern Sierra: Exploring Autumn Light workshop with our longtime friend, Charlie Cramer, along with other workshops.

 

John Sexton Photography Workshops

John during workshop printing demonstration
©2013 Anne Larsen. All rights reserved.

 

When I first offered The Expressive Black and White Print workshop as part of the Owens Valley Photography Workshops program in October of 1983, I never imagined that there would be such a strong interest in this workshop, and that it would continue to attract people so far into the future. The March 2020 offering of The Expressive Black and White Print workshop will be the 38th consecutive year that this workshop has been offered. That first workshop in 1983 filled instantly, and I added two additional sessions, which also filled immediately. We were off and running! For a couple of decades we were offering four or five of these workshops a year. Today we typically offer one or two Expressive Print workshops per year. Since its initial offering The Expressive Black and White Print workshop has been offered more than 100 times and we have had over 1,000 participants attend that workshop from the U.S.A. and from thirty-eight other countries around the globe.

Even though I have offered the Expressive Print workshop so many times, it is still my favorite workshop to teach, and the one I think gives students a maximum amount of information and inspiration in such a short period of time. Anne and I will miss doing the darkroom workshops here at our home and studio, but feel we must keep our efforts and our darkroom focused on our Venice photography project. In addition, we both feel like we are both entitled to a couple of years off after thirty-eight years!

You can access the complete schedule, get detailed information about the workshops, and download an illustrated PDF of the new workshop brochure here: http://www.johnsexton.com/schedule.html.

 



EPSON “JOHN SEXTON: PRINT YOUR LEGACY” VIDEO WINS A 2019 TELLY AWARD

EPSON “THE CAPONIGROS - TWO GENERATIONS” VIDEO ALSO WINS TELLY AWARDS

Readers of past email newsletters may remember an article in the November 2017 issue about my participation in the Epson America “Print Your Legacy” advertising campaign and the accompanying video they produced featuring me. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Epson’s video John Sexton: Print Your Legacy won a 2019 Bronze Telly Award for Videography/Cinematography category of the 40th annual competition. I am honored and humbled to have my video – which was produced and directed by my long-time friend Dan Dano Steinhardt – receive this recognition. You should check out the entire video collection at the Epson America Print Your Legacy web page. You’ll find a lot of interesting and inspiring material from a wide variety of talented photographers. If you haven't had a chance to view my Print Your Legacy video you can do so here.

 

 

Epson received a number of 2019 Telly Awards, for their Epson Print Academy YouTube channel, as well as for a number of videos in their Print Your Legacy series. Epson’s recently completed video The Caponigros: Two Generations received two Telly Awards. It is an inspiring, and touching, 9-1/2 minute video featuring father and son and their shared passion for the photographic print. Anne and I have watched the video a number of times, and think you will find it most interesting and inspirational.

 

The Caponigros- Two Generations Video

 

I first met Paul Caponigro and his, at the time very young son John Paul, in 1974 during a week long workshop offered by The Ansel Adams Gallery in Yosemite Valley. Over the past 45 years I have studied with, taught with, and maintained a valued friendship with Paul. I have watched John Paul mature as a person, and as a fine photographer in his own right, of course he too, is a great friend. Anne and I had a great visit with both Paul and John Paul when we were in Maine just a few years ago. We encourage you to watch the video.

I also suggest you subscribe to John Paul’s excellent eNewsletter. In addition, you can find additional information about the The Caponigros - Two Generations video, exhibition, end eBook on John Paul’s blog.

The Telly Awards is the premier award honoring video and television across all screens. Established in 1979, the Telly Awards receives over 12,000 entries from all fifty states and five continents. Entrants are judged by the Telly Awards Judging Council – an industry body of two hundred leading experts, including advertising agencies, production companies, and major television networks.

 


 

APOLLO 11 50th ANNIVERSARY KODAK WEB SITE & AMAZING EARTHRISE VIDEO

It's hard to believe last Saturday, July 20, 2019, marked the 50th anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 moon landing. Like so many others, as a 16 year old I can clearly remember being huddled around a black and white television set with my parents watching nervously as this real-life drama unfolded. You might be surprised to learn that Eastman Kodak Company played an important role in NASA's Apollo program, not only manufacturing the films that were used to record these historic events, but also in developing specialized lunar cameras and technology. Kodak's recently launched We Took You To The Moon web site has a ton of information that I think will be of interest not only 'space nerds' like me, but to just about everyone. There are links to historical Kodak publications, information on Kodak's role in NASA's space program over the decades, podcasts, videos, and image of the current Space Launch System, Orion, and Artemis 1 flight hardware.

 

Kodak Lunar Web Site

 

In past newsletters I have referenced my longtime close friend Bob Shanebrook – former World-Wide Manager for Kodak Professional Films, and author of the book How Film Is Made. Well, Bob's first job when he started with Kodak, at the tender age of 21 having just graduated from RIT with a degree in photographic science, was to work on the Kodak Apollo Lunar Surface Close-up Camera. The ALSCC was a 35 mm stereoscopic camera that enabled astronauts to photograph extreme close-ups of rocks, dust, and minute features of the moon's surface. Bob said, "I made sure I touched and handled and used every camera, so I could say I touched something that is still on the moon and will be there forever." You can learn about the ALSCC, and a lot more, at the new Kodak web site. You can read a detailed article about Bob's involvement with the ALSCC here. The Apollo 11 ALSCC was left on the Moon – a piece of lunar treasure. Astronaut Pete Conrad, due to command the next Apollo mission, quipped: "If I find a way to bring the camera back, can I have it?"

If you are interested in traditional film photography you should consider purchasing Bob's book, Making Kodak Film. The hardcover book is a massive 470 pages filled with information you simply cannot find anywhere else. The price is $100, plus shipping charges. I had the great privilege of working as a consultant with Bob many Kodak projects over the years. When I have needed information about photographic film and paper, Bob has been my go to resource for more than thirty-five years. You can learn more about his Making Kodak Film book, and order directly from him here. I am sure Bob will be happy to autograph the book for you!

 

Earthrise Video

 

Speaking of longtime friends, Rob Pike is a legend in the world of programming, along with his many other accomplishments. Rob kindly wrote the introductory essay to my book, Places of Power. He recently emailed me a link to a video titled, Earthrise. In his brief note he said," I think you'll like it." Rob was correct! Anne and I both found it to be an exceptional seven minutes of video, and we encourage you to enjoy it yourself when you have the chance. Without giving away all of the wonderful surprises, we think there will be elements of special interest to anyone involved in photography, and even if you don't give a damn about photography it's a wonderful and amazing experience! Enjoy.

 


 

JOBO INTERNATIONAL GmbH REUNITES WITH JOHN SEXTON PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOPS
AS A CORPORATE PARTNER.

As many readers may remember, I did advertising for JOBO for many years – until they closed their business in the USA due to diminishing demand for film processing equipment. I had a great relationship with the company and their people. I began using a JOBO processor and JOBO Expert Drums to process my sheet film in 1988, and continue to do so to this day.

I was thrilled when I received an unexpected communication from Johannes Bockemühl of JOBO International GmbH in Germany indicating his desire to re-establish a relationship. Johannes shared the exciting news of the great increase in interest he has experienced in his JOBO processors, drums, and other products these days from analog photographers around the globe. I still believe that the best way to process black and white sheet film for optimum evenness is in a JOBO Expert Drum. If I thought there was a better way to process the film, I would use that method!!!

JOBO is a family owned company now in its third generation of family leadership. Having been founded in 1923, it has built upon a reputation for quality, professionalism, and commitment. I am thrilled to once again be associated with such a fine company. You can learn more about JOBO, and their products, at their web site. Johannes and his family are currently traveling in the USA, and I look forward to meeting them at our home and studio in Carmel Valley in a few days.

Here is a 'blast from the past' copy of one of the many different JOBO advertisements, featuring me and my images, that appeared in photography periodicals around the world.

 


 


 

LOOKING BACK... REFLECTING ON THE PAST

40 years ago yesterday - July 23, 1979 - I started a new job. My title as it appeared on my business card, ‘Photographic and Technical Assistant to Ansel Adams. When I arrived at Ansel's that morning there was a one- page letter on my desk describing what Ansel would like me to do in my new position. The conclusion of this treasured note reads, "I probably will not forget my beard! Yrs, A.A." What a wonderful experience I had during those years working side-by-side with Ansel in the darkroom and in the field. Ansel’s generosity as a photographer, educator, and most importantly as a human being, was beyond anything I have experienced since. I feel VERY fortunate to have had such a marvelous experience!

 

Ansel Adams and John teaching workshop at Weston Beach, Point Lobos
©1981 Bruce W. Hall. All rights reserved.

 


 

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John Sexton
Post Office Box 30
Carmel Valley, CA 93924
Voice: 831-659-3130
Fax: 831-659-5509

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