JOHN SEXTON PHOTOGRAPHY NEWSLETTER
OCTOBER 2002




- A NOTE FROM JOHN
- 10% DISCOUNT SPECIAL FOR EMAIL LIST MEMBERS
AT VENTANA EDITIONS ONLINE STORE!
- THE ROOTS OF CALIFORNIA PHOTOGRAPHY AVAILABLE ON
VIDEO AND DVD
- MORE BEAUTIFUL PHOTOGRAPHY BOOKS AVAILABLE
THOUGH VENTANA EDITIONS
- BLACK AND WHITE FILM IS NOT DEAD!!!
- JOHN TO OFFER YOSEMITE WORKSHOP FOR THE ANSEL ADAMS
GALLERY IN OCTOBER 2003
- ANSEL'S ASSISTANTS REMEMBER THE MASTER
- SOME THOUGHTS ON PHOTOGRAPHY... AND OTHER TOPICS




Greetings friend,

It has been quite a while since you received your last email newsletter communication from me. I had anticipated that I would be sending out an email sometime during the summer. Well, somehow without me realizing it, Summer has gone and Autumn has arrived. Better late than never, here is the current edition of the John Sexton Photography Newsletter, published sporadically at best. I hope you find some things of interest.

John



10% DISCOUNT COUPON FOR EMAIL NEWSLETTER READERS
ON ALL ORDERS AT THE VENTANA EDITIONS ONLINE STORE


Just last weekend at a large discount warehouse store Anne and I were shocked to find the Christmas aisles already appearing, and it's not even Halloween! That was the first time that both of us really thought about the fact that the Holidays are literally just around the corner. With that in mind, our email newsletter readers can receive 10% off of all purchases at the Ventana Editions online store through November 1st. This special offer applies to all items ordered, including the recently added videos and books listed below. The special offer is available only to members of John's email list.

To receive this special 10% discount, simply enter the code "•••••" (without quotation marks) into the 'COUPON CODE' section of the secure web order form. Please remember to enter the coupon code during the checkout procedure to receive your special discount.

The Ventana Editions online store can be found at:
http://store.yahoo.com/ventanaeditions/

If you prefer, you may also place an order by calling Ventana Editions toll free at 888/390-4545 or 831/659-4377, Monday through Thursday from 9:30 am to 6:00 pm, PDT. Just remember to mention the special email discount code "•••••." UPS Ground shipping (within the 48 continental United States) is only $5 for an entire order, no matter how many items are included. It's not too early to think about Holiday gift giving!



"THE ROOTS OF CALIFORNIA PHOTOGRAPHY: THE MONTEREY LEGACY" DOCUMENTARY FILM AVAILABLE ON VIDEO AND DVD FROM VENTANA EDITIONS


Ventana Editions is very pleased to be able to offer the recently released documentary film "The Roots of California Photography: The Monterey Legacy" on video and DVD. This film is a wonderful overview of photography on the spectacular Monterey Peninsula. It was produced by the Monterey Museum of Art and The University of California, Santa Cruz Extension, Art & Design Department, and was directed by Steve Rosen and Terri DeBono.

The fifty-six minute film chronicles the important photographic heritage of this region and pays tribute to some of the most important men and women in American photography, masters whose creative and technical visions changed the way the world views photographic art. Photographers included are Ansel Adams, Edward, Brett and Cole Weston, Wynn and Edna Bullock, Morley Baer, Henry Gilpin, Richard Garrod, Al Weber, Sonya Noskowiak, Margrethe Mather, and John Sexton, among others.

Narrated by the late Jack Lemmon, the film is dedicated to his memory.

VHS Videos are $19.95 and DVD's are $24.95

To learn more about the film, or to purchase a video or DVD simply click on:
http://store.yahoo.com/ventanaeditions/videosanddvd.html



MORE BEAUTIFUL PHOTOGRAPHY BOOKS NOW AVAILABLE
AT THE VENTANA EDITIONS WEB STORE

In addition to the photographic books and posters by John published by Ventana Editions, there are a number of SUPERB photographic books published by independent publishers now available at the Ventana Editions web store. The recently added offerings include the following:

- MARK CITRET - "ALONG THE WAY"
- TILLMAN CRANE - "STRUCTURE"
- RICHARD GARROD - "VISUAL PRAYERS"
- HENRY GILPIN - "HENRY GILPIN PHOTOGRAPHS"

ALL of the books are signed by the photographers!

These recently added titles are all outstanding photographic books that should be available everywhere, but somehow they aren't. Now you can easily order them, as they join publications by NEIL CHAPMAN, STEPHEN HARRISON, and RAY McSAVANEY at the Ventana Editions web store.

Orders can be placed online or by calling Ventana Editions toll free at 888/390-4545 or 831/659-4377.

All of these volumes would make outstanding additions to a serious library of photography.

To view the selection of autographed photography books at the Ventana Editions online store check out:
http://store.yahoo.com/ventanaeditions/morebooks.html




FILM IS NOT DEAD!!!
KODAK PROFESSIONAL UPDATES BLACK AND WHITE FILMS

With the rapid growth in popularity and quality of digital imaging technology I find a question that frequently comes up during workshops, lectures, and photographic gatherings is "How long will film continue to be manufactured?" As many of you already know, Kodak Professional is in the midst of updating a number of their most popular black and white professional films in both roll and sheet film formats. During the past few months, I have received a number of questions and comments from photographers about this updating procedure -- along with interesting bits of information, some accurate and some fanciful beyond belief. Here is a sampling of some of the comments: "They're taking the silver out of the emulsions" (what would they be replacing it with???); "The new films have developers built into them" (they don't'); "They're synthetic films" (were they ever "natural" ???). I wanted to share some facts about the Kodak updates on the black and white films, as I best understand them, and as I have learned directly from Kodak during the past year!

Kodak is not changing the emulsions merely for the sake of change. Rather, they are moving the production of their most popular black and white films to their latest and most advanced film emulsion coating facility. I truly believe this is GOOD NEWS for black and white photographers.

This undertaking was a long and costly process. The new facility necessitated a significant change in the way the film was actually manufactured. These manufacturing changes necessitate a small change in the film developing time. I congratulate Kodak, not only for undertaking the updating of the films, but also for informing photographers about the changes.

The new films not only have slightly different names and packaging to help differentiate from their predecessors, but the sheet films even have new notch codes. That means, in the dark, you will know if you are handling a piece of the new film or the older emulsion. My experience in testing the films is that after a small adjustment in processing times, the results in terms of sharpness, grain, speed, development control, and reciprocity departure are identical. Generally speaking, most photographers will find that they will need to reduce their developing time by a small percentage (probably about 10-15 percent). That being said, not all the film and developer combinations work the same. Some may find that they do not need to make a change at all. Some might even find that their combination and method of working necessitates an increase in developing time. The bottom line –- run some tests to determine what will be the appropriate processing time to allow you to get the best results with these new emulsions.

Potential benefits of the change in manufacture of the film, according to Bob Shanebrook (a longtime friend and super knowledgeable person at Kodak Professional), are that there likely will be less static potential (hooray for less dust on sheet film!!!), less mottle, and even better batch to batch consistency. I am thrilled to see Kodak making this significant investment, and publicly featuring the new films so prominently, when so many people are saying that film is nearing the end of its life. I have nothing against digital imaging, but I do love silver-halide film and paper.

Here is a link to the Kodak Professional web site where you will find lots of information on the new films, their characteristics and suggested processing times:

http://www.kodak.com/go/bwfilms

One word of advice that I mention on workshops and follow myself...
It is clear to me that nothing has a finite life on this planet, and the photographic materials we are accustomed to using today will not be around forever. In all likelihood, the person or people that will make the decisions as to whether to discontinue or continue the production of a particular product will not be intimately familiar with its actual use, and will primarily be evaluating sales figures. For that reason, today I buy ONLY the materials I desire to work with. For years I have not made contact sheets on resin coated paper because I simply prefer the look, feel, and handling in the darkroom of fiber based paper. Today I make a point of making my contact sheets on papers that I use, enjoy, and want the manufacturer to continue producing (for me that's Kodak Polymax Fine Art). I suggest you look at your photographic purchases and make sure that the materials you are buying are those that you feel are important for your own work, rather than those that allow convenience or a slight cost savings. The more we buy a product the longer it will be available!



JOHN TO OFFER YOSEMITE WORKSHOP IN OCTOBER 2003
SPONSORED BY THE ANSEL ADAMS GALLERY


I am thrilled to be able to offer a workshop a year from now in one of my favorite places - Yosemite Valley! Just today Carlos Herrera, the Workshop Director for the Ansel Adams Gallery, and I firmed up all of the details for this event. I am pleased to have the readers of my newsletter be among the first to know about this workshop.

I had a great time teaching a workshop for the Gallery in Yosemite this past April. This offering in the fall will allow us to spend some time on field trips in the Yosemite high country. The previous workshop filled in days, and this one is likely to do the same.

If you are interested in registering for the workshop please contact Carlos Herrera at the Ansel Adams Gallery business office at 559-271-7960. He can be reached there Monday through Friday from 7:30 am to 4:30 pm PDT. You can also email him at:
mailto:workshops@anseladams.com

Here are the specifics on the workshop:

Exploring Black and White in Yosemite

Instructor: John Sexton
Dates: October 5-9, 2003
Limited to 10
Tuition: $550

John Sexton's workshop will explore spectacular Yosemite Valley with an emphasis on the creative possibilities of the black and white photographic process. This workshop will emphasize field work, and will also include a demonstration in expressive printmaking in the Gallery's darkroom.

Daily field sessions will concentrate on the importance of light as subject matter, along with visualization and image organization. These directed sessions will include instruction in the Zone System of exposure and development. Valuable and enjoyable portfolio reviews of participants' work will be an integral part of the workshop process. Daily sessions will go from the early morning hours until late in the evening. It will be a busy, but exciting immersion in photography within the magnificence of Yosemite Valley.

During the workshop, John will share his own photography as an opportunity for question and answer sessions relating to the concept and the craft of making photographs. In addition, John has a wealth of anecdotes, as well as technical information, from his close working relationship as Ansel Adams Photographic Assistant in the late 1970's and early 1980's. John has been leading workshops for over 25 years, and during that time many of them have been in Yosemite. He is keenly aware of the dramatic vantage points, as well as the more subtle, often overlooked, areas with rich photographic potential. John will be assisted by talented photographer Anne Larsen during the workshop.

Participants should be aware that due to the limited time available the instruction in the darkroom session will be by demonstration only, rather than hands-on work by participants. Participants actively working in black and white photography are welcome in all formats, though it should be noted that large format view camera techniques will be highlighted, as that is John's area of expertise.




ANSEL'S ASSISTANTS REMEMBER THE MASTER

A number of you are likely aware of the current exhibition at the Center for Photographic Art in Carmel, California, "Ansel Adams, 100 Years: The Assistants." This exhibition includes the work of Ted Orland, Chris Rainier, Alan Ross, Don Worth and me. Though the exhibition's last day is tomorrow, Friday, October 4th, I wanted to let you know that the essays written by each of the photographers featured in the exhibition are available for reading at the Center for Photographic Art web site.

The opening, which was held on August 9th, was a gala event. It was great to see old friends from the past, and reminisce about the "good old days" working with Ansel. All of the exhibitors were asked to contribute an essay, discussing something about Ansel, and our experiences while working with him. The collection of essays, which will remain at the Center for Photographic Art web site for some time, can be found at:
http://www.photography.org/

The variety of approaches among the five assistants was interesting to see in the exhibition. The subject matter displayed, the photographic media used, and the personal perspectives illustrated reflected each photographers' respective vision. Each of us has followed our own photographic path since our time working with Ansel. The essays clearly show that all of us were impressed by how hard and diligently Ansel worked at photography, and how much he loved it. We were all inspired by him!


SOME THOUGHTS ON PHOTOGRAPHY... AND OTHER TOPICS


Memorable comments by noted photographers, and others:

"There are no shortcuts to excellence."
- Ansel Adams in "Examples: The Making of Forty Photographs"

"Painting from nature is not just copying the object: It is realizing one's sensations"
- Paul Cezanne

"The problems that exist in the world today cannot be solved by the level of thinking that created them."
- Albert Einstein



CONTACT US WITH QUESTIONS, OR COMMENTS:

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

mailto:info@johnsexton.com
www.johnsexton.com




THE FINE PRINT


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