Subscribe to John Sexton's mailing list and newsletter
Learn about upcoming events, photographic projects, news, and receive special discount offers, along with John's popular e-mail newsletter. Please indicate if you would like to join John's postal mailing list, e-mail newsletter list, or both mailing lists.
We do NOT share your information with others

Visit John's Newsletter Archive



It has been a few years since Anne and I have simultaneously offered prints at special discounted prices to our eNewsletter subscribers. I will be offering the image, Black Oak, Fallen Branches, Yosemite Valley, California, and the image Anne has chosen is a limited edition print, Trees, Winter, Yosemite Valley.

From now until December 31, 2023 I am offering my 11x14" silver gelatin print for $700 - a 30% from the normal retail price of $1,000. Anne is also offering a 30% discount on her new limited edition print – the discounted price for her print is $420. Anne's gallery retail price for her limited edition print is $600. After December 31, 2023 the price for my print returns to $1,000, and the price for Anne's print will increase to $600.


Black, Oak, Fallen Branches by John Sexton

Black Oak, Fallen Branches, Yosemite Valley, California
©1984 John Sexton. All rights reserved.

To learn more about the print, Black Oak, Fallen Branches, or to place an order, follow this link:


Trees, Winter by Anne Larsen

Trees, Winter, Yosemite Valley, California
©2011 Anne Larsen. All rights reserved.

To learn more about the print, Trees Winter, Yosemite Valley, or to place an order, follow this link:

My lifelong love affair with Yosemite Valley is not just about its breathtaking landscapes; it is a journey through a mosaic of deeply personal memories and inspirations. This unique valley boasts both dramatic and subtle natural wonders, and one of my favorite spots, El Capitan Meadow, has been a source of inspiration and creativity for me over the years. This serene meadow, adorned with majestic black oaks, lies at the foot of El Capitan, its granite face soaring more than 3,000 feet above.

In 1978, I made what I consider to be my first successful photograph in El Capitan Meadow. I had attempted to make photographs there going back as far as 1973 but could not quite put the visual puzzle together to suit my desires. As I have mentioned before, when I am drawn to a location, I make it a point to revisit it over time. This allows me to witness how it transforms with the shifting seasons, changing light, and serves as a kind of gauge for my evolving photographic interests and preferences. El Capitan, to this day, continues to hold a special place in my heart as one of those enduring and cherished locations.

The image Black Oak, Fallen Branches, Yosemite Valley was made on a cold blustery overcast February day. In all honesty, it was a rather uninteresting day as the sun seldom shone, and rain changed to wet snow and back. I had visited a few other locations in the valley and had also explored El Capitan Meadow earlier in the day. I had meandered about the meadow carrying my 4x5 view camera, but not exposing any film. It was late in the afternoon when I decided to return to El Capitan Meadow. The situation did not look promising at first. However, as is often the case, things began to unexpectedly change–fortunately for the better.

As I was strolling around the meadow with my camera, stopping and looking through my viewing frame, the sky slowly began to brighten, and the heavy cloud cover began to lessen. I watched the sky transform from a monotonous overall gray to something gossamer like. I realized I needed a subject in the foreground to make effective use of the changing atmospheric conditions in the background. I rushed over to one of my favorite trees in the meadow where a large limb had fallen to the ground a few years earlier. As I began to think about how to organize the image, the weather, the clouds, and lighting began to further improve. The snow-covered cliffs on the south side of the valley were emerging and disappearing in interesting ways. Having learned the hard way from being too slow, I worked as quickly as I could.

I set up my 4x5 Linhof Technika camera with my 120mm wide angle lens, and while looking at the image on the ground glass, things got even more interesting. The slightly wide angle 120mm lens gave the tree a sense of presence. Working expeditiously, I mounted a Wratten #12 yellow filter with the hopes it would better separate the rapidly moving mist from the sky and help distinguish the subtle separations in the snow. As is typically the case, I made two identical exposures, each 2 seconds at f/32. Shortly after completing the second exposure, the clouds began to fill in and evolve to an overall grayness again. I was very excited about the image and nervous with anticipation if I had done everything properly.

Fortunately, after I gave the Kodak Tri-X Professional 4x5 film normal development in Kodak HC-110 developer, the negatives looked promising. When I viewed them on the light table, I could see I had two different photographs. The mist and clouds had changed, and the one I printed was far more interesting. It is not an easy negative to print as the overall contrast was a bit on the high side, but local contrast due to the soft light was low. Considerable work in the darkroom is necessary to achieve the print that fulfilled my visualization when I made this photograph nearly 40 years ago. I hope you enjoy this image as much as I do.

Anne and I are looking forward to photographing in Yosemite next month when we visit to attend the reception for our current exhibition at The Ansel Adams Gallery. We will undoubtedly spend time exploring, and hopefully photographing, at El Capitan Meadow. It may come as no surprise that this image, along with Anne's stunning photograph below, are both included in our current exhibition at The Ansel Adams Gallery. These two prints are also available at the special discount price through The Ansel Adams Gallery through December 31, 2023.

The print size for this image is approximately 13-3/8 x 10-3/8", personally printed by me (as are all my prints), processed to current archival standards, signed, mounted, and matted to 16x20" on 100 percent rag museum board.

You can see the image and place a secure online order for the print at the Ventana Editions web store:

Here is Anne's recollection of making her image:

Winter is my favorite season. The crisp, short days and the allure of falling snow captivate me. Snowfall brings a simplicity to the landscape, transforming the scenery into a monochromatic wonder. As a child in Denmark, I vividly remember the joy I felt when it finally snowed. If it had snowed overnight, I knew instantly upon waking. There was a special silence that would signal a snowy blanket outside. Peeking through the curtain to see my backyard covered in white was a joyous sight.

Decades have passed, but my delight in the sight of snow remains undiminished. During a winter trip to Yosemite with John, where we were camping, we were blessed with nightly snowfall. Each morning, we were greeted with a breathtaking and untouched winter wonderland. It was on the final day of our five-day adventure, in the serene setting of El Capitan Meadow, that I made this image, now offered as a limited edition print titled Trees, Winter, Yosemite Valley. This trip proved to be my most productive winter photography journey in Yosemite to date. In the past, I have offered two other limited edition prints from this same remarkable adventure. I sincerely hope that you derive as much joy from this image as I do!

The Image Trees, Winter, Yosemite Valley is approximately 6-9/16 x 7-1/4". Personally printed by me, processed to current archival standards, signed, numbered, mounted, and matted to 14 x 17" on 100% rag museum board. This print is offered in a Limited Edition of 50 numbered silver gelatin prints, plus 5 artist proofs. When the edition is sold out no further prints will be made for sale in any size.

You can see this image and place a secure online order for this print at the Ventana Editions web store:

Prints will begin shipping on November 27, 2023. If you would like to receive your print in time for the Holidays, please be sure to let us know at the time of the order. It would be a good idea to follow up with an email. We will make every effort to ship prints out in time for Holiday gift giving to those who need them. All the prints ordered will be shipped no later than March 30, 2024.

All the prints are carefully prepared and packaged in specially designed protective shipping boxes, and shipped fully insured via UPS ground. If you have any questions about the prints, please feel free to contact Anne 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.



Anne and I had a wonderful time leading our most recent Mono Lake and the Eastern Sierra: Exploring Autumn Light workshop. We are pleased to announce next year's offering of this extremely popular workshop. There is a strong possibility 2024 will be the final time we offer this particular workshop.


John Sexton Photography Workshops


If you are interested in next October's Mono Lake and the Eastern Sierra: Exploring Autumn Light workshop–which will run from October 14-18, 2024, be sure to apply early, as this workshop always fills quickly. The 2024 session will be the 14th, and possibly final, offering of this particular workshop! It is very likely that the session will be over subscribed.

Please note that this is NOT a first come, first served, workshop enrollment process. Anne and I both personally review all applications and try to assemble a workshop group that will create a stimulating environment for all who attend. Both traditional and digital photographers are invited to apply for this synergistic field workshop experience. We try and provide an environment that presents useful information, as well as inspiration, to encourage personal growth in your photography.

I want to thank all our workshop Corporate Partners and Associate Partners for their support of the program over the years. It is amazing to realize it was more than 45 years ago that I taught my first small workshop with my long-time friend John Charles Woods for a handful of fellow photography majors at Cypress College.

Again, to learn more about the workshops, or to apply, please visit my web site www.johnsexton.com where you can download the complete workshop brochure as well as the application form here: http://www.johnsexton.com/schedule.html.


Fun memories from our 2023
Mono Lake and the Eastern Sierra: Exploring Autumn Light workshop


NOVEMBER 10, 2023 through JANUARY 6, 2024

Anne and I are thrilled and deeply honored to announce our third two-person exhibition at The Ansel Adams Gallery in majestic Yosemite National Park. The exhibition, Sharing the Sublime, which opened on November 10, 2023, will be on display through January 6, 2024. You can view a number of the images included in the exhibition here.

Our relationship with The Ansel Adams Gallery has been a fulfilling and long-standing partnership. Anne has been represented by the gallery for over a decade. As for me, I am deeply humbled to hold the unique honor of being the gallery's longest-represented photographer, aside from Ansel Adams himself! This distinction is particularly special considering the gallery's illustrious history that spans more than 120 years. My association with the gallery, spanning a mere forty-three years, has been an important part of my artistic journey.

We are pleased to share a selection of curated prints from negatives that span the years of our artistic journey together. For both Anne and me, the magic of light as it reveals our subjects is an integral aspect of our creative photographic process. Through our work, we aspire to reveal not only the intrinsic beauty of the subjects before our lenses but also to convey the exhilaration and inspiration that we experienced when making each image. While we both employ similar photographic tools, our individual approaches yield distinct palettes in our respective prints. As is the case with all our prints, the prints in this exhibition are handcrafted black and white silver gelatin prints, made in our traditional wet darkroom—which is a place where magic happens for us both.


Sharing the Sublime Exhibition


We owe a great debt of gratitude to Evan Russel, our steadfast collaborator, and Curator at The Ansel Adams Gallery for the past eleven years. Evan, in his thoughtfully written Curator's Note, has these very kind words about our photographs:

Photography is about connection and communication. It is about an experience that an artist is attempting to share with a greater audience, those of like-mind and at common odds, whether by absurdist irony or realist approach. As Ansel Adams would say, "When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs."

When looking at a photograph by Anne Larsen or John Sexton, I am immediately transported to an emphatic place of quiet light; there is a familiarity and fellowship with each subject regardless of its whereabouts or any notion of its prior existence. The darkest aspen forests glow, ice playfully masquerades as a sea of cumulus clouds, and the dazzling morning sun scattered through fog is shrouding. I feel connected, focused, and welcome.

Emanating from the silver prints by both Anne and John is this tacit notion of truth; of genuine places communicating a sympathetic sublimity that is unique yet somehow universal to us all.

If you happen to find yourself in beautiful Yosemite National Park between now and January 6, 2024, we invite you to stop by the gallery to see our photographs on display. Moreover, for those who might be in Yosemite on December 16, 2023, we extend a personal invitation to join us for the gallery's artists' reception between 11 am and 2 pm. It would be a pleasure and an honor to see friends, and hopefully make some new ones. After all, we would not want to be the only ones, along with Evan, in attendance!





Earlier in the year, a number of our subscribers noticed that Kodak Professional photographic chemicals were in extremely short supply and in many instances on back order. This problem was created when Sino Promise, the exclusive marketing agent for Eastman Kodak Company, decided to exit the photographic chemical business. This left the future of the legendary Kodak Professional photographic chemicals in uncertainty. It appeared as if the brand might disappear. I have hot off the press excellent, and exciting, news to share with readers.

I was recently in communication with Alan Fischer the CEO and founder of Photo Systems Inc. which has been manufacturing photographic chemicals for more than 45 years. I have known Alan for a couple of years and have been impressed with his knowledge of photographic processing chemicals. I was pleased when Alan shared the breaking news that he had successfully secured the worldwide license for Kodak Professional chemistry going forward, and that the full current product line will be offered for sale once again. I am thrilled that readers of this newsletter are among the first to know this important news!

As many readers know, I have used Kodak Professional film throughout my entire 50-year career in photography. In addition, I have relied on Kodak Professional processing chemicals during that same time frame. On Christmas night 1969 under the dim glow of some red Christmas tree bulbs, I saw true magic take place in my friend Mark's homemade 'dark room'. He had received an enlarger that morning as a Christmas gift and wanted to share his new 'toy' with me. He had small 5 x 7 trays and the chemicals in a small envelope for what I now know was a Kodak "Tri–Chem Pack". This contained small amounts of a developer, stop bath and fix, the three basic chemicals for photographic processing. What was mixed up in the first tray–where the magic of the print emerging in the dim red illumination–was Kodak Dektol developer. I have used Kodak Dektol developer as my primary paper developer since my earliest experiences in the darkroom and continue to do so today. During the latter years of Ansel's life, his primary paper developer of choice was Kodak Dektol.

Kodak Dektol Developer with the brand new labeling


I am going to let Alan tell you, in his own words, the story behind the Kodak Professional chemicals recent past and their bright future:

On September 1, 2023 Photo Systems Inc. became the worldwide licensee for Kodak Professional chemistry. Prior to this time, Photo Systems Inc. manufactured photographic chemistry for Kodak Alaris, the film licensee that continues to operate today. Subsequently, when Kodak Alaris sold its chemical business to Sino Promise, we continued manufacturing chemistry for them.

In early 2023, Sino Promise decided to exit the chemistry business. This prompted us to begin the process of securing a licensing agreement directly from Eastman Kodak, enabling us to operate as both the licensee and manufacturer of Kodak Professional chemistry. We are pleased to announce that we recently successfully secured that agreement.

Currently, we are in the process of rebranding the products under the Kodak brand with Photo Systems Inc. as the licensee and manufacturer. Our plan is to reintroduce the entire range of black and white products by December 15, 2023, followed by the release of C-41, E-6, and RA-4 color products.

We are in the process of establishing a network of distributors worldwide and expect to begin exporting these products in the first quarter of 2024. The Kodak Professional chemicals brand has a long and rich history, and a reputation for excellent quality. It has garnered a dedicated and passionate following among analog photographic enthusiasts, and we are anticipating that the brand will be widely available in 2024.




As readers of my eNewsletter may recall, years ago I conducted a private photography workshop for the legendary singer and entertainer, Kenny Rogers. In 1984, I was Kenny's "Christmas gift" from his wife at the time, Marianne. During this darkroom workshop session, Kenny and I developed a special friendship that lasted over the decades until he passed away in March 2020. In the early years of our friendship, we spent a considerable amount of time together traveling, photographing, and working in the darkroom.

The Booth Museum of Western Art in Cartersville, Georgia currently has an exhibition of Kenny's photography on display. The exhibition, Through the Years: Kenny Rogers' Photographs of America, includes approximately sixty of Kenny's photographs, and will run through September 10, 2022. For those in the area, you might find it of interest to attend the exhibition. For those like myself not able to visit in person, there is a virtual tour available here: https://my.matterport.com/show/?m=YqNbVY1sR7p

Earlier this year the Booth Museum contacted me about the possibility of presenting a lecture in conjunction with the opening of Kenny's exhibition. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the event. We had a discussion of alternative possibilities, and I came up with the idea of producing an audio-only presentation. I also agreed to include a handful of happy snaps from the times Kenny and I shared together. The plan was for the museum to overlay projected images from the exhibition, along with my small number of happy snaps. I prepared the digital audio file and submitted it to the museum. It soon became apparent there were some problems with the concept as difficulties arose when the museum staff tried to assemble adequate visuals to accompany my words.

When I learned of this challenge, Anne and I began to dig further into the many boxes of stuff that I had from my many adventures with Kenny. My longtime friend—Bob Shanebrook from Kodak, who accompanied us on some of those photographic expeditions—shared some of his images with us as well. The small size of the snapshots was less than ideal, but we did everything possible to dig image quality out of these pictures that had not been looked at for years. This all had to be done in an extremely short timeframe. It took a considerable amount of time for Anne and me to construct a visual story that complimented the content of my audio. We finally assembled something that met our desires and expectations. It was shown during the opening reception and received a great response from those in attendance. I thought you might enjoy watching the presentation...if you have about fifteen minutes to kill!



Kenny had an amazing amount of energy, and during our time together he focused that energy on his photography. There were darkroom sessions that lasted until 3:00 am—or later. Often there was silliness during those long middle-of-the night darkroom sessions where we might do something like modifying the lyrics to Kenny's iconic hit, The Gambler.

You've got to know when to dodge 'em
Know when to burn 'em
Know when to walk away
And know when to run
You never count your prints
When you're sittin' in the darkroom
There'll be time enough for countin'
When the printin's done!

Anne and I wish we could see the exhibition in person, as we have not seen these prints. They include a few images made when Kenny and I were working closely together. Back in those days, Kenny handmade silver gelatin prints in his darkroom. Most of the photograph in this exhibition are digital prints. Along with landscapes, architecture, and other subject, there are sixteen portraits of Kenny's made of his celebrity friends that are indeed striking. I believe Kenny's portraits - most were made with an 8x10" view camera - are his strongest body of work.

You can watch my Kenny Rogers video, and others on my YouTube channel. I can guarantee that you will learn some things about Kenny Rogers that you do not know, and very likely learn a few things about me that you are not aware of as well! I would welcome you to subscribe to my YouTube channel. Who knows what I might be posting in the future?




As I mentioned in my introduction Anne and I have been going through boxes and boxes of materials from the past. Did I mention there have been LOTS of boxes??? In the process we found some pretty neat 'stuff.' The materials included my high school photography assignments; college photography assignments; my teaching notes and files from the late 70's; my MANY workshop files; a massive amount of materials from my time spent working as Ansel's Photographic Assistant; and later as his Technical Consultant; thousands of 4x6-inch 'happy snaps' prints as well as Polaroid SX-70's. The experience was truly a 'blast from the past!'

As you might imagine there was a massive amount of mundane and today useless junk. There were more than few exclamations like, "Why did I keep this?" We shredded, recycled, discarded, donated, as well as organized, inventoried, re-boxed, stored, and protected, many items. We discovered things we had forgotten about. We found things we had been looking for 'forever,' and found supplies of posters we thought we were running low on. The studio, our offices, and much of our home turned into a sorting, organizing, and scanning facility. The work is far from done, but we have in the process cut down on the amount of 'stuff' that we have and more carefully stored and organized those treasures we did find.

One day at our storage space Anne called me over and asked, "Guess what I just found?" Behind a bunch of other boxes of books were a few boxes labeled "Places of Power - Signed by Walter Cronkite, Rob Pike and John Sexton." We kept digging and unearthed a box of "Recollections" and "Quiet Light" also clearly labeled "Signed by all 3 Authors." We have decided to offer a few of these unique and rare signed first edition books for sale at the Ventana Editions online store. In some instances there is a small quantity, and in other cases there are only a handful, of each title available. Make sure to explore the new Surprises from the Archives! section at the web store. I am sure we will be updating and changing the items for sale on a regular basis as we continue to explore what we refer to as our 'archeological dig.' We are both sure we will find some more 'jewels' among our 'stuff.' Maybe you would like to put some of our jewels in your treasure chest!






I started work as Ansel Adams’ Photographic and Technical Assistant in July 1979 - just over 40 years ago. A few months after that, Ansel received communications from the White House indicating that Joan Mondale - Vice President Mondale’s wife, who had a keen interest in the arts - wanted the official portraits of the Carter Administration to be photographs, rather than paintings as had always previously been the case. Ansel received a special request to make the official portraits of both President Jimmy Carter and Vice President Walter Mondale.

Though Ansel is best known for his dramatic black and white landscapes of the American West, he had done many portraits over the years. Ansel graciously accepted the challenging assignment (receiving no fee), and we began to prepare for the journey East to undertake this project.

Ansel wanted to approach the making of the portraits in a bigger than life fashion. He contacted John McCann at Polaroid Corporation and asked if he could use the massive Polaroid 20x24 Land camera for the project. John McCann thought this was a splendid idea and agreed to provide not only camera and film, but also a team of skilled individuals to assist with the operation of the camera. In addition to the large Polaroid camera, we packed up Ansel’s 4x5 Horseman view camera along with the necessary lenses and other equipment he would need.


Vice President Walter Mondale - President Jimmy Carter
Official Portraits by Ansel Adams - National Portrait Gallery
20x24 Polaroid Land Photographs
© Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust

As the 40th anniversary of this project approached I began to review my notes, documents, and memorabilia related to our trip to Washington D.C. In addition, I re-read relevant sections from Ansel’s “Book of Letters” as well as his “Autobiography.” I had completely forgotten about a passage in his Autobiography where Ansel had kind words to share about my involvement in this challenging undertaking.

“I telephoned my good friend John McCann at Polaroid and inquired if they would be interested in cooperating with me in this complicated job. If so, I would at least have immediate feedback in terms of acceptable likeness on sheets of Polaroid material. They enthusiastically agreed; the 20x24-inch camera would be at my disposal with all the lighting equipment required and a staff of four to assist! Fortified with those happy answers and knowing I would have my own very capable assistant John Sexton with me, I accepted the assignment.”

Ansel photographed Vice President Mondale on November 5th, 1979 and President Jimmy Carter, along with First Lady Rosalynn Carter, the following day. Ansel, Andrea Gray Stillman (Ansel’s Administrative Assistant at the time), the team from Polaroid, and I spent a few days scouting at the White House and the Vice President’s residence. According to the notes I made it was during those days of scouting that Ansel came up with the following unexpected quip. “Over hill and Mondale, we will drag out Carter drawn by the Horseman on the road to Olympus.” How Ansel spontaneously conjured up this witty phrase is beyond my comprehension. For those that may not be photographers, ‘Horseman’ was the brand of the 4x5 view camera that Ansel was using at the time, and Ansel also had a small ‘Olympus’ 35mm camera that he used on occasion for ‘happy snap’ images. This is a classic example of Ansel’s unique wit and sense of humor. Ansel loved to laugh, and truly enjoyed making others laugh. I have feel that Ansel often used humor as a “relief valve” for the pressure he often encountered because of his amazingly intense work ethic.

Tom Zito of the Washington Post accompanied us on the photography sessions. Tom’s article in the November 6, 1979 edition of the Post vividly describes some of the memorable communications between the Vice President and Ansel during the portrait session. Here are a few excerpts:

“Strolling into the vice presidential mansion yesterday afternoon, Fritz Mondale encountered a 4-by-3.5 foot camera occupying much of his reception room. "Well, I guess this is a big enough camera to capture the egos in this town," he said.

“Perched on a step ladder, the grand old man of American photography, Ansel Adams, was fine-tuning the composition for the first of two official portraits he is making here this week. Yesterday it was Mondale's. Today he will photograph President Jimmy Carter at the White House. He is doing it for free.”

"I want you to move just a little bit this way," he said to Mondale, who was standing on the main stairway of his house. "I hate to move to the right," came the response. "Do you think you can capture my beauty, Ansel?" "If not, we'll bring in a bigger camera."

Adams gently ordered Mondale about: "Stand a little straighter, but lean forward." "Move the hands up just an inch on the railing." A little bit over now so that painting doesn't slip under your arm." "My office is good for this kind of work," he said. "I stand where I'm told."

"Prepare for an Armageddon of light," Adams cautioned Mondale, just before a huge bank of strobes fired off for the first shot.”

You can read Tom’s colorful commentary about our time with Vice President Mondale in his full Washington Post article here:

In preparation for the photography sessions with the President and the Vice President we did countless test photographs with the gigantic 20x24 Polaroid camera, as well as smaller Polaroid tests with the Ansel’s 4x5 camera. The process involved many refinements as Ansel studied the test images. We would have limited time with the Vice President as well as the President, so I made careful notes of all of the details so that we could set the images us quickly, efficiently, and accurately. Ansel decided, because of the prominent visibility Rosalynn Carter had during President Carter’s tenure, he wanted to do a portrait of the two of them together. Andrea was the stand-in for Mrs. Carter, while Polaroid truck driver Dominic Sawicki served as substitute for President Carter. A have included a 4x5 Polaroid Land test print of Dominic and Andrea below.

Dominic Sawicki and Andrea Gray Stillman
Stand-ins for President Jimmy Carter and First Lady Rosalynn Carter
4x5 Polaroid Land Test Photograph by Ansel Adams
© Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust

Ansel had approximately one hour with the President that day. This was a much longer period of time than other well-known photographers had been granted in the past for Presidential portraits. Ansel made multiple photographs during both sessions with the Polaroid 20x24 as well has his 4x5 camera. During our scouting times we had been given a briefing on the proper protocol and behavior when around the President. We were informed that, if President Carter referred to us as “Mr. McCann” or “Mr. Sexton,” we were to refer to him as “Mr. President.” The first photograph of the session was made in the President’s personal private dining room in the White House. As you can imagine, all of us involved in this project were extremely nervous. The large 20x24 camera was set up and everything was arranged. Suddenly out of nowhere appeared President Carter. The Head Usher gave introductions. When President Carter extended a warm handshake, he greeted me with “nice to meet you Mr. Sexton.” This was the regimen with all of the individuals within the room until finally he extended a warm greeting to “Ansel.” President Carter wanted Ansel to refer to him as ‘Jimmy.’ This was a great sign of respect for Ansel.

After making that photograph, we made a photograph on the Truman Balcony. We then headed down the ground floor for the final photograph of the day with President and Mrs. Carter standing in the entrance to the magnificent East Room. Everything was all set. Everyone had a job to do before the photograph was made. I had assisted Ansel with the focusing of the camera and had the film holders ready to go. The photograph included here, made with Ansel’s 4x5 view camera ended up being the favorite of the Carters from among all of the images Ansel made that day.


President Jimmy Carter and First Lady Rosalynn Carter
Photography by Ansel Adams
© Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust

As most readers of this newsletter know, Ansel had two passions that dominated his life - photography and the preservation of the planet. During the fifty-five minutes allotted for the portrait he and his former business manager, William Turnage, who at that point was Executive Director of the Wilderness Society, spent every available moment talking to President Carter about the importance of preserving the Alaskan Wilderness. At the conclusion of the visit, Ansel gave a 20x24” print of his striking image Mount McKinley and Wonder Lake, Denali National Park, Alaska to President and Mrs. Carter, as a personal token of friendship. I recently saw a photograph of President Carter being interviewed in his home office. Ansel’s Mount McKinley print had a prominent place on his office wall. It is no coincidence that a few months later in his administration President Carter signed the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. The following June President Carter bestowed the Presidential Medal of Freedom upon Ansel. This is the highest honor the United States Government can grant a United States civilian.

Ansel did a wonderful job on all of the portraits that day. At the end of the day we were all exhausted, and Ansel was relieved that things had gone so well. In my notebook I wrote down Ansel’s exact words - expressed with a great sense of satisfaction, “We did OK!” It was wonderful to be able to assist Ansel on this project. It certainly is an adventure I will never forget. My memories today are as vivid as they were forty years ago!




I recently read a distressing article at PetaPixel.com indicating that new 3D X-ray airport scanners are being installed in various airports around the United States. These new Computed Tomography X-Ray scanners will provide TSA security personnel an instant 3D view of our carry-on luggage contents. However, according to the article, these new CT scanners will completely fog your photographic film with a single scan! This means that anyone traveling with unprocessed photographic film of any ISO must request hand inspection of that film to avoid having the film ruined.

Here is a link to the PetaPixel article: https://petapixel.com/2019/10/21/beware-new-3d-airport-scanners-will-destroy-your-camera-film/

Over 145 of these scanning machines have now been deployed around the country. While older properly calibrated X-ray machines used for carry-on luggage produced fairly low dose radiation levels, and the risk was low for most films up to ISO 800. These new 3D machines have upped the radiation level dramatically, and even a single exposure will completely ruin unprocessed film. I have always been suspect of the lead lined bags that purported protection from X-ray exposure. The published information at this point is that such bags do NOT offer any protection from the new generation of X-ray scanners.


Analogic 'Film Fryer' 3D Computed Tomography X-ray Scanner

Here’s a link to the official TSA page with additional information about the 3D Computed Tomography X-ray scanning equipment, including a list of the airports where the scanners are installed.


Instagram post from our Workshop Corporate Partner Freestyle Photographic Supplies

Here is information our longtime friend Bob Shanebrook - author of the book Making Kodak Film recently received directly from the TSA:

"If you are traveling with the following types of film, please pack it in a clear plastic bag, remove it from your carry-on bag at the checkpoint, and ask for a hand inspection:• Film with an ASA\ISO 800 or higher
• Highly sensitive X-ray or scientific films
• Film that is or will be underexposed
• Film that you intend to “push process”
• Sheet film
• Large format film
• Medical film
• Scientific film
• Motion picture film
• Professional grade film
• Film of any speed that is subjected to x-ray screening more than five times

The x-ray equipment used for screening CHECKED baggage will damage undeveloped film; therefore, please place undeveloped film in carry-on bags."

Some readers may recall that Anne and I had a significant amount of Kodak T-Max 400 film damaged on one of our photographic trips to Venice a few years ago when returning home through the Venice airport. We had our film organized in clear Ziploc plastic bags, but the security staff would not allow us to get hand-inspection on the film. Obviously that particular X-ray machine was out of calibration or not operating properly. At least that was the opinion of the experts at Eastman Kodak when they inspected the damage. Fortunately we have never had difficulty obtaining hand inspection of our roll films – unexposed or exposed – at a USA airport. We always try to arrive super early and have the film in clear Ziploc bags, making it as easy as possible for the TSA agents to do their hand inspection. We greatly appreciate their efforts, and always make sure to thank them profusely for their assistance.

It appears as if hand inspection will be a necessity for those of us traveling with photographic film from this point forward.





Anne and I had a wonderful trip to St. Louis, Missouri to attend the gala awards ceremony and other related events at the International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum. The festivities took place on Friday, October 26, 2018.

I've included a few happy snaps below from the induction events. In addition, by popular request, we have created a '"PHOTO ALBUM PAGE" on my web site with many more pics of the festivities, along with a brief video of Dr. Michael Adams introducing me during the induction ceremony, followed by my acceptance remarks.


2018 IPHF Honorees

Susan Meiselas, John Sexton, Walter Iooss, Joel Bernstein, John Loengard, Cynthia Russell
(Cynthia Russell on behalf of her late father, Willard S. Boyle)

©2018 Diane Anderson. All rights reserved.


It is an understatement to say how privileged, and humbled, I feel to receive the distinguished honor of being inducted into the International Photography Hall of Fame. It was particularly exciting for Anne and me to meet the legendary photographers that were inducted and honored by the IPHF. This year's other inductees are Willard S. Boyle, Walter Iooss, John Loengard, and Susan Meiselas along with Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Joel Bernstein.


Dick Miles, John Sexton, and Bob Bishop
Presenting John with his IPHF Inductee Medallion

©2018 Diane Anderson. All rights reserved.


A highlight of our evening was my introduction by Ansel's son, Dr. Michael Adams. His most generous and thoughtful words, as well his presence along with his lovely wife Jeanne, (they traveled all the way from Carmel, California to be a part of the event!) made this memorable evening even more special. The IPHF treated all of the honorees, and their guests, wonderfully. They took care of everything for us during the celebratory events. When we arrived at the IPHF Museum building there was a red carpet for us – as was also the case that evening at the sold-out gala awards event venue.

The exhibition featuring photographs by all of the honorees was handsomely presented with excellent lighting. The exhibit runs through January 10, 2019. Each of the honorees received a solid bronze medallion, custom-designed by noted St. Louis artist Adam Foster. When I was awarded my medal on stage, following my acceptance speech, I was stunned by the weight of the object. I soon learned that this response was universal among all of the honorees that evening. When we returned home I decided to weigh the solid bronze object and found it weighed 1lb to 5oz (580 grams)! It's not an object I anticipate wearing around my neck – without risking some type of neck injury – but we are looking for just the right place to display it among the other honors and awards I have been fortunate to receive over my photographic career.


John Sexton Photographs at IPHF Exhibition

A portion of John's photographs included in the
2018 Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Exhibition
On display through January 10, 2019

I want to thank Patty Wente, CEO and President, of the International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum - along with her dedicated staff - especially Elizabeth Eikmann and Stephen Bruns - as well as the many volunteers, along with the IPHF Board of Directors for the great honor and hospitality extended toward Anne and me during our visit. I again want to express my special appreciation to Michael and Jeanne Adams, who made this honor and event something that neither Anne or I will ever forget.


Anne Larsen, John Sexton, Patty Wente, Michael Adams, Jeanne Adams
©2018 Diane Anderson. All rights reserved.

2018 International Photography Hall of Fame
Induction and Award Exhibition

International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum
3415 Olive Street
Saint Louis, Missouri 63103

October 27th, 2018 - January 10th, 2019

The IPHF is proud to present the 2018 Hall of Fame Induction and Award Exhibition featuring photographs from 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award winner, Joel Bernstein, and the 2018 Class of Hall of Fame Inductees; Willard S. Boyle, Walter Iooss, John Loengard, Susan Meiselas, and John Sexton.

More information is available HERE


John's photographs included in the
2018 Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Exhibition





Anne recently learned the great news that she was the winner in two of the Professional categories of the
12th edition of the Julia Margaret Cameron Award for women photographers. Anne won in both the "Still Life" and "Abstract" professional categories of the competition. In addition she also received two Honorable Mentions in the "Abstract" category! The three images Anne submitted to the competition are included below.


Anne Larsen Images - Julia Margaret Cameron Award


A total of 760 photographers from 72 countries submitted 5,800 photographs for consideration by the jurors; Julia Fullerton-Batten, Andrea Star-Reese, and Laura Pannack. The Julia Margaret Cameron Award Competition is open only to women photographers. Anne is honored and humbled by the recognition her photographs received as part of this award.

You can see more of Anne's images at the Ventana Editions online store.




You may remember my eNewsletter of May of 2016, back when Kodak Alaris was experiencing incidents of frame numbers appearing on 120-format film negatives. At the time, Thomas J. Mooney, Film Capture Manager at Kodak Alaris told me "we are taking this issue very seriously and have recently made modifications to the backing paper which we believe should minimize the potential for this type of blemish going forward."

I am happy to report that since that time, Kodak Alaris has implemented additional backing paper upgrades and they are very confident that this issue is now behind them. The first product spooled with this improved paper was Kodak Professional T-Max 100 Film, which was brought back to market in November of last year. The balance of the 120-format film offerings transitioned to the new backing paper over the first half of this year, with all films having now been upgraded.



The table above identifies the first emulsion to be shipped with the new backing paper for each specific product. The new backing paper is also easily recognized by its much glossier appearance than any previous Kodak backing paper - as can be easily seen in the image below.




As many readers are likely aware, I have used Kodak Professional film continuously for more than four decades. Over the years I have found Kodak film to be of the highest possible quality and consistency. However, anomalies can occur from time to time. There have been recent reports that appear to be associated with certain batches of 120 format Kodak Professional film.

The problem can easily be seen in the photograph below recently made by William Wetmore. I appreciate William allowing me to share this example with readers. You will notice the word Kodak clearly appears in the sky, along with frame number '13' multiple times. I first became aware of this situation a few months ago when a former workshop participant brought some online discussions on this topic to my attention. Unfortunately, as time has passed, I have encountered a number of students, colleagues, and friends who have experienced this exact problem.


Kodak Film Problems by William Whetmore

©2016 William Wetmore. All rights reserved.

Follow this link for more detailed information: John Sexton May 2016 Newsletter




John Sexton is frequently conducting lectures, seminars and book signings.

See the current schedule

Recent John Sexton events, workshops, and lectures



"John Sexton’s images in Recollections portray idyllic
landscapes where the world becomes quiet, and if we are patient,
the subtle whisperings of the land may be heard."
– Michael Kenna

Foreword by Arthur Ollman
Afterword by Ray McSavaney

55 Laser Fultone reproductions
Hardcover, 140 pages, 12 x 12 inches
ISBN: 0-9672188-8-8

Ventana Editions is pleased to present Recollections, John Sexton’s highly anticipated fourth book. Marked by the same excellence in printing and design as Sexton’s three previous award-winning books, Quiet Light, Listen to the Trees, and Places of Power, Recollections promises an equally memorable experience.

Recollections wins awards

Purchase autographed copies of Recollections from Ventana Editions online store

Learn more about the Hardcover and Deluxe Limited Edition of
Recollections and see images from the book



Subscribe to John Sexton's mailing list and newsletter
Learn about upcoming events, photographic projects, news, and receive special discount offers, along with John's popular e-mail newsletter. Please indicate if you would like to join John's postal mailing list, e-mail newsletter list, or both mailing lists. We do NOT share your information with others


Looking for more information about John and his photography?
Check out these web sites, blogs, podcasts and online interviews to learn more about John and his photography, and to see more of his images.
More information...

About John | Newsletter | Workshops + Lectures | Resources | Mailing List | Contact

 Follow John on Social Media

Instagram   Threads   Facebook   YouTube

John Sexton Photographer
Post Office Box 2338
Carmel Valley, California 93924 USA
Phone: 831/659-3130

Email: info@johnsexton.com

© Copyright 1998-2024 John Sexton. All rights reserved.

Site last updated November 14, 2023