June 2013


It has been a number of months since my last "full length" eNewsletter. It seems as if Anne and I have been busier than usual this year. Unfortunately, (or fortunately... depending on how you look at things!) the next few months appear as if they are going to be just as busy.

In March we had a great time teaching the Luminous Print workshop with our good friend Charlie Cramer. We had such strong interest in this workshop that we offered two back-to-back sessions. Unfortunately, all three of us contracted some sort of "bug" at the end of the first session, but somehow we got through the second session in one piece. We were all "out of commission" for the entire week following the workshops. If you are interested there are still a few spaces available inthe 2014 offering of the Luminous Print workshop. You can find out more here.

A few weeks later Anne and I conducted a session of our Fine Tuning the Expressive Print workshop. That was followed by a session of the always popular Expressive Black and White Print workshop. We had great students on all of the workshops here at our studio this spring- including a number of participants from outside of the USA. After completing four workshops in just six weeks, Anne and I were exhausted, but exhilarated, by the experience we had shared with so many dedicated photographers.

I guess I am just getting old, but it seems like I used to have more energy. I recently celebrated my 60th birthday, but certainly don't feel like I am "over the hill." I do fondly remember the boundless energy and enthusiasm of youth. It was exactly forty years ago - in June 1973 - that I attended my first photography workshop. It was the Ansel Adams Yosemite workshop. That experience not only changed my photography, it changed my life! It was a two-week long affair. Somehow at age 20 there was no problem being out for a sunrise field session, followed by a full day of workshop instruction, an evening lecture, and then ending the night showing your portfolio to the willing instructors in the lodge room until the wee hours of the morning. Of course this was all fueled by the sheer magic of Ansel's workshops where you were surrounded by a faculty of passionate and generous photographers. Those were great workshops!

I could never have imagined during that workshop that someday I would be working for Ansel as his Photographic and Technical Assistant, and later as his Technical Consultant. It was going to work for Ansel that brought me to the Monterey Peninsula thirty-four years ago. Anne and I feel so fortunate to live in such a beautiful place so rich in photographic heritage, and still so vibrant with photographic activity today.

In between workshops Anne and I were busy in the darkroom preparing for our first two-person show together. Evan Russel, the curator at The Ansel Adams Gallery, did a fine job arranging our prints so that they complemented one another. Our exhibition reception in Yosemite was very well attended. We had people come from near and far. There were some friends that I had not seen for nearly 30 years in attendance, and at the end of the day we had made a number of new friends. That evening I presented an outdoor lecture to an appreciative crowd at the Yosemite Lodge amphitheater.

We then headed to New Brunswick, Canada where I presented a keynote address at the Photo Moncton International conference. I have included more details about that experience, along with our travels up and down the Maine Coast below.

Last week I had the pleasure of presenting a keynote address at BIOCOMM 2013 - the 83rd annual meeting of The BioCommunications Association. The event was held not far from our home at the beautiful Asilomar Conference Grounds. I lectured for the same group in 1992. Both times I found the members to be enthusiastic and passionate about photography. They are highly skilled working professional photographers, but also are talented when it comes to their personal photographic work. I was asked to lead a field session one evening. In spite of 40 mile per hour winds, they group wanted to go out photographing. The conditions were far from perfect for photography, but the participants were real troopers, and seemed to have a good time. Anne and I had a wonderful few days of photographic sharing and camaraderie with the group.

Wow... just writing about all that we've been up to is exhausting. We have a number of projects ahead that I have included below. Anne and I are both busy again working in the darkroom as we have another joint exhibition together at the Sun to Moon Gallery in Dallas this September. I also have an old favorite negative in one enlarger, Rice Field and Pine Forest, which is being offered as a Special Collectors Edition print. I have decided to "retire" this negative for traditional silver printing once I have completed this printing session, and will never again print it as a silver gelatin print.

Anne and I thank you for your interest in our photography. We wish you the best for an enjoyable and productive summer, and hope that you will find some of the information and news bellow to be of interest.

Wishing you the very best,




My new Special Collector's Edition offering of Rice Field and Pine Forest, Tohoku, Japan shown here is now available for order online. I have not printed this image in a number of years. The normal gallery retail price for this 11x14" print is $2,000. For a limited time this print is being offered at the very special discount price of $800.


Rice Field and Pine Forest  by John 

Rice Field and Pine Forest, Tohoku, Japan
©1985 John Sexton. All rights reserved.

To learn more about the print, Rice Field and Pine Forest, or to place an order, follow this link:


I made the photograph Rice Field and Pine Forest in 1985 while traveling in the Tohoku region of Japan. My friend Tosh Komamura, the President of Komamura Corporation - manufacturer of Horseman view cameras, invited me to present lectures and teach workshops in both Tokyo and Kyoto. I had a week between my teaching commitments in the two cities, which allowed me to make a photographic trip. Tosh connected me with the noted journalist and author Karel van Wolferen (who is also an excellent photographer). Karel had lived in Japan for decades and knew the country like the back of his hand. He would be the guide on our photographic expedition. Our arrangement was that I paid for food and lodging, and Karel provided his car and gas, along with his great knowledge of interesting places to visit and to photograph. I am convinced I got the better part of the deal.

I had never travelled in Japan prior to this trip, and I found the landscape to be very different compared to my native California. It was rare to find a scene without the evidence of human activity. We were looking at lots of rice fields that had turned golden brown and were about ready to be harvested. As we drove by this scene I yelled out "stop" to Karel. I was immediately attracted to the shapes of the two fields separated by the bare earth between them, and the beautiful forest in the background. I was intrigued the way the geometry of the image worked.

Soon after I returned home I processed the film, and printed the negative. I was very happy with the organization of the image, but I was not completely satisfied with the tonality in the print. For me living with prints is the best way to decide how to most effectively print them. I mounted the best print I had made, and set it on the print-viewing rail in my studio. It lived there for more than a year. It was rare that I went and stared at the print, but I saw it out of the corner of my eye almost every day. One morning, while in the shower, I suddenly realized what was lacking in the print. It was the quality of light in the forest. That same night I selenium intensified the forest area of the negative, and the next day the negative was back in the enlarger. After working on the print for a few days I finally got what I wanted! It was a long journey, but a rewarding experience for me. Though the negative is extremely difficult to print "just right" I have enjoyed this image for nearly 30 years.

When I complete the prints I want to make at this time, I have decided to "retire" the negative for traditional silver printing, and will never again print it as a silver gelatin print. I recently turned 60, and I have new negatives that I want to explore in the magic of the traditional darkroom. I am hopeful that my best work is ahead of me... not behind me!

This is a rare opportunity to obtain this print at a special discounted price. Prints will be shipped by August 30, 2013. Normally there is a long waiting period for my original prints.

I am pleased to offer an 11x14" print of Rice Field and Pine Forest at the special discounted price of $800. This special offer will only be through July 31, 2013. After that the price will increase to $2,000. If you are interested in ordering this print, I might suggest that you do so quickly to avoid disappointment.

This silver gelatin, selenium toned print is approximately 10-3/8 x 13-3/16", 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.

All 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 my prints, please feel free to contact us at 831-659-3130, or email: Our office hours are Monday through Thursday from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm, Pacific Time.




Early this month Epson launched a new web site In Celebration of the Black-and-White Print. I am honored to be featured on the web site along with my longtime friend Kim Weston. The project began nearly fifteen months ago when Dan "Dano" Steinhardt from Epson America spent the day at our studio video taping me discussing my passion for the black-and-white print. He spent the next day interviewing Kim at his home at Wildcat Hill in the Carmel Highlands.


Epson Black and White Print Web 


Dano was so pleased with the results that each of the videos runs for nearly one half hour! Epson is releasing the videos in "bit size" segments every two weeks. Two segments from each of us are available now, and the next episode goes live on July 10.

I am very pleased with the way my video turned out. If you have some spare time, you may want to take a look. I hope that you find some things of interest. Along with the video interviews with Kim and me, there are some good tutorials on black-and-white digital techniques by Dano along with Tony Corbell.

Iam honored to have Epson American, Inc. as the newest partner in our John Sexton Photography Workshops program.




If your are in the mood for watching videos, and interested in Brett Weston, be sure to check out the Remembering Brett Weston video. Episode one is an intimate, and informal, sharing of fond memories by three photographers - Randy Efros, Kim Weston, and me. This is the first installment in Kim and Gina Weston's series of videos about "Uncle Brett." As you will discover, the three of us had a great time reminiscing about Brett. You may even learn the meaning of Brett's phrase "snake bite time"! You will gain insights into the man, and the photographer, Brett Weston, and will learn about his passion for photography and for life.




July 16, 2013 - 7:00 pm

Admission: $8.00 (Seniors and Students: $5.00)

I am pleased to be involved with the 2013 Summer Arts program at nearby California State University Monterey Bay. I will be part of the faculty for the Creative Digital Travel Photography workshop. I am not sure what I can contribute as my photography is primarily not done with digital techniques, but we all are "light writers" so it should be fun. During my lecture I am looking forward to sharing my life in photography, share images and insights from photographers who called this spectacular area home, including Ansel Adams, Brett Weston, Wynn Bullock, Morley Baer, Henry Gilpin, Richard Garrod, Robert Byers, Al Weber, and others.

Exhibition Dates: September 5 - October 12, 2013
Opening Reception: Saturday, September 7, 2013 - 5:00 to 8:00 pm
All Day Seminar: Friday, September 6, 2013 - Sun to Moon Gallery
Free Public Lecture, Saturday, September 7, 2013 - 1:00 pm - Richland College

Anne and I are very busy preparing for our upcoming two-person exhibition at the Sun to Moon Gallery in Dallas, Texas. The show will run from September 5 through October 12, 2013. There will be an opening reception on Saturday, September 7 from 5:00 to 8:00 pm

In addition we are planning a one-day seminar on Friday, September 6. We are working on the details for the seminar at this point. Contact Sun to Moon Gallery so they can let you know once the details are announced. There will be a limited number of spaces for the seminar.

I am pleased to announce that Richland College is hosting a public lecture on Saturday, September 7 at 1:00 pm. The event if open to the public, and the admission is free. There will be a poster sale and signing following the lecture. The event will be held in the Fanning Performance Hall, F102, at Richland College. Richland College has hosted some great photography lectures in the past, and I am honored to be a part of their photography lecture series. I will also be spending some time with the Richland photography students, which I am really looking forward to. For further information about the lecture contact photography professor Wayne Loucas

If you are able to attend the lecture, be sure to stick around for the opening reception that evening. Richland College is about a 30 minute drive from the Sun to Moon Gallery. We are looking forward to seeing a bunch of our photography friends from Texas.




As many readers already know Kodak is selling its film manufacturing business to the U.K. Kodak Pension Plan. The Pension Plan is Kodak's single largest creditor, and the transfer of ownership of Kodak's Personalized imaging and Document Imaging businesses will satisfy that debt with respect to Kodak's Chapter 11 Plan of Reorganization. Whew... what does that mean? I have no idea, but I have been in communication with a number of current and former Kodak employees and without exception they all feel this is GOOD NEWS for the future of Kodak films!

Here is the official information on the transfer of the film business to the KPP.

Here are a few things that I do know...

Kodak will continue to manufacture films in Building 38 (arguably the most advanced photographic emulsion coating facility on the planet!) in Rochester, New York. The same personnel that are currently manufacturing Kodak films will manufacture on the same equipment, and Kodak film.

I am often asked, do you know how long Kodak will continue to manufacture film. I always answer, "I have no idea."

However, Audrey Jonckheer, Global Communications Director for Kodak's Personalized Imaging business recently said: "It seems no matter what the major news is from Kodak, the widespread reaction is always 'how is this going to affect film?' Clearly, there is a tremendous demand for film, especially with pro photographers and cinematographers." No matter what this company does, the reaction is always, 'How is this going to affect film?'"

I have known, and worked on projects with Audrey for many years. I am pleased to learn that the future of Kodak film is positive IF photographers continue to use Kodak film.

So, if you LOVE film... continue to USE film! Remember... film is MAGIC!!!

You may also have recently heard that Kodak has decided to discontinue the production of acetate film base. As it turns out they have a huge supply of acetate film base - enough to last for a number of years. If they need additional acetate film base they can turn to other suppliers - just as ALL other film manufacturers do.




A few weeks ago I had the honor to be a keynote presenter at the Photo Moncton International photography conference in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada. Anne and I had a wonderful time at the conference. I can honestly say that I have seldom had a more responsive audience in my many years of public speaking. I was flattered, and humbled, by the extended standing ovation that they gave me at the conclusion of my presentation. I jokingly said that there must be something in the water in Moncton that made for such an enthusiastic audience. I have to admit... I love it!

Thanks to Maurice Henri, and his dedicated team, at Photo Moncton International for organizing such a wonderful event.

Rather than fly directly to Moncton, Anne and I decided to fly to Boston and then drive up the Maine coast to New Brunswick. We both love Maine, and thought it would give us some photographic opportunities. We didn't do much photography on the drive up, but did make some images on our return trip down the Maine Coast - which was much more leisurely.

Along with making photographs we had the opportunity to see some photographic friends. We had a great lunch with my longtime friend Paul Caponigro, along with his son John Paul. Following our meal, we went to Paul's beautiful home and had a great afternoon visiting and seeing some exciting new negatives and prints. Paul is still going strong, and making magic in the darkroom, at 80!


John Sexton and Paul Caponigro

John with Paul Caponigro
©2013 Anne Larsen. All rights reserved.

We also had fine visits with Joyce Tenneson as well as Tillman and Donna Crane. It was wonderful to catch up with old friends, and see their new work.

Speaking of new we visited Digital Silver Imaging in Boston. It is run by Eric Luden - whom I have known for many years. They make beautiful silver gelatin prints from digital files with a laser-enlarging device. The results are very impressive. Simply put, the prints look like excellent prints made from negatives in a traditional enlarger.

The highlight of our trip was relaxing and enjoying the beauty of the Maine coast. We spent some time doing nothing (a bit of a novelty for us), and had a great meal to belatedly celebrate my 60th birthday. It was a fine trip, and we look forward to returning in the not too distant future.


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John Sexton
Post Office Box 2338
Carmel Valley, CA 93924
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Copyright © 2013

John Sexton. All rights reserved.

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