The latest photographic news from John Sexton.

Subscribe to John's Newsletter


November 2018



It has been an entire year since I sent out my last full-length eNewsletter. This was not my plan, but 2018 has been a challenging year for Anne and me – which I will explain in some detail below. At the same time it has been a wonderful year, having recently returned from the International Hall of Fame and Museum in St. Louis, Missouri where we attended the gala awards ceremony, where I was inducted into the Hall of Fame. I want to take this opportunity to thank the hundreds of friends, students, and colleagues who sent emails, posted on Facebook and Instagram, and even sent cards and letter of congratulations. The volume of thoughtful good wishes were unexpected, and GREATLY appreciated!

2018 began with an anticipated "revision" surgery to "change some parts" in my total knee replacement prosthesis, a follow-up to the original surgery exactly two years ago. The revision surgical procedure went well, but unfortunately it did not solve all the problems in my knee. After 12 weeks of physical therapy, along with a rigorous home excise program, I was ready to work in the darkroom again - just in time for our spring workshops.

On May 3rd Anne and I took off on a long awaited three-week photographic trip to the Southwest. We stopped at a rest area about 100 miles from our home for a quick lunch. As we were lifting our camping ice chest together into our van there was a "pop" in my right biceps. I instinctively dropped my side of the ice chest due to the extreme pain. Something significant had happened to my arm so we decided to head back home. That afternoon I was able to see an orthopedic surgeon, and even had an MRI during the same appointment - which confirmed what the surgeon had suspected. I had severed my right biceps tendon and also damaged my rotator cuff.

Four days later I had both arthroscopic and open surgery to repair the damage. I found my right arm in a sling (I am right-handed!) 24/7 for six weeks. The only time the sling was removed was when I was showering. This of course meant no darkroom work, no photography, and for a few weeks absolutely no time at the computer – eventually I was able to work in short periods of time. The good news is that I have just finished my physical therapy from that surgical procedure. Even better news is the outcome has been excellent!

I am excited to be doing photography and working in the darkroom again. Last month Anne and I had a great time photographing for about ten days prior to our annual workshop in the Eastern Sierra. It was good to be behind the camera and flexing my photographic - as well as physical - muscles again.

Anne and I send our very best wishes to our fellow Californians who have lost so much due to the recent horrendous wildfires that have ravaged our state. We had a number of friends, former students, and colleagues who live in the vicinity of the fires. So far all of the individuals we have communicated with did not lose their homes - though some of them did have to evacuate. Our thoughts go out to those who lost so much so quickly.

With friendship,




I am pleased to introduce my image Geologic Conundrum, Banff National Park, Canada as Darkroom Edition 2018. This 11x14" silver gelatin print is offered in a limited edition of 100, signed and numbered prints, plus ten Artist's Proofs. When the edition is sold out no further prints will be made for sale in any size. Though my open edition 11x14" prints have a retail price in galleries of $1,000, the special introductory price for this limited edition print is $800 – a 20% discount. After December 31, 2018 the retail price for any remaining unsold prints will increase to $2,000, and will escalate as the edition sells.


Geologic Conundrum by John  Sexton

Geologic Conundrum, Banff National Park, Canada
©2004 John Sexton. All rights reserved.

To learn more about the print, Geologic Conundrum, or to place an order, follow this link:


This image was made on an extended photographic trip Anne and I made to the Canadian Rockies a number of years ago. Initially we were both photographing the waterfall you can see on the left side of the image above. We had packed up our gear and were heading back to the trail continuing to explore other possibilities with our viewing frames. I took one last look at the scene from the back of the large alcove the river had carved over the eons, and saw a surprising possibility. I only became aware of this when my viewing frame was jammed back against my nose simulating the field of view of a very wide-angle lens. I set up my camera again and began to study the possibilities more carefully. I was attracted to how different the scene appeared on the ground glass as rendered by my 75mm Nikkor wide-angle lens (similar to a 24mm wide-angle lens on 35mm or full frame digital cameras).

Over the years I have found that the best camera position for many photographs is seldom a comfortable one! To make this photograph it was necessary that I was sitting on the ground with my back pushed against the rock wall of this massive alcove. My tripod was set up very low and I was literally "trapped" between my tripod legs. This challenging position was necessary in order to reveal the large rock form in its entirety beneath the alcove roof. Anne had to hand me my film holder to make the exposure, and also assist me by setting my camera lens aperture, as I was unable to see anything on the front of the camera from my position. So in its own way, this photograph was made by both Anne and me!

Most of my titles are straightforward descriptions of the subject – something like Two Chairs or Aspens, Dusk. What I found interesting when studying this image on the camera ground glass, and even more strongly when making the first print of the negative, was the fact that what APPEARS to be a massive boulder on the other side of the river is actually a HUGE peninsula of land. For this reason I chose the title "Geologic Conundrum."

Prints will begin shipping on December 5, 2018. If you would like to receive your print in time for the Holidays, please be sure to let us know at the time of your order. It would be a good idea to follow up with an email as well. We will make every effort to ship prints out in time for holiday gift giving for those who need them. All of the remaining prints ordered will be shipped no later than March 31, 2019.

This limited edition silver gelatin, selenium toned, print is approximately 9-7/8 x 13" in size, personally printed by me (as are all my prints), processed to current archival standards, signed, numbered, mounted and overmatted to 16x20" on 100% rag museum board. As has been the case with all previous Darkroom Edition series prints, a beautifully printed archival presentation sheet will accompany each print. 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 Anne at 831-659-3130 or email: Our office hours are Monday through Thursday from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm Pacific time.

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




I am pleased to announce my new workshop schedule for 2019 through early 2020. I continue to be amazed at the interest in the workshops we offer, and in traditional analog photography. It is particularly rewarding to note the increase in international interest in our traditional printmaking workshop, The Expressive Black and White Print, having been offered for more than thirty-five years! By popular demand we are yet once again offering the Fine Tuning the Expressive Print workshop in March 2020. This workshop is open only to individuals who have previously taken one of my printing workshops.


John Sexton Photography Workshops


You can access the complete schedule, get detailed information about the workshops, and download an illustrated PDF of the new workshop brochure here:

We have indicated that the most recent offerings of the Fine Tuning the Expressive Print workshop this past spring could be the last such offering. However we continue to get workshop alumni specifically requesting the opportunity to take this workshop, so we are planning to offer it one more time again. Will this be the last offering? At this point we think so… but who knows what the future holds?

If you're interested in next October's Mono Lake and the Eastern Sierra: Exploring Autumn Light workshop, be sure to apply early, as this workshop fills quickly. The 2019 session will be the 10th offering of this workshop! Charlie Cramer 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.

I want to thank all of our workshop Corporate Partners and Associate Partners for their support of the program once again this year. It is amazing to realize it was more than forty years ago that I taught my first small workshop with my long-time friend John Charles Woods for a few fellow photography majors at Cypress College. We had a great time on that workshop, and I continue to learn so much from participants today. I always believe the instructor learns more than any individual student in a workshop experience. On our workshops we try and provide an environment that presents useful information, as well as inspiration, to encourage personal growth in your photography.

Again, to learn more about the workshops, or to apply, please visit my web site where you can download the complete workshop brochure as well as the application form.




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, John Bernstein, John Loengard, Cynthia Russell
(Cynthia Russell on behalf of her late father, Willard S. Boyle)


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


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



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.




As traditional film photographers, Anne and I, who still love the magic of exposing film and watching prints emerge under the dim glow of safelighst, it is always good to see when new analog photographic products become available. Over the past year there have been a number of films released by manufacturers around the globe. I was particularly excited when Kodak Alaris recently released the much-publicized rebirth of Ektachrome E100 35mm slide film. I recently spoke with my long-time friend Thomas J. Mooney,Film Capture Manager at Kodak Alaris, about the newly introduced Kodak Professional Ektachrome E100 and T-Max P3200 films. During our conversation Tom mentioned, "Resurgence in the popularity of analog photography is generating demand for new film offerings." In reference to the Ektachrome E100 film Tom said, "Given the very positive feedback we've seen on social media to our beta-test images, we expected the return of Ektachrome E100 to be another hit, and so far that has been the case. We can't make it fast enough.".

Years ago I had the opportunity to use Kodak T-Max P3200 in 35mm for some special photographic projects, and found the results to be absolutely beautiful. The 'P' in P3200 refers to an EI if the film is 'pushed' in developing in an attempt to increase the film speed. My tests indicated an actual working film speed for the type of negative I desired for my uses to be an EI of 800 – that's nearly 2 stops faster than the film speed I use for T-Max 400 or Tri-X films. The grain was surprisingly fine, and the grain structure had a beautiful aesthetic to it. I was frankly very surprised when Kodak decided to bring back P3200 a few months ago, and in questioning Tom Mooney about it he said, "Darkroom photography is making a comeback and Kodak T-Max P3200 is a great addition to our film line-up. We had been looking for opportunities to expand our film portfolio, but the market response to the P3200 TMZ was beyond our expectations."

It's great to know that Kodak sees a viable future for traditional film products as is clearly shown by them bringing back two 'classic' films. The Kodak Alaris FAQ for Ektachrome E100 states the following, which will be good news for medium format and sheet film users, "It's very likely that medium format (120) and sheet film sizes of Ektachrome E100 will be made available in the future. However these formats are on different support types and require additional development work. No dates have been set yet." Keep an eye out for those larger format E100 offerings. I will try to keep you posted if I hear any concrete news on the topic.




Speaking of the popularity of traditional analog photographic products... Just a few days ago I was recently speaking with Patrick Dellibovi, the Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Freestyle Photographic Supplies (a long-time sponsor, like Kodak Alaris, of the John Sexton Photography Workshops program) about his view of film sales. Patrick mentioned that they have experienced noticeably higher film sales over the past three years, and it wasn't slowing at all in 2018. In fact, Patrick mentioned they had not seen such growth in film sales since 2008!

The growing interest and demand for traditional photographic products is important enough that Freestyle will soon be publishing a 40 page analog catalog featuring all of the new and exciting films and products that have recently been introduced, along with products that will soon be introduced. This newly formatted publication will be available late January 2019. To receive a copy, make sure you sign up for Freestyle's mailing list at

If you love film and the traditional photographic process, continue to use film, paper, and processing chemicals - and use them often!!! Enjoy the magic.



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.





I began my studies as a photography major at Cypress College in Southern California in 1971. I was allowed – after meeting with the faculty, showing my portfolio, and taking oral and written tests – to skip "Beginning Photography" and go directly into "Intermediate Photography" as my first class. During that semester I realized I might have missed out on good information in "Beginning Photography" - the class I was allowed to skip. I decided to take "Beginning Photography" as a summer school class. The instructor was an excellent teacher named Marshall LaCour.

At the beginning of the first day of the class Marshall wrote, in very large letters, the word 'KISS' on the chalkboard without commentary. He then went over the plans for the coming class sessions, and gave us a list of items we needed to purchase before class the following day.



I clearly remember being baffled by the word 'KISS' on the chalkboard during the hour or so of the first class meeting. At the end of the period, as we were getting up from our desks Mr. LaCour asked us to sit back down (I believe this was for theatrical effect). He then pointed to the word 'KISS' he had written on the chalkboard and said, "That's all you need to know to be good at photography." I was even more baffled until he dramatically stated, "Keep it simple stupid!"

I had never heard this phrase before, but in the more than forty years I have been pursuing photography the advice Marshall LaCour gave me that day has repeatedly proven to be beneficial. Whenever I find myself stymied by a photographic challenge – technical or aesthetic – almost always the solution is to simplify my approach.

The acronym 'KISS" has been attributed to legendary aircraft engineer Kelly Johnson, and has been used by numerous CEOs, educators, and others over the decades.

If I had to give one piece of advice to someone embarking on their photographic journey, I would mimic my photography instructor Marshall LaCour and suggest 'KISS' Keep it Simple Stupid. It was good advice for me then, and I believe it may even be more useful advice today with the rapidly evolving technologies of digital imaging where the "latest and greatest" isn't always "better."

Thank you Marshall!




“The harder you work, the luckier you get.”

Ansel Adams


Subscribe to John's newsletter

Go to Newsletter Archive


John Sexton
Post Office Box 2338
Carmel Valley, CA 93924
Voice: 831-659-3130
Fax: 831-659-5509


If you are receiving this message in error, please accept our apologies. If you prefer not to receive future email updates from us, just send a quick note with your email address to: and we'll take care of it. We respect your privacy, and do not disclose email information to outside mailers.

Copyright © 2018

John Sexton. All rights reserved.

Back to: