20 Questions with 2011 Weekends Instructor Doug Johnson

If you’ve been to one of our Weekends Events you know that the instructors make the experience. They have a unique combination of humor, knowledge and hijinx that will make you laugh and learn more about photography in two days then you ever expected. With just over a week before our 2011 Weekends season begins, we thought we’d give you a quick look into the worlds of our instructors starting with Doug Johnson. Doug, along with Tony Rizzuto, Tim Cooper and administrator Eileen Rafferty are the core of this traveling program. Check out the 2011 Weekends schedule to see if there is an event coming to your area this year.

What courses will you be teaching during our 2011 Weekends season?
Basic Photo I & II, Intro to Macro Photography, Understanding Exposure, Nature Photography, Photographing People and Keeping it Fresh.

What is your favorite part of teaching in the Weekends program?
The great energy all the participants and instructors bring.

If you could sit in on one of Tony or Tim’s courses, which one would you choose? Why?
Unfair question… Elizabeth’s.

Describe your “life before photography.”
I was one month old… I couldn’t walk or see straight, thank god for autofocus.

Where did you get your photographic education?
RMSP, experience and Aunt Hazel (who knew nothing about photography).

What kind of a photographer are you? (ie: portraiture, landscape, architecture)
A careful one.

If you could be anywhere in the world shooting right now, where would you be?
In Yellowstone N.P. along the Lamar River, 2 miles SW of Hwy 212 after the road
turns N, going E. and just before the river bends beyond the old crooked cottonwood

Printing. Love it or leave it? Do it yourself or outsource it?
Love it & leave it, depending on my mood ring or the project.

Coffee. Yes or no? Cream, sugar or straight up?
Americano… with light organic whole cream and a touch of honey.

Ice cream. Chocolate or vanilla?
Strawberry; it has ~ 15.5 mg Vitamin C.

Your car. Automatic or a stick?
No brainer –  “don’t you dare change that gear until I’m ready”.

Movies. White-knuckle thrill ride or maybe shed a little tear?
I shed tears during funny commercials.

What do you like to do when not shooting or teaching?
Fly to Cleveland to see my honey!

What’s your worst horror story related to your camera gear? (lens dropped in a
toilet? runover by charging buffalo?)

Once back in the Fuji Velvia 50 era I set my ISO 4 stops faster to test my light meter
with a student’s problematic one. After the workshop, Tim Cooper and I shot the
Canadian Rockies for four days (…long days)… and me never realizing I pushed every
roll by 4 stops. Can you say, duh…why are my shutter speeds so fast? Four times
the price for “pushed” development and most were –  “Please, take the garbage out

Are you exploring video these days?
Yes, I love playing around with and thinking about moving landscapes.

If you could photograph any person if the world, who would it be?
My father.

What is the highest high you have had in photography? (cover of a National
Geographic? Photographed the president?)

Watching life experiences without snapping the shutter.

What’s your dream assignment/job in photography?
Capture the best graffiti artists in the world at work.

Do you have a favorite photo that you’ve taken? If so, describe it.
Yes, one comes to mind. It’s a detail shot of an older woman’s hand and her
breakfast setting. All the variables that create a powerful emotional impact came
together at one time.

What did you ask for for Christmas?
Peace, love and understanding…

7 thoughts on “20 Questions with 2011 Weekends Instructor Doug Johnson

Rita Pignato

Love Doug’s sense of humor. Can just hear the laughter between Andy and Doug

Andy Kemmis

Thanks Rita! Too bad we had to keep it to 20 questions, or else you would have really heard the laughter!

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Matt Rogers

Took a weekend workshop with Doug last year, great instructor, loved his response to “highest high question.

20 Questions with 2011 Weekends Instructor Tony Rizzuto : Paper Airplanes

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Scott T. Morrison


Next time you are in Cleveland Please look me up. I owe you a beer for all the inspiration you have given me.

Pam Dolby

i laughed out loud reading this after taking 3 courses from Doug. Have seen the favorite photo- loved it, but the best part Doug shooting for four days with a pushed ISO makes him seem almost human ((-;

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