Light reading

Syndicated through Getty Images  late 1990s.
35mm transparency scanned and textured in Barco Creator software. Model released shoot.

A taste of the future

A hybrid image. The main element of the ball and stand were shot conventionally (Horseman LX 5×4 studio camera onto Fuji Velvia film). The patterned light was created in software using a variety of Kai Krause filters on a windows PC. Both elements were then combined in Barco Creator software.

Still Point

Shot at the London Marathon in Greenwich. This image was syndicated through Getty Images in the 1990s. A straight scan of a 35mm transparency with no image manipulation.

A bit weird

Conceptual image made for syndication through Getty Images.
As the 1990s progressed a new market in imaging software was opening up. Here I used a straightforward studio image shot on  5″ x 4″ transparency film and then processed through a special filter from the Kai’s Power Tool set.

Kai Krause developed a number of innovative imaging programs and filters and his interface design was ahead of anyone else, exciting times.


New directions

Taken towards the end of the film / drum scanner / Silicon Graphics period of electronic imaging.
The seascape was photographed at my new home town of Sheringham on the North Norfolk Coast.

Using a grain/noise to soften the components and combined with a re-colouring to help combine the elements together.

Quantum superposition


A conceptual stock image produced for syndication through Getty images in the Mid 1990s.

Photographing a half full glass of wine conventionally would have made it look like I had just had a drink so came up with this idea to have a genuinely full and empty glass by dividing it vertically.

Read moreQuantum superposition

Lone Tree

This image is available for licensed use, please contact Stephen Johnson for details.

The Lake District, UK. Taken in 1995 and submitted to Getty Images where it began to sell in 1996.

Originally shot on 120 Fuji Velvia film this image was not manipulated other than changing contrast and reducing saturation (Velvia like Kodachrome before it tends to turn all images into a sunny day).

I have seen the image used in a few places, a front window display for Timberland stores and for the CD cover of “The best songs” by the 80s group China Crisis (

This is the original grade for the image from the period, done using Barco Creator software on a Silicon Graphics Indy machine.
I would probably do a softer grade if I were to work the image these days though that would of course take some of the drama out of it.

Mamiya 7 medium format range finder camera, 80mm lens, Fuji Velvia 120 film.

Rock Clock

Conceptual composit image with the theme of time/ Aeons.

I bought an interesting trilobite fossil and thought it would be interesting to combine it with a Grand Father Clockface I bought at the open air market in Greenwich.

This was a real life old clock face that was on sale in the 1990s through this particular market stall, the seller had just integrated a simple quartz mechanism and some suitable hands. They became very popular and later ones were just printed versions of old clockfaces.

The elements were shot on a Horseman LZ studio camera with a Nikon 150mm Lens onto Fuji 5×4 transparency film. Scanned on a Crosfield drum scanner and then composited using Barco Creator software running on a Silicon Graphics Indigo computer.

London underground

3 separate frames of 35mm high speed transparency film merged together using Barco Creator software on a Silicon Graphics computer, early to mid 1990s

This stock image did not sell well, perhaps a little too “down” and realistic. No model releases so pixelating helped create the feeling of anonymity.

Merging the inside of the tube train and the platform mirrored the blurred conscious state that you learn to adopt on the daily drudge.

Always remember hearing someone from the North of England, perhaps his first time on the tube, he was exasperated with the whole situation and shouted out “What the fuck is wrong with you all”, a little crude and direct, but he did have a point.

Original syndication, Tony Stone Images / Getty Images
Current syndication: Stephen Johnson

Two worlds

I cannot reconcile my earlier documentary work and my later commercial work.

Some images cross the boundary a little easier. This image didnt sell too well through Getty Images though of course that is only one way to judge it.

Between two worlds new patterns emerge.

Ferns shot on 6×7 colour transparency and the water shot on  a Gandolfi camera using 10″x 8″ black and white film. Image composited in Barco Creator Software. Both images shot in the early 1990s, Location: the Lake District / Brockley, London.


I was in Ghent Belgium to learn about Barco Creator software for my job at Tony Stone Images.

Behind the hotel was a side street that looked very abandoned, too good to miss I took my tripod and Mamiya RB67 camera round at night to take a picture.

I shot on fuji Velvia film which made the image go bright green from the streetlight so I drained the colour and added atmosphere in Creator.

It reminds me of one of my favourite films: Malpertuis, a mythical story set in an indeterminate European country.