Woods Interior, 1975
silver gelatin print 11 by 8 inches
copyright to the image, Michael Johnson
Johnson uses a large format camera to create images in the tradition of nineteenth century landscape photographers (Eadweard Muybridge, Carleton Watkins, and William H. Jackson). His prints are big, as large as 24 by 34 inches, adding a sense of drama to the photographs.
His photographs depict the gently rolling hills and valleys of the midwest. Instead of the often-used black and white contrasts, he prints in the middle tones, conveying the pastoral melancholy qualities of leafless trees and misty forests.
Michael Johnson was born in 1949 in Barrington, Illinois. He attended DePaul University in Chicago and Shimer College in Waukegan, Illinois. He began exhibiting his photography throughout the Midwest in 1972 and has since become nationally recognized. He has worked as a commercial photographer and has taught photography at the college level. He lectures and conducts workshops on view camera techniques and landscape photography and lives in northwest Illinois.