Boulder, Sunwapta Falls, Jasper National Park, Canada 1998

John Sexton

Original Gelatin Silver photograph signed by John Sexton

Image size 11" x 14"

Mounted and overmatted with 4-ply archival museum board 


$2,500.00 USD

About John Sexton

John Sexton was born in 1953 and has lived on the Monterey Peninsula in California for more than forty years. Respected as a photographer, master printmaker, author, and workshop instructor, he is best known for his luminous, quiet, black and white photographs of the natural environment. In 2018 John was inducted into the International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum, St. Louis, Missouri. After more than fifty years John still finds magic in exposing and processing film, and making silver gelatin prints, by hand, in his traditional darkroom at his home and studio in Carmel Valley, California. John shares that home and studio with his wife and photographer, Anne Larsen, and their black and white cat, Boots.

John's most recent book is Recollections: Three Decades of Photographs, an award-winning retrospective volume, published by Ventana Editions. John's previous award-winning books include Quiet Light, a monograph representing fifteen years of his work, and Listen to the Trees, which were published by Bulfinch Press/Little, Brown and Company, along with Places of Power: The Aesthetics of Technology published by Ventana Editions.

He is Director of the John Sexton Photography Workshops program, and for more than forty-five years has taught photography workshops throughout the United States and abroad, emphasizing traditional silver gelatin printing techniques and personally expressive photography. Some of these organizations include: Anderson Ranch Arts Center, The Ansel Adams Gallery, Maine Photographic Workshops, The Friends of Photography, and The Palm Beach Workshops.

John's informed and entertaining lectures for photographic and professional organizations, colleges, universities, and museums discuss the aesthetic and technical aspects of expressive photography. He has presented lectures for, among others, Adobe, Apple, Kodak, George Eastman House, Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona, Boston University, Oregon State University, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Bowers Museum, Monterey Museum of Art, Museum of Photographic Arts, New Hampshire Institute of Art, Portland Art Museum, and the Seattle Art Museum.

A recipient of the 2005 North American Nature Photography Association Lifetime Achievement Award and the 2014 American Society of Photographers International Award, John is a consultant to Eastman Kodak Company and other photographic manufacturers. He worked as both Technical and Photographic Assistant, and Technical Consultant, to Ansel Adams from 1979 to 1984. Sexton assisted Adams in the darkroom and in the field, and conducted all the technical testing on the revised editions of Ansel's books The Negative and The Print. Following Mr. Adams' death Sexton served as Photographic Special Projects Consultant to The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust. Along with serving as an instructor at number of the Ansel Adams Yosemite Workshops, Sexton was the director of that program in the early 1980's. From 1985 to 1993 he was a member of the Board of Trustees of The Friends of Photography.

John's photographs are included in permanent collections, exhibitions, and publications throughout the world. His work has been featured on the CBS Sunday Morning show, and on the MacNeil Lehrer News Hour. Bank of America, General Motors, Eastman Kodak Company, and Apple, Inc. have used his photographs in national advertising campaigns. Sexton's photographs have been featured in numerous periodicals including: Time, Life, American Photo, Backpacker, Photo Techniques, Darkroom Photography, LensWork, View Camera, Black and White, Zoom, Outdoor Photographer, Outside, The Washington Post, and Popular Photography.

About the Image

In September 1988 the Professional Photography Division of Kodak invited me to present a series of lectures in Canada. I had the pleasure of giving lectures on my photography at multiple venues in, and around, Toronto, Vancouver, and Calgary. Following the lecture tour, I spent a week exploring Banff, Yoho, and Jasper National Parks. The scenery was amazing, and I found numerous interesting photographic subjects during my wanderings.

In those days the Canadian Rockies were not as heavily visited as they are today. There were still plenty of tourists, but in September there really were not many folks, and lodging was surprisingly affordable. One of the places I visited was Sunwapta Falls in Jasper National Park. I arrived in late afternoon and there were only a handful of people there. The Sunwapta River has two channels that converge in the cataract that forms the crest of the 60-foot-tall upper Sunwapta Falls. Sunwapta is a Stoney Indian word meaning "turbulent river" or "radiating waves.”

I was immediately attracted to a large boulder at the top of the falls. It appeared to me as if the boulder was somehow magically hovering in the turbulent water and could at any time disappear or drop. I was very intrigued by the scene, but there was a shadow from a large tree that created a tonal distraction. The lighting was not appropriate for the image I visualized in my mind's eye. I made a mental photograph and decided to take my 4x5 view camera on a stroll down the Sunwapta River.

By the time I returned to the top of the upper falls the entire area was in soft light as dusk was approaching. Now my visualized image and the lighting were complementing one another. The parking area was completely empty and there was no one else at the upper falls at the viewpoint. This enabled me to easily climb the low chain link fence and position my Linhof 4x5 view camera in the correct position to organize the image as I had imagined. I used my 210mm lens. The exposure was 5 seconds at f/32 on Kodak T-Max 100 film. The long exposure smoothed the moving water and formed a tactile contrast between the wet surface of the boulder and the smooth light gray tones of the water. I hope you will find this print to be as interesting and as exciting as I do.

Print Information

This negative has been retired by John for traditional silver printing, and will never again be printed in any size as a silver gelatin print. Once the small number of remaining prints are gone there will be no additional silver gelatin prints available for sale.

Ordering Information

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