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October 2020 Meeting: Surf Photography with Mark Johnson

We invite all Photo Section members to our October 2020 meeting with local surf photographer and writer Mark Johnson of Ironstring Photography. Please continue reading if you’re interested. Meeting date and time are at the end of this invitation.

Surf Photography

Surfing is undoubtedly the most popular water activity in San Diego and California. In his talk, Mark will introduce us to surf photography from water and land. He will also discuss the technical challenges of shooting in the water.

About Mark

Mark Johnson began his photography career at Pacific Beach Junior High School in San Diego, California. He shot for the school newspaper and quickly fell in love with the magic of the darkroom, typesetting, and the offset printing process.

In 1981 Mark bought his first water housing. Built by Santa Barbara boat and housing builder Scott Priess, Mark loaded the housing with a Konica FS-1 body and shot photos of his friends surfing in Mission Beach and La Jolla.

At UC San Diego Mark surfed and shot at Blacks Beach while completing a  degree in English and American literature. At UCSD he roved campus and greater San Diego covering stories as a staff photographer for the Triton newspaper.

In 1995 Mark completed an MA and PhD in English literature at Boston University. In Boston Mark also worked for the Appalachian Mountain Club magazine, raced bicycles, and added cycling to his photographic interests. He began contributing photos and stories to US and international cycling and general interest magazines as well as national and multinational corporations.

In 2011 he spent a year travelling the globe with the Garmin pro cycling team while writing and shooting a book, Argyle Armada: Behind the Scenes of the Pro Cycling Life. 2016 saw publication of Mark’s history of drugs in sport, Spitting in the Soup: Inside the Dirty Game of Doping in Sport. 

Mark has bicycled across the United States twice and once did an Ironman distance triathlon. Today he calls Del Mar, California home. His favorite surf spot is Jeffreys Bay, South Africa.


Here are some of Mark’s photos. You can find a lot more on his website at https://ironstring.com, and follow him on Instagram @ironstringphoto.


After the main presentation, we’ll take a short break before we continue with our MemberShare. Here’s a quick reminder of the guidelines and procedure:

  • Send up to five photos via Dropbox file request.
  • Please send only JPEG files, sRGB color space
  • Minimum resolution: 1920 pixels wide or 1080 pixels high (whichever comes first)
  • Prepare to speak no more than 10-20 seconds on each photo
  • We’re a photo club – please share only your original photographs with us (no CGI, digital art, etc.)
  • Deadline for MemberShare submissions: Friday, October 16th 2020, 6pm
  • Nameplates: feel free to include a portrait format headshot with your photos

To submit your images, simply click this button:


If you need help or if there’s anything unclear about this procedure, the Dropbox help article on file requests contains everything you need to know.

NOTE: Your photos are only shown during MemberShare and will be deleted afterwards. We do not keep copies. There is no need to watermark your photos. If you feel that you must add a logo or other overlay, please keep it small and unobtrusive.

Also, please do not wait until the very last minute to submit the photos you want to share. We need time to prepare the image presentation. When the MemberShare is especially popular, we may have to reduce the amount of images from each member. If that happens we will announce it before MemberShare begins, and hope for your understanding.

Meeting Date & Time

  • Zoom Online Video Meeting (for members only)
  • More information about our online meetings is here: Online Meetings
  • If you never used Zoom before, you can download the client software here.
  • Members will receive a link to join the meeting via email
  • Date: Saturday, October 17, 2020
  • 1.30 PM opening of meeting (please join early if you never used Zoom before!)
  • 2 PM start of meeting & main presentation

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