J W Johnston • Photography

Joseph Johnston



From 1970 to 1976 I worked with The Free Print Shop, a fine art underground press in San Francisco. That spurred my interest in bookbinding. For the next twenty years, I worked and studied hand bookbinding and restoration of works of art on paper. In 1987 on a trip to Guatemala, I met self-taught Tz’utuhil Mayan artists from Guatemala. For the next twenty-five years, I worked with the best of these artists, helping them sell their work without compromising their vision.


In 2011 I began studying photography at City College of San Francisco. It soon became apparent that this was the medium I should have been working in all along. My interest is in documentary photography and photojournalism because they can be done without a studio, assistants, and lots of lighting equipment. I spent a year photographing people on Muni the public bus system in San Francisco. I also have enjoyed photographing individuals at outdoor events. I have done several photo stories, which I enjoy because it gives me the opportunity to cover a subject in a way that a single photograph cannot do. Currently I am focusing on B&W cityscapes (landscapes in the city).





Cherkis Spring 2016 Award for “Francisco: Struggles with Addictions.” City College of San Francisco Photography Department.

Historic Alameda Award, Alameda on Camera 2017. Frank Bette Center for the Arts.




“March Forth” March 2016: a joint exhibition of portraits by eight artists in various mediums. Curated by Bob Burnside.

Art Saves Lives: 518 Castro Street, San Francisco, group shows.

“Landscapes and other Photographs” July 2016.

“Día de los Muertos” October 2016.

“Francisco Struggling with Addictions.” September 12 to October 15, 2016. Solo Exhibition at the Gallery Obscura: City College of San Francisco:

“Street Life: SF by Day, SF by Night” Juried show of the CCSF Photojournalism Department. Twenty eight images by fourteen photographers.

“Alameda on Camera 2017”, April 2017.


Email: joseph@artemaya.com