Going Beyond and Back with Jeff Johnson


Jeff Johnson is a renowned photographer, environmentalist, and influential figure in the world of outdoor adventure culture. He joined Patagonia in 2004 as their first staff photographer, a role he inadvertently created while being hired to help develop and launch Patagonia Surf.

Johnson gained international recognition for his groundbreaking 2010 environmental surf odyssey, “180° South,” in which Johnson retraces a 1968 trip to Patagonia undertaken by his heroes, Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard and North Face founder Doug Tompkins. Johnson documented his 6 months traveling through Central and South America in search of unridden surf and unclimbed mountains. This project elevated him to a key influencer, both in front of and behind the lens, in the realm of outdoor culture.



Esquire Magazine has acknowledged Johnson’s impact, stating that “Johnson’s creative footprint has been instrumental in shaping not just Patagonia’s brand vision, but adventure culture as well.”

Johnson’s work continues to inspire and captivate audiences worldwide, solidifying his status as a leading figure in the outdoor and environmental photography realms.




Jeff Johnson grew up in Danville, California, and moved to Hawaii when he turned 18. He lived on the North Shore of Oahu for fifteen years where he traveled extensively, writing and taking photographs. His stories and photographs have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Surfer’s Journal, Alpinist, Surfer magazine, Climbing magazine, and Outside magazine. The Surfer’s Journal describes him as, “a piece of true grit,” and someone who, “doesn’t back down when sketching the seamier side of the surf ghetto”. Johnson’s most recent short film, “Beyond Sunset” won best documentary at the Bells Beach Surf Film Festival 2024.

This program was organized by Phoebe Piper.