Philosophy

The world is an interesting place and we all have something to say about it. Some of us write, paint, sculpt, construct, speak, shout, sing, dance, draw, film or photograph.

Photography can be your voice, it can be your relaxation, it can be your career. Whatever your artistic passion or interest, photography helps you become more observant and appreciative of your surroundings, if you're open to it. Mundane objects and locations become interesting, long drives become enjoyable, and a life is enriched by what is seen anew. I believe, as conservationist Aldo Leopold did, that humans are not separate from nature "but plain member and citizen of it", which fits my interest in photographing everything from majestic mountains to hot rods, and still life to human life.

What I see when I look at the world around me is what you see in my photographs. Each individual interacts with and comprehends their surroundings differently, based on past and present experiences, and future expectations. My past experiences in wildlife biology, natural history museum work, gold mining, high tech, community service, and various other jobs, have given me a broad and specific sense of the world. Wildlife research and photography taught me to be patient and observant.

My photographs are the result of my active participation, interaction, and dialogue, between me and the environment I live in. If we are observant and patient, we can participate in the many conversations going on around us.


Do you know a friend, loved one, employee, or complete stranger who enjoys photography? The gift of photography lasts a lifetime (and beyond). Gift certificates are available. Gift Certificates are good for the purchase of any Blue Planet Photography service or product. I also offer One-on-One instruction that can be purchased for yourself or as a gift.


Feel free to contact me with any questions or comments. I look forward to meeting you!

Blue Planet Photography Blog

Photography Workshops

Join me in exploring fascinating locations, improving your skill, pursuing your vision, making friends, and having fun in all areas of our planet. Each workshop location and itinerary is meant to challenge, inspire, and excite you, and allow you to reach outside your comfort zone (where most learning takes place). Beginners to advanced photographers welcome.

Scotland: Senses & Perception, September 21 - 28, 2016

Scotland : Senses & Perception
Register Today »

$300 deposit ($1600 total)
September 21 - 28, 2016

$500 discount on the total for booking Scotland and Iceland (Oct 3 - 14) workshops together.

Scotland, a moody, wild, rugged, remote, and enchanted land of great ancient volcanoes furrowed by ice to form a diverse and inspiring landscape of majestic crags and jagged peaks, rounded hills and grand valleys, mysterious forms, boggy moors, and serene lochs. The unspoiled environment showcases the raw power and beauty of nature. Changing weather patterns create wonderfully atmospheric light for dramatic, impactful images that can border on the surreal. And don’t forget the castles.

You'll be picked up at Glasgow International Airport and our accommodations will be a centrally-located vacation rental home on the Isle of Skye.

Glen Shiel, ScotlandExplore the rustic reds and browns and colors of autumn in the Scottish Highlands and the Isle of Skye. Our route takes us in a big circle from Glasgow to Glen Coe and Buachaille Etive Mor, Glen Shiel, and the Isle of Skye, the Quiraing, Old Man of Storr, the Fairy Pools of Glen Brittle, castles and other locations along the way, perhaps even the Aurora Borealis (northern lights) before heading back to Glasgow for departures home.

A main concentration of this workshop will be exploring your photographic vision through the practice of using all your internal and external senses. Discussions and exercises will lead to better understanding and awareness of your own senses and perceptions and their influence on what and how you photograph.

Isle of SkyeWe will photograph at a “photographer’s pace”, which involves being patient and flexible, especially in an area with changeable weather and light. While we will endeavor to reach various location goals, a photographer’s pace is contemplative and observant, where discovery and exploration is at least as important as collecting the trophy photo. We will spend as much time at each location as is practicable and based on current Buachaille Etive Mor conditions.

Daily reviews of images in the field and assistance with camera operations, composition, and exposure as you work will be commonplace, as well as practice with long exposure, filter use (polarizer, neutral density), image processing, and more. To get the most from this workshop you should be capable of hiking over uneven and sometimes slick ground for distances up to 5 miles round trip on easy to moderately-steep trails. Long hours of photographing from before sunrise to after sunset will be the norm, though there will be time during the day to relax and nap if needed.

Who should participate?
Intermediate to advanced photographers who want to add another dimension of awareness to their work by exploring the influence the senses and perception have on what and how they photograph, and beginning photographers who have a good grasp on the fundamentals of camera operation and exposure.

Workshop Emphasis
Landscape
Creative
Environment
Nature
Personal Vision
Travel
Abstract

Eilean Donan Castle

General Itinerary:
Day 1: A.M. arrivals to Glasgow International Airport, Afternoon departure to Glen Coe/Rannoch Moor
Day 2: Glen Shiel and Eilean Donan Castle
Day 3: Isle of Skye
Day 4: Isle of Skye
Day 5: Isle of Skye
Day 6: Isle of Skye
Day 7: Return to Glasgow, departures home

I highly recommend arriving the day before the start and departing the day after the end of the workshop to accommodate for possible travel delays and to maximize workshop time. We will depart Glasgow mid-day or early afternoon on the first day and return to Glasgow in the afternoon on the last day.

Included:
Instruction, image review and feedback
Accommodations
Snacks and non-alcoholic refreshments
Admission to sites
Transportation on site

Not Included:
Transportation to and from Gateway city of Glasgow, Scotland
Meals
Personal items and optional activities
Trip insurance (recommended)
Fees for activities not covered in itinerary

A release form, gear list and other information will be mailed to you upon registration.
Registration Policy .



Iceland : Senses & Perception, Oct 3 - 14, 2016

Iceland: Senses and PerceptionRegister Today »

October 3-14, 2016
$2600 per person base fee (see description)
Max 3 vehicles, 6 people
Motorhome rental due by Dec 31, 2015 (contact me for details). $300 deposit due by Oct 1, 2015 to hold space (deposit applies to workshop base fee), balance due by June 30, 2016

$500 discount on the total for booking Scotland (Sept 21 - 28) and Iceland workshops together.

!!! Only 2 spaces remaining !!!

Join Mike Shipman on a unique and intimate exploration of the mythical and breathtaking land of Iceland in the fall of 2016. Famous for its confluence of fire and ice and ever-changing weather, come explore geothermal areas, glacial lagoons, mighty waterfalls, and stunning landscapes from Kirkjufell and the Snaefellsness peninsula in the west, the black sand beaches of Reynisfjara in the south, to Jokulsarlon in the east. It's also possible we could be treated with the Aurora borealis (northern lights) during this workshop.

In addition to landscape photography, a main concentration of this workshop will be exploring your photographic vision through the practice of using your senses beyond just vision. Daily discussions, information, and exercises will lead to better understanding and awareness of your own senses and perceptions and their influence on what and how you photograph.

A unique aspect of this workshop is each participant will travel by motorhome (2x occupancy) with the great flexibility that affords. We won't be tied down to a system of lodging reservations and the associated areas surrounding those accommodations. We'll "convoy" between locations and have the convenience of our accommodations always being at or near the locations we'll be photographing. This means less driving time and more time for photography. I've arranged great rental pricing for 2016, a significant savings over the individual cost of hotel plus car rental and eating meals in restaurants. See more information below. 2 person motorhome
5-person motorhome

Daily reviews of images in the field and assistance with camera operations, composition, and exposure as you work will be commonplace, as well as practice with long exposure, filter use (polarizer, neutral density, graduated neutral density, etc.), image processing, and more.

To get the most from this workshop you should be capable of hiking over uneven and sometimes slick ground for distances up to 5 miles or more round trip on easy to moderately-steep trails. Long hours of photographing from before sunrise to after sunset will be the norm, though there will be time during the day to relax, explore, and nap if needed.

 

Breakdown of workshop fees and costs:

Workshop fee: $2600 per person
Motorhome Rental:
4 person: $2450 (will vary based on Euro conversion rate at time of booking)
5 person: $2560 (will vary based on Euro conversion rate at time of booking)
Fuel cost (estimated): $1200
Food cost (estimated): $200

Estimated total workshop cost for 2 people and 4 person motorhome: $4,550/person
Estimated total workshop cost for 1 person and 4 person motorhome: $6,500

A number of motorhomes have been reserved for this workshop and upon receipt of your deposit contact information for the rental company will be sent to you. It is the participant's responsibility to arrange motorhome rental.

This workshop is limited to 5 vehicles, 12 people, double occupancy (4 per motorhome).

Who should participate?
Beginning photographers who have a good grasp on the fundamentals of camera operation and exposure and intermediate to advanced photographers who want to add another dimension of awareness to their work.

Workshop Emphasis
Senses and Perception Awareness
Landscape
Creative (long exposure, high dynamic range, time lapse)
Environment
Nature
Personal Vision
Travel
Abstract

General Itinerary:

  • Day 1A: Arrive Reykjavik (recommended)
  • Day 1: Arrivals, pick up vehicle and meet for a " travel recovery" day resting and photographing around town, evening restaurant meal
  • Day 2: Reykjavik - Snaefellsness
  • Day 3: Snaefellsness and Kirkjufell
  • Day 4: Gullfoss & Geysir area
  • Day 5: Thingvellir National Park
  • Day 6: Seljalandfoss & Skogarfoss
  • Day 7: Dyrholaey, Vik, & Reynisfjara Beach
  • Day 8: Skaftafell
  • Day 9: Jokulsarlon & Vatnajokull National Park
  • Day 10: Jokulsarlon & Vatnajokull National Park
  • Day 11: Hofn
  • Day 12: Return to Reykjavik for afternoon & evening departures home
  • Day 13: Departures home (recommended)

I recommend arriving the day before the start (10/2) and departing the day after the end of the workshop (10/15). If everyone arrives on 10/2, we will depart Reykjavik in the morning on the first day and return in the afternoon on the last day.

Included:
Instruction, image review and feedback
Admission to sites

Not Included:
Transportation to and from Gateway city of Reykjavik, Iceland (Keflavik Airport)
Transportation/lodging (motorhome rental)/fuel
Meals
Personal items and optional activities
Trip insurance (recommended)
Fees for activities not covered in itinerary

A release form, gear list and other information will be mailed to you upon registration.
Registration Policy .


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