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.

2017 Workshops

2018 Workshops



Fall Colors of Iceland 2017

Fall Colors of Iceland Register Today »

September 1 - 12, 2017
$5600 per person double occupancy
6 maximum

$800 deposit to reserve your spot.

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.

We will travel by 9-person van, with accommodations near our various destinations.

Aurora Borealis, Geysir

Daily reviews of images in the field and assistance with camera operation, 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 2 miles or more round trip on easy to moderately-steep trails. Long hours of photographing, day and night, will be the norm. Optional activities available are horseback riding, glacier walk, whale watch, museum and other admission fees.

Workshop is limited to 7 participants

Jokulsarlon

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
Composition
Exposure
Landscape
Creative (long exposure, high dynamic range, time lapse)
Environment
Nature
Personal Vision
Travel
Abstract

Skógafoss

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

General Itinerary:

  • Day 1A: Recommended arrive 1 day prior, Keflavik International Airport, guesthouse overnight
  • Day 1: Day 1 arrivals (recommend early a.m. arrival) pick up at airport and depart for first location
  • Day 2-11: Locations - Snaefellsnes, Vik, Jokulsarlon, Ice Caves, Gullfoss, Selfoss, Reynisfjara Beach - weather permitting
  • Day 12: Morning photography, return to Keflavik for afternoon/evening departures home, optional overnight for departures next day
  • Day 13: optional departure day (recommended)

I recommend arriving the day before the start and departing the day after the end of the workshop to account for weather and other delays and to maximize the time available for photographing. If everyone arrives the previous day, we will depart Keflavik/Reykjavik in the morning on the first day. The itinerary will be contingent upon the weather, which dictates a lot of what happens in Iceland. We will return to Keflavik in the afternoon on the last day. I also highly recommend travel insurance to cover possible changes in travel and accommodation due to weather prior to and during the workshop.

Included:
Instruction, image review and feedback
Transportation on site
Accommodations (double occupancy)
Snacks and non-alcholic beverages

Not Included:
Transportation to and from Reykjavik, Iceland (Keflavik Airport)
Meals (self-catered and restaurant)
Personal items and optional activities
Trip insurance (highly 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.

Scotland 2017

Scotland: Senses and PerceptionRegister Today »
Highlands and Isle of Skye

September 14-23, 2017
$3100
Min 4, Max 8
$500 deposit to reserve your spot

Scotland has been an integral part of Great Britain since 1707, but throughout the past 300 years has maintained its distinct identity. Its moody, wild, rugged, remote, and enchanted landscape has inspired imaginations for centuries. Ancient volcanoes, furrowed by ice, form a diverse land of majestic crags and jagged peaks, rounded hills and grand valleys, mysterious forms, boggy moors, and tranquil lochs. It's not difficult to imagine giants roaming the hills, dragons soaring in the sky, and fairies flitting about in the woods and around crystal-clear pools. The unspoiled environment showcases the raw power and beauty of nature. Changing weather patterns create amazing, atmospheric light for dramatic, impactful images that can border on the surreal. And don’t forget the castles.

Isle of SkyeExplore the rustic reds and browns and colors of autumn in the Scottish Highlands and the Isle of Skye. Our route takes us from Glasgow through Glen Coe and past Eilean Donan Castle, then across the Skye Bridge to the western side of the Isle of Skye and our vacation cottage overlooking the ocean. From that base we'll venture out to Elgol and the Black Cuillins, the Quiraing, Old Man of Storr, Dunvegan Castle - home of the McCleod Clan for the past 800 years (and set for the Highlander movies), Glen Brittle and the Fairy Pools, Sligachan, and more.

A main concentration of this workshop will be exploring your photographic vision through the practice of using all your internal and external senses. Daily 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.

We 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 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), composition, 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. The hike to the Old Man of Storr is strenuous. 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.

Storr

Transportation is provided on a comfortable mini-bus from Glasgow.

This workshop is limited to 8 people.

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 by exploring the influence the senses and perception have on what and how they photograph, and .

Workshop Emphasis
Landscape
Creative
Environment
Nature
Personal Vision
Travel
Abstract



General Itinerary:

  • Day 1: mid-morning arrivals - Glasgow to Isle of Skye
  • Day 2-9: Isle of Skye
  • Day 10: Early return to Glasgow for departing flights

I recommend arriving the day before the start and departing the day after the end of the workshop. We will depart Inverness mid-morning on the first day and return to Inverness 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 Glasgow, Scotland
Meals (shared in accommodations)
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 .



Acadia National Park

Acadia National Park, MaineRegister Today »

$1850
October 11 - 15, 2017

$300 deposit to reserve your spot

The diverse landscape of Mount Desert Island, Maine, its rounded, glaciated mountains, rugged coastline, deep forest, lakes, streams, and waterfalls, have been the source of inspiration for painters, writers, and photographers since the mid-1800s.

More of a contemplative landscape, Acadia National Park and the surrounding area has a subtleness about it that includes wide vistas and intimate details. And the fall color is just spectacular and probably the best on the East Coast.

The base for our workshop is Bar Harbor, famous for seafood, cruise ships, and its access to Acadia National Park. We will explore the forests and coast lines of Acadia National Park and the surrounding area. You'll get plenty of use out of your wide angle and telephoto lenses, neutral density filters, and your remote shutter release as we make photographs using a variety of techniques from long exposure to in-camera abstracts.

Long Pond, MaineAt most locations we will have the opportunity for both sunrise and sunset as well as plenty of time to explore and find hidden gems.

Most trails in the forest are wide, historic, carriage roads that traverse much of the park. Some trails to the beaches are moderately steep to steep and footing is uneven, rocky, sandy, and/or slick both on trails and beaches (rocks) You should be able to negotiate this type of varied terrain to get the most from this trip. If you have questions, please contact me prior to registering for this trip. There is a minimum of 5 for this workshop and a maximum of 10.

The closest commercial airport to Bar Harbor is Bangor (BGR), about 90 minutes drive. There is a shuttle from Bangor International Airport (about $90, see barharborbangorshuttle.com for details). Drive time from Portland International Jetport (PWM) is about 3 hours.

Included:
Instruction, in-the-field and online image review and feedback
Snacks and non-alcoholic refreshments
Admission to sites in the itinerary
Accommodations

Not Included:
Transportation to and from gateway city of Bangor, Maine
Transportation on site (ride sharing encouraged. Contact me if you are interested in ride sharing)
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.



Portland, OR

Portland, Oregon
Register Today »

$950
October 17 - 21, 2017

$300 deposit to reserve your spot

This 5-day workshop will be an exploration of how our senses and perception affect what and how we photograph and how to improve your ability of awareness using your senses. We will photograph primarily in the Forest Park Conservancy (the largest city park in the United States), various downtown areas, and the Portland Japanese Garden, and possibly a day in the Columbia River Gorge visiting the numerous waterfalls there. The Forest Park encompasses 5,157 acres in a length of more than seven miles and includes rushing streams, deep rain forest, mountain peaks, historic buildings, and over 80 miles of trails. The Portland Japanese Garden is one of the most well-known and beautiful of the Japanese gardens in the United States and will be bursting with fall color.

Portland Japanese Garden

Our base will be Portland, Oregon.

Included:
Instruction, image review and feedback
Accommodation
Snacks and non-alcoholic refreshments

Not Included:
Meals Transportation to and from Portland, OR (ride share from Boise possible)
Transportation on site (car pooling will be available)
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.

 

 

 

 

2018 Workshops

 



Brown Bears of Alaska

Brown Bears of Alaska
Registration Closed »

August 7-14, 2018
 
 

As a wildlife biologist, one of my interests was in predators and predator-prey relationships. I wanted to study polar bears in graduate school, but circumstances led me to the amazing northern goshawk instead. I still have a strong interest in bears, and this photo trip is exciting because there will be plenty of them!

Join me in Alaska, August 7 - 14, 2018, for 8 days of Alaska brown bear photography. We'll be based at a private lodge away from crowds, confined shooting platforms, and time limits. Each day will be spent watching and photographing bears as they chase and eat salmon, sleep, and chase each other. There are no barriers, no fences, nothing impeding your view and experience with the bears and other wildlife.

Bears fighting

This is a photo trip to photograph bears, Alaska landscape, and other wildlife, rather than a workshop, but I will help you as much as I can to ensure you make the best photographs and there will Bears fightingbe time to discuss photography, workflow, post-processing, as well as experiment with other aspects of photography long exposure and macro.

Each day we'll travel to the bears by small boat. Hiking is along generally flat terrain, but you should be physically able to walk up to a mile across variable ground carrying your equipment.

Other wildlife in the area are seals, sea lions, fox, porcupine, wolf, moose, whales, sea otter, bald eagle and other bird life. The general area is coastal, surrounded by rugged mountain ranges, so landscape photography opportunities will abound, in the meadow, on the beach, along the rivers, and even wandering through camp! Wildflowers will be blooming also. There will be no end to the opportunities for photography.

The lodge accommodates up to 11 people, so that will be the maximum for this trip. Lodge accommodations are single or double occupancy (double occupancy with a full group). Each room has two beds and private bath with toilets and running water.

Bears fighting

I strongly recommend arriving at least a day early in case of weather delays. There is a free shuttle from Kodiak Airport to local hotels. A list of available hotels will be provided along with other information when your deposit is received. The floatplane departs from Kodiak for the lodge at 12:30pm on the 7th and returns to Kodiak at 2:30pm on the 14th. To get to Kodiak by air, Alaska Airlines (www.alaskaair.com) and RAVN Alaska (www.flyravn.com) fly from Anchorage. If you're adventurous, you could take the approximately 12 hour ferry, each way, from Homer to Kodiak (around $200 round trip). I also recommend overnight in Kodiak on the 14th for departures home on the 15th, also in case of weather delays. Otherwise, schedule your departing flight from Kodiak after 5:00pm on the 14th. If you would like to extend the photo trip to a workshop on Kodiak Island or elsewhere in Alaska prior to or following the bear trip, let me know and we can discuss it.

Included:
Round trip transportation from Kodiak Island airport (ADQ) to lodge by floatplane
Guided bear and wildlife photography
Instruction as needed, in-the-field and online image review and feedback
Snacks and non-alcoholic refreshments
Chef prepared gourmet meals on site, with complimentary beer and wine
Hip waders and raingear
Accommodations

Not Included:
Transportation to and from gateway city of Kodiak, Alaska
Alcoholic beverages (other than beer and wine at meals. You're welcome to bring your own or purchase in Kodiak)
Personal items
Excess baggage fees (if needed)
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.

Bears fighting

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