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.




2018 Workshops


White Sands National Monument, Feb 25 - mar 3, 2018

White Sands National Monument
Register Today »

$1635
Feb 25-Mar 3, 2018
$300 deposit

Explore the beautiful, minimalist landscape of New Mexico's White Sands National Monument, a dramatic environment of shifting contrasts, lighting, patterns and textures with a backdrop of the rugged San Andres and Sacramento Mountains.

The white gypsum dunes reflect the colors of the sky, from golden yellow, orange, and red of sunrise and sunset to the pastel pinks and blues of twilight, adding to the ethereal mood of this unique place.

White Sands sunset

115 mi2 of protected dune fields within the monument is home to numerous plant, animal, and bird species, though yucca is the predominant and iconic plant of the landscape.

Our base will be in Alamagordo, about 30 minutes away. The monument opens the gates at 7am, but we'll be able to enter before sunrise and capture the best morning light before the regular visitors arrive. The gates close again at 7pm, about an hour after sunset.

Emphasis during this workshop will be your interpretation of the stark dune environment, using your senses and perceptions to search for simple, elegant compositions using elements to give depth, graphical design, and abstract impressions from broad panoramics to up close macros. We'll discuss in a group and individual one-on-one guidance about using light and shadow to create form, improving composition, setting exposure under difficult lighting conditions, abstract impressions, sensing and perceiving the environment to help find subjects and make meaningful photographs. Each student will also receive a copy of my book The Ecology of Photography.

Our accommodation in Alamagordo will be a shared vacation home. We will cook and share most meals and be able to easily meet to discuss various topics and share image processing workflows and tips.

White Sands, ripples

Arrivals to Alamagordo should be before 5pm on the first day. We will have a group dinner, introductions, orientation, and possibly an evening photo shoot. The closest airport is El Paso, TX (ELP), about 2 hours drive from Alamagordo. It may be possible for you to be picked up in El Paso if you coordinate with me and my arrival. Otherwise you will need to rent a car and drive to Alamagordo. Albuquerque is another fly-in option, and is about a 3.5 hr drive. If you plan to visit other sites in central or northern New Mexico or Arizona, like Chaco Canyon, Shiprock, the Grand Canyon, Mesa Verde, Sante Fe, etc., then Albuquerque will be a convenient gateway. Near Alamagordo are Carlsbad Caverns National Park, Roswell, and Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

Included:
Instruction and image feedback
Accommodations
Transportation on site available (or your own rental car)
Snacks and non-alcoholic refreshments
Most meals (shared in the vacation home)
Admissions and fees
Early entry to White Sands National Monument

Not Included:
Transportation to and from gateway city of Alamagordo, New Mexico (may be arranged from El Paso)
Personal items and expenses
Trip insurance (recommended)
Fees for activities and other expenses not covered in itinerary

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



Alaska: Juneau & Haines, Aug 24 - Sep 2, 2018

Alaska : Juneau-Haines
Register Today »

$3600
Aug 24-Sep 2, 2018
$500 deposit

Alaska is America's frontier. Still rugged, wild, and distant, our 49th state continues to conjure up visions of bears, moose, wolves, wide open tundra at the base of towering mountain ranges, grizzled prospectors and massive glaciers.

Join me in Alaska, August 24 - September 2, 2018, for 10 days of exploring the Alaska Panhandle between Juneau and Haines.

Our first destination is Alaska's capitol city of Juneau, accessible only by plane or boat and surrounded on three sides by towering mountains and glaciers. Juneau is the only U.S. capitol not accessible by road. During our 4 days in Juneau we'll visit the Mendenhall Glacier, explore the surrounding landscape, and go on a private full-day cruise to the amazing Tracy Arm fjord with its wide variety of wildlife including whales, seals, brown and black bears, porpoises, and the twin Stewart glacier at the head of Tracy Arm, a tidewater glacier that calves frequently for dramatic photo and video opportunities.

Next, we'll jump on the ferry for a very scenic 4.5 hour trip from Juneau to Haines, where we'll be based for 5 days. In Haines we'll photograph the amazing landscape and wildlife in the area, including brown bears fishing for salmon on the Chilkoot River, and have a private photo session at the famous Kroschel Wildlife Center where the animals have been seen in films such as Never Cry Wolf, and on television. We'll photograph wolverine, lynx, wolf, red fox, mink, weasel, and marten; native Alaskan wildlife in their native habitat.

Our accommodations in Juneau and Haines will be a shared vacation home, except for the last night which will be in a Juneau hotel. Most meals will be prepared and shared at the house or taken with us in the field as a sack lunch. Transportation on site is by passenger van.

There is a maximum of 6 participants for this workshop. Early reservations are encouraged to ensure your spot.

Arrivals to Juneau should be mid day on the first day. If you would like to arrive a day or more earlier let me know and I will provide you with hotel reccomendations.

Included:
Instruction and image review and feedback
Accommodations
Most meals
Transportation on site (passenger van, ferry)
Full day Tracy Arm Fjord cruise
Private photo shoot at Kroschel Wildlife Center
Admission to parks and other attractions listed in the itinerary


Not Included:
Transportation to and from gateway city of Juneau, Alaska
Personal items
Tips and gratuities
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.




2019 Workshops



Iceland Midnight Sun 2019

Iceland : Midnight Sun, June 5-16, 2019Register Today »

June 5-16, 2019
$5300 per person double occupancy
6 maximum

$800 deposit to reserve your seat.

Join Mike Shipman on an intimate exploration of Iceland under the midnight sun of mid summer. Explore geothermal areas, the unique shapes and forms of icebergs and mighty waterfalls, and stunning landscapes from the Snaefellsnes peninsula in the west, the black sand beaches of Reynisfjara in the south, to the glacier lagoon Jokulsarlon in the east.

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.

Participants will travel by passenger van and accommodations will be at guest houses and fine hotels along our route. Our shooting schedule will be to visit locations between 9pm and 4am to avoid the typical summer "daytime" tourist crowding.

Dettifoss

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 5 miles or more round trip on easy to moderately-steep trails. Long hours of photographing will be the norm.

Workshop is limited to 6 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

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 2-10: Locations - Snaefellsnes, Vik, Jokulsarlon, Gullfoss, Selfoss, Reynisfjara Beach - weather permitting
  • Day 11: Morning photography, return to Keflavik for afternoon/evening departures home, optional overnight for departures next day
  • Day 12: 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. 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 during the workshop
Accommodations Admission to sites

Not Included:
Transportation to and from Reykjavik, Iceland (Keflavik Airport)
Meals
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.



Brown Bears of Alaska, August 2019

Brown Bears of Alaska
Register Today »

$7300-$7800 est. total
Aug, 2019
$800 deposit

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, mid-to late August 2019, 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. Brown bear family

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 be 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.

Brown bear and salmon

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.

*** Because of the limited space and huge popularity of this area, your $800 non-refundable deposit by November 15, 2018 will secure your spot. If the trip does not fill by November 15, 100% of your deposit will be refunded. Your balance will be due by May 1, 2019. Prior to May 1 I'll have a final tally and fee for you based on the number of participants ***.

Total cost is estimated to be $7300 - $7800 based on number of participants (could be less). There is a minimum of 6 and maximum of 11 for this workshop. Specific dates will be announced as soon as they are available.

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 1st day and returns to Kodiak at 2:30pm on the last day. 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 last day for departures home on the following day, also in case of weather delays. Otherwise, schedule your departing flight from Kodiak after 5:00pm on the last day. 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 it can be arranged.

Landscape and bears

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.





Antarctica 2019

Antarctica : Terra Australis
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$16,500 - $17,600
est based on cabin choice

Nov 2019, 20-22 days
$3500 deposit

Antarctica. Initially known as Terra Australis Incognita, the Southern Land; a mysterious land believed by 15th Century explorers to exist at the bottom of the world, needed to balance the weight of the known land masses in the north. Despite multiple attempts to locate the continent, it wasn't until 1820 that land of the Antarctic Peninsula was first seen by human beings, but didn't feel the sole of a boot until 1895. The history of Antarctic exploration is replete with struggle, glory, discovery, and failure from the early 1900s through the present day. The original Antarctic Treaty was signed by 12 countries in 1959 to set aside the continent as a preserve devoted to science and peace. The 2016 Treaty has 53 countries are signers.

Join me for this once-in-a-lifetime 20-22 day journey to the bottom of the world. We'll begin at the tip of South America and make a giant loop through the Falkland Islands, South Georgia, and the Antarctic Peninsula. November is the early season, before the crowds of summer descend and the landscape becomes marked with muddy footprints. Icebergs are crisp and clean, there are still 3-4 hours of "twilight" in the sky for beautiful pastel colors in sky and on snow and ice. It's also the start of the breeding season and 5,000 pound elephant seal bulls will be battling on the beaches of South Georgia. Other wildlife almost guaranteed to be seen are orca, southern right whales, humpback whales, Antarctic fur seals, king penguins, Adele penguins, chinstrap penguins, albatross, storm petrels, shearwaters, and more.

King Penguin

I'm listing this workshop before the actual sailing dates are announced so we can get a jump on early bird discounts. Your deposit will be applied as soon as it's possible, and at that time I will let you know what the final trip cost will be. After consulting with the company, that will be between $16,500 - $17,600 (could be significantly less) depending on cabin choice. I'm selecting a ship with a small passenger number (114 - 132) to allow us more flexibility in navigation and maximize the number of daily shore landings.

Elephant seal, South Georgia Island

Cabins will be either double or triple occupancy. In some cases quad cabins may be available. That information will be available as soon as the sailing dates and ships are announced.

A general itinerary looks like this:

  • Day 1: Arrive in Ushuaia, Argentina, overnight in hotel (included)
  • Day 2: Morning wander in Ushuaia, afternoon embark for the Falklands
  • Day 3: at sea
  • Day 4-5: Falkland Islands
  • Day 6-7: at sea to South Georgia
  • Day 8-12: South Georgia
  • Day 13-14: at sea to Antarctic Peninsula
  • Day 15-18: Antarctic Peninsula
  • Day 19-20: at sea return to Ushuaia
  • Day 21: Morning arrival to Ushuaia, afternoon departures home

One option is to arrive at least a day early in case of weather delays and depart a day later, or extend your stay in Ushuaia or elswhere in Argentina or Chile before heading home.

Included:
First night hotel accommodations in Ushuaia
Airport and hotel transfers to the ship
Instruction as needed, in-the-field and online image review and feedback
Snacks and non-alcoholic refreshments
Meals on board
Rubber boots for use on the voyage
All shore excursions
Expedition parka
Educational lectures on board
Port taxes and fees pertaining to the voyage

Not Included:
Transportation to and from gateway city of Ushuaia, Argentina (or possibly Punta Arenas)
Pre/Post land services: meals, tours not included in itinerary
Alcoholic beverages
Airport arrival/departure taxes
Personal services: laundry, internet, telecommunications
Excess baggage fees (if needed)
Tips and gratuities
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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