I’ve started a Patreon page to provide limited edition artwork to patrons and with the goal to create a community. If you would like more information, you can read about it here: https://www.patreon.com/mikeshipman
Here are some of the workshops I have scheduled for 2017. Come join me and explore these amazing locations while learning to improve your photography and way of seeing. I’m working on others for summertime and into 2018, including an Antarctica workshop for 2019.
Here is my upcoming class schedule. Please visit my class page for more details and to register and contact me with any questions you may have. All classes are available as one-on-one or On Request. If you don’t see a date that works with your schedule, let me know and I can work with you to fit it in.
Nov 1 – 21 (first session is on Tuesday, the remaining are on Monday) 6 – 8pm
Jan 3 – 24, 6 – 8pm
Before You Buy (best for new camera purchases and gift buying. Don’t buy what you don’t need)
Oct 26, 6-8pm
Oct 28, 6-8pm
Nov 2, 6-8pm
Nov 4, 6-8pm
Nov 5, 1-3pm
Nov 7, 9-11am
Nov 16, 6-8pm
Dec 6, 1-3pm
Dec 6, 6-8pm
Dec 10, 9-11am
Basic Camera Operation
Nov 2, 1-3pm
Nov 5, 9-11am
Nov 9, 6-8pm
Nov 12, 1-3pm
Nov 22, 6-8pm
Dec 7, 6-8pm
Dec 10, 1-3pm
Jan 5, 6-8pm
Jan 7, 1-3pm
Here’s a special deal offered by Icelandair: 5 days, 3 nights, hotel, some meals, some activities, and airfare, starting at $685. I’ll sweeten the deal in that if you pay my way (double occupancy or single), I’ll provide you with one-on-one photo assistance during the trip. I’ll pay my own transportation to Seattle as the departure city, meals and other expenses. You pick the dates (for Northern Lights, go with February or March). I will depart from Seattle. Here’s the link with info. The catch is the deadline for booking this deal is July 31.
Icelandair Hot Springs & Northern Lights travel deal
Contact me for more information and to make arrangements.
Here is my schedule for upcoming photography classes for the rest of May, June, July, and August, as well as a list of upcoming workshops that still have openings:
For a complete list and to register online, go HERE
June 17 – July 8
June 21 – July 12
June 29 – July 20
August 1 – 22
August 3 – 24
Basic Camera Operation
Photoshop I: Basic Photoshop & Bridge
Photoshop 2: Layers & Adjustments
June 29 – July 13
Light & the Light Meter
Before You Buy
Workshops: for complete list and to register, go HERE
Alvord Desert, Oregon June 3 – 5
Oregon Coast, June 7 – 12
Columbia River Gorge, Oregon, June 14 – 16
Cyanotype printing, June 18
Oregon Coast, Sept 6 – 11
Scotland, Sept 21 – 28 (only 1 space remaining!)
Iceland, Oct 3 – 14 (only 1 space remaining!)
Acadia National Park Oct 19 – 26 (pending)
Bruneau Dunes, Idaho November (date pending)
2017 Workshops in planning
Death Valley, Feb
Oregon Coast, April
Yellowstone National Park, May
Iceland Twilight, May 16 – 25
Scotland Highlands, May 28 – June 6
Grand Teton National Park, June
Palouse, Washington, June
Palouse, Washington, Aug 13 – 16
Yellowstone National Park, Sept
Acadia National Park, Maine, Oct
Yosemite National Park, Nov
Monterey/Carmel, California, Nov
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.
Here are my upcoming photography workshops. Full details and registration are here
Alvord Desert, Oregon
June 3 – 5
Central Oregon Coast
June 7 – 12
Columbia River Gorge
June 14 – 16
Central Oregon Coast
Sept 6 – 11
Scotland, Isle of Skye (only 1 space remaining!)
Sept 21 – 28
Iceland (only 1 space remaining!)
Oct 3 – 14
I don’t usually do lists, but as I was working on a project and reading at the same time, this popped into my head. I’ve left off explanations for some and used minimal explanation for others. You should fill in your own blanks (that could be #11 or #12).
1. Explore: internally (introspection) and externally (exteroception)
2. Experiment: Don’t follow convention (for too long). Blaze your own trail
3. Challenge yourself mentally and physically: Don’t bite off more than you can chew – work in increments you can accomplish yet have a need to push yourself beyond current limits
4. Challenge your skills
5. Share your progress in a way that is informative and interesting but not self-serving or bragging
6. Don’t care what others think about what you do or how you do it. They are not you and you are not them. You are you. Do what you love, create what you love
7. Set goals (see #3 & #4) but be flexible in how, when, and if you reach them. Don’t be afraid to coast, regain your bearings or your balance or to reassess and change course. They’re your goals, they don’t belong to anyone else
8. Don’t be afraid
9. Seek knowledge and experience wherever it can be found, in all areas. You never know when one thing will connect with another in an amazing way
10. Have fun
Ok, here’s an 11
11. Be a friend to other artists
This project, in part, has been an exploration of crowfunding and the various options and successes and failures.
There has been and continues to be talk about how the professional photography industry has been “overrun” with amateurs, flooding the market with photographs and driving down photographer income. This is only one part of the phenomenon. Three main elements are 1) technology which allows nearly anyone to make a well-exposed and, if they are competent, a well-composed photograph, 2) the capability to distribute photographs worldwide for almost no cost, and 3) buyers who enjoy increased profits from lower fees paid to individuals who have very little or no knowledge of the photography industry or how to price their work accordingly to make a reasonable profit.
You could distinguish amateur from professional based on a wide range of criteria. Some amateurs are very competent and in many ways operate similar to a professional while others have really no clue or care what they are doing.
One critical factor that separates amateur from pro is commitment. Commitment to stick it through the tough times, to understand the industry, to build relationships with clients, to maintain a certain level of technical and creative skill, to use ethical and moral business practices, to help others become better professionals.
Another term for an amateur who isn’t committed is dilettante, an Italian word which in its first usage referred to a person who loved art. But today, the term is more negative, describing a person who engages in non-serious dabbling within a presumably serious field and is ill-equipped (or actually has no intention or desire) to meet the minimum standards of that field, study, or practice. One of my pet peeves is hearing someone tell me “I don’t want to be a professional” when we’re talking about pricing work. That’s the sign of a dilettante. They’re happy to make a little money from their efforts, but not committed enough to take it further – to learn about the business side of things, to help themselves make more money, for one thing. You don’t have to be a “professional” to act like one and just because you don’t intend photography to be your career doesn’t mean you must give away your work for free (or nearly so) or not understand copyright or how contracts work. Meeting the minimum standards (and in photography, the minimums are fairly reasonable to meet) would help boost the industry, help raise the “standard of living” of photographers across the board.
I wouldn’t presume to call myself an auto mechanic because I have a complete set of tools and know how to replace an alternator belt, and if I did I’m sure auto mechanics across the nation would scoff. I might make a decent pizza dough or cornbread, but I’m no baker. I painted landscapes and abstracts a lot when I was younger, but I don’t claim to be a painter.
I’ve been making photographs since I was young. I don’t have an art degree, but I’ve been a full-time photographer for 15 years and part-time for 6 years before that. I study copyright law and business methods even though it’s not my favorite thing. I’d much rather be out photographing. I’m a member of professional organizations and become involved in their operation, though I’d much rather be out photographing. I spend hours on the computer processing photographs, keywording, uploading to galleries, creating marketing materials, creating invoices, chasing invoices, calling and emailing clients, even though I would really much rather be out photographing. I attend professional education programs and continue to learn online and from others so I can maintain and improve my skill level (this I enjoy, even though I would still rather be out photographing).
I have a college degree and graduate education in wildlife biology and ecology. I worked in that field for over 10 years. I still mention that in my bio and casual conversation because it helps inform others about my background, but I don’t call myself a wildlife biologist anymore because my commitment to that field is much less than it was when I was actively conducting research, working in that field and getting paid for it according to the standards in that industry.
When I was working as a wildlife biologist, people would be envious of my job when I mentioned what I did. They had a romantic ideal of what it was like to be a biologist, imagining how beautiful it was to be “in Nature”, sitting beside gurgling streams or contemplating existence on a mountain top, handling cuddly animals, or having the pick of hunting and fishing spots. Sure, those times happened and it was incredible when it did. But, that was in between days of fighting off mosquito attacks, avoiding sunstroke or hypothermia, getting drenched in freezing downpours, digging a stuck vehicle out of the mud, dealing with the politics of government and private agencies and organizations, egos of co-workers and supervisors, writing reports, writing grants, filling out job applications, packing and unpacking.
The same applies when I tell people I’m a photographer. They imagine the romantic National Geographic travel photographer roaming the world seeing beautiful places, meeting new people, having an ongoing vacation. Yes, that happens, and when it does it’s magical (I’m not a National Geographic photographer – but for an ideao f what it’s like check out this short video about NatGeo photographer Joel Sartore, and his full length video called “At Close Range”). Most of the time, it’s simply work, background stuff. Especially these days when I’m doing all my own marketing, image processing, accounting, doing shows, in addition to being in the field shooting.
Being a professional is not about how much you spent on equipment. It’s not about your level of education, how much you charge, whether you are full time or part time, if you have a studio or work out of your house, although these things can contribute to the appearance of professionalism. It’s the level of commitment you choose which meets or exceeds the minimum standards for whatever industry/career you’re in.
“If it falls your lot to be a street sweeper, go out and sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures. Sweep streets like Handel and Beethoven composed music. Sweep streets like Shakespeare wrote poetry. Sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will have to pause and say, here lived a great street sweeper who swept his job well.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.
My Kickstarter campaign is coming to a close on Monday morning. I’m about 1/3 funded, but if it’s not 100% at 11:00am Monday, unless there’s a furious and exciting rally this weekend, it won’t matter. I’ve set it up as an all-or-nothing campaign.
But, here’s round 2:
A day ago I launched a campaign on Indiegogo.com so it will be available once this campaign ends. I set it up using their flexible funding option which means I will receive whatever funds are submitted. It’s not all-or-nothing. I’ve reduced the funding goal and the number of reward levels to reflect the popularity of reward levels for this campaign. The items in each reward have not changed. If you’ve contributed to Kickstarter at a certain level, that level and reward (perk) is also on Indiegogo and you can choose it again.
When the kickstarter campaign ends on Monday, if you would like to continue to support this project, you can go to the Indiegogo campaign and renew your pledge at the level you would like and it will take effect. It’s also set up to be able to go over the $3000 goal. If that happens, the same upgrades apply – better paper, more pages, larger format book, depending on the amount over the goal. The deadline for that project is April 28. I’d like to point out that you will need to click on the perk level to “officially” contribute at that level and so I know which perks to create for you. There is a “Contribute Now” field at the top where you can contribute any amount, but that contribution is not associated with any perk items.
When you contribute to the campaign on Indiegogo, you can use a credit card through the gateway, Apple Pay (US card holders only) or PayPal (you can use the Guest checkout to avoid needing a PayPal account), or your PayPal balance. Your credit card or PayPal account will be charged immediately after you complete the checkout process, not at the end of the campaign.
I don’t want you to go there now if you’ve already pledged on Kickstarter, just in case there is a rally. I really don’t want you to be charged twice. So, wait until Monday after 12:00 to make any contributions at Indiegogo. Though I think you can cancel your pledge on Kickstarter prior to the end of the campaign if you want to make the leap earlier.
A second option is to directly contribute to the project through PayPal. This avoids the processing fee Indiegogo charges so your contribution is maximized. My PayPal account name is firstname.lastname@example.org. If you choose that option, please indicate your contribution is for Scotland and what reward level when you check out. I also recommend waiting for this direct contribution until after noon on Monday. Just in case.
Whichever option you choose, I thank you for your continued support.