Iceland Hot Springs & Northern Lights special Icelandair deal + one-on-one instruction – deadline July 31

Icelandair Hot Springs & Northern Lights

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.

Summer 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.

Here are my upcoming photography workshops. Full details and registration are here

Cyanotype Printing
May 7
June 18

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

Scotland : Senses & Perception, Round 2

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 man@blueplanetphoto.com. 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.

A very short list of locations near Boise very suitable for Nature and Landscape Photography

I gave a program this week at Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge about Nature and Landscape Photography. I was asked by a few of the attendees to repeat the list of locations I put up near the end of my program. So, here they are. You can easily search out the specific location and directions from where you are as well as additional information about the area. Good luck and happy shooting!

Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge, Nampa ID
Bruneau Dunes State Park
Celebration Park, Melba ID
Shoshone Falls/Perrine Coulee Falls, Twin Falls ID
MK Nature Center, Boise ID
Stanley/Sawtooth National Recreation Area, Stanley ID
Wilson Ponds, Nampa ID
Jump Creek, Canyon County (Marsing) ID
Hulls Gulch, Boise ID
Bogus Basin, Boise ID
Arrowrock Reservoir/Atlanta Road, Boise – Atlanta ID
Eagle Island State Park, Eagle ID
Idaho City ID
Silver City ID
McCall/Ponderosa State Park/Little Payette Lake/Lick Creek, ID
Warren Wagon Road/Warren (NE of McCall) ID
Camas Prairie/Centennial Marsh, Fairfield ID
City of Rocks National Reserve, Cassia (S of Burley) ID
Castle Rocks State Park, Almo (same area as City of Rocks)
Craters of the Moon National Monument, Arco

The Serengeti Threatened by Road Project

The Government of Tanzania has approved the building of a major commercial highway across the northern part of the Serengeti, home to the world’s last great migration and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The road will adversely affect the world-renown wildlife migrations in that region, tourism, and local economy. An alternate proposal is to build a road in the southern part of the Serengeti, an area less sensitive and where a road would be more beneficial to the local residents.

For more information, go to www.savetheserengeti.org/issues/stop-the-serengeti-highway/

The Road to Zanzibar

With only a couple days left before departure, imagine my concern when I read on the internet that workers for Kenya Airways are planning to strike and have not been working since August 14? I’m flying from Heathrow to Nairobi then on to Zanzibar on Kenya Airways, as well as returning the same route a month later. Workers wanted a 130% pay raise and were threatening to strike, even though some workers were already not reporting to work. This caused delays and cancellations of flights, leaving thousands stranded in airports across the globe.

Luckily, I just read an update on a meeting held today that stated a resolution was made and the strike called off. Workers received a 20% pay raise over 2 years. Whew! I hope they get the backlog cleared out before I arrive. Going to Zanzibar, I’ve got a little over 90 minutes between flights from Nairobi to Zanzibar. When there’s backed-up flights, that could be very little time. I’m still going to be checking status on Monday, before I leave on Tuesday, and Wednesday while I’m waiting at Heathrow.

Nothing like a little last-minute excitement to get the nerves going.

I started taking my malaria pills today. I chose to go with Malarone (atavaquone and proguanil HCl) out of the 3 medications I could select from. It’s got the shortest pre- and post-travel dosing schedule, the least and lesser side effects (not like another that warned of mental issues, sheesh), and is 98% effective. I start a couple days before traveling and take it for 7 days once I get back. I also predicted, based on the mild side effects and dosing schedule, that Malarone would be the most expensive of the 3. I don’t know what the others would have cost, but a 42-day supply of Malarone lifted $295 from my pocket quicker than a papasi. That, along with the yellow fever, typhoid, and tetanus ($390), I’m feeling a little drained, but recovering.

Whenever planning for a long trip, sometimes days are spent deciding what to take, what to plan for, then revising again and again. Once everything is brought together and the attempt is made to stuff it all into as few bags as possible, more revisions are made. For this trip I want to be as lean as possible. Transportation between Chumbe Island and Unguja (the island of Zanzibar) is by boat and there won’t be any place in Stone Town (Zanzibar City) to leave a bunch of gear when we go to town and walk around, get internet access for email, etc. I don’t want to look like a tourist (will be hard to do, but I’m trying to minimize as much as I can) and have all my gear flaunted out for every undesirable to see (also will be hard to do). Access to power will be limited on Chumbe and there is no internet or cell phone access.

I purchased travel insurance for the first time ever, mostly because of the threat of the Kenya Airways strike. The included medical coverage might be helpful, too, if there is a need. I don’t anticipate anything happening but it’s rarely a bad thing to be over-prepared. My main concern is loss of luggage and theft from my luggage, which is a concern whenever and wherever I travel.

So, the last couple days before I get on the plane. It’s packing day.

Get A Piece of Zanzibar!



Chumbe Island aerial
A great opportunity fell in my lap last week and I’ve been scrambling to get ready for it. I’m heading to Chumbe Island Coral Park this month through most of September to be a volunteer reef guide. This opportunity came about as the result of a friend calling me up and telling me a friend of his was going and the other guy he’d had signed up to go had to cancel, would I want to go? Initially, I said no because this kind of trip wasn’t in my budget. Then, after some thought, I decided it was an opportunity not to be passed up lightly. I did some research and thought I’d bring all my skills to bear on the project.

Part of that is a participatory project I’ve called Get a Piece of Zanzibar!
Chumbe and environs

zanzibar and tanzania
I like to teach and “bring people along” to locations I’ve visited through slide show presentations, writing, and my photography. I’m always trying to integrate my wildlife biology background into the photography work I do, and here’s a perfect opportunity to combine all of those things into a vicarious experience for anyone.

I’ve put together 4 options for people to participate in this adventure. These options are relatively inexpensive and you get some cool stuff:

$50 – at least 4 postcards handwritten by me and postmarked from Zanzibar. Who knows what the postcards will be of or what I’ll write….
$75 – One (1) signed 8×12 photographic print of my choice
$100 – at least 4 handwritten postcards and one (1) signed 8×12 photographic print of my choice
$125 – at least 4 handwritten postcards, one (1) signed 8×12 photographic print of my choice, and a surprise (I don’t even know what it will be)

There’s more information on my website and a special page created for this project. It’s called Get a Piece of Zanzibar and all the information (well, a lot of information) is there as well as the links to sign up to get your stuff.

Just be quick, the deadline for signing up is August 28.