The Salish Sea and Washington State’s hundred-plus San Juan Islands cradle a universe of diverse life forms. Discover beautiful San Juan Island and work closely with Susan Middleton, one of the world’s most celebrated wildlife photographers to expand your skills. You will learn to photograph tiny invertebrates that flourish in shallow tidal pools, bald eagles in their natural habitat and nature’s largest blue-water marine predator, the majestic orca.
The Workshop offers a unique San Juan island experience designed to maximize photographic opportunities for photographers of all skill and experience levels. Explore San Juan island through your camera lens, learning tips and techniques from workshop leader Susan Middleton. Examine the treasure trove of marine life that thrives in tide pools, encounter marine life (think orca whales!) from our chartered boat, witness glorious bald eagles in flight, take in exceptional island views and seascapes, experience a visual realm from tiny jewel-like invertebrates to magnificent sunrises! Meet some of the creatures portrayed in IMA’s Susan Middleton “Spineless: Portraits of Marine Invertebrates” exhibition face to face! Workshop attendees will be guests at a private exhibition reception with the artist. This is a special opportunity for a limited number of participants, weaving the best of art and science, picture making, fine dining, and island camaraderie.
Build a portfolio of dramatic natural wonder.
Journey to on-location shoots that begin in tidal pools on micro estuaries where colorful spineless inhabitants await discovery. Voyage into blue water realms, home to seals and otters, dolphin and sea lions in search of the famous San Juan Island resident orcas. Capture the mystery of the pink dawning glory of Mt. Baker and the island’s fog shrouded valley below. Explore the historic lighthouse at Washington’s famous Lime Kiln State Park. Photograph bald eagles in flight and on the hunt.
Susan Middleton is an artist, photographer, author, and educator specializing in the portraiture of rare and endangered animals, plants, sites, and cultures. She was Chair of the Department of Photography at the California Academy of Sciences from 1982 to 1995, where she now serves as research associate. Her most recent book is Spineless: Portraits of Marine Invertebrates, the Backbone of Life (Abrams, 2014). Previous books include Evidence of Evolution (Abrams 2009), Archipelago and Remains of a Rainbow (National Geographic); Witness and Here Today (Chronicle Books). She has produced films and exhibitions in conjunction with her book projects, including serving as associate producer for the Emmy Award winning National Geographic film America’s Endangered Species: Don’t Say Goodbye(NBC & PBS,1998). She produced a short film for the web, ‘Hermit Crabs!’, published on YouTube.
Middleton was awarded a Guggenheim fellowship in 2009, and is the recipient of an Endangered Species Coalition Champion Award for Education and Outreach and a Bay & Paul Foundation Biodiversity Leadership Award. Middleton’s photographs have been exhibited and published throughout the world, both in fine art and natural history contexts. Her work is represented in the permanent collections of the National Gallery of Art and the National Academy of Sciences. She lives in San Francisco.
Middleton was awarded a Guggenheim fellowship in 2009, and is the recipient of an Endangered Species Coalition Champion Award for Education and Outreach and a Bay & Paul Foundation Biodiversity Leadership Award. In the fall of 2008 Middleton was invited as a guest artist at Crown Point Press, San Francisco, to create a series of limited edition color photogravures. Middleton’s photographs have been exhibited and published throughout the world, both in fine art and natural history contexts. She lives in San Francisco.
The five-day workshop seminar offers uniquely personal guidance and instruction. Class size is strictly limited to just 12 participants. Lectures at IMA anticipate each day’s new adventure and consider the special technical challenges before you. Daily review and interactive analysis of your workshop photos assures a powerful learning experience. You will travel in comfort by private coach to all workshop activities. Naturalist expert guides will inform your adventures.
Personal instruction by world famous photographer Susan Middleton
All land-based San Juan Island transportation
All excursion expenses
Welcome dinner and museum reception
Daily continental breakfasts and snacks
Two midday meals
Farewell celebration and dinner at the lovely shore-side home of local San Juan Islanders
By special arrangement, optional lodging special.
Workshop Tuition: $1,745
Maximum enrollment: Only 12 participants per workshop.
Optional Accommodations located just across the street from the museum at the Spring Street International School feature simple, dual occupancy suites (single upgrades available) and a spacious family-style common area, four nights exceptionally priced at $265. Booking your own rooms? Try this link: www.visitsanjuans.com
Susan Middleton Photo Gallery
Prerequisites: Digital camera and basic skills
Who Should Attend? Budding amateur to expert photographers: All very welcome!
Physical Requirements: Natural excursions require a degree of mobility, but if you can climb a set of stairs, you are likely able. Please contact us prior to registration with any questions.
Caveats: All advertised activities are subject to change, extreme weather cancellation and the cooperation of local wildlife, but alternative activities are assured! Minimum class registration required.
Deposit: $500 with initial registration. Final tuition payment in full required by May 1st, 2015 with confirmation to all workshop applicants assured by May 15th, 2015. Final payment due May 15.
Proposed Agenda for Wildlife Photography Workshop
3:00 to 4:30 p.m. Sign in at IMA
5:00 Meeting at IMA for transportation to welcome dinner
5:30 Welcome dinner at local eatery
7:00 Gallery Talk at IMA. Susan Middleton answers your questions and discusses the Spineless process.
8:00 Morning at IMA: Continental breakfast buffet
9:00 Visit the world famous University of Washington Marine Labs. Meet the scientists!
Middleton lecture: “Photographing Invertebrates”
10:30 Travel to tidal pools for invertebrate photo shoot in the company of UW Labs naturalist
12:30 Picnic in the historic Lime Kiln
1:30 Photo shoot in the Park: the famous lighthouse; towering lime kilns of the past; shoreline marine wildlife
3:30 Afternoon free
6:30 Rendezvous at IMA
7:00 Susan Middleton “Spineless” lecture
9:00 Morning at IMA: Continental breakfast buffet
Individual critique and analysis of tidal photos
Lecture: “Photographing Marine Mammals”
11:00 Blue water excursion on private vessel
Large marine mammal photo shoot with marine naturalist
1:30 Picnic luncheon, group discussion
2:00-Photography at the Marina
3:30—Afternoon and evening open
3:30 a.m. from IMA, trip to Mt. Dallas on San Juan Island for sunrise photo shoot
5:00 a.m. Mimosas and continental breakfast buffet on Mt. Dallas
6:30 a.m. Morning open
2:30 p.m. Afternoon at IMA
Individual critique and analysis of marine mammal photos
Lecture: “Photographing Birds in Flight”
4:00 Eagle feast photo shoot
6:30 Gala farewell dinner party in fabulous island home
9:00 Morning at IMA: Continental breakfast buffet
Individual critique and analysis of eagle and lighthouse photos
Favorite workshop photos review
Lecture: “Photography in Nature” wrap-up
Q & A