Blue Planet Photography - Art From Earth

I'm a professional photographer and this blog generally contains information about photography. But, since I also spent part of my life as a wildlife biologist, there will be some items about the environment as well. Maybe even some irritable ramblings.

My Photo
Location: Nampa, Idaho, United States


New Blog Location

Happy New Year! I hope your 2006 was a good one and that your 2007 will be even better!

You can find my new blog location at Please bear with me while I learn the new application and get the appearance of the blog nailed down.

I will be transferring the contents here on blogger to the new location as soon as I can. This blog will be available until that happens, so if you need to look at historical entries you can do that here until the transfer. I'll post other announcements as the move progresses.

But, any new content not related to the move will be at the new location.

I've posted an update to Baggley Park, my 2007 Photo Tour schedule, and my Photo Class schedules for January, March and April.

Check it out, bookmark that URL, and let me know what you think of the new digs.


Blue Planet Blog is moving - Blogger/Google TOS not suitable

I was going to post an update to my Baggley Park project, but now Blogger has a Terms of Service Agreement that you must check before posting content. See below.

All the more reason to run your own blog - it's easy now with many hosting services offering that option. I've had a blog on Blogger for a few months now. Blogger was taken over by Google and now you have to agree to the TOS when uploading new content, part of which says:

"Google claims no ownership or control over any Content submitted, posted or displayed by you on or through Picasa Web Albums. You or a third party licensor, as appropriate, retain all patent, trademark and copyright to any Content you submit, post or display on or through Picasa Web Albums and you are responsible for protecting those rights, as appropriate. By submitting, posting or displaying Content on or through Picasa Web Albums, you grant Google a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free license to reproduce, adapt, distribute and publish such Content through Picasa Web Albums, including RSS or other content feeds offered through Picasa Web Albums, and other Google services. In addition, by submitting, posting or displaying Content which is intended to be available to the general public, you grant Google a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free license to reproduce, adapt, distribute and publish such Content for the purpose of displaying, distributing and promoting Google services. Google will discontinue this licensed use within a commercially reasonable period after such Content is removed from Picasa Web Albums. Google reserves the right to refuse to accept, post, display or transmit any Content in its sole discretion."

Standard fair anymore. Looks like Google has taken up the idea that if you post it on the web it's "intended to be available to the general public" and that while Google doesn't claim ownership or control over content you submit, they are free to use it any way they see fit.

It's very prudent anymore to look at the Terms of Service agreements of any online service you subscribe to, free or not, to look for statements such as the following:

"By submitting, posting or displaying Content on or through Picasa Web Albums, you grant Google a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free license to reproduce, adapt, distribute and publish such Content through Picasa Web Albums, including RSS or other content feeds offered through Picasa Web Albums, and other Google services. In addition, by submitting, posting or displaying Content which is intended to be available to the general public, you grant Google a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free license to reproduce, adapt, distribute and publish such Content for the purpose of displaying, distributing and promoting Google services."

This means that when you post any content, photos, videos, text, and you agree to the TOS, you are giving Google the rights to use that content in anything Google owns. That means advertising (you could see your photo in a Google ad on TV or in a magazine, or see your text in the same ad or promotion) WITHOUT any compensation to you (that's what Royalty-Free means in this context).

You have control over your content, even if it is presented in a public forum, such as a blog. Google and other providers are only taking advantage of this content to provide free sources for their own promotion, at your expense.

If you are a professional posting rights managed content on a Google-owned blog such as Blogger, you may need to remove it to avoid any potential conflicts.

Needless to say I'll be stopping my Blogger account, removing my posted images, and setting up on my own.

I'll post my new blog location here when it's up and running. Or you can check my website if this blog is no longer available.

Mike Shipman


Baggley Park 12/12/06

I apologize for the lack of updates on this project. The weather has put a hold on things for a few more days. Cold weather and painting doesn't mix well, and neither does rain. I'm going to be renting a propane heater to keep the work area warm, and setting up my 10'x10' canopy around the final photo on the west side of the building. This photo is actually about 1/4 done at this point, I've just been waiting to get back to finish it. The rest of the project will have to wait until warmer weather. I'll get photos of the west side when that is done (still a couple remaining finishing touches that will be completed in the spring).

Photo Calendar

I know it's late, but I've created a photo calendar. Fitting into a CD case, the case lid folds over to form the base. Each month is on a separate sheet. The calendar adds an artistic touch to home or office. Custom calendars are available and existing designs can be modified to include corporate branding.

Calendars are $15.00 each plus shipping and you can see all months and order at my website

Some sample months:


Baggley Park 11/18/06

I finished the "Rowboat" image today. This is of George Baggley and his daughter, Ruth Ann, in a rowboat at Isle Royale National Park.

In 1937, George Baggley left Yellowston National Park and went to Isle Royale, where he was instrumental in the development of that park. Authorized by Congress in 1931, Isle Royale was established as a National Park in 1940. George Baggley was superintendent of Isle Royale until 1946. Isle Royale National Park is an example of primitive America. 98% of the park is legal wilderness. The park has been the source of much important scientific research on ecosystems, predator-prey relationships (wolves and moose), and conservation, which have shaped management programs and policies on other Federal lands as well as across the nation and world. In 1981, Isle Royale was designated an International Biosphere Reserve by the United Nations.


Baggley Park 11/14/06

George Baggley, Isle Royale National Park, circa 1937

Today I finished the 1937 "Jacket" image of George Baggley as he stands on the deck of what appears to be a steamship, wearing a black leather trenchcoat. This photo is to the right of the "1929" photo of George on horseback, and lies on top of the "Rowboat" image described below. It took me 4.5 hours to paint the details of the "Jacket" photo after about 1.5 hours of tracing the image last night. After finishing the painting, I then traced the next image, George Baggley and daughter Ruth Ann in a rowboat, also at Isle Royale. I will paint this tomorrow (11/15), weather permitting. My concern now is with the temperature. When the paint gets cold it's like pudding. It's possible I may have to wait until spring to finish the east side. I should have the west side completed this week or early next week.

George was not the only pioneer in the family. He met his wife-to-be, Herma Albertson, at Yellowstone National Park.

Herma Albertson was born in 1896 in Inwood, Iowa, and moved to Idaho when she was very young. She attended the University of Idaho and received her Masters in Botany there. In 1929, a year after George Baggley started his tenure at Yellowstone, Herma Albertson was a seasonal ranger at Old Faithful. She returned in 1930 as a seasonal, and in 1931 became the first female permanent ranger naturalist at Yellowstone National Park.

Herma Albertson beside antler house in front of Mammoth Museum (visitor center), Yellowstone National Park (courtesy NPS Archives)

Herma Albertson Baggley co-authored a field guide, The Plants of Yellowstone National Park, with W.B. McDougall, in 1936. It was revised in 1956 and is still relevant and in use today as well as a desired collector's item. She also developed nature trails at Yellowstone which were models for the rest of the National Parks.

In 1952, Herma was the leader of the National Park Women, an organization formed in that year within the National Park Service to address housing issues. The organization still exists today and is active at the area, regional and national levels. Still involved with housing issues, the organization is also involved in scholarships, welcome and orientation, information sharing, scientific concerns, communication, and hospitality.

Herma Albertson Baggley was a pioneer in her field and was dedicated to breaking ground for women in a male-dominated workplace and society. The University of Idaho awards the Herma Albertson Botany Scholarship to undergraduates majoring in Biological Sciences.


Baggley Park 11/10/06

"1929 - Chief Ranger"

I was able to complete the "1929" image and add the photo border before calling it a day. It was windy and cold, so the paint was getting gummy. Today (11/11) it's raining, so I will have to wait until tomorrow (when it's supposed to be clear) to start on the second photo, "Lake Mead".

Here are the views of what the completed project will look like:

West Side

East Side

George F. Baggley was born in Mercer County, Missouri on November 6, 1898. He began his conservation career in 1917-18, at the age of 19, working in the Badlands area of South Dakota for then Governor Peter Norbeck. Governor Norbeck was a proponent of wildlife conservation and park development and was responsible for the creation of Custer State Park and Badlands National Monument. Governor Norbeck probably had some influence in directing George Baggley's interests.

In 1926, at the age of 28, George Baggley attended Colorado A&M (now Colorado State University) in Ft. Collins, as a special student in the School of Forestry. In March, 1928, George and 4 of his friends took the National Park Service Ranger Civil Service Exam. He passed and was offered a job at Yellowstone National Park, which he accepted, thinking it would be a good summer job before returning to school in the fall. The summer ended and George stayed in Yellowstone. In 1929, he became Yellowstone's first college-educated Chief Ranger. He never returned to Ft. Collins to graduate, but during his time at Yellowstone George was able to foster the use of the scientific method in wildlife management and helped acquire land in South Dakota that, in 1939, became Badlands National Monument.

I'll post more in the next installment.

Labels: , ,


Baggley Park 11/7/06

While dodging the rain, I've gotten the backgrounds completed for the photos. At least on the west side of the building. This is the more difficult side because I'm having to use water-based and oil-based paints, plus all the detail work involved to get around door trim and other appliances.

You'll notice a difference between the photo of 11/5 and today. I decided, after 4 hours of work, to paint over the tracings I did on Sunday. I had traced the photos for the left-hand and middle photos thinking that it would be easier to paint the details from the tracings than it would be to set up the projector and re-align everything. After some thought I figured it would be easier to re-align the projector to the blank background and paint from the projection than it would to paint the tracings and then paint the background (or visa versa), essentially painting the small details twice and increasing the time it took. I'm learning as I go.

It was actually a beautiful day, with the temp at 73, great light and golden leaves. An Indian Summer day to be sure. It was predicted to start raining between 8 and 10pm so I was hoping to get some detail painting in before that happened. At about 5:30 the sun went behind the clouds and I could get started. I have an overhead projector that I use to project the altered photos onto the wall so I can paint the details. At about 8:30, though, it started to drizzle and I was only 1/2 way done with the first (left-hand) photo. So I had to pack up.

Even though I don't think I look suspicious, the local police have made 2 visits to me since I started, both after it got dark, in response to calls that there was a vandal doing things to the building. Once on Sunday and again on 11/7. I think it's interesting since I don't know many vandals who would carry so much gear and light up their work are like I've been doing. But, I'm glad someone is paying attention.

I'll be heading back this afternoon to take some photos of the progress so far and hopefully get one photo done and perhaps another if the rain holds off.


Baggley Park 11/5/06

I started my public art project yesterday. I'm painting photographs on a building in a public park. The park is called Baggley Park, named for George Baggley, the first college-educated senior ranger at Yellowstone National Park (1927). He was also superintendent of Isle Royale National Park, Lake Mead National Recreation Area, helped acquire land for Badlands National Monument, was a champion of the scientific method applied to wildlife management, understood conservation and the roles of predator and prey in a healthy ecosystem, was awarded the National Park Service Distinguished Service Award, its highest honor, and helped the city of Boise develop its system of greenbelt pathways and parks. Hence the park being named after him. The photos are historical, starting with 1927 and going until the 1980s. I've converted the photos to line drawings to make it easier to paint on a rough-textured cinder block. There are 11 photos total of various sizes and 4 of the photos are photo-imaged onto glass tile which will be installed after the painting is completed.

I'll post my progress here.

Tool for color blindness

EyePilot, software to enable individuals with color blindness or color deficiency to read and navigate computer displays. eyePilot is designed as an interactive floating window (Capture Window) that can be layered over any web or browser window on your computer screen. The application is layered on top of other programs like a window or filter that interprets the underlying data for you. The tool is helpful for interpreting maps (subway maps, for example) by isolating a single colored route from the others. eyePilot has several tools; color isolation, color naming, color hue differentiation, magnification and printing and saving of modified views.

If you know anyone who may have difficulty with colors, this might be a useful tool for them. More information and a demonstration at