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In the late 1990’s to 2004, Mark conducted “’Discover Nature’ Ecological Field Trips” with naturalist photographer, Larry West. Participants often brought along cameras and sought advice on how to record better photos during the outings. The natural history field trips eventually evolved into Great Lakes eco-photo tours and excursions.
As Digital photography came of age, Mark invited Bob to offer his digital imaging expertise during photo tours. Bob's familiarity with all camera brands and his ability to translate technical jargon into understandable layman's terms, made it easy for participants to take command of their own camera's controls and features. This allowed participants the opportunity to better capture images during their Great Lakes Photo Tours.
In 2006, Mark and Bob officially formed Great Lakes Photo Tours offering multi-day eco-photo tours to locations such as the Leelanau Peninsula, Michigan's East Coast, Drummond Island and the Upper Peninsula as well as eco-photo excursions throughout the Great Lakes region. They quickly tied their passion and values to the vision they developed for their business.Register for Your Eco-Photo Tour Today! Get Your Free eNews!
Don't miss seeing our Photo Galleries presenting the photographic work of our recent participants.
Mark was an avid fan of all the nature-themed television programs of the 1960’s. In high school, he was the school newspaper editor and photographer, as well as the yearbook photographer. At 17, he received a Minolta 35mm SLR and a prized Gitzo tripod for Christmas.
After high school, Mark expanded his knowledge and skill by taking classes at a local community college. At 19, he participated in a specialized week-long nature photography workshop conducted by two of the foremost experts of the day, Larry West, a renowned nature photographer, and John Shaw, a National Geographic photographer. Mark and Larry quickly became lifelong friends, traveling and photographing together all around the Midwest. They eventually teamed up to offer “Discover Nature Ecological Field Trips” in Michigan.
Throughout Mark’s career, he has continuously honed his skills as a naturalist photographer, striving to capture nature’s moments as they appear and reflect that appreciation in his visual art.
In his high school journalism class, Bob volunteered to take all photographs. He learned quickly that mastery of the camera liberated him from the drudgery of class time. His photographic aptitude provided many hours of excused absences to photograph George McGovern, Richard Nixon and Ed Muskie during the 1972 presidential election. He was on call as the school photographer for many high school events.
Bob began his career working as a salesman at local camera stores. Bob quickly mastered the technical aspects of photographic gear from many manufacturers. In just two years, at the age of 21, Bob was promoted from a salesman in local camera store to a Regional Manager. Fuji Film USA hired him as a Professional Products expert for five states in the Midwest. As digital imaging technology entered the marketplace, Bob found himself at the forefront of the new technology.
Bob kept in contact with Mark as his Fuji Film liaison and eventually joined the Great Lakes Photo Tours, filling the digital technology “decoder” role.