Michael Mariant was a travel & documentary visual journalist based in California, while his travels have taken him around the world — literally — several times!
Following several years as a newspaper photojournalist and desk editor, Michael moved away from local and regional coverage and up to wire service photography. Michael was a contract photojournalist for The Associated Press, responsible for coverage of the Central Coast of California along with sports and entertainment assignments in Los Angeles, notably anchoring the agency’s coverage of the Michael Jackson trial from 2003 to 2005.
In addition to his domestic photojournalism, Michael spent nearly a third of each year abroad. He was the the technical and multimedia coordinator for the Semester at Sea study abroad program, shooting travel imagery and video footage for the program, providing lectures and instructions to the college students while shaping the direction of the program’s marketing efforts in video, still photography and podcasts through social media.
Michael has circumnavigated the globe twice while working with Semester at Sea and his travels have brought him to 56 countries. His travel photography portfolio features images from many of his international experiences.
Michael has lectured around the world with the Semester at Sea program and for his annual “Ultimate Travel Workshop” on the theme of Cultural Sensitivity, Visual Thinking and Travel Photography.
Michael’s main focus was studying the cultural communication issues facing photographers when traveling abroad, focusing on the analytical, stereotypical and philosophical battles that emerge when a photographer encounters a ‘foreign’ culture. This led to practical applications of visual thinking and cultural sensitivity approaches in photography, applied through in-the-field examples, training and discussions to the photographic communities.
As founder, director and lead instructor of High Sierra Workshops, Michael brought more than 30 years of professional photography experience to the workshops, offering location-based workshops in landscape, travel and cultural photography, and video/cinematography.
Michael’s domestic workshop locations included: Yosemite National Park, Death Valley National Park, the Eastern Sierra & Owens Valley, the Big Sur region, and the Giant Redwoods of Northern California. Travel workshop locations included: Northern Europe & Russia, Iceland, Mediterranean locales, Central America, and additional Caribbean island nations. Michael’s advanced instructional workshops included: B&W Zone System (in Yosemite), Visual Thinking (in Yosemite), Timelapse Photography (in San Francisco) and Video/Cinematography (in Santa Barbara).
High Sierra Workshops was a dedicated and thoughtful combination of educational photographic instruction in spectacular, iconic locations. While most workshops simply take you around to predetermined sights telling you where to point the camera and what the camera settings are for that shot, High Sierra Workshops had an integrated learning component for each and every location, from technical instruction to visual composition skills to theoretical applications. The lessons taught and utilized at each location were built upon the previous location’s lessons while preparing each student for the next location, resulting in a comprehensive, guided learning experience.