Michael studied at Ravensbourne College of Art and Design (which included film-based photography). He later completed an MPhil at the Royal College of Art, an MA at Middlesex University, and HE/FE teacher training at Bournemouth University. He is a Life-Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a member of the Society for Nautical Research, the Royal United Services Institute, the Navy Records Society and the United States Naval Institute.

After a period in professional practice in Britain, The Netherlands and Germany, he entered design education at the Arts University Bournemouth, where he became Head of the School of Illustration. After Bournemouth he was appointed Director of Studies at the internationally renowned Cordwainers College. He has held other senior posts in visual arts and design education, including five years as a visiting lecturer at Mälardalen University, Sweden.

Michael's drawings, paintings and illustrations have been exhibited or published with;
RCA Secret, London; Royal Society of Marine Artists (RSMA), London; The Science Museum, London;
HMS Victory, Portsmouth; HMS Warrior 1860, Portsmouth; The Pastel Society, London;
Musée national de la Marine, Paris; Stockholm, Sweden; Marsala, Italy; Smithsonian Institute, USA;
Ships Monthly magazine.

Michael's first digital camera was a 4 megapixel point-and-shoot Olympus. This was in 2004. Since then he has acquired a comprehensive kit of professional camera equipment, including, in 2020, a lightweight mirrorless camera which he uses primarily when travelling.

His photographs have been published in or with;
Marine Traffic (website); World Naval Review 2019, 2020 & 2021; Model Shipwright; Water Under The Keel (Capt David Beveridge); Amateur Photographer; Practical Photography; Fishing News; Air Forces Monthly; RAF News; Filght International; Aircraft Illustrated; Aviation in Action 2010 calendar; Knock News; BBC News (website); BBC Weather (website) and in The Daily Mail, Dunoon Observer, Press & Journal and The Northern Scot newspapers, etc.

He has also been twice Featured Photographer with Flight Global and was a runner-up in Practical Photography's Action category of the Photographer of the Year competition.

Michael is the author of eight books, five of which are based on his digital photography (see the section 'book news' for further details). He was the Assistant Editor of the international quarterly journal Model Shipwright and the annual Shipwright. He has also written extensively for The Mariner's Mirror, the international journal of the Society for Nautical Research.

He is a former civilian sea-going member of the Royal Naval Auxiliary Service (RNXS). He served on Fleet Tenders, former Ham-class inshore minesweepers and Archer-class P2000 patrol boats. (The RNXS was disbanded following the end of the Cold War.)

Michael now lives in Scotland, with his wife Kristan.