Unforgettable Tasmania

skitched-20080414-150838.jpgNow that I’m back from the Lightroom Adventure: Tasmania, I’ve been reflecting on what made it such a success.
It’s not often as adults that we get to have that “outward bound” experience offered to teenagers. That’s too bad because the chance to work closely with 25 pros on a group project in a wild and unfamiliar context is something rare and special. I think all adults should do it every few years both for personal and professional growth.

All of us, even the full-time photographers, were thrilled to have the time to focus entirely on taking pictures, especially because we had such a entrancing subject, the Australian state of Tasmania. Most of us didn’t know each other, and we all made lasting friends who will also be useful professional contacts. Mikkel Aaland deserves credit for creating such a great group and sending us on such a magical journey.

Credit also goes to one of the major sponsors: Tourism Tasmania. Many places have departments devoted to promoting tourism, but TT has created a winning formula. Our guides, Josh, Shaun, Matt, and Ben were jovial, patient, and well-informed. Their logistic skills made it possible for the photographers to focus entirely on making art. Without them it would have been a much less successful trip.

Our other sponsor, Adobe, sent a team of professionals who were very interested in how we used Lightroom and open to suggestions for improving it. It’s clear that this kind of customer involvement makes Lightroom a better product. Winston Hendrickson, Melissa Gaul, Bill Stotzner, and Angela Drury were the perfect example of what makes Adobe so successful – and they were amazing photographers, too.

Credit also goes to O’Reilly, publisher of the Lightroom Adventure books. These books cost more time, effort, and money than the run-of-the-mill computer book, but the result is better than anything else you’ll see in the computer book section.

Lightroom 2.0 should be out in a few months – it’s spectacular. Check out the public beta, and look particularly at the new localized corrections, the ability apply Lightroom’s adjustments on discreet regions of your photo. Lightroom can take an ordinary picture and make it extraordinary.

Mikkel hopes to publish the new book, “Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Adventure 2,” when the program itself ships – I don’t know how he’s going to pare down the hundreds of spectacular pictures from the trip to the few dozen that appear in the book, but it will be a must see. We also talked about selling a companion book that includes more of the pictures to benefit the Tasmanian Devil – I’ll let you know where you can get that. It will be worth it, I promise. Just ask the generous Tasmanians who paid a total of $7,000 for prints of our pictures at last night’s closing reception. All of that money will go to the Save The Tasmanian Devil fund, too.

Finally, if you’ve been inspired by our pictures from Tasmania, maybe you’d like to take a trip there yourself. Tourism Tasmania is sponsoring a contest for a trip for two to Tazzie. Sign up at xyzadventures.com. You’ll never forget your visit to one of the world’s last unspoiled places. I know I never will.

25 Replies to “Unforgettable Tasmania”

  1. Hi LeoI’m so glad you enjoyed your first trip down-under. It was a shame that you couldn’t have done it while you were still producing The Lab as I’m sure there would have been an opportunity to do some other capital city appearances.
    Thanks for doing the Tweets, SmugMug and Blogs – though it was clear by their scarcity that you were more than just a little bit distracted.
    Thanks for promoting the Devil’s crisis, it would be a tragedy if Tasmania witnessed another species extinction.
    Try not to wait too long before returning to the mainland.
    Cheers Mate.

  2. Leo,Love your photos and blog. Sounds like you have been on two trips of a lifetime in the past several months after seeing some of the photos from Egypt in December.
    Tell us about how you produced those fabulous photos. Was it the location, the great camera equipment, Adobe Lightroom or hanging out with great photographers? I don’t believe it was luck. Lighting and locations are the largest components to great pictures but I see you have a great eye for capturing the best in a situation to find a great picture in the ordinary. Don’t try to tell us you aren’t a good photographer. I have seen evidence otherwise on your flickr and smugmug albums. Keep up the great work as I know that this trip should have inspired you to keep snapping pictures.

  3. Welcome back Leo. I’ve been following your blog and tweets. It would be great if you could spend some time on one or more of your podcasts relating your trip and what you learned from the other pros. Actually, the trip is worth a cast of its own.

  4. Thanks for coming to Tassie Leo! We’re ecstatic with the success of the Lightroom Adventure- the quality of the images and the good time had by all! Not to mention the nearly $7,000. raise for the Save the Tasmanian devil program (www.tassiedevil.com.au).We certainly would love to see you in Tasmania again – so please keep in touch!

  5. Dear Leo,
    I am happy to hear that you are back home after an amazing time in Tassie and that we will soon have some interesting stuff again to listen to on our iPods.
    I’m checking out your pics on Flickr, some pictures ar reeeeally good I must say, and installing Lightroom2Beta at the same time. I wonder if it will replace my Photoshop CS2 or just complement it? I’ll find out soon.
    David From Barcelona-Sydney

  6. I’ve enjoyed keeping track of your Taz adventure and love the pictures. I think trips like this would be great for beginning students of photography. Fun and learning at the same time.

  7. Leo,
    With these new contacts in the world of photography you really need to look at adding a new show to the TWiT network – especially now you’ll soon be able to do videocasts.
    I think a show that covers the “How To” side of things as well as “With What” (hardware/software) side of things would be great.
    I know you have a section on you Radio show with a photographer but now with the people you’ve just spent time with you have a group of contacts who cover different types of photography and it would be fascinating you get their different perspectives on their specialism.
    With the video capability of your new studio you can show practical handling of equipment, as well as displaying images and how viewpoints and cropping and other things, many of them very simple if you know to do them, can improve a good shot into a great one.
    Anyway, glad you enjoyed your trip to Tasmania and I look forward to hearing more about it on your shows.

  8. Hey Leo
    Your trip sounds so amazing. I have really enjoyed all of your blog posts and tweets, but still can’t get enough. I wonder if you might make a guest appearance on TWIP this week to discuss your adventure with Alex and Scott. I think it would be a great synergy with all of your programming.

  9. Thanks for visiting and the wonderful photos. It was a pleasure to meet you. Please send all your friends.

  10. Terry Love mate….
    This week in Photography has been running for several weeks now.
    Great show and I’m sure Leo’s trip will result in some additional guest appearances.

  11. Good show Leo, Glad you enjoyed Tasmania. Great to have you back home and safe. Can’t wait to see your new studio and hear the radio show from there. All the best to you, the King Of Tech. :).

  12. Love all your coverage of your trip to Tassie… I hope next time you can come and see a bit more of the country and maybe do a few live netcast in Aus…well Im glad you enjoyed yourself……. PEACE Jono..

  13. Neil – thanks for pointing me at TWIP – but unless I’ve missed a link it’s not a pod/video-cast is it? It’s the interactive by-play of the different people on Leo’s shows that are half the fun.
    Also, as a medium, podcasts are great way of passing the daily commutes (at least while on the train/tube/tram type commutes I had).
    I’ll poke about on TWIP some more but I would still like to hear Leo and some of the other photographers talk and tell stories of their Tasmania trip, as well as them explaining in person some of the tips and tricks of their speciality and their style.
    It’s always much more interesting hearing people talk than reading an edited text.

  14. Hey leo, awesome photo’s you shared with us from your trip – glad you could visit our country!
    If you ever miss the aussie accent, (shameless plug to follow) dive on over to flop ya mac out .com – a mac podcast a friend and i do that’s a little more of the theatrical variety – each week we start off the show with a skit relevant to the previous weeks Apple news. I reckon it’s something you’d appreciate! 🙂
    Looking forward to TWiT live!
    All the best.

  15. Hey Leo,
    Great coverage of your trip, it’s always a nice reminder of the things we take for granted down here. Just listened to the recent MacBreak Weekly and I wanted to thank you for revealing to the world the plight of us Aussies who have to deal with Telstra.
    Oh for some real competition…
    Finally, wombats get waaay bigger than that. If you are unfortunate enough to hit one with your car it’s going to be 50/50 as to who gets off second best – the wombat or the car. Stocky little buggers they are.

  16. You have a few really excellent pics of the other photogs on the tour, if he asked me I would push for one of those to be included in Mikkel’s book. You were essentially covering the “story behind the story.” Your pics like http://leolaporte.smugmug.com/photos/278291010_Ny4ua-L.jpg or http://leolaporte.smugmug.com/photos/274831219_8v8VU-L-1.jpg are perfect for one of those “about this book” pages that you see in these types of books 🙂
    Also – I wish I could go on one of those “adventures.”

  17. So as another American who has found Footy to be just am amazing game to watch… your challenge is finding it on TV in the US. a few sources are:

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