Sebastopol, CA—Acclaimed photographer and bestselling author Mikkel Aaland's bold passion for testing new digital photography software in creative ways is what he’s best known for. As many folks know, Aaland journeyed to Iceland a few years back where he and a tireless crew of pro shooters tested the beta version of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 1.0 during the long midsummer days suffused in the most dramatic light on the planet.
Announced today by Adobe, the new Photoshop Lightroom 2.0 beta is ready for its next adventure. Lightroom is the professional photographer's essential toolbox, providing one application for managing, adjusting, and presenting large volumes of digital photographs. Lightroom 2.0 beta now features enhancements such as dual-monitor support, localized dodge and burn correction, and will be the first Adobe application to support 64-bit for OS X 10.5 Intel Macs and Vista 64-bit operating systems.
Equally exciting, the release of Lightroom 2.0 beta has inspired another amazing journey. So where's this next adventure? Tasmania.
"Photographers from all the great nations of the world are quite literally going to the end of the world to road test the latest version of Adobe imaging products, specifically Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2.0 beta," said Aaland, who lives in San Francisco.
Located 150 miles southeast of Australia, the state of Tasmania--known also as the "Island of Inspiration"--boasts uniquely varied, unspoiled landscapes, and remarkable wildlife. In fact, it's the only natural home to the earth's largest, and some say the crankiest carnivorous marsupial, the Tasmanian devil.
And, starting today, star photographers from across North America, Germany, Great Britain, and Australia--including O'Reilly authors Mikkel Aaland's, Katrin Eismann, and Peter Krogh--will train their digital cameras on beautiful Tasmanian island vistas bathed in soft autumn light to road test Photoshop Lightroom 2.0 beta. Popular tech journalist Leo Laporte has also joined the photographers in Tasmania to report on their progress and experiences.
Anyone with Internet access can find out what's happening in Tasmania by going to digitalmedia.oreilly.com/adventure. That's where the photography team will be blogging daily about their experiences, posting their images, and discussing what worked and what didn't. Everyone is encouraged to participate by offering their comments as the Tasmanian journey unfolds. There, visitors can also find a link for entering a sweepstakes to win a free trip to Tasmania courtesy of Qantas and Tourism Tasmania.
From April 2 to 14, trip organizer Aaland and his crew of pro shooters aim to test Adobe's digital imaging workflow solution under a wide variety of conditions in unfamiliar territory. Plans call for shooting by day and using Adobe Lightroom 2.0 beta to import, select, develop, and showcase their large volume of digital images each night.
"Lightroom Adventure Tasmania is a celebration of learning through collaboration," said Aaland. "I've worked with a network of amazing photographers through the years, and The adventure is also a true collaboration between artists and Adobe. They're supporting our in-the-field testing of Lightroom, and will use our feedback will help make Lightroom an even better tool for photographers."
"With its open community-based approach, Lightroom 1.0 challenged the way photography software should be developed and Mikkel’s Lightroom Adventure: Iceland captured the spirit of collaboration between Adobe and the photographic community,” said Kevin Connor, senior director of product management for Digital Imaging Professional Products at Adobe.
“As we introduce Lightroom 2.0 beta, Mikkel is putting the software through its paces in another visually rich destination with a new group of photographers. We’re looking forward to having our latest workflow improvements put to the test, and especially to seeing how our new local correction tools can be used to enhance the images captured on this adventure."
Following the first Lightroom Adventure, Aaland shared the lessons learned in Iceland in his groundbreaking, richly illustrated, collectible title, Photoshop Lightroom Adventure (O'Reilly, $39.99). Upon returning from Tasmania, Aaland plans to chronicle his journey and provide a complete tutorial of Lightroom 2.0 in an updated edition of the book, "Photoshop Lightroom 2 Adventure," which is scheduled for Oct. 2008 publication. Augmented by photos and case studies from the road test, this new edition will let everyone see, enjoy, and learn from the fieldwork in Tasmania.