Australia Bound

It appears as if my dream of going to Australia might come to fruition. At least one version of one version of the dream might come to fruition. Years ago I came close to venturing down under but the trip was thwarted at the last minute. This time we are all systems go.
This isn’t a vacation. Far from it. In fact, by my estimation we, meaning myself and the other Blurb crew members, will do something like twenty or twenty-one events in about a fifteen-day time period. If this sounds crazy it actually is, so the description “crazy” is accurate. I know this because a few short months ago we embarked on a similar venture which took us to four cities in less than two weeks with five events in each city. At one point in the ordeal I did ten hours of presentations in one day. That IS a bit much, but like anyone who has been training for a while, you get used to it. And, I think being in front of people, showing them examples of what you can do with the tools of the Blurb platform, is the best thing I do for the company.
Many people know the Blurb name, many have used the system, but few have fully explored the potential of the platform and the range of possibilities. This is where I come in. There is nothing better for me than to hear a seasoned photographer say “Man, I would have never thought of that,” after I offer advice, direction or suggestions. We are all products of learned behavior, whether that means learned in the direction of our friends, family, beliefs, or in the direction of being photographers. I know I was, and I suffered under the system before I realized the system didn’t feel right and I needed to invent my own.
Over the past few weeks I’ve been creating a new presentation called “The Tools of Modern Storytelling,” which is a look at one project and the multiple lives that project lives via the multitude of modern formats at my fingertips. Book, magazine, short-film, PDF, Rich-Media, as well as the channels in which these formats take flight. The traditional channels of information exchange are changing, and in many cases, limping along(Which I think is just normal change). If you are professional, have training, create unique work and have the trust of those following your work, then why do you need those traditional gatekeepers of information? There are reasons why you need them, or would want to work with them, but you need to determine your plan first and we are no longer limited by the system.

At the end of this trip I’m hoping to drop everything, except my camera, and head out into the bush for as long as I can get away with. I can’t go to Australia and NOT photograph something, someone, anything, anywhere. The images here are a few from my new presentation, just random things that all fit together in my twisted little mind. I know the image of my bag and contents will cause heart palpitations amongst some people, but just know within arms reach of my laptop are several different cameras, all of which I use for specific reasons, but this post is about Australia, storytelling and the potential of the unknown not what is in my bag.
What is so interesting for me on a trip like this is the fact I get to branch outside of photography and work with designers, bloggers, students and also get to connect with the festival world. I think there are no less than THREE major festivals going on in Australia at this time, Head On, Reportage and Analogue/Digital. I’ve already begun getting emails from photographers from all over the world saying, “Hey, I’m going to be there too.”
I have much, much, much to do before embarking on this little voyage. Several of the presentations I need to do are more about my photography than my job, which is new for me. I don’t normally lecture, talk, speak about my photography, so I need to invent new and interesting presentations that are outside of what people are expecting. I’m always amazed at how much work these are and how much time they actually take to produce.
I have a sinking suspicion I will be in Australia JUST long enough to wet my appetite for more, more, more. Hey, I’ll take what I can get. My goal, at some point in the distance future, is to ride my bike across Australia. This is, of course, after I have ridden it across the United States and from Alaska to Patagonia. The odds of this actually happening are SLIM but a guy can dream.

If you know people in Australia who would be interested in these events please alert them via the links below. The great thing about our plan is that regardless of your skill level there is something, potentially multiple things, that are suited to your needs.

Photo Safari –
Blurb-Meet-up –
Tools of Modern Storytelling –
Pro Photo Books workshop –

Photo Safari –
Blurb-Meet-up –
Tools of Modern Storytelling –
Pro Photo Books workshop –

Photo Safari –
Blurb-Meet-up –
Tools of Modern Storytelling –
Pro Photo Books workshop –

And in case you need a little description….here you go.

Photo Safari: Urban and mobile photography enthusiasts and bloggers will be led by professional photographers on a free, three-hour photographic exploration of each city’s visual beauty.

Tools of Modern Storytelling: Professional designers and creatives are invited to breakfast to learn new ways in which creative minds and businesses are leveraging tools and technology to tell stories in both print and digital formats.

Pro Photo Books Workshop: Suitable for aspiring and professional photographers, Blurb’s most popular three-hour workshop provides a complete picture of the book-making process within the context of a quickly changing photography and publishing industry.

Blurb Meet-up: All interested book-makers and photography book-lovers are invited to check out an array of beautiful Blurb books and share a drink with the Blurb team and other like-minded DIY creatives.


19 responses to “Australia Bound”

  1. Harold says:

    Sounds like an awesome trip if a bit on the busy side. The booksmart software is always calling and my procrastination tunnel is shedding a little light now. I am still holding out for some DVDs/downloadable seminars, I’m sure there there would be lots of demand for those. Like how you used the well driller in the spread above. Always enjoy the posts from the ranch. Have a safe trip.

  2. LionelB says:

    I like the way horses stare with their ears. If they had a camera it would capture images in sound.

  3. Stuart Rose says:

    Hi Daniel,

    Firstly let me say that it’s great to hear you are coming out here, even if it’s for work.

    Secondly, for-warned is for-armed…
    …and these are just the comments on the Blurb forum. If you do a bit of a search there is more out there on other forums that don’t close these topics.

    Personally I am one of these Aussies that attempts to vote with my wallet when it comes to companies that increase their prices for our market (for no REAL reason) but knowing that Blurb has chosen to use this print house (which I have seen books from when ordered through the run of the mill department stores) was a final nail; really annoying too as I did this research after I spent a couple of weeks assembling the book in their software.

    Enjoy the trip and if you get just north of Sydney at all drop me a line as I would love to buy you a coffee.


    PS. Travelling with film is pretty easy generally as you just ask the security at the airport (with a smile) to do a hand check and point out that an explosives swab test is fine.

    • Smogranch says:

      Hey Stuart,

      Man, that sucks. Sorry to hear about the changes in production. I’ll look into it on my end and see what I can find out. We are hitting three cities Mel, Brisbane and Sydney. I’m hoping to get some time off at the end to make some pictures somewhere, but that is still up in the air. I’ve got lead bags but typically ask for an inspection. Not bringing that much because I really won’t have much time to shoot. Sob, sob.

  4. Jason Timmis says:

    Australia and Peru within 3 months…rack’en up the air miles 🙂

    For anyone who hasn’t been to any of these Blurb events I highly recommend it no matter what your level. Dan is a great speaker and, just like his blog, will help energize your creativity.

    • Smogranch says:


      Australia yes, Peru no. Workshop was on then off. Needed to cancel it this year. Bummed for those who signed up but such is life. I’m actually done with teaching for the foreseeable future, outside of a potential NGO thing but that is very different and not about photography per se. I just don’t have time to develop new classes like I used to. When I teach I prepare a lot of material and just don’t have the time anymore.

  5. Simone says:

    Always interesting and nice to follow you !
    Any chance you coming to Italy as well ?

    • Smogranch says:


      I used to go to Italy almost every year, but I haven’t been in about five years. I will be back…just not sure when…..

  6. Be afraid be very afraid. Not sure if that warning is for you or Australia.

  7. cam says:

    Cool to see you making the trek, hope to meet up with you at an event somewhere!

  8. Reiner says:

    Hi Dan,

    would the Blurb crowd ever consider to visit Europe, more, would they consider Belgium or the Netherlands………(?)

    I’m sure you would please the crowd over here.

    • Smogranch says:

      We have a Blurb team in Europe but mostly in the UK and France. We also have someone in Berlin…and we do events all over the place……keep your ear to the ground as they say in these parts.

  9. Lefse says:

    What funny light meter is that?
    After my Gossen-rewind-knob-meter broke, I’ve been looking for a tiny new one.

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