Jason Futrill moved to Tasmania to escape the craziness of the big city. He now lives in Hobart with his partner and runs three companies in the digital marketing field. His Instagram account @tassiegrammer is a creative outlet to document his experiences around Tasmania while visiting places for @tassiefoodguide.
Describe a typical day in your life
I don’t really have a typical day! There are so many different businesses that I consult with and assist with digital marketing strategies and I never really know where I will be on any given day. I run Webpire Marketing, a web development/SEO/social media consulting company mostly focused on tourism. I’m also the co-founder (with my partner) of Tasmanian Food Guide as well as many other websites in multiple niche markets.
I generally work quite long hours for clients and in my “downtime” spend a lot of time attending food-related events and restaurants as well as photographing as many things as possible along the way.
As much as possible on the weekends, my partner and I love to get out and about exploring all over Tasmania. This involves a lot of eating and visiting many of the spectacular beaches, forests, waterfalls and walking trails throughout the state.
When do you find time for photography?
I have been lucky enough to in some ways be able to combine photography with my professional life, although photographing things is only a very small part of what I do. I have also been able to utilize photography for my clients as Instagram is a great way to tell visual stories.
I have also met so many fantastic friends through Instagram and try to spend as much time as possible out on adventures with them to showcase the beautiful things we see in Tasmania. It’s not hard to make time for things like this when I know we are going to have so much fun every time we all get together with our cameras pointed at beautiful things.
Are you a professional photographer?
I am not a professionally trained photographer. I started to take an interest in SLR cameras on a holiday in Byron Bay when my partner and I travelled up to meet my parents there about eight years ago. My father had bought himself a Canon SLR camera and I was intrigued with how complicated it seemed compared to point and shoot style cameras.
I was hooked after buying my first SLR. I just had to know everything about how a camera worked. I am a bit of a tech geek and have always been into computing even before I could walk. I have never looked back since the moment I tried using an SLR camera.
I have been active as @tassiegrammer for only the past four months. The @tassiefoodguide account has been active now for just on 18 months. I spend far more time now on the @tassiegrammer account as I am most likely to be out shooting that style of photography on a daily basis.
Do you have a photography philosophy?
I love to have a lot of rich colour in my photos and I’m a big fan of long exposure photography. My favourite things to photograph are sunsets, waterfalls and the night sky, especially the Aurora Australis. I like to take and post shots that anyone could take with just a little bit of practice and basic knowledge of their camera.
99% of the time, the post processing will only ever go as far as what Adobe Lightroom is capable of. I like to use the camera more than relying on post-processing software like Adobe Photoshop. It’s much more fun to take the shots and going on adventures rather than editing the photos afterwards.
Where have you travelled to in Tasmania?
I have been to most places where there’s a road and a few places where there isn’t a road.
I love just jumping in the car with my partner and friends and just seeing where the road takes us. I’ve spent a lot of time travelling around the state for work and visiting restaurants or food events.
I am still yet to tackle the Overland Track and Mount Anne in the South West Wilderness region. I’m friends with some of the local photographers who have done these and I’m inspired by their adventures.
Most memorable trip?
My first trip to Cradle Mountain would have to be my most memorable. Seeing this beautiful region after looking at so many beautiful photographs before visiting left me speechless.
My partner and I stayed for a week and based ourselves at Cradle Mountain Lodge and explored as much of the area that was accessible via day trips as we could. The forest walks are truly stunning.
The walks around Dove Lake and throughout the area around Cradle Mountain itself are spectacular, especially under snow cover. Walking through over one meter of snow (and not really being prepared for it) on the frozen Twisted Lake and seeing lots of wildlife, like wombats, is something I will never forget.
We go back every year and try to time it with the first snowfall of the winter. Going out and exploring in the snow and then going back to the lodge and sitting in front of a warm fireplace with a nice local Tasmanian red wine in hand is something I look forward to doing every year.
Where would you take your Mum?
Everywhere. It wouldn’t matter what direction we headed in because I am absolutely certain that she would love everything that she saw down here. I would make sure that Freycinet National Park, Bay of Fires, Cradle Mountain, Boat Harbour, Stanley, Corinna, Strahan, Lake St Clair, Mt Field National Park and the top of Mt Wellington are all on the itinerary.
This is a hard one because there are so many amazing places to visit in Tasmania.
I can’t say I have any single favourite place so I will just give you a few that may help others on their journey around Tasmania – Cradle Mountain, Liffey Falls, Mt Field National Park, Bay of Fires, Corinna and the Pieman River, Bruny Island, Boat Harbour, Freycinet National Park, Cockle Creek.
There are too many beautiful places to choose from and any of these would make me just as happy as the others to visit.
Beach or mountains?
It depends on the weather! I love the snow-covered mountains we get here in Tasmania. But I also love the stunning beaches like Wineglass Bay, the entire Bay of Fires area and Ocean Beach in Strahan during summer.
Without a doubt it is Frogmore Creek. There is nothing I have experienced in Tasmania that even comes close to the standard of food, the incredible service and the beautiful setting on the vineyard.
I have been lucky enough to eat and many places all over the state and I know many other venues aspire to be as good as Frogmore Creek has been over the past two years.
Whenever anyone asks us where to go in Tasmania, I never hesitate to recommend Frogmore Creek as I know the service is impeccable and the food is incredible.
Binnalong Bay and the Bay of Fires on Tasmania’s East Coast. The water is crystal clear. If the beaches in this area were anywhere else they would be flooded with tourists. I’m surprised every time I go there just how secluded I feel, even though we are not really that far from the towns along Tasmania’s East Coast. My partner and I like to stay at the Bay of Fires Cottages, which has views of Binnalong Bay.
If you had to move to somewhere else in Tasmania where would you go?
Somewhere on the East Coast or perhaps Huonville, as it’s not too far from Hobart but there would need to be a good NBN connection because I cannot live without a high-speed data connection!
The East Coast is spectacular but I also love the region around the Huon River. Everything is so green and the land is fertile and there are plenty of photographic opportunities in both of these areas.
Most romantic place you’ve been to in Tasmania?
I would have to say Cradle Mountain. Every time I visit with my partner we have the most amazing time and sitting around in front of a warm fireplace after doing what we love the most which is exploring the outdoors together as much as possible makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
Best places to photograph in Tasmania?
This beautiful waterfall is actually a set of multiple cascades leading downstream to what most people know as Liffey Falls and is located about one-hour from Launceston. I like to shoot as long of an exposure as possible here and due to the bright light I have had the best results using a B+W ND10 filter, which reduces the light hitting the camera sensor by 10 stops. Take gumboots and a very stable tripod because if the Liffey River is flowing well you will want to be in the water to get the best angles.
There are so many places on Bruny Island to photograph. The Neck is well worth the stop. I have been lucky enough to see it by air in a small plane and it’s a spectacular view. The lookout is accessible via a set of stairs and if you are able to time your visit with sunset you will get the best results.
I love photographing sunsets and I regularly make the trip up the mountain to photograph this beautiful part of the day. I have always found the best results happen when there is slight cloud cover as that suits my personal style of photography. You will not get a better view of Hobart and the surrounding area than from up here.
Tessellated Pavement (see main photo)
Anyone that knows me will tell you that sunrises are not my thing. I like to stay in bed until it is well and truly light. But the Tessellated Pavement on the Tasman Peninsula is best viewed during sunrise as the colour and reflections really make this place special. Take a pair of gumboots with you as your feet will get wet if you want to get into the best positions for photography.
Anywhere you can see the Aurora Australis
There are so many spots you can go but many people have had great results down around South Arm and Goat’s Bluff. The lack of light pollution makes it reasonably easy to see when the Aurora Australia is putting on its spectacular show.
Do you have any advice for photographers visiting Tasmania?
Be prepared for anything. Tasmanian weather conditions can change so quickly. Pack light and make sure you have a waterproof pack for your camera equipment. Bring a nice lightweight but stable tripod as many places worth visiting can take a bit of hiking. And I would be prepared to plan many return trips as well because you will only see a very small fraction if this incredible state on a short trip.
Name three places or things on your bucket list in Tasmania
1-Overland Track – I am currently planning my first trip along the entire track hopefully for early next year.
2-Flinders Island – I can’t wait to finally set my feet on the island and explore as much as possible.
3-Maria Island – Even though I live not far from it, I have never actually taken the trip over to Maria Island. I have seen so many amazing photos from over there and it is definitely on my list of things to do.
Jason Futrill lives in Hobart. He is the co-founder of Tasmanian Food Guide and runs tourism consulting firm Webpire Marketing.