Before i Forget : Simon Jones's blog

January 2013

Photography and TravelWednesday, January 30th, 2013, (10:22 pm)

Throughout the month of February I’m going to be posting 28 previously unseen and unpublished pictures from my recent photography project, 366 Pictures. Each day I’ll bring you a picture that didn’t get published last year as a travelled around the world. If you’re not subscribed to this blog then now is a good time to subscribe (for free – see below) and if you don’t know what 366 picture was then read on..

Seoul reflection

Last year I took up the challenge of publishing a single picture every single day of the year. It was a leap year so there were 366 days to photograph. I thought it would be a relatively easy project that would enable me to capture the flavor of my travels while not consuming much time. As it turned out I was wrong about that, in reality it became a hugely time-consuming endeavor, but one that was also hugely rewarding.

As luck would have it, my year was actually a pretty interesting one, but I believe anyone can find interesting and beautiful things in their day that are worthy of a photograph. Life can be pretty monotonous and routine at times, and in truth most of us like that rhythm and predictability. The problem with such routine is that it is the thief of time. Without even realising it, days, months, and entire years can pass by almost unnoticed and uncharted.

We like routine because we find some comfort in the sense of safety it gives us. But if you had to find something beautiful, in your day, every day, could you do it? Sure you could, but it would probably involve you breaking out of some of your routines, and going beyond the familiar.

And there is the reward. In seeking out something beautiful, or interesting, each and every day of the year, I found myself engaging with my days in a way that I had never previously done – and I like to think of myself as a pretty engaged kind of guy!

With my camera never far from my grasp, I found myself walking through my days constantly searching for the picture of the day. Nothing was merely background anymore, I now looked at everything. I would walk different ways home, talk to more strangers, and stop to watch buskers I might have once hurried by while listening to my iPod. The task of finding a picture was soon transformed into the adventure of finding one, and I found many.

I’ll grant you that because of my travels I was rarely stuck to find a picture. In fact, as well as the 366 pictures I did publish, there are almost 400 other photographs I prepared for publication that in the end didn’t get chosen.

366 picturesOf course, there were days that might otherwise have passed without note if it hadn’t been for 366 pictures. Those days, when finding a picture was more of a challenge, were actually some of the most creative days in my year. Whereas ordinarily I would have let the day come and go, I was now compelled to do something with it, to go out and retrieve something noteworthy or interesting from the mundane or unremarkable. As a result of this not one day was lost.

Throughout the year I took many thousands of photographs (I deleted more than 16,000!). While I was regularly taking pictures, I also embraced the fact that not every moment can be captured. Sometimes there are moments you just have accept that you’ll only see again in your memories.

So with 2012 behind us I’ve decided to share a handful of the pictures that didn’t get published last year. This month you’ll see 28 previously unpublished pictures from 2012. I’ll tell you a little about them, maybe give you a little ‘behind the scenes insight,’ an untold story here and there, and a link to the picture that actually got published on the day in question.

If you would like to follow along then why not subscribe to the spam free email list so you get the pictures each day in your email. It’s free and easy to sign up, just put your email address in the box below and remember to click the link in the confirmation email you get.

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Simon Jones

GeneralTuesday, January 22nd, 2013, (3:37 pm)

Melbourne is one of the most bike friendly and enthusiastic cities in the world so, of course, I’ve gotten myself a bike. Built in Richmond, just around the corner from where I live, it’s a single speed bike from Jellybean bikes.

Jellybean bike

I feel so ‘Melbourne‘ when I take to the road on a fixie or single speed bike like this, with its blue tires (or should that be tyres?) and chrome frame. It’s summer, so it’s the perfect mode of city transport. I’ve long had my eye on a Jennybean bike. Designed by Kath Banger and Ben Stibbard I first saw colorful Jellybean bikes when I first came to live here back in 2010.

Ever since I first moved to Melbourne back in 2010, I’ve always looked at the various bikes you see across the city. From the cool colored fixies to the classic style ladies bikes with their wicker baskets. I’m not a fan of the racer bikes ridden by older ‘blokes’ who love their lycra, and mountain bikes are just silly in this very un-mountainous cityscape.

The other day I rode back home from the city along the Yarra River. It was a 10K (6.2 miles) ride, that significantly extended what would otherwise be a fairly short journey. I was probably one of the slowest bikes on the cycle path, just meandering my wiggly way home taking in the summer sun, the river scenes, and the pleasure of the ride.

A steady stream of Mamils (middle-aged men in lycra) swooped passed me, some with the ring of a bell, others with a yell of ‘Watch out!’ They all seemed in such a hurry that I wondered if a giant snarling beast called ‘middle-aged’ might pound past me in hot pursuit. I would have been dinner for sure if it had!

Jellybean bike

To have a ‘fixie’ here in Melbourne is something of a cliché, of course, but I don’t care. If I lived in Italy I’d like to have a Vespa, if I lived in Amsterdam I’d have a clunky old rattler of a bike, and if I lived in London I’d have an Oyster card. I don’t mind that it’s a cliché, I’m quite happy with that. Happy enough to buy lycra clothes? Oh you better hope not!

GeneralWednesday, January 16th, 2013, (6:56 pm)

It’s a warm afternoon here in Melbourne, a bright sunny day which has me squinting at the screen like there is something serious on it. But there’s nothing here, nothing yet anyway, my words are trickling from my mind through the tips of my fingers to the screen upon which my squinting eyes are fixed. It’s been a while since I’ve written anything meaningful here, but I’m back!

The path ahead

This blog has been somewhat ignored recently, and one might be forgiven for thinking that I had given up on trying to write about anything ‘before I forget.’ However, quite the opposite is true.

Throughout 2012, quite unexpectedly, I found myself on what can only be described as one of the biggest and most amazing adventures of my life. It was a journey around the world that spanned 12 months, 19 countries, thousands of miles, and 366 photographs. Each picture was posted along with an accompanying story on a special blog I created for the adventure. If you missed it then simply head over to to check it out.

My year ended more-or-less where it began, in New Zealand. After that, I returned to Melbourne, Australia. Since I put down my camera, I’ve been enjoying a rest from my life of travel.

In many respects Melbourne is home for me and it’s nice just to be able to relax in these familiar surroundings, to have friends around, and people who know me in local cafes and shops. To be honest, as much as I love to travel, I needed a break for a little while.

In March I’ll take to the road again, leaving Australia and heading to Malaysia to see the Formula One Grand Prix. After that I’ll head to Singapore to spend a little time with my friends there and then, who knows.

That expression, “who knows,” does rather sum up the coming year for me, much as it did last year. The prospect of a year of “who knows” might terrify some because it comes bundled with the unknown, and all those variables we can’t control. But in my experience, life gets pretty interesting when you throw in a little “who knows” here and there, and many of those variables and unknowns we’re afraid of, are actually the things that add the color to our days and give us the landmarks that make up the landscape of our lives.

So, once again I am embracing the “who knows” and looking forward to seeing where this year goes. So now, let’s get this blog re-started!

See all of 2012 at