Before i Forget : Simon Jones's blog


Photography and TravelThursday, December 31st, 2015, (9:20 am)

Back in 2012 I embarked on what I thought was a minor photography project of publishing one picture taken that day. 366 Pictures turned out to be anything but a minor project, and perhaps against my better judgement, I’ve decided to do it again next year, which of course starts tomorrow!

366 Pictures 2016

This is a very last minute decision, and hopefully one that I won’t regret! At times doing 366 pictures was exhausting. My travel itinerary that year was grueling. I travelled to 20 countries around the world, with the hardest stretch being 10 countries in 100 days, spending ten days in each country.

Along the way I had a few disasters, the worst of which was losing my passport in Japan, or so I thought. I actually found it in a hidden pocket in my luggage at the end of the project as I packed my case in New Zealand to return to Australia. (Seriously, I really did look hard for it! Losing it changed the entire itinerary!) But all of those minor catastrophes were eclipsed by the experience of really being engaged with every single day of that year.

So, I’ve decided to do it again! Just as in 2012, I have no real idea of what the itinerary is. It’s going to follow a rough plan, but where I’ll go, and what I’ll do, that’s unknown.

I’m going to hurriedly try and review the current site over the next few days, and I’ll probably archive it to make way for the new material. Like I say, this is all very last minute so give me a few days to get up to speed on this.

I really hope you’ll come along for the ride. I’ll do my best to try and have a little more social media interaction on the site too. Head over to and start following me there.

I will also be launching the first season of 5 Minutes of Somewhere in 2016 too. Probably February, but we’ll have to see how that goes.

I hope 2016 will be another amazing year, and I hope it will also be amazing for you too.

Happy New Year everyone!

Photography and TravelThursday, February 28th, 2013, (4:31 pm)

I took this picture way back at the start of 2012 while touring through the South Island of New Zealand. Open roads snaked a drivers dream through the rolling green hills and sun-soaked countryside. I wanted nothing more than to dispose of my rented camper-van and exchange it for an open top sports car.

The road ahead

I didn’t publish the picture back then because I chose to publish a picture of a sleepy seal instead. However, I liked this shot because it kind of represented not just the road ahead, but my entire year ahead. I had no plans beyond the seeing the Malaysian Grand Prix that March. Beyond that, I knew that the road ahead would be a winding one, but that was about all.

That was a pretty exciting and somewhat scary prospect. Most of us can look ‘down the road’ and see, or at least guess, what’s ahead. Our daily routines and commitments dictate much of what the future holds, so when you take those elements away the future begins to look a little less predictable.

It’s very much like driving on a road with nothing but those vague signs to tell you what to expect. The unpredictable nature of that ‘road’ can be exhausting and scary, but there’s no doubt that it’s exhilarating and exciting too.

So here I am, coming to the end of another Australian summer, and once again looking down a ‘road’ that quickly bends out of sight. I have a ticket to the Malaysian Grand Prix, then I’m going to spend time with friends in Singapore. I’ll spend a week in Vietnam before going to Shanghai in April for the third Formula One Grand Prix of the year, and that’s where the ‘road’ bends out of sight.

So this is the final post in the series of previously unseen photographs from 366 Pictures. I’ve enjoyed looking back on the year and sharing this ‘bonus material’ with you, but now I’m looking forward to the rest of 2013 and all the curves and swerves ahead.

Stay tuned!

Click here to subscribe to this blog

Photography and TravelWednesday, February 27th, 2013, (10:38 pm)

After visiting 19 countries across the world, the South Pacific island of Fiji was the final country I went to before returning to New Zealand, where the year, and 366 pictures began 12 months earlier.


I arrived in Fiji just hours after cyclone Evan ravaged the country, wiping out homes and causing widespread damage across the island. The 300 mile (480 kilometre) wide cyclone had claimed the lives of fishermen in Samoa and was the worst storm to hit Fiji in more than 20 years.

Fortunately, thanks to early warnings, there was no loss of life in Fiji, and while damage was widespread, the island actually withstood natures fury quite well given the severe pounding it took.

After such a storm the last thing I expected to see was white sandy beaches reaching into clear blue tropical warm waters, but when I went for a drive along the Coral Coast that’s exactly what I got.

I love beaches, and tropical ones like this are always a treat. I hadn’t really expected to find myself on a South Pacific island in late 2012 so it was a thrill to look out at a scene like this and the one which I featured on 366 pictures for that December day.

Photography and TravelTuesday, February 26th, 2013, (10:22 pm)

Back in June I visited the Angkor region of Cambodia, famous for its incredible temples that date back to the 12th century. There really was no question in my mind that the picture of the day would be of one of the great temples that have been crumbling over time.

Children selling drinks

My friend Will and I had hired a local moto-taxi rider to be our chauffeur for the day, and he dutifully took us around the various sites (though in the end we did lose him!).

At one point we returned to the moto-taxi and found ourselves surrounded by these children desperately trying to sell us cold drinks. They ran up to us and immediately started talking all at once to us. It was a pretty hot day and a cold beer seemed like a good idea, so I bought two cold beers for my friend Will and one for our driver too. The older girl was very upset that we didn’t buy anything from her and she had the disappointed look down to a heart wrenching performance, so yes, we got a drink from her too!

The picture that I published that day showed the awesome Bayon temple, but really this was one of those days where just showing a single picture felt like a terrible limitation.

Photography and TravelMonday, February 25th, 2013, (3:17 pm)

Maybe it’s because I grew up in the 80’s, but whenever I look at this picture I see the video for “Like a Prayer” by Madonna. Of course, I didn’t take this photograph on the set of a 1980’s pop song, but rather in a grave yard in Macau’s old town.

Macau prayer

Having featured so many Buddha’s on 366 pictures I felt their was an opening for another religious icon on the site. Back in the Philippines Christ himself narrowly missed out on become picture of the day no less than a trinity of times. In Bali some kind of Hindu God was beaten to publication by a rice paddy, and in Singapore I tried to take a picture of an interesting Mosque but I just couldn’t get a good angle.

Of course, in the end the praying angel didn’t get published. The picture I chose that day was taken from another angle of the moral compass at a somewhat risqué show called Taboo. Surrounded by actors in various stages of undress, I snapped a photograph of singer Jenlee Shallow performing under the theatre lights, and while I liked the praying angel, I simply liked the photograph of Jenlee better.

Photography and TravelSunday, February 24th, 2013, (11:36 pm)

When I looked through my pictures at the end of this particular day last year, two things struck me about this picture.

Singapore Grand Prix party girl

In September of 2012 I was once again in Singapore for the Formula One Grand Prix. The city transforms for the event which takes place at night under lights on the streets of the city state.

In order to stop the crowds rushing too the gate too fast the organisers laid on off-track entertainment after the Formula One track action on both days. There were dancing girls, drummers, and other entertainers wandering around slowing the mad rush for the gates. They would play their music, dance, or whatever, and people would stand and watch them. Their presence added a real Mardi-Gras atmosphere to the nights.

I wanted to use this picture for two reasons. The photograph has great movement and, to be frank, that girl has great boobs! (Ah come on. If I hadn’t written that you would have thought that was my reason anyway!)

While I do like this picture, I think the one I ended up publishing that day was better. It featured a drumming group who banged water soaked drums loudly much to everyones enjoyment.

Next Page »