Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Yann Arthus-Bertrand

The FCCT (Foreign Correspondence Club Thailand) is a brilliant place to go if your here in Bangkok. You don't need to be a member and it's not just for journalists - anyone can go along (They even let me in, so, you know.....they are not too fussy!!). Every month they hold a host of different events - from politicians giving a talk with a question and answer session at the end to book launches to showcasing the best of foreign films (These are usually sponsored by the country's Embassy so when we went to see an Argentinian film recently we got served proper Argentinian beef and wine which was just divine!!). Sorry....I've digressed....Yann Arthus-Bertrand was speaking there last week (just in case you don't know - he's the guy that takes all those absolutely stunning aerial photographs of the earth and then produces books of them for people to buy) and we decided to go along.

What an amazing and interesting man!! He started his career doing animal photography in Africa and, in order to capture the animals from above, he would photograph them from a hot air balloon. It was whilst doing this that he discovered the beauty of the world as seen from above and he began experimenting with aerial photography. He was fascinating to listen to and I had to laugh when he told us that he regularly drops his assistant off in odd places so that he can show the scale of what is being photographed - he then showed us a photo of a massive iceberg with a wee figure in the middle of it.....poor bugger.....wouldn't want his job....can you imagine how insecure you would be if you'd had a fight with him?? Anyway, I was seriously impressed - not only is he interested in photography but he's also set up an organisation called GoodPlanet.org which is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to the promotion of sustainable development. He told us that over the years he has actually witnessed first hand the destruction we are causing and that has motivated him to try and do something about it. He announced that he is teaming up with Luc Besson (Amazing film director who made Leon) and they are going to make a film called 'Home', based on his photographs over the years, which shows the damage - we were the first people ever to see the trailer. It looks absolutely stunning!! He went on to tell us that they are not going to be charging people to see the movie as they hope that it will help to change mindsets....pretty amazing guy!!

You can download his photo's for free here

14 comments:

SueG said...

These are fantastic! I've never heard of him but he sounds like he's doing some amazing things. I'll definitely keep my eyes open for his work now. Also, I must say, I loved the FCC in Phnom Penh. I love the whole idea of it so much that it has a prominent (though thinly disguised) place in the novel I'm writing now,

JJ said...

Oooh Carol, I'm so pissed I didn't make it. Still, at least I get to see the photos.
JJx

Amy said...

What an interesting evening. I had always thought the FCC was for journalists only and now I regret not attending any of their events. Such an interesting photographer, his work is stunning!

Carol and Chris said...

Sue - I absolutely love his photos they are just so beautiful!! He has exhibitions all over the world and I can seriously recommend going along to one!!

The FCCT is amazing....honestly, it's incredible the people that they get to speak!! We've been to quite a few things there now including a very interesting documentary on the Muslim faith vs Christianity. You have me intrigued....

JJ - I don't want to rub it in but I think you would have loved it!! He was a very charismatic speaker and he made me giggle cause he was also very French (did the whole huffing and puffing arm waving thing).

Amy - I thought the same till someone (can't remember who it was) told me that anyone could go along. You have to pay a bit more than members but not much. It was a great night and his photo's really are just stunning!!

C x

Debs said...

What incredible photos. You live in such an interesting place.

Hullaballoo said...

Wow, that looks fantastic. I love his work.

Anonymous said...

I have one of his 'Earth from the Air' books, and the photos in it are stunning. I turn to a new page every morning, as there is a different picture for every day of the year. This new venture sounds just wonderful! Aren't you fortunate to hear all about it first hand!

Love Mum xx

Debra in France said...

Its sounds like a brilliant evening. I have seen the photos before, but never knew who took them. He sounds extremely interesting, lets hope he is able to make an impact on the whole green issue.

DJ Kirkby said...

Words escape me to describe how incredibly beautiful I think his photgraphs are...

Lane said...

The others have already said it. Absolutely stunning photos!

Mel said...

Amazing pics and great info! I gather that photo book in the guest room is one of his?? :-D

Carol and Chris said...

Debs - I got really excited when I realised that if I blogged about it then I would be able to put some of his pics on here....how sad is that!!

Hullaballoo - His exhibition is here too and it's just stunning

Mum - I think I've got the same one as you have...although I want to get his new one as there are loads of new photo's in it.

Debra in France - I didn't know who took them either till I got an e-mail from the FCCT telling me that he was going to be talking.

DJ - I know....they do rather take the breath away don't they

Lane - They really are gorgeous!!

Mel - Yep, that's one of his :-)

C x

Anonymous said...

He sounds amazing. Did he say when the film would be ready as I think it will be stunning and probably very moving.

Tomato

Carol and Chris said...

Tomato - Hey Sweetie!! He said that he thought it would be ready in about a years time. The clip we saw of it was very moving and very very beautiful!!

C x