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