Thursday, November 13, 2008

Joshua Tree

Been so so busy over the past few weeks I've barely had time to post. I guess my thoughts have been racing too fast for my fingers to type.

A couple of weeks ago I was on a shoot in Southern California, in the Joshua Tree National Park. It's one of my favourite places to shoot and, somehow, I'm never disappointed with the sunsets there. This time around there were no clouds and I was expecting a less than stellar sunset. But, in fact, it was clear and rather beautiful.


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Yes, he did.

I've lived and voted in general elections in Britain. I've watched the Presidential election in France and, now, I've seen a US Presidential election. It's quite something. Watching history happen in front of you.

I'm not American but I've always loved this country. I spoke with my mother a couple of weeks ago and she, as a young girl in the middle of England, grew up looking to the US as being a truly special place and I think it is. It's an incredible country. I've always thought so. Things happen here.

But there has been an awful amount wrong with the country for a long time. The last eight years has seen the country's popularity slip to unknown depths across the world. The economy has plummeted, breathlessly, to almost unbelievable depths. It has been embroiled in a war which had little or no mandate and which, by next April, will have lasted as long as the Second World War (and longer than America's involvement in that war).

Now the country has a leader of intelligence, seemingly strong, passionate, balanced, energetic and somewhat charismatic. He has mobilised a disinterested youth to reenergize their interest and voice in politics and the direction of their country and, by default, their future.

Barack Obama's speech, tonight, was powerful, moving, strong and, above all else, inclusive. He appealed to those whose votes he didn't win. He spoke to his colleagues across the political divide. He also told the story of an American woman 'of colour' that voted today at the age of 106. He related how much she has seen in her lifetime. It carried with it the weight of history that must stare back from the mirror for every American tomorrow morning. Even as a non-American I shed a tear for the thought that this may just be the start of something truly great. So much hope, so much anticipation and so much to do.

One of my favourite journalists is the BBC's John Simpson. As ever, he was utterly on point tonight.

Rise up, America, make this, at least, a start to craft a better future.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Doing the good thing

I arrived at LAX early morning Wednesday for a shoot up in Joshua Tree. I took the shuttle bus across to the Hertz. Signed in. Got my stuff. Used the restroom. Grabbed some water. Found the car. Headed out to Pomona to meet someone. I pulled into the parking lot in Pomona and headed into a Starbucks for coffee. I went to the restroom there too to wash my hands. That's when I noticed something missing. My Navajo thumbring.

It wasn't an expensive ring but it meant a lot to me. I got it out in the deserts of northern Arizona on our summer road trip last year. I take it off when I wash my hands. I guess having been up since 4am I wasn't too crisp - I'd forgotten to put it back on.

I called the LAX Hertz office, pressed '5' for lost and found and got an answering service. I held little hope as I explained my predicament to the machine. Julie arrived with the package I was taking up to the shoot. I got back in the car and headed out.

Within 5 mins the phone rang. It was Pam at Hertz. She'd sent a guy into the restroom and they'd found my ring. The next morning I went into Hertz to drop the car off at 5am and a guy called Berry helped me out. He'd actually been the guy who'd found it.

To people like Pam and Berry I tip my hat. You do your company proud. Many thanks for your prompt action.