After a week of fun, food and relaxation in NYC we headed for Niagara Falls. We decided to drive through Canada for a day or two and re join the USA at Detroit. I have been fascinated by the falls since childhood. This was sure to be a pilgrimage.
Alec Soth's wonderful book 'Niagara' explains Niagara's story so beautifully through the visual medium of photography, that I would not even attempt to try to put into words what he did within his book, all I will say is if you haven't seen it, get it!
 The "What's on your bucket list?" question comes up all the time. I would have to say that Niagara Falls was firmly on my list. The Maid Of The Mist boat ride really moved me, to be able to be so close to such an awesome natural force. I may have even shed a tear, but that might have just been spray in my eyes, hard to tell. So us humans are so awe struck by its sheer natural magnificence, size, energy and power, however, some find it perfectly acceptable to casually drop litter on or in one of our fragile earths most amazing natural wonders. I really try to believe that we all care about our planet, but sights like this test my belief.

Simon Hewson©2012



As we neared ever closer to our first major pit stop in NYC, the road had been throwing us all sorts of adventures. On the same day that I made this photograph in Exmore, Virginia, we passed by a wreckers yard. I stopped to photograph a beat up 1956 Cadillac hearse. I asked for permission first as I didn't want to run into any problems, as it turned out it was a good thing I did.
I got chatting to they guy that owned the place, a nice bloke with a really positive outlook. We soon fell into deep discussion. We got onto the subject of guns. A subject that is currently a strong talking point in the media, due to the horrific shootings in Aurora, Colorado. He explained how he carries a concealed handgun and that he was waiting for his license to be approved for a machine gun. This baffled my wife and I. "Why?" we asked. He explained that it was his right and that in the right hands they are harmless. But the question still remains why/ how do they end up in the wrong hands? Surely the idea of having the right to bear arms is in need of some tough review. It seems to me that the idea of having more and living up to old ideals is holding back this beautiful country.

Simon Hewson©2012


Gaz By Mark Gasnier

Simon Hewson©2012

The new book by Mark Gasnier is soon to hit the shelves. It promises to be an exciting read. I just got my advance copy from Random House and I'm really happy with the cover which was designed by Luke Causby at Blue Cork. I shot this cover awhile back now, I don't confess to know a great deal about rugby league, I was however well aware of Gasnier's achievements in the sport, probably from watching the State Of Origin and getting uncharacteristically excited with my brother in law over a few beers. 
Mark was great to photograph, he was easy to relax and an all round top bloke. 
The book is due out on the first of August and will be available from all good bookstores. 



A year ago to the day we decided to stop in New Orleans, we looked forward to a few days of rest and an abundance of hearty food. 
Allow me to set a scene for you, the air is humid after summer rainfall. An older man plays a weeping saxophone on a wet street corner, he's being listened to by a group of foot taping musicians digging the saxophone mans vibe. The sun is slowly setting as night creeps in, you can feel the energy in the air, it's alive with music.
Ok so that was my naive idea of what New Orleans was going to be like... not so I'm afraid. It has suffered the same fate as many a great place, tacky tourism = live sex shows, guys on bucks nights drinking till they pass out and an abundance of tourists in ill fitting shorts.
But we must forgive this and look at what really makes this place so special, the food, the music and most of all the people. 
We were lucky enough to find Verti Marte a place to eat that is open 24 hours, chefs go there to eat once they knock off for the night. Their Po-boys are like nothing you have ever tasted and the people that work there are great. I dare anyone to go there and not get into a conversation with someone about how great the food is! 
The music, we found out pretty damn quick that Bourbon Street is best avoided at all costs. So we had to ask around and we were put onto Frenchman Street. This little street has it all going on, there are a bundle of places all next door to one another, most don't have a cover charge, you just have to make sure you tip the musicians well and enjoy the music. 
Lastly, the people, as we headed into New Orleans we drove over the bridge, we scrambled for money for the toll, as we got there the guy waved us through, I stopped anyway as I thought I was misunderstanding something. We were then told that the guy in the car in front of us had payed our toll for us, amazing. Almost everyone we crossed paths with were really warm and open, they are certainly effected by the devastation that Katrina caused and I'm sure the wound will never truly heal, but they have such a wonderful spirit about them which is what keeps them going and that is what made New Orleans so special for me.

Simon Hewson©2012



We are one year to the day again. After our first week on the road in the US, we felt that we had seen and experienced about a months worth of sounds, sights and overly filled plates of food. Today we have entered New Mexico. We are taking a little detour to visit the White Sands National Monument. White Sands covers 275 square miles of desert. The dunes are constantly shifting, therefore creating an ever changing landscape. The sand is not sand as we know it, it's pure gypsum (hydrous calcium sulfate) (science lesson over). This area is just amazing, as are the surrounds. Both Ansel Adams and Edward Weston spent time photographing the dunes in the 40's. Edward Weston in fact produced some of his later work here in 1946 only two years before he was unable to photograph any longer due to Parkinson's.

Simon Hewson©2012

Aside from Weston and Adams making photographs here, 1945 was a very important year for this area, if not the world. Around 50 miles north of this natural wonder a very unnatural wonder was unfolding. On the 16th of July 1945 the first atomic bomb was tested at the trinity test site within the White Sands Missile Range, this was the test for what was later used in anger at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. How can such natural beauty and such man-made ugliness co-exist? The image below was made at a rest stop on U.S. Route 70 en-route to White Sands National Monument.

Simon Hewson©2012



Happy 4th of July! It seems fitting that the American leg of our journey starts today. We begin in Hollywood. The home to so many dreams, some fulfilled and some not so. Although I have to say this girl is fulfilling a dream, she is happily high-fiving Darth Vader as her family looks on in amusement/ disbelief. I guess there is another side to this story though, that of the Dark Lord, I'm guessing he never imagined that he would be working Hollywood Boulevard for peoples spare change. His plans for universal domination didn't really go to plan did they? I guess you can put that in the dream unfulfilled bin. That's all folks! (until next week)

Simon Hewson©2012