Image Image Image Image Image
"Jonathan has photographed International Alert's work in three different continents. He always becomes part of the team, needs a minimum amount of support and delivers stunning images which convey a real sense of humanity."
Phil Vernon
Director of Programmes
International Alert
"Whether on a farm in East Africa, a Trawler in the Atlantic or a Royal Palace in London, Jonathan consistently delivers photography that makes us look good to our clients. "
Paul Campbell
Director of Purple Patch Group
"Quality photography is absolutely essential to our brand. It’s who we are, what we do and the impact we have on the world. And that means working with a photographer like Jonathan, who understands what we are trying to achieve with our work."
THOM MCKAY,
Director of Communications
RTKL.COM
"Jonathan has been a pleasure to work with, professional, well organised, creative and always delivering to the brief. Considering the breadth of topics we have asked him to work on around the world, he has also shown himself to be resourceful and flexible. "
Judith Batchelar,
Director of Sainsbury's Brand
"Jonathan has travelled to Intergen's power plants in Mexico, Australia and Europe and produces consistently high quality photography. Intergen's values are all about a high-quality work force for which we consider him part of. "
Mark Somerset,
Vice President
InterGen Europe
"Waiting on a quote from the British Red Cross "
Wendy Solesbury MBE
Youth Development Manager, British Red Cross
"We work with photographers that try to capture the essence of our work and reflect our company values in terms of design. Jonathan produces excellent results every time with creative flair. He is highly professional to work with as well as personable. "
Sean Collins & James Felstead
Directors of CGL Architects.
"Whether on a farm in East Africa, a Trawler in the Atlantic or a Royal Palace in London, Jonathan consistently delivers photography that makes us look good to our clients. "
Paul Campbell
Director of Purple Patch Group
"Jonathan has been a pleasure to work with, professional, well organised, creative and always delivering to the brief. Considering the breadth of topics we have asked him to work on around the world, he has also shown himself to be resourceful and flexible. "
Judith Batchelar,
Director of Sainsbury's Brand
"Waiting on a quote from the British Red Cross "
Wendy Solesbury MBE
Youth Development Manager, British Red Cross
"Jonathan Banks has captured the faces of different people that vividly represent the human side of the conflict of Nagorno-Karabakh where each individual remains above all a human being with his or her right to be what they are, wherever they live, with dignity and in peace. "
EU Ambassador in Yerevan
"Jonathan has travelled to Intergen's power plants in Mexico, Australia and Europe and produces consistently high quality photography. Intergen's values are all about a high-quality work force for which we consider him part of. "
Mark Somerset
Vice President, InterGen Europe
X

Technology

30

Oct

Working outside of the box

  • By Jonathan Banks

Earlier this year I was approached by Zoner Photo Studio X to test out their powerful but lesser known photo editor.

Zoner Photo Studio X is “the most universal photo software there is.” It is something that bridges both Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop with RAW processing, layer support, presets, retouching tools, video editing and cataloguing.

During the past six months I have been photographing for InterGen at their UK power stations. The photography is a challenging mixture of portraits, reportage, architectural, interior, and exterior stock photography that I decided would be a perfect test for any photo editing software.

There is a logical progression from image “Management” to “Development” and then advanced options of “Editor” and Create”.

Like all digital imaging software this is something that you “grow with” and never stop learning as Zoner updates the program.

I was impressed with the “Presets” which produced some great results and really liked the offer of cloud storage.

The magic wand auto seemed to work really well and I liked the Split toning “colour Wheels”. It was slightly frustrating that I could not double click the sliders to reset the adjustments as this is a useful function in Lightroom.

Everything else seemed to work as I would want it, crop tool, filter brush and graduated filter.

I think there is an initial problem when coming from using Adobe Lightroom, which is that it has taken me the best part of twenty years to learn. When I fire up Zoner X I get frustrated that I cannot always work as fast, even though I have only been using it for a short time.

It is the equivalent of swapping my flagship Nikon’s in for the equivalent Canon’s. I know how to use a digital SLR and I know that the Canon camera is pretty f*({ing  awesome, but I also know my Nikon's back to front so am a little "unsteady on my feet" with something else.

Overall, I warmed to Zoner Photo Studio X in a short period of time. There are some incredible features and I like the flexibility that it offers being somewhere between Lightroom and Photoshop. I don’t think everything always works as well as Lightroom or Photoshop, but I do think there is a lot to shout about.

Intergen, Coryton Power Station The Manorway, Stanford-Le-Hope SS17 9GN - 17 September 2020

22

Oct

How to take an award winning photo!

  • By Jonathan Banks

I am often asked “How many photos does it take to capture a “good” one?”  As though the more photos you take increases your chances of capturing something iconic. Some would argue that in a way the more photos you take the more experience you gain, the more technically competent you become, and the more creative you push yourself.

I would agree that by taking more photos you are honing your craft and therefore working harder to capture something special. However, I don’t believe that the above question is asking how you develop your creative side to capture an award-winning image. I understand it as a statement about a monkey and a typewriter. This is of course the old theory that if you take enough monkeys and typewriters and set them to work, eventually one of them will produce the complete works of Shakespeare.

In the run up to the Siena International Photography Awards I thought it would be interesting to show the images surrounding my award-winning photo.

I am often ‘in the moment’ when photographing so it is only afterwards that I understand how I arrive at the final image.

I always favour photos that when I look at them there is no formula. There is no algorithm to construct what I am seeing whether that is the raw emotion of a person or the aesthetic “balance” of the picture.

The photo was taken in Liberia for the peace organisation “International Alert”. I was awarded “Photographer of the year” in 2019 by Siena International Photography Awards. Whilst the award ceremony has been cancelled this year, winners will be announced on the 24 October 2020. Good luck to all the shortlisted photographers.

Siena International Photography Awards

08

Oct

Photographing for Award winning Architects

  • By Jonathan Banks

EPR Architects has once again scooped the AJ100 Client’s Choice award. The practice has now won the gong 3 times in the last 4 years, reclaiming the top spot from last year’s winner HTA Design.

EPR emerged as the runaway winner after the AJ polled construction clients and asked them to name both a practice with whom they would like to work again, and one they had not yet worked with but would like to.

The architect beat 6 other shortlisted practices, which included 3D Reid, Allies and Morrison and Assael Architecture. EPR is ranked 16th in the AJ100.

Earlier this year I photographed the new London offices of a leading US Investment firm for them.

EPR’s design has successfully reimagined and reinvigorated the office space, creating a high quality, open plan modern working environment with ample features for their staff and visitors.

The reception area has been redefined as a welcoming area that is more akin to being an art gallery than the reception of an investment firm. One wall is clad in cherry wood panels and the others in subdued fabric panels to compliment the incredible Anthony Gormley sculpture and Rebecca Gouldson wall art.

The front of house guest area also includes various meeting options including the boardroom, housing a custom made Ceasarstone table along with Wilkhahn Solo leather conference chairs.

Between the client meeting area and the back of house working environment is a communal kitchen, dining, and informal meeting space. A bespoke oak bench emerges from the timber floor and continues up the wall before forming a ceiling feature as a contrast to the character of the work environment. Above the table is an Ultra 8 by Le Deun feature pendant light.

The open plan working environment offers staff a variety of spaces where they can work effectively, including dedicated desks to meeting rooms of different sizes and comfortable breakout spaces. This is furnished with Knoll Tone Sit Stand workstations throughout with Herman Miller Aeron task chairs.

Attention to detail was central to the design which replaced the heavily repetitive panel ceiling system for a bespoke ceiling solution to each cellular office, integrating a black framed ventilation grill to clearly define the two open plan offices. Within the front of house areas, the ventilation grill is replaced with a black aluminium channel and lighting which connects the spaces and directs guests to the refurbished meeting rooms. This lighting by Kreon highlights key features such as the flamed textured granite wall in the lift lobby, the cherry wood wall in the reception gallery, and the artwork.

Like photography, design is about beauty and content or form and function. All too often photographers and designers seem to be working hard to produce material that is baying for your attention. Sometimes all that is required is a passion for quality, and a high standard of finish showcasing what you are about. EPR Architects have balanced this perfectly.

EPR Architects | CeasarstoneLe DeunWilkhahnHerman MillerKnollKreonFaithdean | Thorpes JoineryK2Space ltd  | Shore Engineering

30

Sep

Energy for generations to come

  • By Jonathan Banks

I have been photographing with InterGen for 13 years, providing them with commercial photography for their annual reports, website, & marketing material.

Originally, I photographed all 3 UK sites going on to capture 2 power stations in the Netherlands plus 5 sites in Mexico which they no longer own. I have also photographed their corporate portraits & various events along the way.

InterGen is a world class developer, owner & operator of power generation facilities in the UK & Australia, with over 25 years’ experience in energy markets.

Earlier this year InterGen asked me to return to the UK sites to produce a new set of pictures for a rebrand which required fresh content for their new website.

This time Photobanks Ltd. in collaboration with VisMedia supplied photography, film, drone photography & 360 degree content for online tours.

We spent a day at Spalding Power Station in March & then went into lockdown immediately after. The website was launched shortly after

https://www.intergen.com/

We have recently covered the two other UK sites which I will showcase in the future.

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