Twenty years ago, I was in Yosemite National Park due to be in New York three days’ after. All flights were grounded.
I waited at San Francisco airport and managed to board a flight. I arrived in New York with a change of purpose, assigned to document the aftermath of 9/11.
I went with the intention of photographing the destruction of the twin towers and ground zero, but this quickly changed to documenting the emotionally charged atmosphere within the people of New York. Everyday for a week I walked the streets around ground zero, speaking and photographing people in mourning, protestors, and emergency workers. There was an undeniable spirit of unity in a city that you are normally “on your own”.
I did photograph the wreckage of the twin towers, along with the surrounding buildings which had either been destroyed, damaged, or filled with dust. I also captured people at numerous vigils and protests. Emotions were strong and I witnessed love, compassion, anger, hate, and opportunity on every corner. There was 9/11 memorabilia being sold with T shirts and photos of the planes flying into the sides of the towers. I spoke and photographed one Afghan restaurant owner who had already experienced vandalism and abuse to an extent that he was closing his business down.
Where has the last twenty years gone and what has been achieved? Today we remember those who lost their lives on 9/11 2001, vowing “never forget”. We need to all recognise that the only way forward is to live with the same spirit of humanity, that was experienced in the aftermath.
Travel is one of the industries that has suffered the most during the global pandemic. The consequential ripples of placing restrictions on international movement has been far and wide. I photograph for a stable of corporate clients, editorial magazines, and charitable organisations around the world. I supply photography for various architects, designers, and hotel resorts.
Among those industries reacting to the restrictions on travel is the hotel sector. Hotel designers and architects are reworking existing projects and approaching new ones from a different perspective.
It is essential to understand and adapt to consumers’ changing behaviours for the future. Innovation in uncertain times comes down to flexibility and technology. Organisations need to supply environments that can evolve with the changes of our health concerns and that suit the users’ requirements.
Early indications are that business travel will decline and hotels will have to facilitate a wider range of guest that require different amenities. Hotels will need to appeal to everyone with a safe and secure environment which is welcoming. Lobbies are increasingly being transformed from designer furniture showrooms to the “home from home” spaces that attract overnight guests and local people alike. “Hybrid hotels” already offer hospitality services and facilities such as day spars and in-house cinemas in conjunction with their restaurants adapting to daytime coffee to evening meals for local guests.
Interior spaces will evolve to be designed where social distancing is not directed by Perspex screens and floor markings! Architects will need to consider their choice of materials and its viral surface retention qualities. Biophilic design will also have an important place, to purify the air and to create a sense of wellness.
Hotels will have to do more with less which is where Smart technology will reshape the way in which we use hotels. Contactless hospitality will mean the mobile check in and keyless entry to the rooms, as well as remote ordering at the restaurant. Technology amounts to a touchless interface, which is part of social distancing.
Other benefits offered by new technology are density and opt-in temperature monitoring, self-cleaning surfaces, and high-caliber air filtration systems. Hotels are even collaborating with medical organisations to offer hygiene excellence standards.
Maximising hotel roof designs can provide additional space for terraces or sky lounges, while also satisfying functional needs, such as thermal mass and biodiversity.
The hotel industry has always adapted to behavioural changes and embraced new technology. The pandemic has challenged the industry to react and reinvent itself where the resulting benefits will extend beyond hotel guests to local communities and the wider built environment.
When photographing hotels, there are several factors to consider, from capturing the architecture within its location, to the design of the interior space, and the ambience created by the lighting and design features. As with all architecture, interior, and lifestyle photography it is important to work with the design and marketing team to achieve the required photography.
The Hamdan International Photography Award (HIPA) is an international photography competition, founded in 2011 under the patronage of crown prince of Dubai sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid bin Mohammed al Maktoum. This year, the main theme of the HIPA contest is HUMANITY.
The first stage of judging is complete and my submission in the HUMANITY Category has qualified to the second stage.
I also have a second picture through in the ARCHITECTURAL Photography – A Cultural / Iconic Building category.
Good luck to all my fellow photographers that have also been shortlisted.
I was a Winner at the 14th Annual “International Color Awards” with an Honorable mention in the “People” category for my picture photographed for Farm Africa in Tanzania. I also picked up three further nominations in other categories all presented on Saturday 27th March 2021 in the annual online Photoshow.
The live online gala was attended by industry leaders and the photography community from around the globe who logged on to watch the climax of the world's premier event for color photography. This year the competition received 6,109 entries from 73 countries.
I photographed the three traditionally dressed ladies in Babati, the Nou Forest area of Tanzania whilst on assignment for Farm Africa. We were covering an initiative that aimed to introduce more profitable and sustainable enterprises.
INTERNATIONAL COLOR AWARDS is the leading international award honoring excellence in color photography. This celebrated event shines a spotlight on the best professional and amateur photographers worldwide and honors the finest images with the highest achievements in color photography. www.colorawards.com