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"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

11

Sep

9/11 – 20 years on.

  • By Jonathan Banks

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.

07

Sep

International Day of Clean Air for blue skies

  • By Jonathan Banks

This years theme for the United Nations International Day of Clean Air for blue skies is “Healthy Air, Healthy Planet”, to help raise global awareness of air pollution and its devastating impact on health. The UN is very clear about the scale of the problem: Air pollution is the largest environmental risk to global public health, and it particularly impacts children, women and the elderly, with increased links to diseases such as dementia, diabetes, COVID-19, cardio-vascular and neurological diseases. Developed countries have greatly improved their air quality in recent years but many developing countries are, still reliant on wood and other solid fuels for cooking and heating. The result is that many vulnerable and marginalized people also suffer from the worst air quality.

I worked with the organisation DelAgua in Rwanda, photographing their cook stove project. I travelled throughout Rwanda with the DelAgua team photographing the distribution days, community health worker visits and how the program is improving the lives of those involved. Over 3 billion people still cook over polluting fires, a major contributor to carbon emissions, deforestation and climate change. Cooking over open fires or inefficient stoves emits one-quarter of global black carbon emissions—the second largest contributor to climate change after carbon dioxide. Household air pollution is the leading environmental cause of premature death and disability, ahead of unsafe water and lack of sanitation, causing more deaths than Malaria, HIV and TB combined. Clean cookstoves are vital to tackle both global challenges and they also provide a plethora of other benefits that impact the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The UN calculates the cost of inaction at $ 2.4 trillion and describes the provision of clean cooking solutions as nothing less than a human rights issue.

The DelAgua cook stove is designed to work for the reality of the lives of the families who use them. It uses wood, but just small pieces of twig and tinder, which rural families can gather without encroaching on forestry. Crucially the design of the stove increases thermal efficiency resulting in quicker cooking speeds and much lower fuel requirements. The stove requires at least 50% less wood than a traditional fire. The stove is durable and saves the equivalent of 14 tons of CO2 emissions over its seven- year life. 

Education and ongoing support is central to the work. Every family is visited by a Community Health Worker who explains the dangers of cooking on a traditional fire and household air pollution and the health advantages of cooking on the stove and they also make sure the family know how to use it. Behaviour change is immediate and lasting. 99% of stoves are still in daily use after 2 years.

15

Jul

SIENA Awards Hall of Fame

  • By Jonathan Banks

It is with great pride that I can announce that I have been inducted into the SIENA Awards Hall of Fame. The Siena Awards were born from the experience of the Siena International Photo Awards, an international event that, in a few years, has managed to become known as one of the most important photo competitions in the world.

https://sienawards.com/hall-of-fame/?fbclid=IwAR37d1RAky-Z-iI9fXEblk93KDVZFPQHJcHWgbwLo3_NMNqbLRpb89XHk58

When Luca Venturi (creator and artistic director) first imagined the SIENA Awards, he set his target on making Siena the heart of the photography world that would bring photographers together from around the world.

“We are happy to have created a large family, a community with photography at its centre, as a form of international language that connects people of every culture and social background. A dream come true, supported by partners and institutions that together with us continue to invest in the power of imagination and the power that images have to be able to tell stories full of meaning " – Luca Venturi

The Hall of Fame was created to recognise the value of those who have believed in the importance of the project since the first edition of the Siena International Photo Awards.

It is an honour to have my name amongst such esteemed photographers and a pleasure to be part of the wider SIENA Awards family.

30

Jun

What is the future for hotel design?

  • By Jonathan Banks

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.

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