200 Best Ad Photographers worldwide 2020/21 – Lürzer’s Archive Specials
200 Best Ad Photographers worldwide 2020/21 | The Cover photo is made by Jonathan Knowles, a skilled and creative specialist in still life, liquids, drinks, food and special effects image making. It’s part of a series of images that is inspired by Salvador Dali, where he experiments with material that is neither liquid, nor solid. Using slime lets Jonathan work with the metaphor of ‘containing something that’s hard to contain.’ It embarks on a contemporary exploration of the irrational. Jonathan’s unique style has earned him award-winning advertising commissions worldwide. Over the past 18 years, Jonathan’s work has been frequently featured in the pages of our magazine and the biennial 200 Best Advertising Photographers book. His signature light painting technique sets him very much apart from others. Whether it is a bottle of gin or a 24 carat diamond, he uses this method to showcase the very best aspects and details of any product. Notable commissions include campaigns for many globally recognized brands, such as Coca-Cola, Smirnoff, Nescafe?, Guinness and Glenfiddich. He is also the creator of the famous O2 bubbles.
Outside the studio, Jonathan also shot the video for Black Sabbath’s ‘13’, their first studio album released in the past 34 years. He decided to set the numbers 13 on fire in order to create the most realistic image. The video footage, shot at the same time, played behind the band on their final world tour. The transition to filmmaking has been very much a natural step for Jonathan, as well as a result of commercial pressure. Combining a continuous sequence of visuals and sound into a story, rather than a single image, he claims, has been a fantastic and enjoyable new challenge. He is one of the top ten all time winners in the Graphis Annuals, and has been awarded in both moving image and stills by PDN, D&AD, The Art Directors’ Club of New York, Communication Arts, The International Photography Awards, The Association of Photographers, Campaign, New York Festivals, The Globals, Oneeyeland and others. He has also recently been made a Graphis Master.
Jonathan has a passion for science and highly technical approach to image making. His interest lies in producing visual communication that feels natural, authentic and of the highest quality, whether it is at one extreme of macro liquid imagery or producing special effects on location at the other. He does not rely on heavy post-production techniques, and believes that the magic of successful imagery comes from capturing exquisite moments in camera.
Only a few days ago, a couple of weeks after we made our cover decision for the 200 Best book, we learned, to our great delight, that Jonathan Knowles has just been awarded ‘Advertising Photographer of the Year’ at the International Photography Awards.