Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Terri Gold | In The Mist of Time | Omo Valley

Photo © Terri Gold-All Rights Reserved
Terri Gold is an award-winning photographer and artist based in New York City, and has built an impressive reputation for her infrared imagery of rituals, rites of passage, festivals, celebrations and portraits from all over the world.

Her artistic creativity and energy were patently obvious during my Tribes of South Rajasthan & Kutch Photo~Expedition™which she had joined in January 2010, as she moved from one photo shoot in a village to the next photographing with her two cameras; one "normal" like those used by the rest of us, and the second professionally modified to shoot infrared.

She has recently returned from the endangered Omo Valley with new work...both infrared imagery and standard, and uploaded her best work using the former technique on the gallery she titled In The Midst of Time: Omo Valley. The images are really distinctive, and more fine art than travel documentary photographs as such, with the majority being set up for an aesthetic impact...or fine art imagery, if you prefer.

The Omo Valley of Ethiopia is home to eight different tribes numbering around 200,000 people in total, and their traditional way of life and culture are threatened by the Ethiopian government introducing and planning large infrastructure projects to the area, and while these will provide better medical and educational facilities, trading and many associated benefits to the tribes, there are also governmental programs aimed at forcibly resettling them.

Some conscientious travel companies have recently ceased to bring loads of tourists to the Omo Valley in an effort to pressure the Ethiopian government to cease these resettling programs. Perhaps that will also slow down the exploitation of these tribes by some tourists who view them as beautiful displays.

Terri Gold's work has been described as "interpretive in nature and incorporates the use of infrared light and the invisible light spectrum." I'm not sure how Terri photographs these days, but at one point of time she would wear up to four cameras around her neck; a digital camera, a digital camera converted to infrared, a XPan with cross-processed film (or B&W), and a Mamiya 7.