Infrared Photographer Terri Gold
Award-winning, fine art photographer and creative nomad Terri Gold captures her beautiful, other worldly photographs of tribal and nomadic cultures and their rites using invisible light. This light which cannot be seen exists on the invisible part of the spectrum and is captured by infrared sensitive film to reveal a enchanting and poetic under-layer. At home in unfamiliar lands, the wanderlust fueled photographer lives a surreal existence where time and centuries coexist. As an outsider, Gold’s ability to tap into foreign worlds with such an intimacy whilst also emphasising the mystery encapsulated within their rituals and ceremonies is an impressive balance. And her talents are held in great esteem within the photography and creative worlds.
Gold’s work has garnered many awards, is shown in galleries internationally and published extensively. Recent publications of her work include feature articles from The BBC Picture Desk, The Huffington Post, Kinzeuro aCurator, and Featureshoot. Recent exhibitions of her work have taken place in The Center for Fine Art Photography, The Humanity Photo Awards, Griffin Museum and at The Annenberg Space for Photography in conjunction with the “No Strangers” exhibition. She has recently won awards in the IPA Lucie Awards, Prix de la Photographie, Paris (Px3), and the Black and White Spider Awards.
Traveling across oceans, deserts and deep into the bush with up to three cameras in tow along with an ever growing passion and wanderlust, Gold is seeking to shine light on the fragility of tribal cultures seemingly untouched by time; using a light that cannot be seen with the naked eye.
India 2010 Rajasthan and Gujarat
TerriGold_Arunachal Pradesh_ Nishitribesman-creativemapping
TerriGold_Sisters Meal Festival_Guizhou, China3 -creativemapping
“I like adding in the element of surprise that naturally happens when working with light you cannot see.” Terri Gold
CM: When did you first become interested in photography?
My earliest memories are of spinning a globe. I was always drawn to the last mysterious corners of the Earth. The names of far off lands called to me; Samarkand, Lhasa, Timbuktu. I dreamed of traveling with a caravan across the Himalayas. As soon as I was old enough I stepped into my dreams with three cameras around my neck and my journey began.
CM: Tell us more about your use of infrared film?
From the beginning of my career I was looking for a film that could portray the world how I experienced it, with all its mysteries. I began to make images using infrared film that captures light in the invisible light spectrum and creating split-toned images in the darkroom. I now use a digital camera converted to infrared and the digital darkroom. Working with infrared light adds an element of mystery, which suits the surreal sense of time when traveling to places where the customs of different millennia coexist side by side. I like adding in the element of surprise that naturally happens when working with light you cannot see.
CM: Your work has been published in numerous digital and print outlets, what first garnered notice of your work?
I think the global response to my work speaks to the universal connection that all humans share. The loss of diverse cultures and species is becoming inextricably connected with the development of the modern world. The cultural diversity of our planet is where our greatest creativity lies. Though we may not see our own customs and traditions in these images, it is my hope that we recognize our common humanity. Our challenge now is to keep the poetry of diversity alive…
CM: What do you hope people will take away from your photographs?
I want to create a visual document that reminds us, and generations to come, how beautiful and diverse the world is. I see more than ever the importance of sharing our stories to gain a deeper understanding of the timeless past as it meets the imminent future. We will all lose if ancient skills and visionary wisdom are forgotten.
CM: Do you spend time with your subjects before photographing them?
The places I travel to are remote and off of the grid, often requiring days of travel through dusty roads and forgotten villages. On almost every trip we are welcomed into private homes and lives. We are invited for tea and sympathy and to share in their celebrations. Often we are allowed to photograph intimate and important family rituals. I wonder if someone landed in my front yard if I would be as gracious. I have been blessed to share time with incredibly unique groups of people and to learn about their cultural traditions, communal values and ethical perspectives.
CM: What is the universal you are trying to uncover through your photographs and your travels?
My ongoing body of work ‘Still Points in a Turning World’ explores our universal cross-cultural truths: the importance of family, community, ritual and the amazing diversity of its expression. I believe that sharing our stories through images can have a positive impact by providing a window into our common humanity.
CM: What are you working on now? Next?
I just returned from Kenya where I had the privilege of staying at Itumba, the bush camp of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. After years of capturing images of people from the remote corners of the world, this trip in Kenya I explored the endangered species of the Animal Kingdom. Currently I am developing the body of images from my trip to Kenya and and planning my next trip to Namibia.
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