Spotlight Interview … Documentary and Fine Art Photographer Terri Gold (2014)

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In her first interview Terri Gold introduced herself to us. It’s always nice to hear from old friends and that happened the other day when Documentary and Fine Art photographer Terri Gold contacted me with news of her most recent projects. Thanks Terri for thinking of us here at James Robinson Photography Blog.

Terri Gold: Thanks James. It’s a pleasure to read your blog and a pleasure to be here. Witnessing other photographers’ adventures always inspires me. The whole world is medicine.

JRP: Please give us an update on your most recent projects and exhibitions.


Terri Gold: I just got back from an amazing trip to the Omo Valley in Ethiopia. I stepped into the Stone Age. Each tribe has a richly unique identity. This is a place of age-old traditions and elaborate rituals. Ethiopia’s customs are equally beautiful and brutal – it is Family of Man meets Heart of Darkness.

In other news, I’m very proud to have recent winning images in the Black and White Spider Awards and the Humanity Photo Awards. My work will also be featured in the 3rd International Biennial of Fine Art and Documentary Photography in Malaga, Spain.

JRP: What was the inspiration for these images?

Terri Gold: I am interested in the different ways people find meaning in their lives, and how an individual explores their existence through their traditions. I love the still quality of a photograph that captures a fleeting moment in time.


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 found my medium in infrared film and printed my images in the darkroom. Today I use a specially converted infrared digital camera and the digital darkroom to create my split-toned imagery. There is a mysterious quality to the invisible, iridescent world of infrared light that illuminates another dimension. When shooting, processing, and printing an infrared image, one must be open to the journey that reveals the subtle colors within. I enjoy the unexpected elements that arise when working with light beyond what the eyes can see. Instead of photographic realism, I think of the work as magical realism.


Indigenous cultures are disappearing. In the Omo Valley, where mankind may have begun, the Turkish are clearing the forests and planting cotton fields; the Chinese government is building a massive dam project and the floodplain agriculture practiced here for all time will soon end. The people know to varying degrees that their lives will be changing very soon. At risk is a vast archive of knowledge and expertise. I think of how many times in history this story has been played out by native populations trying to save their way of life, and I am compelled to create a visual document that reminds us, and generations to come, how beautiful and diverse the human world once was.

JRP: Did you make use of any techniques that are not typically seen in your work?

Terri Gold: I was determined this time to work with an off-camera flash in the field. It was an interesting process. I enrolled the local Omo children as my photo assistants, and it was a learning experience for both of us!


At one point, I found myself standing in a river, directing a young Omo child, who was standing a few feet behind me holding my flash, hopefully pointing it at my subject. In the end, I was very happy with the results and am hoping to explore that more on my next adventure.

JRP: Thank you Terri for sharing this news with us. As always it has been a pleasure.

Terri Gold: Thanks so much. The journey continues…

JRP: To view more of Terri Gold’s photography please follow these links:

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