Barefoot nomads roaming the desert; tribe members laughing together, their faces covered in paint; youths on horseback galloping across Tibetan plains—these are the subjects of Still Points in a Turning World, a fascinating series by photographer Terri Gold that documents the few indigenous tribal cultures left in the world.
The New York-based photographer travels to faraway locations like Niger, Ethiopia, China, and India to capture stunning images of tribes and their traditional rituals.
Rendered in achromatic tones with striking pops of blue, the hauntingly beautiful infrared portraits preserve the memory of clans and cultures that, although shrinking with each passing year, are still rich with unique histories and customs dating back centuries.
“Indigenous cultures that still follow their traditional way of life are rapidly disappearing,”
Gold writes in her artist statement. “Globalization and the push of technology into once isolated areas [are] threatening to forever alter the old ways. At risk is a vast archive of knowledge and expertise.
What is the value of ancient practices? What will be discarded and what will be treasured? The timeless past will soon meet the imminent future.
What will become of us if the myriad voices of indigenous people fall silent?
“We had the chance to interview the photographer, who recently returned from a trip to Kenya and is currently in the middle of mounting an exhibition.
My name is Dave Sandford. I have been a professional photographer for 18 years. Shooting professional sports have paid the bills, but I’ve been the most passionate about anything to do with water.
Oceans and lakes beckon me. Since I was a kid, I’ve loved to be on, in or around water. I’m fascinated by the sheer raw power and force of it, captivated by the graceful movement of a wave and mesmerized by light dancing across it.
Recently, I have felt drawn to the lakes that are virtually in the backyard of my hometown of London, Ont., Canada. Specifically, the awe-inspiring Great Lakes. Lake Erie, the 4th largest of the Great Lakes caught my attention for this photographic essay.
I chose to focus on Erie at a time of year (mid-October through December) when the Great Lakes can act more like oceans than lakes.
With warm sunny beach days behind us, it is some of Autumn’s dark, cold and windy days that transform the Great Lakes into wickedly wild and treacherous bodies of water.
Lake Erie is 388km in length and approximately 92km across. It is also the shallowest of the Great Lakes, with an average depth of 62’ and the maximum depth of 210’.
Lake Erie’s name originates from a native tribe who called the lake “Erige” (“cat”) due to the unpredictable and at times dangerously violent nature.
Because of the shallowness of the lake, conditions can change dramatically in just a matter of minutes, with fierce waves springing up unexpectedly.
Lake Erie’s unpredictable and violent nature has laid claim to some 1800-8000 shipwrecks dating back to the 17th century, most of which have never been found.
“There is an ethereal, otherworldly feeling to this photograph, as this little island in the middle of Tumuch Lake in northern British Columbia appears as if it’s floating in the clouds,” says Shane Kalyn, who submitted this photo to the National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest.
The scene was amazing to witness, let alone be lucky enough to photograph—totally the right place at the right time.”
This photo and caption were submitted to the 2014 National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest.