__MAIN_TEXT__

Page 1

Almost Away


Cover: Oreamnos americanus Alaska Highway, Kluane National Park, Yukon, Canada Captivated by the view which is hard to distance to the horizon I had stopped my motorbike to take a landscape shot. Suddenly a Nannie and her kid appear, pause for a second while I take their portrait and then dart back down the mountain side.

These photographs are the ones that which I have never shown before.

As the clouds moved close above, the sun shone through gaps which played a spotlight onto the forest below reminding me of a model railway set.

There is no theme to what you see - the images have been chosen because they strike a chord with my memories of the time and place when I took them.

These moments are what I am most glad and grateful for in life.

Almost got Away...images

I have put togther this portfolio randomly whilst browsing a hard drive which contains perhaps 50% of all my work. There are thousands of pictures to choose from.

Perhaps I will make more books which will one day contain every photo I have taken since I was 8 years old. The way my work has evolved is interesting and as my life experiences increase so the work has matured. Ed Gold - Llanberis, North Wales, UK 04 February 2012


Almost Away


Previous Page: Dervel Finlay Davies Patagonia, Argentina This photo makes me so sad and I felt desperate as I took it. The horses try to find anything to eat but there is just sand and they are slowly starving to death. This field is right next to a canal which could irrigate it, to provide vegetation, but the farm hasnt been worked in years and all the land is wind eroded. Grapes were growing where I lived and I cut them all down including the leaves and stems which I took to Dervel with a pick-up truck. They were all eaten in minutes by starving pigs. Dervel did pick wild grass for their food but other horses had died nearby and I am racked by guilt for not doing more.

On Ruta 25 in Chubut Province, Patagonia, Argentina Many times I passed this derelict site on the edge of the desolate road which runs for more than 400 miles from the Atlantic coast, west to the Andes. I wondered what these buildings were for and what the red structure was. The feeling of isolation here is overwhelming and I never stopped for long. It’s an incredible feeling to be hundreds of miles from anywhere with not a soul around. I used the Pentax 67 medium format film camera for optimum quality although I think the Fuji 120 colour print film I bought in Patagonia was slightly suspect and I didnt get the detail I had hoped for.


The Alaska Highway, Yukon, Canada ‘Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church’, Beaver Creek All along the Alaska Highway there are small churches wherever people are living nearby. Beaver Creek iis just near the border to Alaska. This didn’t feel like Canada but looked to me like a church you might find in eastern Europe. I love how small it is and how it stands in its own cluster of trees. On this journey I was riding a Kawasaki ZZR1100 motorbike and whenever I saw anything like this I would quickly pull to the side of the road, get my camera out from the top-box at the rear of the bike, take the shot and be off again.


Introduction


In the bus Christopher McCandless passed away in - near Healy, Alaska This remote site some 30 miles from the nearest village has become a destination for many people who have read the book and seen the film ‘Into the Wild’. Based on a true story it is about a young man who does a road trip around the USA, Canada and Alaska and finds this bus which he lives in from April to August 1992 before he starves to death inside it. Even though I have used this image in a previous book I made called ‘New York City Fairbanks City’ it still grips me whenever I see it and am compelled to include it, above many others, without questioning why. Taken with the Pentax 67, I am mesmerized by the quality of detail and colour tones. I still havent seen a digital camera that reproduces the same results. The entire bus is covered inside with graffiti bearing heart-felt messages to Chris from admirers the world over who trek here fascinated to witness this special place.


United States Border Crossing between Canada and Alaska - Alaska Highway After doing about 4,000 miles in a week and having travelled through such extreme and remote landscapes it feels strange to suddenly arrive at buildings in the middle of nowhere. By this time I had met a couple travelling to ‘the bus’ and they had asked me to join them on their journey to it. We stopped at this ‘Inspection Station’ and reckoned that we would be held for a bit, to be checked out, but we weren’t delayed for any length of time and could leave quickly. I did ask to take the portrait photographs of the people working inside but they all suspicioulsy declined. I was told I could however photograph the offices which had many stuffed wild animals fixed to the walls. I really wanted to take portraits with the animals in the background so sulkily said no. I regret that decision. Instead, as my new friends were showing their passports, I quickly walked backwards into Canada and took a shot of the yellow columns which stand out brightly compared to the drab tones of the wilderness around.


Wales, Alaska This was the reason for my whole journey from New York City, to get to the Inuit village called Wales on the most westerly point of all the United States - in Alaska. I stayed there for 3 weeks and was privileged enough to photograph many people and events. An annual dance festival was held which the members of many far off Inuit villages attended from all over Alaska. All the particpants, from very young to very old, were incredibly skilled dancers and I was captivated by the show they made which would have impressed anyone from anywhere in the world. Here we were in a school, within sight of Siberian Russia, with the dancers using its gymnasium to display their art when they could have equally been in the Royal Albert Hall in London. Afterwards I asked some members to kindly dance again in the school foyer so I could capture their stance. As I dont use flash I had to adopt a very slow shutter on a tripod and say loudly ‘Now!’ for them to freeze halfway through to get a sharp photo. Notice the walrus face masks, smocks and seal skin boots.


Previous Page:

Previous Page but one:

Llanberis, North Wales

Aber Falls, North Wales

On my first visit to North Wales when I camped in Llanberis in 1999 I walked around a disused quarry which I saw had an old slate building at the bottom of it - see background of this photo. Men had worked here for hundreds of years but now it lay still save for occassional flooding which shows by the white marks up the sides.

Now known as ‘The Lady with the Salmon in her mouth’ or ‘Jackie with the Salmon’.

Before I got serious about photographing people and documentary photography I wanted to create images to sell to tourists. I thought that it would be novel to get naked people Masset, Haida Gwaii, British Columbia, Canada to re-enact animals going about their lives in the Jim Hart - Chief and Master Carver of Totem Poles and more. wild. I was asked to go to these islands in the north Pacific to document the people for It felt mysterious and I questioned why and when Just before Tesco’s closed a photography exhibition in Vancouver. I eventually had to cancel the show as I couldnt afford to make it but photograhed some great people and places. trees had grown, presum- in Holyhead one Friday ably dying when the quar- night I told the supermarry had first filled up with ket’s fishmonger my plan, Jim was top of my list as his work is famous throughout Canada and the world. water. which he liked, and prom- I have included other photos of him in the book I made ‘Haida Gwaii British Coising him a copy I got the lumbia’ but love this image of him in front of his grandfather’s boat ‘Haida Warrior’. My girlfriend at the time, fish for a fiver. Jim explained that when his grandfather went fishing for weeks at a time the whole Marie, agreed to be a model and we had hyster- The Lady is meant to be a family would go also and the boat would always have nappies hanging up in its ics as I rolled her around Bear catching her break- rigging to dry for all the babies. I found Jim by chance early one morning as I stumbled out of a hedge I had been sleeping in and walked into his path - sychroin mud to get the desired fast from out of a waternicity! effect - a ghostly figure. fall. Taken with the excellent So...yes, that it is a real Hasselblad XPan panoSalmon being carried in ramic film camera. her mouth!


Flying between Nome and Wales, Alaska There’s only one reasonable way to get to Wales and that is to fly - in this case in a small twin-engined Cessna. There are local roads which can be walked but Bears make it too dangerous and there is the sea but the boats are infrequent and which wouldn’t stop at Wales anyway. On this day it was only the pilot, an Inuit named ‘Sook’ and myself in the plane and I was able to climb over seats, move around boxes and get into position next to the pilot at anytime to get the shot I wanted. In this case I saw some type of Oxbow lake and liked their shapes so took a shot with the Pentax 67. I remember there being quite a bit of turbulence as we cruised along at about 800 feet up the whole way. Mountains would rise up beneath us to within about 100 feet and then drop away down to the sea. I lent against the rear side door to steady myself whilst taking a picture but noticed the door rattling and realized it wasnt secured properly. How can life ever be the same after these experiences?


Razorback Mountain - Wales, Alaska On the last day of the summer holidays before school starts again a small group of friends decided to walk up ‘Razorback’ to get a view of the sun going down and talk about how their holidays had been and what they hoped would happen in the future. It was fun to witness their climbing skills - as they had no fear of heights and hear their jokes. Despite slowly losing their traditions and customs they are still largely unaffected by the outside world and the youngsters were charmingly naive, polite and inquisitive with their questions. I felt that they had little future to look forward to as things were in their village and would love to see them getting back to their roots which have been ripped out by North Americanisation. On the mountain side I came across a human skull and learnt that before the white man came they would bury their people behind rocks. Christians insisted on burying the deceased in shallow graves in hard perma-frost which spelt disaster as the sites soon eroded. This is 80 miles from the Arctic circle and above the tree-line.


Moose Larry - Wales, Alaska There are two stores in Wales. One which hires out DVD’s and games and sells soft drinks and candy, the other selling regular food. Everything is flown in so there is a limit to what you can get and it is very expensive. Since there is no industry or many ways to make money in the village it is subsidized by the US government. Before the temperatures plummet to -60+ in winter folks go inland to hunt for weeks at a time on quads for Musk-Ox, shown at left and Moose, at right. It is legal to kill like this and a couple of Moose in the freezer will give the necessary protein a family needs during the long dark days indoors. Often the heads of kills are left to rot outside the hunter’s house, as trophies, to show their prowess and, because of the cold all year round, they take a long time to decay to the bone. Dont be fooled by the photo of a young man on Razorback mountain wearing just a T-shirt - they are a hardy breed and going by how the girls are standing (one with gloves) you can tell it was bitter.


Previous Page but one:

Previous Page but one:

Wales, Alaska

Wales, Alaska

Alice, a local Inuit lady protects the side of her face from the wind as she rides a quad to get about the village on. Like most she was born, raised and lived in Wales all her life.

Dan in his workshop which he built all himself as well as his house which has the only piped running water in the whole village.

Most of the houses are home made using thick chipboard or plywood but recently the government has shipped in ‘plastic ready made’ houses that stand on frames to keep them above the snow in winter. There are only about 3 pick-ups in the entire village and not all of them run at the same time. There are no real roads and only one track leading a few miles outside of the village so quads are used to go off-road. Petrol is more than twice the price here than in the ‘lower 48’.

Dan had been based at a US Airforce base over the other side of the mountain ‘White City’ (the 2nd most desolate US base in the world after Greenland which he too had served at). He met a local Inuit lady and settled in Wales. One of the funniest, toughest and most resourceful persons I have ever met. I eventually slept in this workshop after my tent started to leak. Dan did offer a bed in the house which I eventually took toward the end of my 3 weeks there because if I got sick with a cold everyone would get it and in that hostile environment you cant afford to get ill.

Sergeants Farm - Wakes Colne, Essex, UK I am haunted by this image because I have lost the original transparency film I took the photograph on. It is either lost of I have seriously mislaid it. This is very unusual for me as I am well organized but I have lived in such dire circumstances and moved so much that it could easily have gone for good [the only one I know of!] This was taken in 1988 on Kodak Ektachrome during an evening when there had been alot of rainfall and double rainbows were about. It’s like a painting and though it is simple I think it is beautfiful and reminds me of growing up in that area. More than anything I want to find the film and enlarge it so I can see all the detail of the tones - Im fascinated by the brooding luminous clouds, the eeriness of the fields and hedgrows and the stark white of the old clapperboard house where Tiny Tabner used to live. (See ‘Essex Folk’ for photos of him and the house). One of my favourite photos, I was only 19 when I took it - pre-dating readily available digital cameras by ten years. The file is too small to enlarge it any further.


Furzedown Halls of Residence, Tooting - South West London After taking these photos with one of the first digitals available in 1998 - a Sony Mavica MVC-FD5 which saved the images to a floppy disk in the back of the camera - I only put them all together in this montage in 2012. Before this I had never seen them all together to remind me of the room I used in student accommodation between October 1997 and June 1998 whilst I studied at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design for a Masters degree in Interactive Multimedia. These were taken on the day I left for the summer holidays. I never returned and spent my final term, it was a 14 month course ending in December 1998, living rough and on the floors of friend’s houses. I have mostly bad memories of being here. To begin with I drank too much alcohol, put on alot of weight, behaved badly and partied everynight. Then, seeing the error of my ways, I stopped drinking for 5 months and became a recluse in this room. I only had to go into college once a month so I would work obssesively on the projects I had been set, sometimes 18 hours a day and burnt myself out. Notice the pair of monitors necessary for animating and the original dull greyish magnolia colour of the Apple Mac computer.


Esquel, Argentina - The Andes I made the journey west to the Andes many times in order to document the Welsh colonists on that side also - in Esquel and Trevelin and the surrounding countryside. On this day I had driven alone since the early morning almost 400 miles from Gaiman to get to this point and seeing the view and with the sun going down wanted to take a photo high up for maximum effect. Below is the Renault Trafic van I borrowed from my girlfriend’s Dad and which I would sleep in the back of whilst touring. I climbed up quickly and used a roll of film with 10 exposures to make sure I had exactly the shot I wanted. After that I sat for a long time until the sun had dissapeared, soaking in the atmosphere of being in such a quiet and beautiful place, watching eagles flying nearby and happy that I had got there safely and without incident. The next day I would stop at farms to ask if the occupants were of Welsh descent and start photographing - then learn about the next place I should visit and so on. On this trip I walked into Chile to renew my passport visa as I couldnt drive a vehicle over the border which I didn’t own myself and also went up 3 chairlifts at a ski resort to photo a man of Welsh descent who worked as a lift attendant.


Conclusion 18 images I chose randomly as I browsed through one of my hard drives where my work is backed up. 18 out of how many? Perhaps too many of Alaska and Patagonia and just a couple from Wales, UK and Essex. I have lever arch folders also of negatives which have never been scanned and I really don’t know what images I have taken going back years and years. I could make another book and another book but with no project structure to it, a showcase or catalogue instead, there is little purpose to this save for the viewer’s enjoyment. Even though my first commercially published book is coming out this August I wish that my work would be recognized enough to get commissions to photograph projects I get paid for. If I can’t make a living from something I am good at then should I stop and work at flipping burgers? No. I have to carry on photographing!


I recently received an email from a gentleman requesting an image of a character I photographed in Patagonia, to use in a presentation. I am loathe to charge any money as this person doesn’t give talks for profit but the time I spent photographing the character and the overall effort I made in Argentina can never be re-paid in anyway - monetarily or otherwise. I explained that I live in a Yurt tent outdoors and that my work continues to be ignored by agencies and national papers. The gentleman wrote: “ I am sorry to hear that times are hard. You are a very skilled photographer and ought to be making more of a mark with your art.” If you, the kind viewer has any ideas I haven’t tried yet - as to how I can go about this - then please email me at info@edgold.co.uk Thank you


Sasquatch

On 15 September 2011 I was talking to an old friend in the UK about my experiences travelling in Canada and mentioned, candidly, that I had seen a Sasquatch. Knowing that I don’t make things up and that I’m not crazy he suggested that I submit a report to this website he found: http://www.bfro.net/GDB/submitfm.asp This is a site for people to fill out a form which documents the sightings of sasquatches they have experienced themselves. I submitted the form with the text you read here but they didn’t answer despite me sending it on 2 seperate occassions. I filled out the report slightly doubting myself and then, after I had submitted it online, read all the other reports which are online for others to read. I felt a cold sweat and the hairs prickle on the back of my neck when I realized that the place I had seen the sasquatch was in the same area as all the other sightings and its physical movements were the same also - specific details which would take alot of coincidence and imagination for people who didnt know each other to make up.

I’m an English motorcyclist on a journey by motorbike from NYC to Fairbanks, AK to Vancouver. This is early November 2009. I’m a documentary photographer (www.edgold.co.uk). I had crossed into the Yukon over the border from Alaska and had gone into Beaver Creek and out the other side heading south. I was doing 80mph over a row of 3 frost heaves and my suspension collapsed on the last one. I skidded for 110 yards and managed to keep my balance before stopping. I stopped the 1st vehicle and asked them to continue on to Destruction Bay and get a recovery vehicle to collect me. I waited 5 hours next to my bike, vehicles passed me and not all of them stopped... some of them did and asked if I was OK. Eventually a large ‘rig’ stopped being driven by a Rodney Spendlove... on his way to Anchorage. It was getting dark so, rather than wait with my bike and risk getting attacked by bears I asked to go in his lorry to the next village along in his direction which was back to Beaver Creek. I threw some of my luggage into his cab, namely my tent and we drove very fast, as he was late, to

Beaver Creek. I put my tent up outside a cafe, which had internet I used, and went to sleep. In the morning I went to the garage to ask for a Recovery vehicle to pick my bike up but the gentleman there said it had already been picked up by a mechanic from Destruction Bay. So, I stood at the side of the road and held out my thumb to get a lift to Destruction Bay. Eventually a man from a First Nations band stopped, called ‘Bruiser’ and gave me a lift. He was on his way to Whitehorse and charged me 20 bucks...he had a rifle for shooting Moose which I held between my legs. He stopped all the time to look for Moose with his binoculars. He also had Moose jerky in a cooler in the back pickup of his truck which he shared with me. After driving for around an hour he started to fall asleep and would slowly drift across the road whilst driving. He would wake up again and then doze off repeatedly. I didnt say anything but was ready to grab the wheel if he didnt ‘come to’ by the time we got to the verge on the other side of the road. We got to Destruction Bay and we spoke to the mechanic about my motorbike and I said that I would contin-


ue to Whitehorse with Bruiser to try and get a replacement shock absorber and ‘dog bone linkages’ for my motorbike. We drove along Kluane Lake, and Silver City which had road works and building a new bridge. We carried on and rounded a bend in the highway which went on to a long straight. This would have been between Silver City and Bear Creek. It was sunny and bright with excellent visibility. I looked down the straight and 200 metres in front of us could see a figure. It was standing on the side of the asphalt, looking across the road to the other side. It didnt see us as we came around the bend. It was concentrating on something so saw us late. I’ve got very good eyesight, was 40 years old then and have never needed glasses. My focusing with a medium format film camera with manual focusing was always spot on. My initial split second reaction was ‘Oh, look there is a man on the side of the road’ then I sorted out scale in my head a second later and realized it was absolutely massive - at least 8 feet tall. More like 10 feet tall. It was lean but very muscular. When it ‘felt’ us it turned 180 degrees and

started to walk back across our side of the verge, toward the treeline. As it walked it turned toward our pickup and looked directly at our cab as it moved. I couldnt make out any facial features but I felt that it wasnt afraid or in a hurry to disappear BUT when it walked it moved with amazing speed, but very slowly. Its movement was slow but within 4 seconds it had covered 50 feet back into the trees. It was not a bear on its hind legs! It was very powerful and dark and it wasnt completely hairy like a baboon. It was only covered in hair but not thick hair. The way it walked was like it glided or it was an illusion like Michael Jackosn moon walking but doing this moving forwards. I dont mean that he slinked but that he glided with little movement from his body. He glided whilst still striding by moving his legs. I wasnt scared immediately as it took me a while to understand what I saw. I turned to Bruiser as soon as the ‘person’ had gone and said “Did you see that!?’ “What?” Bruiser asked. He had been dozing off despite having just negotiated a corner. Really, Bruiser was barely looking at the road at all. I told him that I

thought I saw something...but didnt say what as I felt that he would think I was stupid. I then realized it was a Sasquatch and felt a real sense of fear but incredible fascination, that originally I hadnt belived in them but it was totally obvious that this was one! I mean seriously that there was no way it could have been anything else at all. All there was, was a highway and verge and trees. Seeing a very tall human form in all of that stuck out like seeing a car stuck in the desert = a human shape in nature stands out very strongly. OK, I thought about it alot and we got to Whitehorse. I parted ways with Bruiser and slept rough in Whitehorse. I didnt find any spare parts at all for my bike so hitched back with another man from a First Nations band who dropped me off in Destruction Bay - he lived in Burwash Landing. We passed the spot, on our left from the previous day and I didnt see anything. I spent about 3 nights in Destruction Bay and got my bike repaired OK. Finally I left and headed south to Whitehorse alone on the motorbike. At the same place as before, on the same stretch of road I AGAIN saw the figure. Again

‘he’ was standing at the road side, not in exactly the same place but within 100 feet of the place from before. This time he didnt look at me but moved faster and was gone quicker. Probably because my Kawasaki ZX11 was going alot faster, crusing at 70mph - 80mph and it had 2 loud exhausts. He didnt look at me I suspect because the noise upset him and my presence might have seemed annoying or aggravating as my form was big, I was carrying alot of luggage and had made a frame on the bike to carry a ‘pop-up’ tent - a large round flat tent that, when removed from its bag, springs open in an instant. I went passed the place and DID NOT slow down but turned my head to see if he had stopped within the edge of the treeline to look at me. Nothing there. I felt a real sense of fear that this figure could kill me as easily as you can crush a house fly. I have seen how fast an Elk or Moose walks and it moved as fast as that as its legs were the length of a Moose’s. Its shape was totally like a humans. Words now escape me as there were many subtle things I witnessed that I cannot now describe...what I am left with

is the 100% knowledge that Sasquatchs do exist, that I swear. The feeling that I have isnt that of not being able to prove it as I dont care as I know I have seen it. The feeling isnt of fear like that of being in the sea with risk of shark attack. Its a feeling of trepidation as I knew it wasnt afraid of humans. It was menacing. Also it was dark and the hair, if it was hair did not have ‘tufts’ - the body covering wasnt lumpy or irregular but like a boiler suit, but not material or clothing just dark and smooth but not matt or gloss, no sheen to it. Not like a computer graphic either so basically like nothing I had ever witnessed. The whole thing overall is one of suspense because it has 2 opposing factors. The human form is very familiar, its shape and form but not the way it moved or its presence. I thought that it was arrogant. I also think it is ‘other-wordly’ or super natural. It’s odd that www.bfro.net didn’t accept this report and post it onto their website as they have posted other peoples sightings. Maybe they think I’m having a joke with them? They say they telephone to make sure you aren’t lying. I wish they would call.


www.edgold.co.uk

Profile for Ed Gold

Almost Away  

A random selection of 18 photographs I have never shown and also text describing a Sasquatch sighting

Almost Away  

A random selection of 18 photographs I have never shown and also text describing a Sasquatch sighting

Profile for edgold
Advertisement