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Gordon Ross Gallery Overview

In Ethiopia, I traveled into the Omo Valley, a region of high heat, searing sunlight and ample dust. The area is a cultural gem — here amongst this inhospitable climate live some of the world’s most fascinating and least disturbed tribal cultures. In all, there are over 50 different tribal groups in southern Ethiopia.

But with each passing day, the ways of modernity are encroaching rapidly. With the introduction of different clothes and adornments to new technologies and camera-toating tourists, the traditional ways of these tribes are disappearing at an alarming rate. Their struggle in the face of this juggernaut is one of survival itself. Without education, they can barely begin to understand the outside world that is advancing quickly into their lives. The tribes of the Omo Valley highlight the present-day struggles that tribal people throughout the world have experienced as dominator cultures have rolled in unannounced in search of new lands and resources. 

The statement that life is art and and art is life is especially poignant when you look at the daily adornments of the people of the Omo Valley. 

I hope you enjoy the images. 

Gordon Ross Bio

I love to witness people’s lives –  to see people fully expressed and to find new ways of viewing things.

Gordon Ross

I have photographed athletes, dancers, yogis, adventurers, musicians, warriors, artists, families and workers as they make their way in the world. Even the seemingly mundane can be full of detail and surprise. I strive to catch the ephemeral truths expressed within the workings of daily life.

My approach is to create a space where people feel free, safe and secure. Then, I encourage them to pull back the curtains and let me peek in for a moment or two. I set out with an intention, but do not get overly attached to an outcome. The goal is to capture the essence of an individual and witness their lives through my lens.

I love to explore the paradox that we are all different and the same with each breath we take. Whether it is a portrait from the Sahara or an urban portrait in Buenos Aires, there is a human look distinctly similar and familiar to all of us. And yet each one of us is unique. A mind boggling thought when you consider that there are over 6.9 billion of us.

Gordon Ross specializes in portraiture, sports and editorial photography. He has taken photographs in over 95 countries and is based in the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island.