Protecting Wilderness and National Parks

Henry Gold - Landscape Photographer

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Henry Gold has supported the environment movement for fifty years, as its honorary photographer. He knows the wilderness intimately as a photographer and through his many adventures with the Sydney Bushwalkers, which he joined in 1956. His photographs are not just artistically appealing, they have been a major influence in campaigns for the preservation and World Heritage listing of, not only the Blue Mountains, but also the NSW rainforests.

In 1967, Henry’s images featured in the classic campaign brochure “Quarrying Valuable Scenery” that helped to save the Colong Caves in the southern Blue Mountains. Henry Gold’s photographs have been used to publicise wilderness protection ever since.

For his services to wilderness preservation through the use of photographic documentation Henry was rewarded Medal of the Order of Australia in 2006. So how did an Austrian come to be one of Australia’s foremost wilderness photographers?

As a teenager living in Vienna, Henry had stumbled upon a woodcut illustration of the Blue Mountains in Wonders of the World in his father's library. “It had a profound effect on me, this view of continuous valleys and cliff lines without the human interference I was so used to in Europe.”

As soon as he migrated to Australia he traveled to the Blue Mountains and began his photographic adventures.  This path then led him to America in the early 1960s where he met Ansell Adams.  Ansell's iconic black and white landscape images inspired Henry to show Australians' their unique environment and help protect it. The dramatic black and white photos that assisted many conservation campaigns through the print media were unfortunately not profitable. So Gold honed his skills in colour photography, becoming well known for his NSW Wilderness Calendar in the 1990s.  

It's a romantic idea wondering out into a beautiful landscape and capturing its vast and serene beauty. The reality of the situation can be less idyllic.

Says Gold, “The wilderness is a beautiful studio to work in, but it can get pretty arduous.  I mainly work alone because I can't impose that on other people.”

Thanks Henry, for sharing your beautiful wilderness photography.  We can't wait to see your new work presenting spectacular natural areas through images.

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