A Shared Tradition to Sustain the Land

Kyle Adler

About Kyle Adler

Kyle Adler is a photographer specializing in travel, performing arts, and culture based on the San Francisco Peninsula. His work is unified by a passion for capturing the unique spirit of a place and its people. Kyle’s overarching goal as an artist, author, and educator is to tell stories visually that advocate for positive social change. He is a recent winner of the prestigious “Travel Photographer of the Year” competition, was shortlisted for the “National Geographic Travel Photography” competition, and was named by Digital Photo Pro Magazine as one of three emerging professional photographers worldwide. Kyle’s work has been published in a variety of journals internationally including National Geographic Online, Digital Photo Pro Magazine, The Telegraph, The Atlantic, and Pointe Magazine. His images have been exhibited widely in the US and around the world. Having earned degrees from Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania, he worked for nearly 30 years in the technology industry prior to becoming a full-time professional photographer.

About A Shared Tradition to Sustain the Land

Most indigenous cultures have grown over millennia of human experience from the land where they are rooted. For this project my collaborator Andreína Maldonado, a Venezuelan performing artist and cultural worker, and I explored the parallel beliefs across both of our ancestral traditions with respect to sustaining the lands that nourished our forebears. The practices of the Jewish tradition of Shmita bear a striking resemblance to South American indigenous practices of protecting the land and allowing it to rest. Andreína created her costume to reflect Venezuelan indigenous attire, and we sought locations near our San Francisco homes that were evocative of Venezuela’s Orinoco River Basin. To express the spiritual duality of our peoples’ permanent connectedness to the land vs. the ephemeral nature of all living beings, I captured these images using both standard (visible light) photography and infrared light photography. The infrared images, made using a specially converted camera, render the foliage as a stark, shocking white while expressing skin tones and other natural elements in an almost ghostly, ethereal manner.