Pick of the Week

Camera in Tow

Photography and travel are intrinsically linked. People use photography as both a tool to share their experiences with friends and cue visual memories, reminding them of places they've been and people they've met.

This Saturday, Giada Gallo-Quiroz will present a lecture on the interaction between the two, called "Photographic Journeys: Exploring the World Through Travel, Far and Near."

"Whenever I travel, I always have my camera in hand," says Gallo-Quiroz. " ... I've had this real passion for traveling, and I've always had an interest in photography. The way the two coincide is that when you travel, you see things from a new perspective, because you are in that new perspective or that new area. Sometimes, it can be exhilarating and exciting, and sometimes slightly uncomfortable. Through that lens, that's where I began to see things from a new perspective, and what I see from that new field of vision I then record with my camera. To me, the two really work together."

Gallo-Quiroz was a museum assistant for the National Park Service for six years. She cataloged historic archives and photographs at a number of parks, meaning she had to travel often. That travel and the change in perspective that came with it will be a topic at the lecture.

"I would go out, and we would travel in teams to different parks in the Western United States," says Gallo-Quiroz. "We went everywhere from Utah to California to even Hawaii. My camera was always in tow for when I was able to go out."

Gallo-Quiroz's interest in photography began when her grandfather gave her a camera when she was 7 years old. Her interest continued throughout school, and she eventually graduated from the UA with a fine arts degree, with an emphasis in photography. Originally, her interest in photography was aimed more at human subjects, but her job led to a change in focus, for practical reasons.

"Once I started with the Park Service, it pushed me into a whole new genre of photography," says Gallo-Quiroz. "I started doing landscape photography, because it was all that was around. The first time I went to Death Valley, I sort of pushed myself into this new realm. ... It definitely changed my perspective, and I gained a new appreciation for landscape and landscape photography."

Gallo-Quiroz's love of photography even influenced where she went on her honeymoon: She went to Costa Rica, at least in part because of the opportunities for photography. Some of those pictures will be used to illustrate her lecture.

"My husband also takes photographs. We were trying to think of an interesting place that we both hadn't been to that we wanted to take photos of, and see how we could help each other and influence each other as photographers. The trip was incredible. We went to see the Arenal Volcano, and then we went more into the highlands. We went into the Monteverde cloud forest, and we took a lot of hikes in the rain-forest area. ... We were able to see quite a bit. In each spot, we had a lot of time to really take photos. It was a pretty amazing two weeks."

The trip to Costa Rica also helped Gallo-Quiroz develop the idea behind her lecture.

"I was thinking about (the lecture) on the flight home, and I thought about it a little during the trip. I thought about this idea of how to connect this metaphor of what it means to travel, and how can I get other people excited about traveling."

Gallo-Quiroz hopes that people who attend the lecture will discuss their ideas about travel and photography. She also hopes that people will find inspiration for their own photography, whether it happens across the globe or across the street.

"I'll be presenting these photos that I took from a different country, but I know a lot of people don't even leave Tucson, and this idea of traveling can mean (to) just change your perspective," says Gallo-Quiroz. "Go in your backyard, and look at what you can see, or walk down the block if you haven't checked out the houses down the street. Try to use your camera as a device for learning about your neighborhood and changing your perspective."

"Photographic Journeys: Exploring the World Through Travel, Far and Near" takes place from 6 to 7 p.m., Saturday, July 12, at ArtCulture Partnership: Art 4 U, 949 E. 35th St. Admission is free. Call 792-3617 or visit geogiada.com for more information.

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