The paramo, which is located at high elevations in the Northern Andes, is an austere glacier-formed grassland which is windy, cold, wet, and blanketed by clouds. The land has long been the home of indigenous communities who have grazed livestock and cultivated tubers. Unfortunately, the landscape is changing rapidly. Mining concessions, agricultural encroachment and population growth have transformed most of the land, in some cases irreversibly.
Thomas Ladd is a photographer, graphic designer, and college professor who lives in North Easton, Massachusetts. Currently, he is engaged in five ongoing photographic projects. Two document places in the Northern Andes where poverty, culture, and the environment are in conflict. Three document places near his home, where he is making pictures of a community vegetable garden, winter landscapes, and recording observations made while taking walks. In addition to his photographic practice, Mr. Ladd is a freelance graphic designer who creates identities, websites, posters, and books. Thomas Ladd has received advanced degrees from Cranbrook Academy of Art and Rhode Island School of Design. He is currently an Associate Professor and Chair of the Design Department at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, where he teaches graphic design and photography.