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CULTURE
Peter Ross: Spiritualists, Healers, Mediums and Psychics
by Jacob Resneck
on 14 December 2007
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Freelancer Peter Ross is a 41-year-old year old portrait photographer in Manhattan who makes his living taking pictures of celebrities.

His latest offering deals with spiritual mediums in two communities connected by the spiritualism movement of the 1800s. Today, mediums live together in communities in Florida and western New York which were both founded by early founders of the 160-year-old spiritualism movement.

Ross spent time with a western New York the spiritualism community called Lily Dale. He shadowed psychic mediums who claim to commune with the dead and returned with a series of intense portraits. “These people are very serene and peaceful,” he told CH. “They seemed very connected to their environment and their land, much more than most people.”

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Even if he was sometimes skeptical, Ross said he was impressed by their empathy in reading other people, including himself. “I definitely think there are people who are attuned to the energy around them,” he said. “I don't know if I can believe if these people can talk to the dead or not which they claim to do. But they are a very astute group of people.”

This fall, he visited Cassadaga, Florida (near Orlando), which was founded more than 100 years ago by Lily Dale mediums whose psychic powers apparently were no use against the harsh snowy winters of the settlement near Lake Erie. At the moment you'll only find these images on his website, though Ross said he's shopping around to galleries trying to set up an exhibition.

In the meantime, Ross' website also includes a previous project, the product of a two-week visit to Kabul in Afghanistan in the spring of 2005, and it's definitely work a look.

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