Snapping at eternity and capturing life in small pixels is the fastest most efficient way to lie the truth.

 

Every great photographer has this talent to stop time for a second, and to immortalize a moment, a situation, a view. But Salgado manages to go one step further and actually stop time. In black and white.

 

 

You cant sell news stories that have data and cautious predictions. Where is the panic? Where is the impending doom? C'mon people , give me something to work with here…

    Opinions / Science / Theory of Relative Ignorance  
 

..and as I was a yuppy marketing and advertising executive for the better part
of a decade, I am not really impressed with stories of selling your soul to the devil...

    Art & Culture / Music / Blues / Robert Johnson  

Sebastiao Salgado - Deep Documentary

There is an interview with Salgado, done after the launch of his retrospective book.
they are sitting in Salgado's kitchen, going over the book. Salgado looks at the number of the pages…350. You see, he says, I usually shoot at 1/350 of a second….so basically this WHOLE book is just ONE second of my life…

And that is part of his secret. Every great photographer has this talent to stop time for a second, and to immortalize a moment, a situation, a view. But Salgado manages to go one step further and actually stop time. In black and white.

The only other photographer who had this exact ability is Eugen smith, which was in some sense documenting  some of the same things as salgado. Industry, poverty, simple people, simple life.
And this is the challenge.

Taking a dramatic picture of a soldier in a battle field is easy (if getting shot at, running for your life and hiding behind rabble with your eardrums bleeding easy of course…) taking an amazing photo of a gorgeous model in makeup and artistic cloths is easy (if being surrounded by bitchy stylists, avoiding art directors and editors and hiding behind a filing closet with your eardrums bleeding easy of course) but taking pictures of the real people living their lives is hard.

Salgado was shooting most of his career in conflict zones and in extreme poverty countries, but still, managed to always get the human story. The simple story.

 

I have a way to photograph. You work with space, you have a camera, you have a frame, and then a fraction of a second. It’s very instinctive.

What you do is a fraction of a second, it’s there and it’s not there. But in this fraction of a second comes your past, comes your future, comes your relation with people, comes your ideology, comes your hate, comes your love — all together in this fraction of a second, it materializes there.

 
Now, you might ask me how can I say such a thing as salgado best work was shooting walking skeletons in Africa, homeless refugees in Europe and other victims and grief struck struggling masses. Well, that was his beauty. Catching life even there. Especially there.
Real documentary. And then…there are the biblical shots.

I don’t have any other way to describe it. Salagado has the vision, if you excuse the pun, to summons scenes which are nothing less than biblical in nature. Sand storms over marching people, tidal waves and whale tails splashing, clouds that always look like five minutes to Armageddon,  even flames rising from an oil rig, there is always a pending sense of something awesome. Not awesome like 'cool' but full of awe. The smallness of us all, and the noise we make on this planet.

 
I don’t want anyone to appreciate the light or the palette of tones. I want my pictures to inform, to provoke discussion – and to raise money. "
 
The black and white dramatic contrast and the epic composition gives the whole body of work a sense of gravitas you rarely see these days, a somber tone, an added value to the story, to the people, to the life.

Whenever I look at his work I am not jealous.
but I am getting an itch to travel and shoot more.
and THAT is the sign of a great master.
Inspiring work.
chapeau mister salgado