The Silent Drama of Images — Sebastião Salgado and Photography as a Tool for Social and Environmental Change

This is essential viewing for everyone. His photography is above and beyond most of today’s well-known photographers. The name Sebastião Salgado stands for utterly condense compositions, the redefinition of space and time, a unique film-like black-and-white rendition and the eye for moments most of us will never be able to see. Take his latest project Genesis, an onslaught of visual astonishment that sets new standards. However good you think it will be, it’s better.

Salgado shoots exclusively black and white. No colors distract, it’s all about shadows and tones. He shot very little color in his early career before giving it up completely since he works with DxO FilmPack enabling him “to make a smooth transition to digital,” as Salgado once said.

Salgado comes from very humble beginnings and only took up photography in his 30. He was “a little bit radical and a member of leftist parties” in his younger days, has a PhD in economics and worked in finance. But photography became an obsession. His projects are many years long and capture the human side of a global story that all too often involves death, destruction or decay.

In this TED Talk Salgado tells a deeply personal story of the craft that nearly killed him, and shows breathtaking images from his latest work Genesis which documents the world’s forgotten places and people, fighting against the great contradiction driving progress: destruction.

Concluding with a question: Have you ever planted a tree?

  • dierk

    A very impressive man and very impressive images!! Since many weeks I was thinking of buying his book “Genesis” – now I will buy it.

    I will have no chance to come to spectacular places like he did, but I am even more motivated to take my loved Leica M Monochrom and take “landscapes” that I find around me, faces of elder people in my neighborhood, faces like landscapes, landscapes of there live.