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  1. #1

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    Discuss a Sebastiao Salgado photograph x2!

    I have always considered Salgado one of the greatest photographers of all time. I am simply going to post a pair of images and see what others think.
    Feel free to post links to other images of his you enjoy.

    With multiple postings of images perhaps we can have a longer ongoing discussion of his work.

    Here is a good selection of his work:http://www.peterfetterman.com/htmls/...fm?artistid=46


    The two images I selected are Iceberg Between Paulette Island and the Shetland Islands, Antartica, 2005 andChurch Gate Station, Western Railroad Line, Bombay, India, 1995.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Salgado_Iceberg.jpg   salgado_bombay.jpg  
    "Fundamentally I think we need to rediscover a non-ironic world"
    Robert Adams

  2. #2
    eric's Avatar
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    I really love his work. I had a chance to meet him one day. The lab owner I worked at was from Argentina and knew Sebastiao. For some reason, I wasn't at work when he came. His images are just truely awesome. I don't know who his printer is but that's some good printing.

  3. #3
    SuzanneR's Avatar
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    Hard to talk about just one image with Salgado, and like many others I have admired his work for a long time. He seems to have become sme sort of "photo god", and even gives his long term projects biblical names, i.e. "Exodus" for the migrations work, and currently "Genesis" for this arctic (or is it antarctic?) work.

    His ability to show the human condition in such a dignified way is his extraordinary strength as a photographer. I just wish he would edit his work a little more tightly, and publish some smaller (well... more affordable) books.

    As for the train photograph in particular... it's a wonderful testament to the ability of photography and Salgado as a photographer to document this teeming humanity of a crowded train station, and also be an absolute visual feast for the eyes.

    I find the iceberg photo quite a lovely landscape. and he always uses this wonderful light (back light?) in a lot of his work. Interesting to see he still uses it in such a different context. Though, this landscape work may need the context of the whole portfolio to really be appreciated

  4. #4
    eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suzanne Revy View Post
    H
    I find the iceberg photo quite a lovely landscape. and he always uses this wonderful light (back light?) in a lot of his work. Interesting to see he still uses it in such a different context. Though, this landscape work may need the context of the whole portfolio to really be appreciated
    Is it back lit? Unfortunately, there aren't any Sebastiao Salgado books in any of my libraries here. I usually take out the same ones and I study them.
    I'll have to take a look at some more and see if lots of the photo are back lit. I do recall the little girl with the angel wings and the sun in the background. What an image. I wouldn't want to be the one printing that! Looks like a very difficult image to print with just the right exposure and heavy, heavy burning in the back.
    But his printing style (or his printer's printing style) is a little heavy. Dark images with just what you want to see come out of the darkness.

  5. #5
    SuzanneR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eric View Post
    Is it back lit? Unfortunately, there aren't any Sebastiao Salgado books in any of my libraries here. I usually take out the same ones and I study them.
    I'll have to take a look at some more and see if lots of the photo are back lit. I do recall the little girl with the angel wings and the sun in the background. What an image. I wouldn't want to be the one printing that! Looks like a very difficult image to print with just the right exposure and heavy, heavy burning in the back.
    But his printing style (or his printer's printing style) is a little heavy. Dark images with just what you want to see come out of the darkness.
    You might have some more of his books in your library if they were a wee bit more affordable!! (Grumble... grumble...! )

    You are making me look at his light more carefully, now, Eric! But, yeah.. he seems to choose if not always back light, then strong directional light at least. And he really seems to choose to photograph on days of "changeable" weather. No days where the overcast clouds are working like a giant softbox, or when the skies are clear!!

    Oh... almost forgot, yeah the printing is certainly expressive. I've seen a lot of his prints, and they are gorgeous, and really do emphasize his sense of light and how he chooses to use it.

  6. #6
    Les McLean's Avatar
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    I'd agree with Eric's comments re the quality of the prints. I believe Salgado uses a French Printer but I don't know his name. With regard to Salgado's work I am somewhat dubious of his principles, let me explain why. When he first came to prominence with his gold mine pictures I thought they were wonderful examples of documentary photography. However, in the next few years I saw two TV documentaries about Salgado which left me feeling uneasy about his approach. In the interviews Salgado seemed to be only interested in making money from his documentary work and seemed to be quite cynical about his subjects. Please don't think I'm criticising someone for making a profit from what he does, I'm a freeleance photographer and know that money has to be earned in order to pay the bills etc. I am struggling to find the best words to describe the feelings I had when watching the TV films other than to say there was something disturbing in Salgado's attitude.

    I wrestled with these feelings for several years as he continued to produce some stunning work and began to think that I was unfair and totally wrong in my original thoughts. At this point and in the space of three years I got to work with two very high profile Magnum photographers independant of each other both asked me, totally out of the blue, what I thought of Salgado. I told tham what I have said here and they both agreed with me and were not very complimentary about the man. In fact one resigned from Magnum because of his attitude although that can be discounted as the egos run high when there is a bunch of such talent together in one organisation.

    I do still enjoy some of his work and I am always very excited about the prints when I see a show and wonder if it is the actual print that I'm enjoying more than the image. I sometimes feel guilty when I express these feelings for they are simply based on seeing two films where the man was interviewed although the two Magnum photographers who seemed to confirm my views are very experienced and highly respected men.
    "Digital circuits are made from analogue parts"
    Fourtune Cookie-Brooklyn May 2006

    Website: www.lesmcleanphotography.com

  7. #7
    SuzanneR's Avatar
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    Les, I hear ya!

    For a communist, he certainly has become quite the extraordinary entrepreneur!

  8. #8
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    I believe the biting description has been "anasthetic aesthetic"

    There is something corny about some of the kid images but I think he does a good job. Remember, he's ONE GUY and think of how much awareness he has created with his shooting, all around the world.*

    One can be a very very good man without being certified as a saint. And I don't believe that his social and personal goals are really antithetical.

    ---

    * (and how much Rodinal he has sold )

    "What Would Zeus Do?"
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  9. #9
    roteague's Avatar
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    His work is OK. I don't have any other feelings toward it other than that; I certainly don't find it stunning as others do.
    Robert M. Teague
    www.visionlandscapes.com
    www.apug.org/forums/portfolios.php?u=2235

    "A man who works with his hands is a laborer; a man who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsman; a man who works with his hands and his brain and his heart is an artist" -- Louis Nizer

  10. #10

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    Regardless of his motivation, I still think he produces stunning images. As far as his printing goes, it reminds me quite a bit of Eugene Smith. Smith printed rather dark in many of his best images and used the light (not just what is an illuminated highlight) as the key element in the image.

    What I have always found interesting is that you can gloss past any number of images of war refugees or people in living in unbelievable poverty. We have seen so many they hardly register on our brains.. But Salgado somehow is able to present an image that has a certain beauty that the viewer cannot easily dismiss. I think that is the strength of his work.

    As far as his books, I agree that they are priced out of my range. But just to make sure I don't add any filthy lucre to his pockets I will only buy one if it shows up at the used bookstore..
    "Fundamentally I think we need to rediscover a non-ironic world"
    Robert Adams

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