It’s been a while since we ran a “MondayMasters” but I had this real desire to once again focus my mind and eye on some of the great photographers and get away from the churn of low quality stuff on the internet (which admittedly, I have been known to contribute to). This time I set the challenge to find a master photographer of any discipline you find inspiring. I choose Sebastian Salgado.
I first came across Salgado when I was in London working in an English School and my colleague suggested we check out his Genesis exhibition that was at the Natural History Museum. We went along and I was pretty impressed. I didn’t know much about photography then but the black and white style really stood out to me.
I went home and then I checked out his Ted talk and that really caught me. In many ways, that was one of the final steps before I jumped into photography.
It wasn’t just his photos that caught my mind but also his motivation and thinking that stood out for me. I think it is that perfect merge or product and process. Where the images stand alone as a powerful message but his reasons and motivation.
It’s incredible interesting to see his journey from photographing humans and documentary style to more landscape and nature photography and yet they are still distinctly his.
What I take from Sebastiao’s Work
I don’t think it is possible not to be inspired by Sebastiao. I find his rich, layered compositions to be very rewarding and make me want to use layers in my own work. The black and white asthetic is something I’m really drawn to and like to experiment with, but I still prefer colour photography (on the whole). Secondly, Sebastiao’s projects resonate deeply because they are bodies of work.
Check out more
- Sebastiao’s books
- Eric Kim on Sebastian Salgado and street
- Pinterest board with some of Sebastiao’s photos
The art of photography on Sebastian Salgado