December 19, 2007

Pictures from Africa

I heard about this master photographer earlier today in the context of his latest book of photographs: Africa (Hardcover - Oct 31, 2007).

The celebrated Brazilian photojournalist Sebastiao Salgado has recorded numerous major upheavals on the African continent, beginning in the mid-1970s -- wars of independence, civil wars, drought, famine, genocide. In "Africa" (Taschen: 336 pp., $59.99), more than 300 of his photographs, dating from 1974 to 2006, are beautifully reproduced. They are disturbing images -- a record of extreme human and natural violence -- and they are also heartbreaking, because the Africa of your childhood imagination is here too: the stupendous skies, the moss-laden forests, the gorillas on the flanks of a volcano, the migrating wildebeests, a solitary leopard drinking its fill in the Barab River valley. All of these photographs have an eerie immediacy you can get lost in. - LA Times review

Brazil's Sebastião Salgado's black and white work from the 1970s onwards has focused on developments in the Third World. It seems Salgado discovered photography while working as an economist for the World Bank. He is now one of the world's greatest photographers .

He has a # of books full of great photographs but to get a flavor look at

- First up... some pictures of Africa probably from the recent book via a Google-Image search.

- this series appearing in the Guardian over 8 years (2004-2012). Apparently, "he is seeking out places that are still as pristine as they were in primeval times, places that provide hope. First stop, the Galapagos Islands."

- this excerpt of images from his 2000 book "Migrations"

- and this great series in the NYT about land reform movement in his native Brazil.

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