Sebastiao Salgado. Genesis

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Overview

Earth eternal: A photographic homage to our planet in its natural state

“In GENESIS, my camera allowed nature to speak to me. And it was my privilege to listen.” —Sebastião Salgado

On a very fortuitous day in 1970, 26-year-old Sebastião Salgado held a camera for the first time. When he looked through the viewfinder, he experienced a revelation: suddenly life made sense. From that day onward—though it took years of hard work before he had the ...

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Overview

Earth eternal: A photographic homage to our planet in its natural state

“In GENESIS, my camera allowed nature to speak to me. And it was my privilege to listen.” —Sebastião Salgado

On a very fortuitous day in 1970, 26-year-old Sebastião Salgado held a camera for the first time. When he looked through the viewfinder, he experienced a revelation: suddenly life made sense. From that day onward—though it took years of hard work before he had the experience to earn his living as a photographer—the camera became his tool for interacting with the world. Salgado, who “always preferred the chiaroscuro palette of black-and-white images,” shot very little color in his early career before giving it up completely.

Raised on a farm in Brazil, Salgado possessed a deep love and respect for nature; he was also particularly sensitive to the ways in which human beings are affected by their often devastating socio-economic conditions. Of the myriad works Salgado has produced in his acclaimed career, three long-term projects stand out: Workers (1993), documenting the vanishing way of life of manual laborers across the world, Migrations (2000), a tribute to mass migration driven by hunger, natural disasters, environmental degradation and demographic pressure, and this new opus, GENESIS, the result of an epic eight-year expedition to rediscover the mountains, deserts and oceans, the animals and peoples that have so far escaped the imprint of modern society—the land and life of a still-pristine planet. “Some 46% of the planet is still as it was in the time of genesis,” Salgado reminds us. “We must preserve what exists.” The GENESIS project, along with the Salgados’ Instituto Terra, are dedicated to showing the beauty of our planet, reversing the damage done to it, and preserving it for the future.

Over 30 trips—travelled by foot, light aircraft, seagoing vessels, canoes, and even balloons, through extreme heat and cold and in sometimes dangerous conditions—Salgado created a collection of images showing us nature, animals, and indigenous peoples in breathtaking beauty. Mastering the monochrome with an extreme deftness to rival the virtuoso Ansel Adams, Salgado brings black-and-white photography to a new dimension; the tonal variations in his works, the contrasts of light and dark, recall the works of Old Masters such as Rembrandt and Georges de La Tour.

What does one discover in GENESIS? The animal species and volcanoes of the Galápagos; penguins, sea lions, cormorants, and whales of the Antarctic and South Atlantic; Brazilian alligators and jaguars; African lions, leopards, and elephants; the isolated Zo’é tribe deep in the Amazon jungle; the Stone Age Korowai people of West Papua; nomadic Dinka cattle farmers in Sudan; Nenet nomads and their reindeer herds in the Arctic Circle; Mentawai jungle communities on islands west of Sumatra; the icebergs of the Antarctic; the volcanoes of Central Africa and the Kamchatka Peninsula; Saharan deserts; the Negro and Juruá rivers in the Amazon; the ravines of the Grand Canyon; the glaciers of Alaska... and beyond. Having dedicated so much time, energy, and passion to the making of this work, Salgado likens GENESIS to “my love letter to the planet.”

Whereas the limited Collector’s Edition is conceived like a large-format portfolio that meanders across the planet, this unlimited book presents a selection of photographs arranged in five chapters geographically: Planet South, Sanctuaries, Africa, Northern Spaces, Amazonia and Pantanal. Each in its own way, this book and the Collector’s edition—both edited and designed by Lélia Wanick Salgado—pay homage to Salgado’s triumphant and unparalleled GENESIS project.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

For eight years, Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado traveled through parts of the world that were still unspoiled, capturing spectacular monochrome images of animals, indigenous people, and natural terrain relatively untouched by modern society. His project was as arduous as it was ambitious: In Ethiopia, he trekked 800 kilometers because there were no roads; in the frigid Russian Arctic, he walked 47 days with 7,000 reindeer. The result of this epic expedition, which Salgado calls "my love letter to the planet," is miraculous: Hundreds of photographs of isolated tribes and jungle communities; sea animals and desert creatures; mountains, glaciers, valleys, and ravines.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9783836538725
  • Publisher: Taschen America, LLC
  • Publication date: 6/15/2013
  • Pages: 520
  • Sales rank: 38,417
  • Product dimensions: 9.90 (w) x 14.30 (h) x 1.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Sebastião Salgado began his career as a professional photographer in Paris in 1973 and subsequently worked with the photo agencies Sygma, Gamma and Magnum Photos. In 1994 he and his wife Lélia created Amazonas images, which exclusively handles his work. Salgado’s photographic projects have been featured in many exhibitions as well as books, including Other Americas (1986), Sahel, L'Homme en détresse (1986), Workers (1993), Terra (1997), Migrations (2000), The Children (2000) and Africa (2007).

Lélia Wanick Salgado studied architecture and urban planning in Paris. Her interest in photography started in 1970. In the 1980s she moved on to conceiving and designing photography books and organizing exhibitions, numerous of them on Sebastião Salgado. Since 1994 Lélia Wanick Salgado has been the director of Amazonas images.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 30, 2013

    Wow!

    This is one of those books that you cant get enough of. Its a joy to see Mr Salgado's photographic interpretations of our home planet. What sets his photos apart from other's is his printing skills. The final print is so important, as Adams would say. And the prints in this book are brilliant. One thing to think about before buying this tome, is that this book is huge and heavy. Make sure you have a concrete-reinforced book case before shelving this thing. Highly recommended.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 28, 2014

    Another masterpiece from Salgado

    I have a copy of Sebastio Salgado's earlier book, Workers, and bought Genesis as a Christmas gift to myself. I am not disappointed. His black and white photography packs an emotional punch. This book features images of parts of the world relatively untouched by civilization. This includes indigenous human populations. There are few written words but thousands of words defined by the images.

    I strongly recommend this work. It is not large format, but the images come through nonetheless.

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  • Posted December 8, 2014

    The black and white photographs add to the awe and draw of this

    The black and white photographs add to the awe and draw of this album

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  • Posted November 7, 2014

    GREAT BOOK -- IMPORTANT CAUSE

    Though short of the talent of greats such as A. Adams, Bullock, Weston, ..., Salgado is talented the same in the advocating call for respecting, preserving, and providing sound stewardship for our only home. After viewing the show at ICP, NYC, I had to acquire the book to share with others.

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