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Brazilian Photographer Sebastião Salgado Sticks to Digital Photography

09/05/2013 - 09h13

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FROM SÃO PAULO

It was by force that the Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado, 69, surrendered to digital photography. "I got to where I was loading up to 600 films in a bag that weighed 28 kilos (61 pounds)," he said on Tuesday at a briefing sponsored by the Folha.

Things began to change when, over the course of working on the "Genesis" project - whose photos will be exhibited staring today in Sao Paulo - transport and film preservation were being hampered by long journeys.

Eduardo Knapp/Folhapress
It was by force that the Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado, 69, surrendered to digital photography.
It was by force that the Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado, 69, surrendered to digital photography.

"I had to pass through X-ray machines at seven different airports in one day and this action on the films was horrible, it lost a lot of quality. Today, I carry 800 grams of digital memory cards, equivalent to 600 rolls of film."

There are some things, however, he will not relinquish. His images are displayed, as always, in black and white - a predilection that dominated his work from 1987, back when he launched the latest color images during the commemoration of the Soviet Revolution's 70th anniversary.

According to Salgado, his photos are only ever in color during the developing process, later to become black and white.

The photographer also spoke about photo sharing on social networks, a fever that has turned every user into a photography project.

"I'm from a generation that had more difficulty, quite ashamed to lower their pants and show their butt. I never would have Instagram or expose any of my privacy," he confessed, also saying that he is a poor user of the internet.

The images from the "Genesis" project were produced over eight years from unspoiled corners of the planet.

In Salgado's view, they are sort of a "the end of a cycle of a lifetime" - but not of his career.

"I still want to do something with the Indigenous Brazilians, who I have already photographed many times, but there is a huge contingent that is little known and is fascinating," he concluded, if speaking not as an artist or photographer but, above all, a storyteller.

GENÊSIS
WHEN from Thursday (5) to 1st/12
WHERE Sesc Belenzinho (r. Padre Adelino, 1.000; tel. +55 112076-9700
HOW MUCH free

Translated by STEVE HUGHES

Read the article in the original language