Photographer of the Week: Sebastiao Salgado


One of the contemporary world’s leading photographers’ Sebastiao Salgado was actually an economist with the World Bank, when photography happened.

He was born in a small town in coastal Brazil in the year 1944. He studied economics at the university and completed Masters in it.  His doctorate in Economics happened in France which he moved to in 1969.

His stint as an economist at the International Coffee Organization involved travelling to Africa frequently and it was there that he took his first photographs. These photographs soon grew on him and he relocated to Paris to begin life as a photographer, giving up his job.

In the initial years he worked as a freelancer and with agencies like Sygma and Gemma. During this period he spent and did significant work in Africa and Latin America. Joining Magnum photo agency in 1979 was a turning point and he went on to work there for 15 years.

In 1994 he formed his own agency, Amazonas Images, ending his long association with Magnum.

Primarily a documentary photographer, Salgado has many notable works to his credit. His most famous work is of a diamond mine in Brazil called Serra Pelada. Many of his work have been published in the form of books like ‘The Other America’, ‘Migrations’ and ‘Sahel’.

Currently he is engaged in his last series called ‘Genesis’, the essence of which is to photograph places on Earth untouched by civilization.

A link to an interview of the photographer talking about the current project, published in The Guardian.

02 (1)


Serra Pelada Gold Mines, Brazil

– Niha Masih


~ by Niha on October 24, 2009.

4 Responses to “Photographer of the Week: Sebastiao Salgado”

  1. some very powerful images here..

    • Yeah i chose his Serra Pelada photographs coz it was interesting to see how he has shot bodies. I remember u asked me to do it when i went for my assignment but i din’t manage to do it. I wish i had seen these before!

  2. A gem of a story. Powerful. Could you gung-ho this title, it would have been fantastic. Expressive and moving images but the beauty of writing is not like your “Gung-ho about dung” article. Probably, you could have started with the description of one of the photographs.

    • This is a part of the series on some interesting photographers and hence the title is always photographer of the week and the name! but i shall keep the other suggestion in mind 🙂 thanks

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