I must say that I admire his work, both for his use of greyscale images - I consider him a master at this - and the hard road he has travelled to shine light on humanitarian and social issues around the world.
After years of witnessing and photographing human tragedy: war, famine, ethnic cleansing, and the migrations of workers between the country and city, and between countries, he was physically and emotionally exhausted - his soul was damaged and he needed to stop.
He turned his attention and camera to the natural world: not to focus on the damage it is enduring, but to celebrate the wonder of the environment that is untouched by the ravages of modern society, and reconnect us to our natural world. The result is a project called Genesis.
He discusses his movement from conflict to conservation in this TED Talk
If you are not familiar with his work I recommend the following video: Genesis
If you are interested in his work, I strongly recommend the full-length documentary of his life, created by his son, called Salt of the Earth - perhaps via Netflix or your library.
In honour of this master of his art, I offer this humble effort on my own behalf.
Canon EOS R5, RF 100-500@ 500mm, f/7.1, 1/500sec, ISO-3200
We are emerging form 15 weeks of lockdown in Auckland, NZ. So, going out to shoot has had limited scope. I wanted to make some small effort to emulate Salgado's style, so I set a task for myself and my camera group to shoot images in the manner of his work.
Essentially his digital style - now using Canon digital cameras - echoes his photographic roots of using Kodak Tri-X film with high contrast and grain - despite moving to the digital platform
The subject of this image is apropos to me because Orangutans are threatened by loss of habitat and poaching. This was taken at the zoo and that, in itself, poses an issue. The confinement of species to (despite our best efforts) an artificial environment. Furthermore, since catching more animals in the wild (with some exceptions) is prohibited, increasing a risk of in-breeding.
I took the image in RAW, converted to greyscale with enhanced contrast, dehazing and increased the noise to the maximum to get the effects of the Tri-X film that is his modus operandi. Best seen expanded.
"All the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy; "Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris "A good swordsman is more important than a good sword" Amit Kalantri