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Old 01-06-2005, 03:47 AM
philip_coggan philip_coggan is offline
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Default My breakfast with Sebastiao Salgado

Ok I fibbed: I didn't have breakfast with Salgado. But Bennet Stevens did (he's here on TE, but bashful). Visit http://www.theArtichoke.org, and read.

Here's an extract (the breakfast was a big one, many photogrpahers present, and a man named Ande, who documents Aids in Africa, is asking whether Salgado has a way of getting accepted into the communities he documents):

Salgado: This is very true, and so you must always have asked permission. Not for each time you click the shutter, but to be a part of the situation in the first place. When you first arrive itís important to get introductions. If you go to a village you must find someone that will introduce you to the head of the village. If you go into the fields or to a factory or a feeding center in the desert, you must get introduced or introduce yourself to whoever it is that can give permission in that situation. Explain yourself in a way that makes your being there important for them as well as yourself. Itís one thing to make street shots here and there, but to tell a story you must get inside the story and live the story. To get inside you must find a way to get permission, whether formal, informal, or even tacit. And as I have said earlier, once you are introduced you live as they do, you do not separate yourself. And you in a certain sense become part of he community; and so you know when not to be pointing your camera. There are times I do not make the picture, out of respect for the people and the moment. It is not something I have to think about; I just feel it and I respect the feeling.

With this Salgado draws a Bell curve on a pad of paper. The bottom of the near curve is where you approach and first enter a given situation. Here perhaps you will have to use a longer lens. Then there are the introductions. You explain yourself and get permission. At first it can be difficult, a steep climb. But after a few days or a week, as people become accustomed to you, you climb the curve more steadily; you gradually get deeper into the story, and your lens gets shorter. The pictures get better. When you approach the apex area of the curve, there is less gravity working against you. The people have accepted you and dropped their defenses. The story enters its climax stage and you are now using your shortest lens and making your best pictures. The way down the other side of the curve is a bit like cuddling and having a cigarette after sex. Things have reached a natural conclusion. Gradually, and as gracefully as possible then, you extricate yourself from the bed of the story, giving your thanks and saying your goodbyes, while your lens (and here we must depart form the sex analogy) is once again getting longer.
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Old 01-06-2005, 07:07 AM
sohrab sohrab is offline
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Default Re: My breakfast with Sebastiao Salgado

haha you're dangling a very good bait to lure people to this pos philip :)
for those who dont know about bennett HERE is one of his photographs
even i thnk that in photojournalism.. how you deal with people is the most important thing... because that determines how much they will let you into their lives.. even i've been trying the "salgado way".. and have to say that it really tests my patiene.. there are so many ocassions.. when if im talking to someone.. form the corner of my eye i see a beautiful photograph but dont make it out of respect.. i have to keep telling myself that the beautiful photograhps will come to me if im patient..
anyway .. im travelling right now.. going through little towns and villages.. (it's a very short trip) trying to document some social isuues. ( you can say this this is just a recci for the future) am in varansi right now.. i have no idea how the photographs have turned out and whether i have been able to make the connection with the subjects that will be visible in the photographs and which will help the viewer in capturing the essence of the person or his/ her life.
i'm off
i'll be back here later
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Old 01-06-2005, 09:24 AM
philip_coggan philip_coggan is offline
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Default Re: My breakfast with Sebastiao Salgado

Sohrab - if you're down that way, perhaps you could try to see marcus Leatherdale...I thnik he might live somewhere around there.
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Old 01-06-2005, 03:24 PM
sohrab sohrab is offline
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Default Re: My breakfast with Sebastiao Salgado

oh yes
infact i did mail him some time back but i didnt get a reply.. im here only for another day.. i doubt i'll get to meet him this time... bu there's always another time.. i think he spends 6 months here ad the other 6 months in new york
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