This week’s New York Times Magazine runs a portfolio shot by Sebastiao Salgado, who spent time photographing the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The results are spectacular, as you can see from the two images. (The rest of the images are here.)
In an interview running on the 6th Floor blog, Salgado discusses the experience. The 67-year-old says the most important thing was to have his cereal, but that his guide was an excellent fisherman and “the best cook I ever had in North America.”
He also talks about staying alone in the wilderness, waiting for caribou to return. “I stayed there alone for about 10 days That was fabulous. I was alone with these caribou,” he says, adding that he was afraid of polar bears. (Smart man.)
And there’s this nice moment about what he hopes to accomplish.
Some people will no doubt look at these pictures and be reminded of Ansel Adams’s black and white work in Yosemite, or even, in a way, Edward Curtis’s documentation of American Indians.
I know Ansel Adams’s work, and Edward Curtis’s work, and I’m a big fan. When I started this project, I had never photographed animals or landscapes. But when I began, I saw that there is an identity, a personality in the landscape. There is a way to the trees and the animals. And it was for me a big, big, big change to discover this. When you go back to the work of Adams and Curtis, it seems that they also discovered this. When Curtis made pictures of the American Indians, I think he was doing two things. He was making a cross section of an era that was disappearing. And he was making a gift for them.
When I started the Genesis Project, I had the impression that most of the planet had gone. When I started doing my research, I discovered the incredible diversity of place on this planet. There are a lot of, lot of pristine places on the planet. You have a lot of tropical forests. On most land over 3,000 meters high, there is no development. These places are still like they were.
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