There have been many photographers who have influenced me for various reasons, but there are some who have really struck a cord with something deep within me. Sebastiao Salgado, is one of those few. We are bombarded by images-receiving images, taking images, but many times there is a lack of content, of connection, of purpose, at least for me. When I look at a image, there is either the presence of a soul, an experience, a feeling and emotion that has been captured and communicated, or it’s just a moment that has been documented with no real message or content. As a photographer, I feel you see, capture, and convey what is in your heart and soul.
Sebastiao Salgado understands what it means to experience this life, to capture the beauty and splendor of this planet, to participate, engage and to revere it no matter what it brings you. We live in a microcosm of our own life experiences-myopic to our own condition rather than realizing we are components of a larger construct. In our society, I find our methods and outlook to be impatient and mechanical, subsisting on the external and as a result, we are losing touch with our innermost selves. We are deadening our senses.
My Hit and Run project is ongoing, and the other day I came across a opossum. I am especially empathetic towards those things that are “slow” in a society that only knows fast. I mentioned my find to my wildlife rehab friend Jenny, who told me that the other day some of her rehab friends came across a opossum that had just been struck. They checked her pouch and rescued the 3 babies she had in tow and they are now being rehabilitated without their mother. I don’t know what it is, but many Disney films kill the mother off in the beginning: Bambi, The Fox and the Hound, Finding Nemo.
We need to change our focus to one of cultivation, rather than elimination. I think that man underestimates the power and infinite wisdom of mother nature. I don’t think that is one mother that is going to lie down.
Bats on tamarind trees in the Berenty Reserve in Madagascar,2010. Sebastiao Selgado.