Since i saw some of Sebastiao Salgado's images in the Independent on Sunday supplement back in the late 80's i've been a huge fan of his work. His black and white photos impart a real beauty before you get that shiver of reality that he's documenting.
I saw an exhibition of his "Genesis" project at the Natural History Museum and i visited it a few times. I was so blown away with how these photos required me to scrutinise them. The detail is perfect, the black and white contrast is spot on; with each of the images having a perfect velvetness to the blacks which defies current digital images. The subject matter and his angles are always thought provoking.
The first images that got me were the ones in the series of the Brazillian Gold mines including this one:
Some of my other favourites:
These are just a handfull. Almost every single one is carefully manipulated to give meaning to the subject. The black and white format really helps to merge the subjects together. Each of his documentary series, though completely different subject matter, can be viewed with others as was achieved in his Genesis exhibition.