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Wk 2 Depth of field Artist: Sebastiao Salgado

Sebastiao Salgado

Is a Brazillian social documentary photographer and photojournalist.  He started taking photographs in his 30s.  Sebastiao Salgado works on long term, self assigned projects.  He devotes years at a time to document the stories of people and places.  Many of his works have been published as books The Other Americas, Sahel, Workers, Migrations and Genesis.  His most famous pictures are of the gold mine in Brazil called Serra Pelada.

Sebastiao has an amazing body of work.  The images i have chosen showcase how he uses Depth of Field to capture the essence of his subjects.


This is an example of wide depth of field.  As we know wide depth of field focus range covers a large area front-to-back.  Depending on a lens camera range this could be from several yards in front of the focus plane to nearly infinity behind.  These types of photos are often associated with landscapes and architectural photography. It is useful to show a multitude of visual elements or characteristics.

Sebastiao would of used a high f stop setting to capture this photo as the foreground and background are in focus.  He also would have been positioned quite high to easily to be able to include the moutains nestled under the clouds in the background. 

Sebastiao uses this technique to show us the beautiful elements of this landscape.  I love the way he captures the land in all its majesty.  The leading lines created by the water and sides of the hills and mountain move you towards the light at the top of the image.  I also like how he has captured the light which sit on the hillside.  Being in black and white also provide us with a different perspective, we are not just attracted by the colours but become more aware of the curves and textures.  
Title: The Brooks range 1994, Artist: Sebastiao Salgado, Medium: Photographs, Size: 88.9 x 61cm,  Location Alsaka
This photo is an example of narrow depth of field.  As we know with narrow depth of field, the area in front and behind the focus point is very slim or shallow. That means that objects right in front and right behind the focus point is already going out of focus.  These types of photos are used to isolate the subject from its environment and is used in portrait work, macro photography, and sports photography.


Sebastiao uses this technique to capture the emotion of his subject.  This photo taken at close range reflects the trust that he builds with his subject.  The cupping of the hands around the subjects head reinforces the face as the focal point.  Sebastiao portrays a confronting view of this subject by using a close crop image.  There is nowhere for you to run away from the emotions as your eye is lead back to her face through her scarf, veins and hands.

Title: Gourmand- Rharous 1985, Artist: Sebastiao Salgado, Medium: Photographs, Size: 40.6 x 50.8cm, Location: Mali
He would have used a small f stop setting for this shot.  Although this is a close crop you can see in that the objects in the background are relatively out of focus.  This type of shot retains the focus on the subject.

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