Photographer Sebastiao Salgado's newest exhibition brings the first results of the epic Genesis project which has taken Salgado to what he calls the "primeval places of the planet" -- regions such as the Galapagos Islands, Antarctica and forests in Africa.
VITORIA, Brazil — Brazilian photojournalist Sebastiao Salgado's most iconic picture shows hundreds of mud-caked miners swarming over an Amazonian gold mine.
His latest project, however, features a photo of massed ranks of penguins instead of men.
The black and white image shows hundreds of thousand of penguins looking for food in a volcanic hillside of an island in Antarctica.
It is part of a new exhibition of 55 photos on display in Vitoria, a coastal town of Brazil where the 62-year-old Salgado spent part of his youth and where his wife was born.
The exhibition brings the first results of the epic Genesis project which has taken Salgado to what he calls the "primeval places of the planet" -- regions such as the Galapagos Islands, Antarctica and forests in Africa.
"We distance ourselves too much from nature" said Salgado, who gained fame with documentary photography of people at risk in books like "Other Americas," "Workers" and "Exodus".
"This was an effort to photograph the purest parts of the planet to see if we could make a reassessment."
The exhibition will only move to one other Brazilian city, Belo Horizonte, but it forms part of a global educational project.
Teachers at 100 schools in Vitoria, capital of Espirito Santo state, received copies of 10 photos and five handbooks, with stories and facts about gorillas, volcanoes, Indians, and the places Salgado has already visited.
With sponsorship from UNESCO and the steel company Arcelor Brasil, the educational project will expand to schools all over the world, starting in Brazil and Portuguese-speaking African countries at the beginning of 2007.
Some of the photos have already been published in foreign magazines such as Paris Match and Rolling Stone.
They show scenes of solitude, such as lonely gorillas in the middle of the bush in Virunga Park in Rwanda, or huge gatherings such as the penguins or thousands of albatrosses making nests, both on the Deception Island in Antarctica.
He also photographed 200-year-old turtles.
The next stage of the Genesis project takes him to the Himalayas, Venezuela and Russia until 2007. At its end, around 2012, will come books, films and new exhibitions.
Salgado still shoots black and white film.
In his travels, he spends at least 50 days in each region with 300 or 400 rolls of film, although he stayed on the Galapagos Islands for three months.
For this project, which should end when he turns 70, he walked 180 km across the Namibian desert and climbed giant volcanoes. It will be his last great adventure, he said.
"I'm not going to stop photographing, but you begin to get tired. I am beginning to get tired. You have to be in perfect health."