Sebastião Salgado’s exhibition of breathtakingly poetic images at London’s Natural History Museum is a must see for both  environmentalists and fine art photography lovers. The exhibit is comprised of more than 200 emotive, shimmering black and white images that form what Salgado calls his visual ‘love letter to the planet.’ This week is the last chance to catch the show before it ends on September 8th, so be sure to stop on by if you’re in town.

Salgado, Genesis Exhibition, Natural History Museum London, Waura Indians, Traditional Fishing, Conservation, Documentary Photography

Brazilian born Salgado saw the rainforests of his childhood destroyed, so he wanted to show images that depict the planet as it was thousands of years ago, an ideal that is not so easy to find. Speaking about his work he said, “we should show the incredible beauty of nature, not just the destruction that is going on, but also to inspire people to want to preserve the planet.”  For this project, Genesis, he spent eight years documenting the delicate balance of nature in 32 countries, including time spent with animal colonies and communities that continue to live in accordance with ancient earth-friendly traditions.

A percentage of the entry fee is donated by the Natural History Museum to Instituto Terra, an environmental organization Salgado and his wife Leila set up to create a 17,000 acre nature reserve. Conservation work is ongoing to restore and protect a part of Brazil’s Atlantic Forest, which was deforested and eroded due to cattle farming.

Accompanying books, including a large format collectors’ limited edition (pictured) and a smaller affordable version, are available from Taschen. Photographic prints are on sale via the museum’s shop.  

+ Natural History Museum

+ Instituto Terra

Images via Sebastião Salgado / Taschen