Steve McCurry was born in a suburb of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. He has become one of the most iconic photographers in contemporary photography for more than thirty years. He has written in several magazines, books and exhibitions.
McCurry is known as the photographer of the afgan girl photography that was published in National Geographic magazine in 1985.
He studied film at Pennsylvania State University and after that he worked for a local newspaper. After several years working as freelance, he travelled to India exploring the country with his camera.
After several months he crossed the border into Pakistan where he met a group of refugees from Afghanistan. He took the first images of the conflict in Afghanistan. Since that moment, he has gone through countries taking photos of conflicts, different cultures, ancient traditions and powerful images.
Furthermore, he has been recognized with some of the most important awards such as the Robert Capa Gold Medal or the National Press Photographers Award.
“What is important to my work is the individual picture. I photograph stories on assignment, and of course they have to be put together coherently. But what matters most is that each picture stands on its own, with its own place and feeling,” Steve McCurry says.
Photographs and style
Steve McCurry desire to see and experience the world is something that is strong for him. He shows the world through his photos. “To try and experience that is about the most interesting way you can spend your life,” McCurry says.
One of McCurry’s specialties is street portraits using documentary photography. This is the reason why his portrait “Afghan Girl” is the most famous portrait.
It was taken during the Soviet occupation. This photograph shows her penetrating and pale eyes. It’s taken face to face and it has a closed angle. This is how McCurry creates connections between us and their images. His photos give very important messages and feelings. When he takes photos he has to create a situation in which the people feel comfortable and safe.
“I like to see the naked personality; I want to see something that is real and something that is raw. You don’t see the hand of the photographer; you see the uniqueness of that person,” McCurry says.
He has always been full of energy. Perhaps as a way to deal with all this excess energy, the urge to travel hit McCurry early in life.
He is also well-known for his sophisticated use of color. He is a very good observer; he waits for the decisive moment in order to take photographs. This is the most important quality that photographers need. The father of documentary photography, Cartier-Bresson is the perfect model for him and his decisive moment issue.
McCurry is known for his street portraits but he has spent a big part of his photographer career in war zones where he learnt the value of life.
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