Previous news story    Next news story

Steve McCurry talks to Wordpress.com about his work, and why he blogs

By dpreview staff on Dec 6, 2012 at 01:00 GMT

Steve McCurry, the award-winning photographer responsible for the iconic 'Afghan Girl' portrait for National Geographic, has given an interview about his work and why, despite his fame, he maintains a blog for his latest images. In the interview, on the official Wordpress blog, McCurry explains how photography as a career has changed over the course of the past few decades, and the vital role now played by the Internet. It's well worth taking a look at, if only for the excellent accompanying photographs. 

Indonesia - Photograph: Steve McCurry 

According to McCurry, the main differences between shooting today compared to in the past 'are that people want you to send them a picture and that you are shooting with a digital camera'. But McCurry admits that things aren't exactly as they used to be, explaining how a web presence is now 'vital' to photographers' success. 

Geisha in subway. Kyoto, Japan, 2008 - Photograph: Steve McCurry

'If you want to be a photographer, you have to photograph. If you look at the photographers whose work we admire, they’ve found a particular place or a subject, dug deep into it, and carved out something that’s become special. And that takes a lot of time and a lot of work - that’s not for everyone. Regardless of how successful you are, it’s important for you to spend your time photographing things that matter to you. You need to understand the things that have meaning to you, and not what others think is important for you. Having a blog is one of the easiest ways for your to get your work out to a wide audience'.

As for the future, McCurry is optimistic: 'There will always be new people and situations. In so far as there are new songs to be written, new poems to be told, likewise there will always be a new photograph to be taken!'

Comments

Total comments: 83
jocuri masini
By jocuri masini (Dec 11, 2012)

"If you want to be a photographer, you have to photograph" totally true. simple and amazing. but still Steve has some awesome pictures on his blog, and it's beyond wanting to be a photographer

0 upvotes
Khun_K
By Khun_K (Dec 11, 2012)

even Steve McCurry is already experienced and well established, he still spent much more time and intensity in photography and patience to capture the moment than almost all the photographers (pros or not). Many people can hit homerun, but not everyone is Babe Ruth.
People may just say something beyond common one's ability as being suspicious, he or she just does not have that calibre or the persistence to achinve the goal

0 upvotes
frenchie1
By frenchie1 (Dec 11, 2012)

I checked Steve McCurry's blog and his awesome pictures. I do have the original magazine (NG mag) of the Afghan girl a few decades ago, and I believe he went back over there a few years ago to try to locate this person and he found her again. This picture made the round over the world and is really famous, and it is this picture that gave me this intellectual curiosity for photography. That said, his work is simply remarkable, and each picture is magnificent and breathetaking.

For the picture, called "Le baiser de l'hotel de ville" by Doisneau, it was staged of course, but the picture became too famous before they found out this treason. There are many "historical" and "unforgettable" pictures that have been staged, before we find out it was all fake.

0 upvotes
Goodmeme
By Goodmeme (Dec 10, 2012)

I admit I haven't read the whole thread, but Boho's recent comment is just seems to be his honest opinion, I don't see why you have been rude about him. People are allowed differnent opinoins about art. In this case I agree with him with a few exceptions.

Having photographed the afghan girl -in my opinion probably a finer, more fierce feminine portrait than the mona lisa - most if not all photographers or artists generally would find it difficult to beat or even come close to again.

You cannot blame a man for living in his own shadow. Neither can you take away his artistic merit for having taken the shot.

0 upvotes
smodge
By smodge (Dec 10, 2012)

Reading the comments through this thread, the prize for stupid comments goes to Boho. You have taken outstandingly narrow sighted ill-informed comments to new heights!!

How is the air up there?

I ask because your words reflect the effects of oxygen depletion...

0 upvotes
mike kobal
By mike kobal (Dec 9, 2012)

fascinating, the harshest criticizers always have empty galleries

2 upvotes
boho
By boho (Dec 8, 2012)

the issue is not if the geisha is genuine or not, or if the picture is staged or not. the issue is that the picture has all the necessary ingredients to be a fabulous picture but, in my opinion, it is not.
although I think that Afghan Girl is one of the most fascinating portraits I ever saw, I'm definitely not a Steve McCurry's fan.
why? in my opinion the Afghan girl has a fantastic expression on her face, some extraordinary powerful eyes and a exotic shawl which match both with her colors and the background. all these are mostly her attributes, not Steve McCurry's contribution to the portrait.
why I'm not a Steve McCurry's fan? because in my opinion he is a very good photograph but not a genius in photography as HCB, Ansel Adams or Sebastiao Salgado are.

1 upvote
aberlinck
By aberlinck (Dec 8, 2012)

Well i live in Brasil and i think you are completely wrong...or you don´nt know about Steve´s work. Your work is very consistent in terms of production and I think the quality of their work shows that a lot. The passoas who judge the pictures of Steve for his most famous photos not know the background work. Color, enquadamento, and exposure time are some of the great qualities he has in spades and shows it with great consistency. See his website and reflect.

0 upvotes
m harrington
By m harrington (Dec 21, 2012)

You've hit the nail on the head, Boho...Well said! SO VERY many so-called photographers are simply people who happened to be holding a huge japanese computerised camera (who doesn't these days) when something beautiful unfolded in front of them. Does that make them a great photographer? No, it makes them lucky. I might argue that if they actually made an exposure decision, moved an aperture ring or focused the camera, they're partly responsible for the outcome, but Jap cameras prevent all this. Steve McCurry WOULD be a lucky photographer (as he rarely impacts the image itself) were it not for the fact that he invests the TIME; days, weeks, months, to get one, great, single shot. He may have had the choice of 20 near-perfect girls from the same region, from the 1000 he saw. He puts in the time and knows what's good when he sees it. Done!

0 upvotes
oselimg
By oselimg (Dec 8, 2012)

Because these forums give you the chance to say anything you want to now you've assessed and valued McCurry's work as well and you must be feeling very important about yourselves. Well done! Anybody who is slightly interested in improving their compositional skills will know about some golden principals that work most of the time though not in all cases. But this is only one part of the art. Is it very difficult to see the story his pictures tell or a statement he makes, far removed from petty consciousness about "lines converging in perpetual movement" in a Geisha in Subway picture. I'm sure he was thinking about "how nice and aesthetically pleasing can I shoot this one so the petty critics will approve of it" when shooting the girl in flood waters.

0 upvotes
JavierDiaz
By JavierDiaz (Dec 8, 2012)

@oseling: Boy, am I glad you got the point. Anything else?

0 upvotes
JavierDiaz
By JavierDiaz (Dec 7, 2012)

The 2013 PIRELLI CALENDAR was shot in Rio de Janeiro by Steve McCurry.

http://www.fashionologie.com/Pirelli-Calendar-2013-All-Pictures-Behind-Scenes-25999603

1 upvote
JavierDiaz
By JavierDiaz (Dec 7, 2012)

@WilliamJ: Just to set the record straight, I don't agree with most of your comments on the "Geisha" pic.

A snapshot can yield a very good picture. In this one, you have lines converging in perpetual movement (the handrails), reminiscent of the work of Cartier-Bresson (a particular shot of a down hill alley at the Père Lachaise graveyard comes to mind).

The fluorecent lights above on the walls make a virtual cercle surrounding the woman. Outstanding!

The geisha is dead-on center on the shot, and still that fits 100%, and she is indeed moving towards one side of the viewer, this is a dymanic photo.

Look at the texture of the walls, constant dull grey in strong contrast with her red costume.

NOW, my point was NOT about the shot, it was about people attacking you for criticism JUST BECAUSE it was a Steve McCurry photograph which is to say, just on the merits of the photographer; and NOT on the merits of the photo itself. That's all.

4 upvotes
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Dec 7, 2012)

That's how I'd understood your posts, you belong to the rares who don't like "baying with the pack", thanks for that.
THE station exit:maybe 1 on 3 is designed like this in Tokyo/Kyoto,they are quite standards to be the more compact possible.No doubt anyone could achieve "automatically" the same maze effect,except for the "geisha" for real ones normally don't take the underground as they must take care of their super-expensive gear (anyway the patron usually pays for the taxi).
THE "geisha":as said to blind-brained ones who can't see the difference with a simple tourist disguised as a maiko (not even a 2nd class geisha) if she's not what she's supposed to be what's the point?
THE overall:it's obvious this photo has been over-photoshopped,the colors are bizarre and there is like a touch of over-sharpening or HDR in the air.All in all,not the same class than the rest of the McCurry outstanding work.For an amateur,that's not bad,but for a master like him that's clearly substandard.

1 upvote
JavierDiaz
By JavierDiaz (Dec 7, 2012)

I can't say anything about post-treament on this one, since it's a low-resolution JPEG.

But even if what you say about the "geishasdom" is right let´s keep in mind one of the best know photographs ever, DOISNEAU's "Baiser à l'Hotel de Ville", is a fake (totally staged). Or that Dorothea Lange ERASED her "Migrant Mother"'s thumb over the baby to enhance the print. And both work quite well.

So I don't think of importance if this lady is the "real" thing or not. The point is, she WAS THERE and McCurry SAW her.

After all, isn't photography all about the "decisive moment" and capturing reality as we see it? Now, if this shot were to appear on a photobook about geishas, of course you are ahead of us by ten miles. Cheers.

3 upvotes
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Dec 7, 2012)

For sure you're right. The Doisneau's imposture is famous while it was discovered way after it reached celebrity. A long time after, it even turned sour as a man claimed to be the one on the image, asking for an expensive compensation. But Doisneau unveiled that the man pictured was the pro-model's (that Doisneau hired for the picture) boyfriend. No excuse, everything was staged. The end of a myth (at least the picture one). That said Doisneau made mostly artistic photography (a lot are interesting but I prefer his "serious" views of "old" Paris) and not journalistic photography. In this latter case, truth is important...

For a bigger image of McCurry's geisha: http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m1b9vmOfd71qzd7qpo1_1280.jpg

0 upvotes
JEROME NOLAS
By JEROME NOLAS (Dec 7, 2012)

Look mom! Celebrity worshipers and fun boys form a skating club have the annual meeting on DP! What a beautiful world!

1 upvote
Ken Johnes
By Ken Johnes (Dec 8, 2012)

and what does that make you? a sore looser trying to get attention?

now you can go back and ask mom for the cookies ,kid.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
CliveRowland
By CliveRowland (Dec 7, 2012)

McCurry was the first photographer I really 'noticed' and I went through a phase of really over indulging in his work, which like most over indulgence, made me a little sick. I can see why people dislike his work but for me, he is one of the most well rounded photographers and from interviews and his writing he seems like one of the most approachable and understandable photographers alive today.
Upon showing his work to a friend who was trying to get into street photography, he was amazed but he said, considering the exotic locations and almost perfect, consistent composition, he was almost too good to try and emulate.

2 upvotes
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Dec 6, 2012)

Were the Afghan eyes green or hazel?

http://s.ngm.com/afghan-girl/images/afghan-girl.jpg

0 upvotes
Sdaniella
By Sdaniella (Dec 6, 2012)

there's nothing conflicting about eyes that do change in one's lifetime. happens all the time to those in that 'medium' eye color range.

0 upvotes
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Dec 7, 2012)

To Cy: the mesmerizing eyes you're looking for are here: http://www.moillusions.com/2009/11/afghan-girl-optical-illusion.html

0 upvotes
malabraxis
By malabraxis (Dec 6, 2012)

People like McCurry are an istitution by themsevles. They not only show us the world around us, but also show where we fit in. Makes us think. And inspires us further!
I believe the "Afgan Girl" won the photo of the decade if I'm not mistaken?

1 upvote
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Dec 6, 2012)

I doubt the "geisha" in the picture is a real one. She has not the good make up (too "unnuanced", too harsh), not the good gears (usually kimonos that colorful are for young apprentices, moreover a real geisha's collar has to be white) and usually real Kyoto geishas go by taxi to their appointment often accompanied by a pupil/assistant or a chaperon. Here are real geishas, just compare: http://yabbedoo.wordpress.com/2012/03/26/the-extraordinary-culture-of-geisha-and-fascinating-facts-about-their-lifestyle/

Besides, this photo is really worthless (a pure snapshot) that lessen the outstanding quality of the rest of the McCurry's work. He should stop to use it as it's technical nothing and has no value from a journalistic point of view.

1 upvote
davidrm
By davidrm (Dec 6, 2012)

You're kidding, right? "a technical nothing", huh? There's some considerable competition, but this comes close to the Gold Award for the most clueless - not to mention arrogant - comment ever posted in these miserable forums.

9 upvotes
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Dec 6, 2012)

Well, if you're not able to take such a snapshot with a $100 P&S then you should refrain giving us your unbased opinion. By the way, this poor picture shows a "geisha" who is surely not a real one (I've shot a lot, I know what I'm talking about, what is actually not your case as it seems). Isn't it a problem for you ?

0 upvotes
JavierDiaz
By JavierDiaz (Dec 6, 2012)

Exactly, unless you are a celebrity-worshiper.

1 upvote
Clint Dunn
By Clint Dunn (Dec 6, 2012)

Javier/William let's see your ground breaking works of art. Oh yeah, that's right, you don't have any.

5 upvotes
Sdaniella
By Sdaniella (Dec 6, 2012)

it's disrespectful to call someone not a real geisha when even real ones you've captured are no longer the 'real' geishas of the ancient past. get over your elitist mentality. if a Japanese girl dresses as a geisha, there will surely be degrees of authenticity, and none original. it's the 21st Century, so there's going to be a natural overlap and wide influence of 'geisha-ness' affecting those who cannot be 'original style' geishas.
this is going to be true of anything even in the west; how many in the USA are 'real cowboys'? probably none living; but all are simply modern versions of past originals. how many cowboys rustle cows for a living (not for show?). how many REAL cowboys really rustle cows and don't even remotely look like the 'ol wild west cowboy'. get a grip. you're talking nonsense.
every 'real geisha' you've taken is going to be more for cultural show, than representing a lifestyle entrenched in the Japanese past. all u may come acrss is geisha-subculture that apprx's past

7 upvotes
JavierDiaz
By JavierDiaz (Dec 7, 2012)

@Clint Dunn: then by your standards exactly WHO could post here?

1 upvote
Clint Dunn
By Clint Dunn (Dec 7, 2012)

Javier, no one said you couldn't post here. I'm referring to these 'critiques' from a bunch of hacks who are not photographers, and therefore their opinion is meaningless...at least to me.

0 upvotes
alajuela
By alajuela (Dec 7, 2012)

You criticism is unfounded, and shows lack of education , at least of photography.

First I fail to see a documentary aspect to this at all/ It is an image, has great converging lines, A very neutral background with a really nice colorful women dressed up in a geisha outfit. Nice separation and a nice clean image pleasing to the eye. BTW, would not matter if Bozo the clown were walking up the steps, He saw the moment, framed it and shot it and it works.

2 upvotes
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Dec 7, 2012)

To Javier: thanks for your lucidity & objectiveness, it's so rare as we can see.

To sdye: A piece of advice: you should better talk of what you know for sure, you have just been unable to note this "geisha" was not a real one, in what the rest of your opinion is more credible in this discussion ?

To Clint Dunn: your education seems not completed. Only the one who is implicated has grounds to challenge another person. Don't know that ? If Mr McCurry wants me to show him a real geisha well shot, it's OK for me. Besides, where are YOUR masterpieces ? We would be pleased to have a look at the works of a censor official.

To anybody: when you're looking at the picture of a buddhist monk in Thailand, a rabbin in the streets of New York, a torero in Spain, a cigar maker in Cuba, you want for sure that the ones who are photographied are REAL persons, not just a tourist (or a model ?) playing a role for fun. Are we talking here of serious artistic photojournalism or just of poetic license ?

0 upvotes
JavierDiaz
By JavierDiaz (Dec 7, 2012)

@Clint Dunn: If you're so curious, I uploaded three of my shots to "My Gallery" for you, here on DPReview.

0 upvotes
JavierDiaz
By JavierDiaz (Dec 7, 2012)

@WilliamJ: Just to set the record straight, I don't agree with most of your comments on the "Geisha" pic.

A snapshot can yield a very good picture. In this one, you have lines converging in perpetual movement (the handrails), reminiscent of the work of Cartier-Bresson (a particular shot of a down hill alley at the Père Lachaise graveyard comes to mind).

The fluorecent lights above on the walls make a virtual cercle surrounding the woman. Outstanding!

The geisha is dead-on center on the shot, and still that fits 100%, and she is indeed moving towards one side of the viewer, this is a dymanic photo.

Look at the texture of the walls, constant dull grey in strong contrast with her red costume.

NOW, my point was NOT about the shot, it was about people attacking you for criticism JUST BECAUSE it was a Steve McCurry photograph which is to say, just on the merits of the photographer; and NOT on the merits of the photo itself. That's all.

1 upvote
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Dec 7, 2012)

To sdyue: are these cowboys not real enough for you ? : http://www.sigma-dp.com/DP1Merrill/oregon/chapter03.html

You should stop talking nonsenses yourself, talking cheap about real cowboys who don't exist anymore, or real geishas who do stil exist too, while you take for a real one an amateur (fake ?) one. STOP IT please, you are ridiculous.

0 upvotes
Mr Fartleberry
By Mr Fartleberry (Dec 6, 2012)

If it's possible to wear out a photo that old Afghan one would be it.

5 upvotes
Kim Letkeman
By Kim Letkeman (Dec 6, 2012)

My guess is that you would not feel that way had you shot it :-)

3 upvotes
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Dec 6, 2012)

About the girl: http://lydiakeating.wordpress.com/2010/09/22/famous-photojournalism-the-green-eyed-afghan-girl/

0 upvotes
Clint Dunn
By Clint Dunn (Dec 6, 2012)

You have to love how the talentless love to criticize the talented. It's an iconic photo...iconic photos get exposure...that's why they are iconic.

6 upvotes
graybalanced
By graybalanced (Dec 7, 2012)

I love the Afghan girl photo, and I gladly bought Steve McCurry's portraits book that contains that photos and many other excellent images.

But I had the same reaction as Mr Fartleberry:
Again with the Afghan girl?

McCurry's taken so many great images since then...

3 upvotes
JavierDiaz
By JavierDiaz (Dec 7, 2012)

@WilliamJ: Just to set the record straight, I don't agree with most of your comments on the "Geisha" pic.

A snapshot can yield a very good picture. In this one, you have lines converging in perpetual movement (the handrails), reminiscent of the work of Cartier-Bresson (a particular shot of a down hill alley at the Père Lachaise graveyard comes to mind).

The fluorecent lights above on the walls make a virtual cercle surrounding the woman. Outstanding!

The geisha is dead-on center on the shot, and still that fits 100%, and she is indeed moving towards one side of the viewer, this is a dymanic photo.

Look at the texture of the walls, constant dull grey in strong contrast with her red costume.

NOW, my point was NOT about the shot, it was about people attacking you for criticism JUST BECAUSE it was a Steve McCurry photograph which is to say, just on the merits of the photographer; and NOT on the merits of the photo itself. That's all.

1 upvote
Peter Damroth
By Peter Damroth (Dec 6, 2012)

Very nice work...not gimmicky, solid, views of the world around us .

2 upvotes
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Dec 6, 2012)

Views of the world, well chosen that said. Pretty third-world girls, nice guys doing funny things, a full palette of colors... That's not "the world" but the nice side of the world. It's OK for me as it's more art than journalism, just like Jean-François Millet who painted "kind and pious country people" (cf: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean-Fran%C3%A7ois_Millet ) or the french photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand who has a long time photographied nice views from the sky (cf: https://www.google.fr/search?q=Yann+Arthus-Bertrand&hl=fr&safe=off&tbo=d&gl=fr&tbm=isch&source=lnms&sa=X&ei=6dHAUKmgJIHUmAWs-4HYBA&ved=0CAcQ_AUoAA&biw=1366&bih=666 ).

About Yann Arthus-Bertrand, have you ever seen his message "HOME" given to the world (free to download): http://youtu.be/eoto5FC4gsM
In other languages: http://www.youtube.com/user/homeproject

0 upvotes
Gediminas 8
By Gediminas 8 (Dec 6, 2012)

WilliamJ, the nice side of the world indeed.

On the other hand, does one have to take shocking images of tragedies and suffering for them to be worth anything and to deserve the title "journalism"? This IS journalism too.

2 upvotes
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Dec 6, 2012)

Right. And in fact, it's often less recognized by the critics than shocking pictures. See how international prizes are to often given to war images. Because of that bias, no doubt so many people think their planet is on the verge to explode !

1 upvote
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Dec 6, 2012)

Solid, how? Recognized? By whom? War where? Velvet paintings sales volumes are higher. Kinkade works hang on more walls. Corporate offices, clinics, and schools still give preference to the bucolic and saccharine.

0 upvotes
massimogori
By massimogori (Dec 6, 2012)

yawn!

1 upvote
MrPetkus
By MrPetkus (Dec 6, 2012)

Let's see your inspiring photos and blog.

8 upvotes
massimogori
By massimogori (Dec 6, 2012)

Granted, MrPetkus, my photos are totally uninspiring. But there are thousand of photographers that seem more original and interesting than McCurry (at least they seem so to me). I really feel he is overexposed.

Comment edited 36 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Mike604
By Mike604 (Dec 6, 2012)

@massimogori - would you care to show some of your work? i'm always interested being rather new to photography.

2 upvotes
Ken Johnes
By Ken Johnes (Dec 6, 2012)

@Mike - oh no you aint gonna see it from massimogori, his kind are the ones who seems to yawn at iconic photogs like McCurry just cos some kid at his local photo club shows him beautiful photographs of cats and flowers.

@ Massimogo- i dont think you were even born when Steve at his prime dared to enter a warzone to take pics of death distruction and despair, risking his own life ,alongside the fighting factions (he simply dressed like one of them to get that far).
which is what makes his kind stand out. courage and risk is what made their career and not because they made beautiful pics sitting in the comfort of their studios with beautiful models in front of them.
i´d dare say not even Bresson or Capa or the legendary Nachtwey comes close to Steves versatility.
just look whom Pirelli choose this year to get their calender done.he´s the only photographer within his field to be chosen to do it. oh you feel he is really overexposed..

4 upvotes
Ken Johnes
By Ken Johnes (Dec 6, 2012)

@ Massimogo - http://stevemccurry.wordpress.com/
show me one photo in the above link which dosent tell you atleast something .then you can go to bed.

1 upvote
Mike604
By Mike604 (Dec 6, 2012)

Thanks Ken, I appreciate that.

0 upvotes
Gediminas 8
By Gediminas 8 (Dec 6, 2012)

Ken,

not to dismiss Steve McCurry's excellent work, the fact that he "dared enter a warzone", and the details of same, serve nothing to prove his photographic merit.

Indeed Western marketing machine will drown you in irrelevant details if they are exotic enough to the average reader, and present it as proof of someone's outstanding achievement. Pity there are too many who'll take the bait without blinking.

Mr McCurry is not the first or only war photographer on earth, nor the last.

I admire his photos but not the propaganda inevitably surrounding his name. And don't even mention the "Afghan girl" franchise - it was brilliant only the first time I heard about it. However, now it's the age of the internet as Mr McCurry rightly points out, and the same old storytelling tricks from the 70s no longer work.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Clint Dunn
By Clint Dunn (Dec 6, 2012)

"the fact that he "dared enter a warzone", and the details of same, serve nothing to prove his photographic merit."

This is where you are wrong Gediminas. You know what....I am certain I could get some excellent images if I were inserted in a warzone or had access to some of the exotic locales people like McCurry shoot in.

But you know what...it's irrelevant because unlike Steve 99% of us lack the people skills, courage, determination, ingenuity required to put us in a position to take those photos to begin with. You see, those traits are just as important to being a good photographer as knowing light, composition and your way around a camera.

In order to get these iconic photos you need the wherewithal to get access to the subject, and the common sense to get home again.

Comment edited 31 seconds after posting
1 upvote
JavierDiaz
By JavierDiaz (Dec 6, 2012)

Is this about photography or just celebrity-worshipping?
And, does one need to be a well-known photographer to post or is this open to opinions of all kinds?

1 upvote
Clint Dunn
By Clint Dunn (Dec 6, 2012)

Javier...did you read what I said??? As for your right to post...yes anyone can post here but the opinions of those who are A)crappy photographers or B) don't post their own work, mean nothing to me. Why would I care about someone's opinion on photography if they are not a photographer??

0 upvotes
Ken Johnes
By Ken Johnes (Dec 6, 2012)

@ Gediminas-
just like you said, there are other war photogs, but none comes close to what he did back then by which he made the name,he was almost all the time travelling with the waring factions, and not behind the relative safty of any army.

that blending in by dressing like a local made him get deeper into the warzone than any other war photogs present and past.and he was not just portraying the war like most of them did. he was getting up close and portraying the brighter side of life too .

and he simply didnt made his career based on war photgraphy, he´s probably been to almost every country out there and made enough storytelling pics than any of us can ever imagine.
and that makes him different than the other war photogs you and i may know.

Comment edited 18 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Ken Johnes
By Ken Johnes (Dec 6, 2012)

at someone who commented about the Afghan girl -
do you think the Afghan Girl pic got famous because of what, her beauty? the colours in the pic?
you have to look into her eyes and tell me you dont feel like her telling you someting about life during war ,look at it from a non photog´s view and you´ll find why it is the most printed cover page of them all. point to me one pic which tells you about war without showing any dead bodies or blood on the streets or explosion.

Comment edited 43 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Ken Johnes
By Ken Johnes (Dec 6, 2012)

ever seen a non nude Pirelli calender?
first ,it takes reputation and merit ,you have made in your career to be able to shoot one,then it takes the guts and courage to tell em` if i shoot it ,it´ll have nothing to do with nudity´.take it or leave it.
dont you think you´ve got to have a big enough reputation to do somethin like that.
it´s all related to eachother. and he´s gifted with all of it, most of the other greats lack some of those which makes Steve stand out .one of the best out there who inspires others.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
massimogori
By massimogori (Dec 6, 2012)

@all (almost): Fantastic and thanks for the fun you are giving me!

You are not even able to accept that somebody may have different tastes here on a website, I wonder what you can do in your daily life.

Comment edited 4 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Ken Johnes
By Ken Johnes (Dec 6, 2012)

@ massmo - i for one am glad i filled your day with some fun which otherwise is pretty dull i can see from your YAWNing.

sure every one has different tastes, i agree, but what made me wonder was why one need to waste time yawning at stuff they dont like ;-).

so the question is, are you able to accept that others might have some good taste too and not just bad ones?
i´ll let that thought keep you awake for the rest of your day.
have fun.

2 upvotes
massimogori
By massimogori (Dec 6, 2012)

Ken, I never said anything against your taste or the others'. I just tried to express my (personal) feelings about a photographer and his works. Don't you think this is the right place?

0 upvotes
JavierDiaz
By JavierDiaz (Dec 7, 2012)

@Clint Dunn: I really don't care if my opinion is worth nothing to you, who or what are you to call others crappy photographers? You are quite a petty fascist, right?

1 upvote
Clint Dunn
By Clint Dunn (Dec 7, 2012)

Javier...it's easy to trash the work of legends while you hide behind a keyboard, with none of your own work to qualify your opinion.

1 upvote
Gediminas 8
By Gediminas 8 (Dec 7, 2012)

Ken,

Point taken about Mr McCurry's experience and skills.

As for the portrait of the girl - to totally nitpick - you can "see" war in her eyes just because you've been told a dramatic story about her.

I dare say you'll get a similar scorching/apprehensive glance from almost any other Afghan woman of her age you may come across in the mountains or the desert. It is exotic and intriguing to us Westerners, agreed; but what really makes the picture is the story behind it.

(And you asked for a picture of war not showing the dead: the first that springs to mind is one from Vietnam showing a family including a naked child running down a road.)

0 upvotes
JavierDiaz
By JavierDiaz (Dec 7, 2012)

@Clint Dunn: Read again. I wrote NOTHING about McCurry's photos. Matter of facts, I not only have several of his books but also the National Geographic DVD about the story of the search for the Afgahn girl years later.

My point was about hero-worshipping, which doesn' t qualify as "work trashing".

My photos are for personal use, I make A3+ prints, have them framed and give them as presents or hang them on my walls for my own pleasure. I see no point in weblogs public ego plays.

BTW, I took a look at your photo log. You know your Photoshop, but the pics themselves are non-original and boring. I wonder how dull they come out of your camera. Get yourself a style. Cheers.

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
1 upvote
JavierDiaz
By JavierDiaz (Dec 7, 2012)

@Clint Dunn, if you're so curious, I uploaded three of my shots to "My Gallery" for you, here on DPReview.

0 upvotes
Under The Sun
By Under The Sun (Dec 7, 2012)

Throughout history, lesser men will always take shots at the efforts of those better then them. It eases their insecurities.

0 upvotes
JavierDiaz
By JavierDiaz (Dec 7, 2012)

@Under The Sun: please define "lesser men". Used like you do it in a vaccum, it sound pompous.

Besides, you have no photolog, and no "Galleries" here.

Now, quoting @Clint Dunn above: "yes anyone can post here but the opinions of those who are A)crappy photographers or B) don't post their own work, mean nothing to me. Why would I care about someone's opinion on photography if they are not a photographer??"

Does any of the quote above apply to you? Cheers.

0 upvotes
JavierDiaz
By JavierDiaz (Dec 7, 2012)

@WilliamJ: Just to set the record straight, I don't agree with most of your comments on the "Geisha" pic.

A snapshot can yield a very good picture. In this one, you have lines converging in perpetual movement (the handrails), reminiscent of the work of Cartier-Bresson (a particular shot of a down hill alley at the Père Lachaise graveyard comes to mind).

The fluorecent lights above on the walls make a virtual cercle surrounding the woman. Outstanding!

The geisha is dead-on center on the shot, and still that fits 100%, and she is indeed moving towards one side of the viewer, this is a dymanic photo.

Look at the texture of the walls, constant dull grey in strong contrast with her red costume.

NOW, my point was NOT about the shot, it was about people attacking you for criticism JUST BECAUSE it was a Steve McCurry photograph which is to say, just on the merits of the photographer; and NOT on the merits of the photo itself. That's all.

0 upvotes
Ken Johnes
By Ken Johnes (Dec 8, 2012)

@Gediminas - that´s exactly what i am saying, you cant find a pic which says war like Mc.Curry´s without showing some blood , explosion or cruel stuff.
exactly how many passport format portraits of other people have you seen which says so much about life during war? , i´d say none which relates even remotly.
wonder why? just cos it´s unique in a sense,he took that photo , and told you it is about war and you and i and the world recognize it in her eyes,that photo says what the photog says it is. even after all these years you cant find a similar image to replace it .

Kim Phuc´s photo you mentioned is the best example , it simply ` screams´ war.just like the hundreds of other famous or published photos,they just scream violently, just like the war itself .hope that explains what i meant.

@ Massimori- since when is `Yawn´ the way to express personal Feelings i wonder. i thought it something your brain makes you do when the oxygen supply gets low.

0 upvotes
BobYIL
By BobYIL (Dec 6, 2012)

Those of us who device excuses to find DSLRs large, heavy or impractical for street or travel photography should have a look at his blog.

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
JavierDiaz
By JavierDiaz (Dec 7, 2012)

Exactly. On a recent 2 weeks trip to Paris with a Canon G1X, I barely missed the 5D Mk II. Granted, the G1X is not a "point a shoot" camera exactly, what with its near APS-C sensor and Digic 5 processor.

But it blurs quite well the line between "sightseeing" vs. "shooting" on a leisure trip. Those who travel with their spouses will understand that right away...

0 upvotes
lifeispixels
By lifeispixels (Dec 6, 2012)

A living legend!

1 upvote
tttfoto
By tttfoto (Dec 6, 2012)

Totally inspired by his work.............

3 upvotes
Air Show
By Air Show (Dec 6, 2012)

Beautiful ! Just beautiful !…

2 upvotes
J Parker
By J Parker (Dec 6, 2012)

Seeing McCurry's work over the years is like being alive when Rembrandt was painting. His color photography is every bit as phenomenal as the most iconic black and white images. Thanks DPReview for the links to his blog.

6 upvotes
lmtfa
By lmtfa (Dec 6, 2012)

It is shameful that a member of this forum who posts here and on Nikon Rumors uses this stunning photo as his avatar. It is time he was exposed and stops using this or even a facsimile for his personal use.

6 upvotes
snooked123
By snooked123 (Dec 6, 2012)

Love the pics!!

1 upvote
David Grant
By David Grant (Dec 6, 2012)

Always inspiring and instructive to see the work of a great photographer. And Steve McCurry is indeed a great photographer.

9 upvotes
mrb375
By mrb375 (Dec 8, 2012)

Thank you, Mr. McCurry, for getting me into photography after my stint in the US Army- where an Olympus OM-2 was purchased from the PX. Your shot was (and still is) awesome.

1 upvote
Total comments: 83