Master photographers

Portrait of Steve McCurry

Steve McCurry

Steve McCurry  (February 24, 1950) is an American photojournalist, known worldwide for being the author of the photograph The Afghan girl, appeared in National Geographic magazine in 1985.

His career as a photographer began with the War in Afghanistan (1978-1992). He has also covered other international conflicts such as the war between Iraq and Iran or the Gulf War. Steve McCurry comments on his work (quotation from the book by Editorial Phaidon) "In the portrait I wait for the moment in which the person is caught off guard, when the essence of his soul and his experiences emerge on his face.... Yes I find the right person or subject, sometimes I return once, twice, or even half a dozen times, always waiting for the right moment.Unlike the writer, in my work, once I have packed my bags, there is no other way. opportunity for a new sketch. Either I have the photo or I don't. This is what guides and obsesses the professional photographer, the now or never. For me, the portraits in this book convey a desire for human relationship, a desire so strong that people who knows that he will never see me again opens up to the camera, hoping that someone will observe him on the other side, someone who will laugh or suffer with it."

McCurry began studying History of Film and Cinematography at Pennsylvania State University in 1968, but ended up earning a BA in Performing Arts, graduating cum laude in 1974. He took an immense interest in photography when he started taking pictures for the Pennsylvania newspaper called "The daily collegian".

His career as a photojournalist began with his coverage of the Soviet war. In Afghanistan McCurry disguised himself in the country's clothing to remain inconspicuous while working, and he took out the country's spools by sewing them between the clothes. His images were among the first to portray the conflict and were widely circulated. That work earned him the Robert Capa Gold Medal for best photo reporting abroad. McCurry continued to cover international conflicts, including the Iran-Iraq War, Beirut, Cambodia, the Philippines, the Gulf War, and Afghanistan. His work has been published in magazines around the world, and he is a regular contributor to National Geographic.

He has been a member of the Magnum agency since 1986. As equipment he uses a Nikon D700 and a Hasselblad medium format. In an interview he says: "In the old days, I used to use prime lenses like a 28mm, 35mm and 50mm, but now I am happy with the results of my Nikkor 28-70 zoom lens as I think it gives me sharp results. "

Her most recognizable photo is "The Afghan Girl," taken of a previously unknown Afghan refugee. The image itself was considered the "most recognizable" in the history of National Geographic magazine and her face became famous on the cover in June 1985. The photo has also been widely used on Amnesty pamphlets, posters and calendars. International. The identity of the "Afghan girl" was unknown for at least 15 years until McCurry and a National Geographic team tracked down the woman, Sharbat Gula, in 2002. Steve McCurry is featured in a television documentary titled "The Face of Human Condition " ("the face of the human condition"), 2003, directed by French award-winner Denis Delestrac.

Although McCurry photographs on both digital and film, his preference is film. Eastman Kodak allowed McCurry to photograph with the last produced roll of Kodachrome, which was processed in July 2010 by Dwayne's Photo in Parsons, Kansas (USA) and whose photographs will remain in the George Eastman House. Most of the photos, excluding some duplicates, have been published online by Vanity Fair magazine.

Based in New York, McCurry offers weekend photography courses as well as two-week photography courses in Asia.

Access Steve MacCurry's website


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