The launch of Steve McCurry’s career occurred when he disguised as a native person and entered Afghanistan through Pakistan right before the Soviet Invasion was to happen. He saved photographic documentation of the event, and these images were published worldwide showing the conflict. Steve McCurry kept covering armed battles, including Lebanon Civil War, the Afghan Civil War, the Gulf War, the Cambodian Civil War, the Iran-Iraq War, and the Islamic Insurgency in the Philippines. His work has been illustrated internationally in publications, and McCurry frequently contributed to the National Geographic. In addition, since 1986, he has been a member of Magnum Photos. Through his photography expeditions, Steve McCurry observes the consequences of war on people. He depicts not only the effects on landscapes but human faces as well. He aims at portraying the imprudent moment, experiences imprinted on people’s faces and a soul escaping.
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The famous Afghan girl
When the Afghan girl’s photo was printed on the cover of National Geographic magazine in 1985, it became one of the most popular and iconic pictures in the whole photography history. The picture was taken at the refugee camp during the Soviet invasion. McCurry remembered a full class of children, but one girl took his attention from entering the classroom because of her incredible green eyes and mesmerizing look. The circumstances were perfect – right light, good background, and an expression of the girl’s face – to create this portrait. A girl’s authenticity brought success because she didn’t pose, sat calmly, and looked into the lens. The picture of a girl symbolizes the fear and horror of war and perfectly illustrates how one image can describe individual experiences during the country’s difficult situations during the war.
The Iconic Tailor in Monsoon
The photograph “Tailor in Monsoon” examines the challenges encountered by many people in the developing world. McCurry photographed an elderly tailor who had been caught in the Porbandar monsoon floodwaters. The tailor had to wade through the floodwater despite the debris. The sewing machine in the photograph represents the man’s fate. The old man is trying to secure a future for himself. The photograph appeared on the cover of the National Geographic magazine. It portrays the pains experienced by many Indians during the period. This artwork encourages more people to focus on their goals despite the challenges affecting them. The manufacturer of the sewing machine later sent the old man a new one after seeing the photo.
Steve McCurry photographed the worker Vrindavan Widow in one of the streets in Vrindavan. According to the photojournalist, the old widow moved around Vrindavan with much hope and courage. The old widow had lived a lonely life since she was widowed at 13. The widow used to accept coins from different people in the old city. The image of this widow shows sympathy. The ambiguity of this photograph encourages more people to focus on their goals. People should be ready to overcome every challenge. This kind of perseverance will make it easier for many individuals to achieve their potentials. This fact explains why Vrindavan Widow is one of Steve McCurry’s masterpieces.
Chu, Chloe. 2018. “Douglas So: Decisive moments.” ArtAsiaPacific 107: 92-93.