Steve McCurry 3rd world country photo journalist


Steve McCurry is a photo journalist whose work has won over 45 awards. he was born in Philadelphia on February 24, 1950. His career really took off when he crossed the Pakistan border disguised in Afghani garb. The area was highly controlled by rebels and with film sewn into his clothes he took images nobody else could which were later published in the New York Times, TIME and Paris Match. He was originally interested in Videography but decided he could capture what he wanted to show better in photography.

Steve McCurry
Some Of His Work

His Style

A pattern in all his photos is that he loves to tell a story. Even though some of his photos are hard to look at and deeply disturbing some are full of colour and show how the human spirit can still be happy under tough situations. He does a lot of portraiture and in most of his photos are candid and full of emotion. I love how it tries to show the world what its like where he travels. Not everyone will go to war torn places or experience a religious festival in India but we can at least see what its like from his photos.

“Most of my images are grounded in people. I look for the unguarded moment, the essential soul peeking out, experience etched on a person’s face. I try to convey what it is like to be that person, a person caught in a broader landscape, that you could call the human condition.” – Steve McCurry

Photo Analysis

First of all the thing that captures your attention is her eyes. The bright green contrasts perfectly with her red clothes. The background and a few specks on her clothes are also green so everything looks balanced and striking. Her eyes look rather sad or surprised, open very wide so maybe she was shocked to see the man with the camera. This photo has a lot of emotion in her eyes and the framing is amazing. The way she looks at you is just very captivating and makes it hard to look away from her. She is well centred and in focus. The lighting is natural and the photo is candid even though it doesn’t look it. The angle is straight on and at the same level as the girl which makes her look like she is staring straight at you with those bright eyes.
This Photo is quite powerful, there is something instinctively wrong with a child holding a gun. The little boy looks scared as he clutches the weapon and what makes it worse is the adult in the background is giving it to him. The adult doesn’t seem to be doing this as a stupid game or for fun, the adult is placing a protective hard on his head so it seems that the gun is for the child’s own protection which is just heartbreaking that a small child who barely looks 7 needs to protect themselves with a gun. The colours are dull and bleak. Unlike the other two photos full of colour this one shows an even darker side of his photography. The picture is well framed and the emotion in the image is outstanding. People who were shown similar photos asked for them to be taken off the screen they were so disturbed by them. This really brings attention to the heartbreak of war and how it effects everybody, young or old. Death doesn’t discriminate as this child had to learn the hard way.
This one looks more like a studio photograph. The background looks a little like something out of a school photo but he could also be up against a wall. The lighting is right onto the centre on his face really bringing out the colours and making them pop more. He isn’t really smiling despite the “happy” choice of colours. Its defiantly a picture about culture which Steve does capture a lot especially in 3rd world countries. The colours are a powder that is used in some cultural celebrations especially in India. The colours really work well and make the photo really eye catching and vivid. Its interesting that for this idea he didn't do it candid. Usually he would go to the festival where the man was and take photos of him there with his coloured face in a more natural setting. The reason I think he didn’t was for a bit of a change from his usual often rather confronting style.

Current Work

Due to the fact he is usually taking photographs in dangerous places full of corruption and poverty which some people don't want him to expose he is very private about his work. It isn't really safe for him to say online or in interviews that he plans to expose the inhumanity in some places. It is shocking how far some people will go to ban photo journalists from places or even hurt them so its hard to find out what he is currently doing.


Created with images by jramspott - "Steve McCurry signs my book."

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