Art & Design, Lifestyle, Photography
Art & Design, Lifestyle, Photography

Steve McCurry: iconic images

Iconic images

'Afghan girl' cover - National Geographic
© Steve McCurry

Steve McCurry has been known to produce some of the most unforgettable and iconic images the world has seen in over thirty years of photography. You may not recognise the name, but you may be familiar with at least one of his past images.

His fame increased significantly after one of his pictures of Sharbat Gula, ‘the Afgan girl’ was used on the cover of National Geographic’s June 1985 edition. While this may be his most famous work, Steve McCurry’s talent is undeniable when observing his other collections of photography from across India, Tibet and Afghanistan.

Photography gallery Beetles+Huxley have dedicated a special exhibition to Steve’s most famous work, which focuses on his sometimes dangerous travels documenting conflict, poverty and the people caught in between.


My standout photographs from the exhibit included:

Wreckage at ground-zero, New York
© Steve McCurry

Wreckage at ground-zero, New York, 2001

While this looks like a stage set for a multi-million dollar production, unfortunately, it was not fiction. This photoevokes sadness and still stuns every time I view it; I try to imagine how the people in the picture feel, standing in the middle of it all.

Procession of nuns, Rangoon, Burma
© Steve McCurry

Procession of nuns, Rangoon, Burma, 1994

The garb of the nuns blends well with the old house in the background which takes yur eyes to all corners of the image. I also wonder if they are all needed together to help one person or are they leaving together to separate and indiviually help as many people as they can. This seems from the photo like a walk that is occurs at the same time and maybe going to the same place in silence.

Geisha in subway, Kyoto, Japan
© Steve McCurry

Geisha in subway, Kyoto, Japan, 2007

This image is all about contrast for me: The contrast between the plain basic colours of the subway tiles and the bright vibrant ones of the geisha’s clothing; The contrast between the basic shapes and lines of the subway and the curved patterns of prints; The contrast between the modernity of a subway and the ancient tradition of being a geisha.

Afghan women at shoe store, Kabul, Afghanistan
© Steve McCurry

Afghan women at shoe store, Kabul, Afghanistan, 1992

Shoes are one of the few items of clothing you can see when a woman is wearing a burka and I feel as thoguh the women in the photo are placing a lot of emphasis on picking the right shoes to show off their individuality, while wearing a burka that makes them all look the same.

Cary x

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