The beautiful retrospective book Steve McCurry: The Iconic Photographs brings together some of the photographer’s best and most memorable images taken over the past 30 years. They are reproduced life size and showcase McCurry’s talent for capturing the human condition, using his eye for colour and composition, and his ability to watch and wait.
“If you wait,” he realised early in his career, “people will forget your camera and the soul will drift up into view.”
McCurry, the man who shot the Rio images for Pirelli Calendar 2013, is not best known for taking pictures of glamorous women. His real talent and what he is most recognised for is his documentary photography. His famous portrait of a girl living in a refugee camp near Peshawar, Pakistan, appeared on the June 1985 cover of National Geographic. It is this image, known as “Afghan Girl” – and others like it – that allows viewers to cross boundaries and glimpse different cultures that have become this master’s trademark.
When asked why he chose reportage, the 62-year-old said last year: “To be able to be on the frontline of history and report on it, I think, is a noble profession and a worthwhile endeavour.”
His photograph “Taj and train”, Agra, India, 1983, above, shows the beauty of the Taj Mahal as the antiquated steam engine rolls towards the end of its working life.
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