Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Steve McCurry: Life in Color


From Henri Cartier-Bresson and Annie Leibovitz, we continue this blog's series of noteworthy photographers, this time with photojournalist Steve McCurry and his works of vibrant color photographs.

Mr. McCurry's worked is featured most prominently in the National Geographic Magazine where his deeply moving images have brought attention to different conflict areas and places of poverty. Since his career began in the late 1970s, he has been to many places, notably in South and East Asia and in the Middle East.

Although many of his works were taken in the poorer areas of various countries, the images show a quiet dignity in the people he photographed. He sometimes attributes this to the unguarded moment where his subjects would show a different side to their character (this philosophy is not unlike Henri Cartier-Bresson's decisive moment).

While his patience and skill have undoubtedly contributed to the quality of his images, his clever use of color through the old Kodachrome and Ektachrome films he used also brought a different perspective to his subjects. His expertise in this area led him to have the honor of shooting the last roll of Kodachrome film before production stopped.

You can see that same special quality in the blue eyes and green veil of the Pakistani child's portrait above, or in the brown skin of the fishermen perfectly lined up against the pale blue-green sea and sky of Sri Lanka...


...or in the group of kids in their deep red frocks playing around in India...

...or in farmers in a green clover field framed against their earthen yellow homes and mountains in Yemen....


...all of these show just the right combination of that unguarded moment combined with superb exposure. 

Below, Mr. McCurry poses for a portrait by Tim Mantoani with a picture of the Afghan Girl, the image that made him famous among photographers worldwide.


You can find out more about Steve McCurry and his works of colorover at his website. He also has a blog over here, but be advised that it is very image heavy. Mr. McCurry has a number of books out, but these are probably the best ones to start your collection: Steve McCurry: The Unguarded Moment, Portraits, and Steve Mccurry: In the Shadow of Mountains.




153 comments:

skinned sheep said...

i wish i had those eyes..

Mike said...

Really great photos - Love the fisherman, imagine seeing that walking along the beach. Very, very cool

Thank you for sharing - Will pop in again very soon!

Mike.

thenitefalls said...

Steve McCurry's work is amazing. I have to check out more of his work. I love the vibrant green in the farmer's pic!

Sam said...

Gorgeous pics

Venus said...

that´s just stunning.

Josh said...

Ugh, it's like those colors haven't existed outside of those photographs. Simply stunning.

Lhosreiff said...

Those hats are just absolutely outrageous.

tissue rejection said...

Wow, that's amazing. Really brings out the color in things like I've never seen the colors the same before

psyke said...

Yes, the afghan girl is trully a classic

Jacob said...

Some really really powerfull photos. Thanks.

MRanthrope said...

it's like CGI effects, without lame computers! Thats pure talent on display...

Pago said...

He makes photos like paintings. Amazing!

The Angry Lurker said...

Lovely pictures but that first one is the most striking and caused me to stare at it for a while.

2seat said...

i remember reading that book years ago

Spike said...

these are so freaking beautiful

mac-and-me said...

amazing photos

Jennifer Black said...

those eyes are truly captivating.

Raw said...

This guy is really a master. These shots are all stunning.

Alphabeta said...

Wonderful photos.

Stare Dad said...

Very Very nice photos!

Wintermute said...

This guy is an extraordinary photographer, some those pictures hardly look real.

LOB said...

He takes some amazing photos! They almost look unreal.

Poke said...

Great pics! The mans a great photographer

Daily01 said...

Wow the eyes of the girl in the first pic. :OOOO Cant stop looking at her.

Alexis said...

That's some incredible work. I am speechless.

Silent Crawler said...

Astonishing... It's impossible to reach such a great depth with a digital camera.

Kicking Rocks said...

Theres a photo of the afgan girl that was taken recently. They tracked her down and retook the piccture after many years. You should check that out!

Jase said...

Nice photos, the first girl has very nice eyes!

Polybius said...

I've seen most of those in the NG magazine. Great stuff.

Meghan Moran said...

Those farmers look like they're from another world.

http://dasmeistro.blogspot.com said...

So awesome, i want to get this good someday!

Generally Disgruntled said...

That Afghanistan girl is pretty much a symbol of America's military action there. Not sure what kind of symbol, but whatevs

PvtCarlin said...

I really dig those unique hats. Well done!

AllenTesch said...

Those eyes. Hard to believe it is altered somewhat.

SirJohnBear said...

It's amazing how a picture of another culture can shock you into how simple we have things in a lot of our countries.

Rob said...

Amazing stuff! Its amazing how different the cultures look.

Green Bus said...

Man, those pictures are amazing. This blog gets better and better each time I come here.

duffboi said...

I love these photographs. He is truly talented.

Banacek said...

wow! Those are just awesome. I like the one with the little Tibetan monks.

Mikael said...

Wow fantastic photos. I wish I could take photos like that.

Christophe said...

These are absolutely amazing. It breaks my heart to think that many of these beautiful women are forced to hide themselves from the world. Their eyes are so striking because that's all they can show anyone.

Questions said...

Wow, that is some great photography.

elexerdelex said...

wow those sri-lankans look cool!

CandleintheDark said...

These are iconic. I never knew who took them though. Thanks for the info!

Mike said...

reallu amazing i love it when i saw see other sides of this world. everywhere i go there is always beauty! nice post.

Tibble said...

WOW. I've litterally been staring at the girl. Thats sunning man.

LOL - the Buddist kid with a gun

Sean said...

Wow, this guy is fucking incredible! Thanks for sharing this man.

DocStout said...

That first photo looks like it was inspired by the classic National Geographic cover with the girl from Afghanistan.

Ano said...

It probably takes quite a bit if time to be so good at taking pictures!
great post bro!

Bassislv said...

amazing pics in here

Brut said...

Wow, breathtaking pictures.

Moob said...

these are amazing photos

Dousner said...

That is so beautiful! Thanks!

G said...

those are some awesome pictures - cheers for sharing them

Necroticism said...

Man, those are some great photos. I'd love to have them in a bigger resolution.

consuela bananahammoc said...

Very powerfull

akrater said...

Great photos. I remember seeing some of his photos in National Geographic magazine.

ironchefman said...

Wow, that Sri Lanka fisherman picture is very excellent. The color balance and exposure given the sea, people, and sky, is so perfect.

Slamcakes said...

Just makes you think about how big the world really is

BTN Hip Hop said...

the fishing shot is awesome.

Shutterbug said...

Awesome photos. I like the Sri lanka photo, especially the colours!

Azurikai said...

the picture in the ocean is absolutely awesome.

Tasos said...

I love Steve McCurry's work. Such a dedicated photographer and he's so good at what he is doing. I really liked it when he found that girl again back in 2002 and took her picture now that she is older. Incredible idea

Quetopia said...

Nice photos man, I really liked them.

Malkavian said...

So this is the famous man behind the lens.

Hmecey said...

Those photos are spectacular

Chuck said...

Yeah the farmers photo is very brightly coloured. Really like his work and talented eye.

T. Roger Thomas said...

Fishermen shot is brilliant!

ZeroTime said...

beautiful eyes

Zakk said...

I love photography! You have my support!

Major.Mack said...

beautiful

techdelver said...

the girl on the have something to tell but i can't figure it out...

Nina said...

I really love his photographs, i remember reading an article in national geographic when they caught up with the girl with the eyes.

jblogger45 said...

those are great photos!

Garth said...

amazing photos

Bart said...

her eyes dont sell me

Astronomy Pirate said...

These are some amazing, lifelike photos. You can almost feel like you're there looking at them. It's sad that Kodachrome has been replaced. Even in the digital age, nothing can quit capture things the same way.

Team Panda said...

amazing pictures.

Admin said...

Really, really awesome pictures. Really.

Systemdown said...

Is this the same guy that did that famous cover of national geographic?

skinned sheep said...

eye transplants?

The Game Store Guy said...

The third picture made me smile. Very cool.

Anita Johnson said...

Aw man I love how vivid the colour of her cloak is./.. Come check me out, alphabetalife.blogspot.com

Glovey said...

Love your blog style! Keep up the great work!

Max Downton said...

Wow, stunning photos - subscribed :)

Anton Nuemus said...

WOW This pictures are so awesome

Leanora's Blog said...

Never been a fan of photos, but I can really see the beauty of these

Every Day said...

Those eyes pierced my soul. It hurts.

Thatoneguy said...

Great pictures. Really found some to be inspiring.

Wayward Disposition said...

I love all of the photos you've been posting. Man, I've seen this one around a few times. I don't know why but it always seems to make me emotional. Good work on the photographer for that though. :)

-Wayward.
http://waywarddisposition.blogspot.com/

Big Unicorn said...

Just amazing.

Followed.
bigunicorn.blogspot.com

Found on the Internet Today said...

Love the picture with the hats.

Mike James said...

great post!

Aaron M. Gipson said...

I would agree that this guy probably has one of the best eyes in modern photography. He is like the Ansel Adams of the human face. That second photograph of the fishermen looks almost as though it was painted by Renaissance artist.

Does anyone else agree with me that those Yemeni farmers look kind of like that weird wizard character from Final Fantasy IX?

Rhys Cooper said...

wow such an amazing photo, thanks for sharing

notforeverybody said...

Great pictures! Thx for sharing :)

Lemmiwinks said...

great post. following you

schultzz said...

love the cloak color.

Obi-wan Mikenobi said...

Nice

cool_cicler said...

The magnum movement made a great work. Are you familiar with the work of Sebastiao Salgado? Remembers me of him.

HiFi said...

Look at the colors in those photographs. Wonderful!

Ray Rousell said...

They're beautiful photo's, the photo of the girl with the blue eyes is full of emotion. It reminds me of a Catholic/Chrisitian icon painting of a saint.
Ray

Trelin said...

The images seem more colorful than real life.

JapRoulette said...

Amazing..

Electric Addict said...

these are some awesome shots. very well posed and great contrast

Minecraftblogger said...

The first one is especially beautifull

Jackie said...

so powerful, so so good.

Jared said...

Very powerful photos, moved me...

Jaccstev said...

Awesome! Those photos means a thousand word!

Mike said...

Need a new post bro! Waiting waiting! :)

Adrian said...

i like

The Emancipator said...

that one with the guys fishing is epic.
I can't imagine how much skill that would take

TheGeneral said...

Picturesque to say the least.

rinns said...

Wow, amazing.

BrAd? said...

Wow, those eyes stand out so well

Dragmire said...

Some amazing photos here. I love the color contrasts. Followed.

Dazza said...

beautiful, but she looks so sad I want to know why..

Killerko said...

very nice pictures here...

Ambi said...

At first i thought it's a painting :) nice photos

BORIS said...

I'm jealous at those eyes

Rorschach Redemption said...

These colors don't look real to me. (Kodachrome and Ektachrome? Hello, Google!)

Mars said...

Stunning pictures.

Randy truckguy! said...

Such a nice photo!

Cameron Peter Hughes said...

Very nice photos! Great blog.
+1

whatsup said...

I remember seeing that picture with the afghan girl a while ago, cool

Andrew said...

Wow, what a gift! All of those photos were amazing. The Yemen shot makes me smile.

Erik said...

Wow, this are amazing photos!

oops.i.pood said...

mccurry is fantastic, good choice for your blog :)

David said...

Wow, these photos are amazing. They make you feel like you're really there.

ThePanda said...

the photos are cool

Bahb said...

damn those are wondefull!

YellowNiceTechno said...

Insane photos!

john178 said...

wow that is a breathtaking photo

honkhonkpt said...

Wow, really nice pictures!

christopher said...

very good pictures!

Aureal said...

Beautiful shot, she has stunning eyes

Energy Drink Extravaganza said...

What an amazing picture!

PaulBlark said...

Great photos!

Broccoli said...

Amazing photos, damn. I love the fishermen, so awesome. The girl's eyes are great as well..
keep posting these great pictures! (+1)

ExoticBlogger said...

beautiful.

Navi said...

i wish i was good at photography..
+1 follower

Zip said...

Sweet. Looking forward to some more photography.

Lucky13 said...

Amazing photos, and that last one was very famous back in the day for appearing as a cover of a National Geographic!
Very good blog you got here, will be sure to take a peek once in a while

Brock said...

That's just amazing color in her eyes. Keep the good pictures coming

J. Antonio said...

wonderful eyes

Kevings said...

Great contrast, very well taken!

KrillKrones said...

Beautiful! Keep it coming.

=dgrphx= said...

the girl really got famous from that one picture anywho this post is really cool these pictures are awesome thanks

Mr. Dough said...

Wow, those are absolutely incredible.

Tasty said...

Ahh, so this is the guy who did that picture? I think it was in NatGeo or something.. Very famous picture.

Jordan said...

One hell of a post. Those are crazy.

Potholderz said...

Amazing photos, i'm really starting to enjoy your blog.

C Mo Gunz said...

wow great post! the one where they are chilling on the sticks is soooo cool!

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