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.