Editor’s Note: We apologize for the lateness on this piece
Steve McCurry, a name known by many in the photographic community, celebrated his 63rd birthday this week, and we have chosen to make him our subject for This Week in Photography History. If you don’t know who Steve McCurry is already, I’m positive you will know his work as some of his images are known the world over. Head on past the break for a look into the life and career of Steve McCurry.
Steve McCurry (b. 2/24/1950) has lead one truly fascinating career as a photographer from smuggling film out of conflict-riddled Afghanistan by sewing the undeveloped rolls into the lining of his clothes to shooting one of the most famous and recognizable images ever captured to even shooting the very last roll of Kodak Kodachrome ever produced. His life is one to be envied if you follow the world of documentary photography.
A large portion of Steve’s career has been spent covering armed conflicts such as: the Iran-Iraq War, Lebanon Civil War, Cambodian Civil War, Islamic Insurgency in the Philippines, the Gulf War and the Afghan Civil War. You could say he has seen his share of global violence, yet he’s survived through every issue coming out with scores of powerful images and stories to tell. No small feat.
His focus has always been to show the consequences of war on the people, not just the surrounding landscape; the result is a powerful look into the human condition. Steve’s work over the years has garnered him numerous awards and universal praise; from the Robert Capa Gold Award in 1980 to the Leica Hall of Fame in 2011. McCurry has often said that he tries to immerse himself into the culture of the location he is visiting, and rather than immediately head out with his camera, he prefers to watch and wait, saying “If you wait, people will forget your camera and the soul will drift up into view.”
Steve has had his work appear in nearly every major magazine in the world and appears regularly in National Geographic, he has also published a number of books as well: The Imperial Way (1985), Monsoon(1988), Portraits (1999), South Southeast (2000), Sanctuary (2002), The Path to Buddha: A Tibetan Pilgrimage (2003), Steve McCurry (2005), and Looking East (2006).
As Steve celebrates his 63rd birthday this week, he shows no signs of slowing down with his travels or creativity, and I’m sure his career will continue to flourish and inspire. In closing, I will leave you with a few more favorite frames of his and I encourage you all to get to know his work and style and apply it to your own photography. We could all learn a thing or three from Steve McCurry.
All images are ©Steve McCurry
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