Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Steve Mccurry

Steve Mccurry , originally uploaded by visithra.

Thanks to the American Embassy and Annexe Gallery we had the privilege to attend a talk by the famous photographer Steve Mcurry. He is the man who shot the Afghan Girl for National Geographic.

Truthfully I don’t think that’s his best shot, my fav is this shot of a lady and a child peeking into his taxi on a rainy day in Mumbai the other is this sculpture engrossed in his work surrounded by his creations again in India. The other was a shot in a mosque in Srinagar where light streams through magically. Apparently they got a letter asking why the lights were at different angles, only then did he think of it and realized it may have been distorted by the use of a wide angle lens.


He has been to India 85 times and still exclaims his amazement of the country and another 35 times to Afghanistan. His photos to me have a sense of celebration of life and hope and doesn’t focus on the poverty or the conflicts in that country. I asked him was it a personal choice to do so.

“I never liked shooting the combat, to me it was the people caught in between that I felt an urge to capture. The innocent bystanders of war who have no choice but to continue living in these conditions that inspire me to shoot.”


“I look for human connections, I try to shoot other things but I’m always drawn to people and humanity.”

“What I shoot is never different from what I see and feel."

He remembered every single location he had been to and if we had more time he’d probably tell us stories from each place. He was a true story teller.

I had 2 more questions to ask him did he have a favourite country and a least favourite, but his presentation kinda answered it for me.

I also wanted to ask there are no cities and skyscrapers here or on your site, do you dislike shooting city folks? I don’t blame him – they aren’t the nicest.

I think Mr Gear head in front annoyed him who kept asking about his gears. If you must know he travels with 5 lenses but usually never changes his lens and only uses one and prefers natural light. See even the great think it’s irrelevant so why are you obsessed with lenses? I think he has an obsession of light too, check out his galleries there’s one for shadow and light!

He is known to do dangerous stunts like sticking out of a moving train watching his breakfast delivered from the outside (it arrived somewhat cold with a toast or two missing!) and patiently waiting for hours for the right shot.

We paparazied him later, as we were trying to get a shot with him, so we kinda squeezed into a spot net to him. Then as we were heading back, we caught him at his van. The organizers wanted a shot with him so I offered to shoot It for them. In return we bugged him to pose with us. Oh well I’m allowed to be a crazy fan once in a while.

Had a good time meeting old friends and meeting some flickr photogs for the first time and making new friends. Yep we even had time for that ;p


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