I guess a lot of you fellow bloggers are well known with the work of Steve McCurry, not the least his very beautiful blog. The American photojournalist is one of the most iconic voices in contemporary photography, having done a lot of magazine covers, over a dozen books, and countless exhibitions around the world. Last weekend he was in Norway, participating at the Nordic Light International Festival of Photography. I was there, both at the exhibition and his lecture in the evening. And it was very interesting to listen to the famous photographer.
One of the most interesting things McCurry told was that he is usually travelling light. Only one camera on the street, one lense, no flash, carrying a tripod but rarely using it. Having an extra camera of course, but not carrying two of them around. McCurry is famous for how he uses light and colours, and not the least for his portraits. At Nordic Light he told us he usually works very fast. He is looking for the moment, and they don’t last long. He is not pushing people around, directing them, but makes people feel relaxed and trusting him, and he works with intuition. He also admitted this might not do on the streets of New York, “You want to take my picture? But who the hell are you?”. In this short video McCurry tells about his portraits and that he nows prefer digital to the old rolls of film:
Quite a lot of photographers wanted their pictures taken with McCurry. Or getting a signed book or poster.
Steve McCurry told about the Afghan Girl, the young refugee who was on the cover for National Geographic in 1985. He found her again after 17 years, and life had been tough for Sharbat Gula. Both he and the National Geagraphic have since been helping the woman financially, but even that is tricky, since the people surrounding her thought that made her something of a millionaire.
Anyway, it was great to see this exhibition and listen to what McCurry had to say. I also was fortunate to take his picture, but I had to work very fast, with a lot of people pushing around for attention… More photos on this link.