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Raw and exciting

India through the lens of Steve McCurry

When a photographer like Steve McCurry visits a country as visually vibrant as India, you’re bound to get some stunning images. The photographer has been travelling to the country for more than 30 years and lost count of the number of times he’s been to India: “It’s probably over eighty” he says.

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In love with India

Steve McCurry is known for his aesthetically beautiful and memorable photographs of cultures and countries all over the world. The American photographer has been travelling since the late 1970’s and went to India for the first time when he was 27: “I bought a one-way ticket and I was just going to stay there as long as it took”. It was the beginning of a long and loving relationship with the country. “Photographically, of all the places I have been, India fascinates me the most”

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Steve McCurry has been one of the most iconic voices in contemporary photography for more than thirty years.

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A boy runs away in the Blue City, a labyrinth of houses in the north of Jodhpur, Rajasthan

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“If you wait, people will forget your camera and the soul will drift up to be seen.”

It was being in India that taught McCurry to observe and wait for things to happen: “If you wait, people will forget your camera and the soul will drift up to be seen.” McCurry feels the incredible depth of India’s culture: “There are so many contradictions, there are so many people; it’s so rich. You can spend several lifetimes there and never really get to the bottom of it.” Luckily for us, McCurry launched a book last year called ‘India’ which gives us a peak into the everyday life of this very colourful country. 


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Reflection of the Taj Mahal

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Bicycles hang from the side of a train

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“I love portraiture. I love the stories that are etched in people’s faces”

One of his favorite sorts of photography is portraiture. McCurry’s portraits are intriguing and his subject usually looks straight into the lens. A conscious choice: “I think it helps viewers make that personal connection with the subject”. According to McCurry it doesn’t really matter how much time you spend with a person: “It could just be a few moments but somehow you establish a connection and great things can happen”. 

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A man from the Rabari Tribe poses for a portrait in the Rajasthan province

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Two women climb up the stepwells

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"I think photography allowed me to observe and travel the world”

McCurry realizes his priviliged position: “I have been very fortunate in my life to go all over the world. I think photography allowed me to observe the world, to travel the world and to have this enormous adventure” What he wants people to take from his pictures is that, although we all look different and speak different languages, we’re all human and we’re all from the same family.