Author Archives: Steve McCurry

Between Darkness and Light

Find beauty not only in the thing itself but in the pattern of the shadows, the light and dark which that thing provides. – Junichiro Tanizak, In Praise of Shadows  South Africa The shadow is that place between darkness and light. Turkey  We find beauty not in the thing itself but in the patterns of shadows, the light and the darkness, that one thing against another creates… Were it not for shadows, there would be no beauty. –  Junichiro Tanizaki Cambodia The lovliest things in life are but shadows, and they come and go, and change and fade away…” –…

Continue Reading


Rajasthan, India For months there is no rain, and then there is too much. Half the world’s people survive at the whim of the monsoon. Bihar, India I was eleven years old when I saw a photo essay on the monsoon in India in Life Magazine by Brian Brake, the New Zealand-born Magnum photographer. His work established his reputation as a master color photo essayist. Twenty years later, I proposed a story to National Geographic to photograph the monsoon. Worli, India Bombay/Mumbai, India Porbandar, India Australia Monsoon History by Shirley Geok-lin Lim The air is wet, soaks into mattresses, and…

Continue Reading

One Magical Instant

At one magical instant the page of a book – that string of confused, alien ciphers – shivered into meaning. Words spoke to you, gave up their secrets; At that moment, whole universes opened. You became, irerevocably, a reader. – Alberto Manguel Hong Kong To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark. – Victor Hugo Katmandu, Nepal Everywhere I go in the world, I see young and old, rich and poor, reading books. Whether readers are engaged in the sacred or the secular, they are, for a time, transported to  …

Continue Reading


India The world is your kaleidoscope, and the varying combinations of colors which at every succeeding moment are the exquisitely adjusted pictures of your ever-moving thoughts. – James Allen Afghanistan Why do two colors, put one next to the other, sing? Can one really explain this? No. – Pablo Picasso Afghanistan Tibet India The purest and most thoughtful minds are those which love color the most. – John Ruskin Tibet Niger Our days are a kaleidoscope. Every instant a change takes place in the contents. New harmonies, new contrasts, new combinations of every sort… The most familiar people stand each…

Continue Reading


Ours Time-old Highland of highlands Ancient Where all history ends Where all rainbows meet… Tsegaye Gabre-Medhin Poet Laureate of Ethiopia 1936 – 2006 I knew that the English regarded themselves as civilized,   but it seemed to me that in many ways Ethiopia was a far more civilized place. Catherine Hamlin, M.D. in The Hospital by the River : A Story Of Hope Founder with her husband of Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital  Ethiopia confounds every expectation.  You arrive expecting a vast featureless desert and instead find yourself overwhelmed by majestic landscapes and climatic abundance. Ethiopia is a true revelation. It…

Continue Reading

Colors of Cuba

Cuba is tempting and provocative – full of contradictions and not always easy to understand. It is a country full of culture, music, history and passion. – Selected Moments Prepare yourself to be shocked, perplexed, confounded and amazed. Cuba is a country with no historical precedents: economically poor, but culturally rich; visibly mildewed, but architecturally magnificent; infuriating, yet at the same time, strangely uplifting. Following quotes by Brendan Sainsbury, Lonely Planet If the country were a book, it would be James Joyce’s Ulysses; layered, hard to grasp, serially misunderstood, but – above all – a classic. I love Cuba because…

Continue Reading
Return to the top