Thursday, September 17, 2015

Capturing the Faces of War

Afgan Girl by Steve McCurry
Afgan Girl by Steve McCurry
The "most recognized photograph" in the history of National Geographic magazine was a young Afgan girl whose face appeared on the cover of the June, 1985 issue. American Editorial Photographer Steve McCurry captured the image in a refugee camp near Peshawar, Pakistan.

After becoming interested in photography at Penn State University, McCurry started taking pictures for the Penn State News Paper then worked at Today's Post in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania before leaving for India as a freelance photographer. Just before the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, he crossed from Pakistan into Afganistan disguised in native garb. He has continued to cover armed conflicts around the world for more than thirty years.

McCurry records the consequences of war as reflected in the human face. “Most of my images are grounded in people. I look for the unguarded moment, the essential soul peeking out, experience etched on a person’s face. I try to convey what it is like to be that person, a person caught in a broader landscape, that you could call the human condition.”

Kodak Kodachrome was McCurry's favorite film for capturing portraits and in 2010 Kodak asked him to expose the last roll manufactured. That roll was processed by Dwayne's Photo in Parsons, Kansas and the 36 slides will be housed at George Eastman House in Rochester, New York.

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