Steve McCurry’s Most Beautiful and Powerful Photo Stories

A brand new book by acclaimed photographer Steve McCurry brings together the most beautiful and powerful photo stories he’s shot in the last 30 years. For the first time ever, McCurry shares the stories behind his iconic images. Inside you’ll find 14 of his most important assignments like rail travel in India (1983), the plight of the Tibetan people (2000–6), and the effects of the Monsoon (1984). Brought to life by over 100 color photos, the book also contains never-before-seen travel documents including journals and maps that provide the reader with a deeper and richer experience.

American Photo has a great interview with McCurry where he discusses the current state of the art of photography. Here’s one of my favorite excerpts, “In this genre of street photography you’re present in the moment. That’s kind of a cliche perhaps, but your mind is occupied by the here and now. The sounds, the smells — you can really look and see things for what they are. When was the last time you went out for a walk for its own sake without an agenda? Even when you have the camera, the first thing you need to do is be in a particular frame of mind. It’s not that you have to go out and photograph something. It has to be a natural process, a curiosity to appreciate the world we live in. As time goes on, we start seeing things differently.”

Now, courtesy of Phaidon, the publisher of Steve McCurry Untold: The Stories Behind the Photographs, here are some of the most stunning images from the book.

Above: Women shielding themselves from a dust storm, Rajasthan, India 1983


Sharbat Gula, The Afghan Girl, in Nasir Bagh refuge camp near Peshawar, Pakistan, 1984


Mother and child looking in through a taxi window, Bombay, India, 1993


Bicycles hanging on the side of a train, West Bengal, India, 1983


Cover and pages from McCurry's 'Monsoon' journal, 1999


Steve McCurry in monsoon floods, Porbander, India, 1983


Untold: The Stories Behind the Photographs by Steve McCurry, 39.95 / 49.95, Phaidon 2013, www.phaidon.com

Phaidon website



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