Fusion: The Synergy of Images and Words

YEMEN-10071Yemen

Ever since Gutenberg invented the printing press which enabled everyone to read books, artists have tried to portray the relationship of a reader and his/her book.

THAILAND-10033Thailand

Garrett Stewart’s book, The Look of Reading: Book, Painting, Text, explores the relationship of reading and art.

CHINA-10055China

We are familiar with words describing images, but not so familiar with images describing words and the impact reading has on our lives.

FRANCE-10049France

AFGHN-10118Afghanistan

Artists from Rembrandt to Picasso have explored the interaction of people with their books.

AFGHN-12135NFAfghanistan

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  another world.

INDIA-10435NFIndia

Reading a good book is a universal activity, and people read while they do just about everything else.

BURMA-10039NF

PAKISTAN-10081Pakistan

INDIA-10295IndiaITALY-10029Italy

INDIA-10629India

Susan Sontag said, “The camera makes everyone a tourist in other people’s reality…” The same can be said for reading books

.CHINA-10054China

“When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes.”   — Erasmus

120 Responses to “Fusion: The Synergy of Images and Words”

  1. this essay explains the relationship between words and pictures perfectly. Thanks.

  2. […] lesender Menschen auf dem sehenswerten Blog von Steve McCurry. Hier geht’s lang zu Teil 1 und Teil […]

  3. Your lovely essay reminded me of this quote:
    “We may sit in our library and yet be in all quarters of the earth.”
    ~Attributed to John Lubbock, The Pleasures of Life.

  4. […] The power of the most simple photographs is brought to life in these wonderful images – http://stevemccurry.wordpress.com/2010/08/10/fusion-the-synergy-of-images-and-words/ […]

  5. […] the camera.) collection of people reading, entitled “Fusion: The Synergy of Energy and Words” (Part I and Part II). I’ve reproduce this from a larger collection called “Steve McCurry: […]

  6. […] Fusion: The Synergy of Images and Words […]

  7. Meaningful photo essay. Like it a lot. Thanks.

  8. […] a collection of photos of people reading, entitled “Fusion: The Synergy of Energy and Words” (Part I and Part […]

  9. […] a collection of photos of people reading, entitled “Fusion: The Synergy of Energy and Words” (Part I and Part II). The idea to shoot photos of people reading was itself prompted by his relationship […]

  10. […] on mõned päris toredad fotod lugevatest […]

  11. Thank you so much Steve.

  12. […] WordPress interview with McCurry here…above photo from his series, Fusion: The Synergy of Images and Words… […]

  13. These are wonderful. Thank you.

  14. […] this blog. Thank you Steve McCurry for sharing these stunning photographs of people reading around the […]

  15. Janet Fisher Says:

    This is so wonderful.

  16. Anonymous Says:

    Exquisite, thank you for posting.

  17. Mike English Says:

    Steve I visited your exhibition in Birmingham and was really impressed by your work. You have captured the lows and highs of the subjects and show their souls in your pictures Thank you and well done.

  18. amazing issue again, amazing work on it. let me know, if it’s possible to assist you, at least for one shot. thank you for this blog.
    Daniel

  19. It’s Steve McCurry that has inspired me to become a photographer. Even though I have a visual impairament, I tell my self If I could be half as good as Steve I’ll be happy.

  20. Your photographs are so wonderful. They make me feel very, very, very small.

  21. Hi Steve,
    Your photos are amazing, I absolutely love them. I envy you! I would love to have a job like yours – One day, I hope to work for National Geographic and travel all around the world and take photos for the magazine. I am currently a freshman at Georgia Southern University and am majoring in Art, 2D specifically, but I plan on minoring in photography. I have taken many photo classes and I spend the majority of my time taking photos and even editing them. During my senior year of high school, I took AP 2D-Design where I had to create a portfolio and submit it and receive a score based on the quality and other requirements of my images. The highest score one could get on their portfolio is a 5 and I received a 4. Our portfolios had to evolve in some way and had to be concentrated on a specific topic. My concentration started out to be “things one could find in a junkyard” and my concentration evolved into looking closely at the textures of the things that I found in junkyards. I have fallen in love with photography ever since I took the AP 2D-Design class at my high school. I love the National Geographic magazine, the photos in the magazine are incredible and inspiring. Last year I actually entered an online contest for NGM and submitted one of my photos but unfortunately did not win. Taking pictures is more than a hobby for me, I would love to take photos as a living. Here at Georgia Southern, one of my professor’s name is Loretta Brandon, she told me all about you! I wanted to look at more of your photos and send you a message. I enjoy looking at your photos and I hope that we can maybe talk sometime about having a career in photography – do you have any tips for an aspiring photographer who wants to work for National Geographic like me? Thanks for all of your amazing photos! Keep doing what you’re doing, you’re my role model :)
    Thanks Steve,
    Haley H

  22. […] View the whole photo essay, as well as McCurry’s reflections on reading, here. […]

  23. […] de Steve McCurry, de la serie Fusion: The Synergy of Images and Words. […]

  24. You are juste AMAZING AMAZIIIING… FANTASTIC!!!!
    You are my favorit favorite photografer!!!! Realy!!!!

    best regards!!

  25. People craving words. No sight more beautiful than that – one worth capturing!

  26. Laura Delgado Patiño Says:

    Thank you for doing this blog, thank you for taking photographs the way you do. Thank you for taking me to all those places I cannot go and for introduce me to all the people I cannot met. Thank you Profesor Steve for make me feel inspired.

  27. […] pulls together series of shared human experiences, experiences such as LOVE, SOLUTIDE, SLEEPING and READING[READING partII]. Do yourself a favor a take […]

  28. Kate Hosford Says:

    Dear Steve,
    These images are so incredible! I can’t help but thinking that they would be wonderful all together as a poster, like those Doors of Amsterdam posters)
    or as a long piece of paper that snakes along the top of a room, like the ABC strips, but just with your pictures.

    Really amazing!

  29. […] my heart to some of the romance surrounding the printed word, and the joy of reading. Nevertheless, this photo blog unlocked the chains around my Grinchy heart and made me misty, even as the jumpy cynic deep in my […]

  30. Hi Steve
    The images and the words are indeed fantastic. Amazing images!
    A picture speaks more than a thousand words. The words along with the images
    leave indelible mark on one’s heart and soul. They are so inspiring.
    I deal with young students in India. My students do a lot of work towards the Service to the community. They go to orphanages and share their books with the special children and help them in their studies. They invite them to attend some events that are held in our school and encourage them to perform. I have documented my students work on my blog. Please visit my blog. It will be an honor for all of us. http://caseducation360degrees.blogspot.com/
    Thanks!

  31. […] Fusion: The Synergy of Images and Words « Steve McCurry’s Blog […]

  32. Amazing! My favorite is the one with the elephant. I would love to sit and read a novel while resting on an elephant. I suppose they make comfortable backrests. But why are they all men? Where are the women readers? Can we add women readers, please?

  33. I especially love the photo of the youth with the elephant & the monks reading.

  34. Hi Steve, I am discovering your blog, it’s very informative, I had a great time browsing through the posts…
    Cheers
    Yan

  35. […]   Ever since Gutenberg invented the printing press which enabled everyone to read books, artists have tried to portray the relationship of a reader and his/her book.        Garrett Stewart's book, The Look of Reading:  Book, Painting, Text, explores the relationship of reading and art.       We are familiar with words describing images, but not so familiar with images describing words and the impact reading has on our lives.           Artists fro … Read More […]

  36. I love these photos.

  37. […] read while leaning up against an elephant, but I do have something in common with every person in Steve McCurry’s photo blog – we’re all readers.  This guy has travelled all over, and taken some wonderful […]

  38. The range of shots of people reading is wonderful – just trawling through my own archives and realised how many times I have been fascinated by this as a subject too – even found one image that had such a deep personal impact and in some ways told the story of my life, relationships with parents and the kind of head and heart I have now…not bad for a single image….

    http://www.trekearth.com/viewphotos.php?l=7&p=720609

  39. psbhavana Says:

    Hi Steve,

    I’m a Kolkata-based Indian who loves words, words and more words, but right now I’m at a loss of them. I clicked on this ‘reply’ box, but I’m punched by a ‘what do I write!’ feeling. Utterly shocking :)
    Your photographs have the power to make people speechless, teary, happy, melancholic and thoughtful… all in the same breath. Kudos to your compositions.

    Thank you for freezing moments in time that would have been otherwise lost to us.

  40. Wonderful photo essay. I like this very much.

  41. […] display for the first time on his own blog. Entitled “Fusion: The Synergy of Energy and Words” (Part I and Part II) drew a strong reaction from book lovers. “More than 4,000 people visited the site in […]

  42. Wonderful pictures, but my favorite is of the young man reading with a young elephant trying to get his attention

  43. […] beautiful photo collection of people reading around the […]

  44. […] for the first time on his own blog. Entitled “Fusion: The Synergy of Energy and Words” (Part I and Part II) drew a strong reaction from book lovers. “More than 4,000 people visited the […]

  45. Me encantó la simplicidad de las personas elegidas para esas tomas. Transmiten paz y sencillez.

  46. Georgia Hesse Says:

    These are exciting pictures. Absolutely the best book devoted to this subject is the masterful “A History of Reading” by Alberto Manguel (Viking).

    My favorite chapter tells the tale of the 5th-century St. Ambrose, thought to be the first man known to have been observed reading silently, at the time considered to be a remarkable achievement. Thank you to everyone concerned with this.

  47. […] McCurry (he of National Geographic ‘Afghan Girl’ fame) has a lovely photo-essay up on his blog about books, and the people who read them. Category: Linked […]

  48. […] [from steve_portigal] Fusion: The Synergy of Images and Words [Steve McCurry's Blog[ – [Photjournalist assembles series of images of people reading, across the planet] […]

  49. […]   Ever since Gutenberg invented the printing press which enabled everyone to read books, artists have tried to portray the relationship of a reader and his/her book.        Garrett Stewart's book, The Look of Reading:  Book, Painting, Text, explores the relationship of reading and art.       We are familiar with words describing images, but not so familiar with images describing words and the impact reading has on our lives.           Artists fro … Read More […]

  50. […] 3) Reading, all around the world. […]

  51. Judith Kissner Says:

    I love these images! If you ever decide to make these into greeting cards, contact me. I would love to sell them in our bookstore.

  52. Wonderful post! I hope you don’t mind that I’ve placed a link to it on my own blog. Readers everywhere will love this!

  53. […] who loves reading will love Steve McCurry’s blog post, “Fusion: The Synergy of Images and Words“. Fantastic pictures of people all over the world doing what we love to do – […]

  54. Wonderful idea, well captured.

  55. […] Joy of Reading a Book My librarian son sent this link to his book loving mother.  The pictures capture the love of reading a book and are worth sharing […]

  56. The photos are beautiful, but I think it’s also interesting that I counted one woman reading in these photos.

    Women don’t have leisure to read in most parts of the world. Very sad.

    • The dearth of photos of females reading was the first thing I thought about, too. Yes, it is very sad. And telling, too.

  57. Wonderful cords of connection with others. Would love to see a collection of book store photos. A favorite book: 84, Charing Cross Road.

  58. Wonderful photos of people reading. How reassuring.

  59. Hello Steve,
    These photographs are wonderful! I would love to show them to my students….I do a lesson on plagerism and also would like to use your examples because this is a common proiblem PowerPoint presentations. Please let me know if you have a place where I can buy your pictures, or if this is a permanent llink.

    Thank you so much!

  60. These are awesome. Anyone know where you can buy selected prints from this book?

  61. Nice essay. I am relative new to blogging, and also to worldpress. Is there possibility that i reblog some of your images with small introduction of you and your work?

  62. What a great terrific and powerful essay. Thanks for the beautiful work.

  63. Wonderful images! We readers need reminding that we’re not alone!

  64. […] Here’s a link to some beautiful photographs of people around the world reading: “Steve MCCurry’s Blog –  Fusion: The Synergy of Images and Words” TAKE A LOOK! […]

  65. […]   Ever since Gutenberg invented the printing press which enabled everyone to read books, artists have tried to portray the relationship of a reader and his/her book.        Garrett Stewart's book, The Look of Reading:  Book, Painting, Text, explores the relationship of reading and art.       We are familiar with words describing images, but not so familiar with images describing words and the impact reading has on our lives.           Artists fro … Read More […]

  66. Just disovered your blog through shelf awareness. Your pictures are stunning – I’m off to explore more, but the series depicting reading struck such a chord with me…

  67. Maisondieu Says:

    Beautiful and hopeful! Life is surprising! I love your work Steve. Colours are so beautiful. Am half Indian, and your photos touch a chord in me. Thank you!

  68. […]   Ever since Gutenberg invented the printing press which enabled everyone to read books, artists have tried to portray the relationship of a reader and his/her book.        Garrett Stewart's book, The Look of Reading:  Book, Painting, Text, explores the relationship of reading and art.       We are familiar with words describing images, but not so familiar with images describing words and the impact reading has on our lives.           Artists fro … Read More […]

  69. […] Images of People Reading Posted on August 22, 2010 by Dennis Y. Ginoza at Steve McCurry‘s blog: Fusion: The Synergy of Images […]

  70. beautiful to see this connection to the book.

  71. Lovely idea to pull such fine pictures together, powerful vindication of the printed word………..

  72. I love your work, I went in his speech in Sao Paulo at MIS, I really liked …
    I know many people write to you with the intention of knowing more about his work and I am one who would like to know more about their travels and work, I have a blog of my photos if you like what you can enter and leave your opinion and any possible hint to improve my work, I thank you in advance.
    The address of my blog is http://jardielcarvalho.wordpress.com/
    I’ma big fan of your work.

  73. naokoshin Says:

    I love to read and I love art; thank you for sharing this; love your poignant photography!!

  74. Beautiful images. Thanks for sharing.

  75. Beautiful pictures. Makes me think that humans are forever hungry for knowledge.

  76. Hey Steve, I have been wanting to ask you a question and this seems to be the only place for me to do so. I have been traveling throughout Latin America and India for the past year really exploring photography. I love everything about it but I always encounter the issue of, is taking this photo rude because they are staring right at me and may not want their photo taken? In all of your photos it seems to me that everybody is pretty oblivious to the fact that you are taking a photo of them or they just do not care. Maybe you could share some insight on this subject. Always enjoy your work.

    -Andrew

  77. Diane Richards Says:

    As usual, whenever I see his images I always think “AHHH!!”

  78. As a Librarian as well as a reader – the two do not necessarily always go together – I enjoyed your photos.

  79. I like the series you proect Steve. You have great ideas.

  80. Respected Steve,

    All the images are fantastic ! Like the way how you have shown that people from all over the world likes to read. Fantastic way of story telling.

  81. Respected Mr. Steve,

    All the images are fantastic ! Like the way how you have shown that people from all over the world likes to read. Fantastic way of story telling.

  82. […] August 17th, 2010 § 0   Ever since Gutenberg invented the printing press which enabled everyone to read books, artists have tried to portray the relationship of a reader and his/her book.        Garrett Stewart's book, The Look of Reading:  Book, Painting, Text, explores the relationship of reading and art.       We are familiar with words describing images, but not so familiar with images describing words and the impact reading has on our lives.           Artists fro … Read More […]

  83. Thanks for sharing the collection of images and quotes.

  84. […] books on almost anything really.  This post made me smile with it’s collection of photographs of people reading.  […]

  85. I shared this on my Facebook to illustrate how a coherent theme/idea transcends time and geographical boundaries. I also happen to love reading and is still write as a profession and and as a passion.

    Thank you for the many wonderful images of people in the act of reading. Iam now a fan of your blog (and of your photography of course). Cheers!

    • I shared this on my Facebook to illustrate how a coherent theme/idea transcends time and geographical boundaries. I also happen to love reading and I still write as a profession and as a passion.

      Thank you for the many wonderful images of people in the act of reading. I am now a fan of your blog (and of your photography of course). Cheers!

  86. Agusti Carbonell Says:

    excelente serie, hace muchos años que sigo tu trabajo,y lo comentaba amis alumnos de la Universidad.Gracias

  87. Laura Crenshaw Says:

    Image 5 is so real. Thanks for seeing these moments so that we could share them with you.

  88. What absolutely stunning work..and oh-so-very inspiring.

  89. Hi Steve,

    Thanks for sharing.

    I liked all photographs….

    Reading books… hmm…. better I don’t not write any thing about it :P

    With best wishes,
    Pawan

  90. Beautilul images and thoughts! Are you familiar with the Wallace Stevens poem, The House Was Quiet and the World Was Calm–the opening lines go:

    The house was quiet and the world was calm.
    The reader became the book; and summer night

    Was like the conscious being of the book.
    The house was quiet and the world was calm.

  91. Brilliant blog post. Really gives an insight into a subject which is taken for granted by us all.

  92. A great post…loved the words and images

  93. People reading is also a favorite subject of mine. Beautiful work.

  94. wonderful essay! I love the fusion between books and images.

  95. I am particularly touched by this thematic. I have already talked about it in my blog which is dedicated to the love ok books and reading.
    Thanks a lot for all the magnificient and strong images of the world that you share with us.

  96. Wonderful Steve. That shot with the elephant is outstanding.

  97. Thank you for your work.

  98. I am awed and in wonder. So well woven.

  99. Parthajit Says:

    superb collection and writeup… so refreshing.

  100. Love, love, love these images, and your words to go with them.

  101. Meaningful photo essay. Like it a lot. Thanks.

  102. Jeff Silber Says:

    Steve’s Images Are Pure Magic————>The Essence Of Life

  103. How utterly exquisite.

  104. Larry Kamp Says:

    What a magnificent essay! These are images I would love for my students to see every single day in the classroom. Again, I am grateful for your rich artistry here. What your images (and words) say about the power and art of reading convey something so much deeper than our constant bumper sticker reminders to “do your reading.”

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