Archive for monsoon

Life Breath of Half the World

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 17, 2013 by stevemccurry

INDIA-10220 India

India’s  monsoon rains have covered the entire country a month ahead of schedule,
brightening the prospects for a
bumper output of summer-sown crops such as rice, oilseeds and
cotton in one of the world’s leading producers.

INDIA-10214-(1)Mumbai, India

INDIA-11087India

During the year I spent following the monsoon in a dozen countries, I learned to see it as a critically important event, 
and not the disaster it had first seemed to my Western eyes.

INDIA-11030Varanasi, India

For half the world’s people, good monsoon s  mean life and prosperity.
Bad monsoons mean famine and death.

INDIA-10301NF2India

Farmers experience the monsoon as an almost religious experience 
as they watch their fields come back
to life after being parched for half the year. 

INDIA-10678-(1)India

BURMA-10564
Burma

For months there is no rain, and then there is too much.
Half the world’s people survive at the whim of the monsoon.

BANGLADESH-10009
Bangladesh 

Rain is grace;
Rain is the sky descending to the earth …
– John Updike

INDIA-11984India

INDIA-10221India

Only He shakes the heavens and from its treasures takes out the winds. 
He joins the waters and the clouds and produces the rain.
He does all those things. 

- Michael Servetus (1511-1553)
Spanish theologian, physician, cartographer

NEPAL-10032
Nepal

INDIA-10926Monsoon skies over Bihar, India

Anticipation
Fizzy, frothy, fickle rain
Resurrection

INDONESIA-10006Indonesia

INDONESIA-10002NF2Indonesia

INDIA-10582NFIndia

BANGLADESH-10007     Bangladesh

Monsoon History

Shirley Geok-lin Lim
The air is wet, soaks
into mattresses, and curls
In apparitions of smoke,
Like fat white slugs furled
Among the timber
Or silver fish tunnelling
The damp linen covers
Of schoolbooks, or walking
Quietly like centipedes,
The air walking everywhere
On its hundred feet
Is filled with the glare
Of tropical water.
Again we are taken over
By clouds and rolling darkness.
Small snails appear
Clashing their timid horns
Among the morning glory
Vines.

INDIA-10377NF3Monsoon Festival, India

BURMA-10003Burma

Monsoons, Australia, River, Arnumlan Untold_bookAustralia

INDIA-10436
India
INDONESIA-10007, Ujung Pandang, Sulawesi, Indonesia, 1983
Indonesia
BIO-10085NF
‘Steve McCurry in monsoon flood, Gujarat, India 

Last Night the Rain Spoke to Me
by Mary Oliver 
Last night
the rain
spoke to me
slowly, saying,
what joy
to come falling
out of the brisk cloud,
to be happy again
in a new way
on the earth!
NEPAL-10075
Katmandu Valley, Nepal
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Right as Rain

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 7, 2012 by stevemccurry

During the year I shot the monsoon assignment, I learned to see it as a critically important event, 
and not the disaster it had first seemed to my Western eyes.
Farmers experience the monsoon as an almost religious experience

as they watch their fields come back to life after being parched for half the year.

Varanasi, India 

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India’s annual monsoon rains have arrived at the southern Kerala coast,
a top weather official said on Tuesday, brightening prospects of higher farm output by aiding
farmers to plant summer-sown crops such as rice, soybean and cotton on time.
June 6, 2012

Goa, India

Rain is grace;
Rain is the sky descending to the earth …
– John Updike

India


For half the world’s people, good monsoons, those rain-bearing winds of
Asia and the Subcontinent, 
 mean life and prosperity.
Poor ones are marked by famine and death.

Bangladesh

The rains fall on one horn of the buffalo, and not on the other.
-Indian Proverb

Kabul, Afghanistan

Java, Indonesia

Nepal

Northern Territory, Australia

Tokyo, Japan

Tibet


It is no use to grumble and complain; It’s just as cheap and easy to rejoice.
When God sorts out the weather and sends rain – Why, rain’s my choice.
- James Whitcomb Riley

Sri Lanka

Indonesia

Cambodia

The drops of rain make a hole in the stone, not by violence, but by oft falling.
- Lucretius

Porbandar, India

India

Dalit women cleaning streets, Mumbai, India

Burma

Only He shakes the heavens and from its treasures takes out the winds.
He joins the waters and the clouds and produces the rain. He does all those things.
- Michael Servetus (1511-1553)
Spanish theologian, physician, cartographer

Cambodia


Monsoon History
Shirley Geok-lin Lim
The air is wet, soaks
into mattresses, and curls
In apparitions of smoke,
Like fat white slugs furled
Among the timber
Or silver fish tunnelling
The damp linen covers
Of schoolbooks, or walking
Quietly like centipedes,
The air walking everywhere
On its hundred feet
Is filled with the glare
Of tropical water.
Again we are taken over
By clouds and rolling darkness.
Small snails appear
Clashing their timid horns
Among the morning glory
Vines.

Bojonegoro, Java, Indonesia

Monsoon Festival, 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.

Two men try to cross a monsoon swollen river after the bridge was swept away, Goa, India

The Power of Nature

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 1, 2011 by stevemccurry

 Please scroll to the bottom for the Unpublished Portrait of the Week

JAPAN-10060Japan

JAPAN-10072Japan

The word tsunami comes from two Japanese words: tsu, which means harbor, and nami, which means wave.

 JAPAN-10105 Japan

JAPAN-10084Japan

 In March  2011, Japan suffered from one of most violent earthquakes in history. 

JAPAN-10057Japan

 Its coastline shifted by as much thirteen feet to the east.

JAPAN-10071Japan

 The tsunami spawned by the earthquake destroyed virtually everything in its wake.

JAPAN-10100Japan

INDONESIA-10001NF6Duckweed carpets the water in a girl’s front yard at Bojonegoro, Java, Indonesia

Covering the monsoons  entailed day after day wallowing in filthy
water up to my
chest, or standing in the street in a torrential downpour, my shoulder aching from the umbrella
propped in my armpit, and an impatient assistant wishing he were somewhere else.

INDIA-10405NFPorbandar, Gujarat, India

I spent four days, in the flooded city of Gujarat, India, wading around the streets in waist-deep water that was filled with
bloated animal carcasses and other waste material.

INDIA-10436Porbandar, Gujarat, India


The fetid water enveloped me leaving a greasy film over my
clothes and body.  Every night I returned to my flooded hotel,
empty except for a nightwatchman, and bathed my shriveled feet in disinfectant.

INDIA-10220Chandni Chowk, Old Delhi, India

INDIA-10307NGoa, India

 Hurricane Katrina which hit New Orleans in August  2005,  was one of the deadliest hurricanes in the history of the United States.
Almost two thousand people died in the hurricane and the flood which followed.

USA-10136New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina

USA-10139NFNew Orleans, United States

USA-10129New Orleans, Louisiana, United States

USA-10130New Orleans, Louisiana, United States

On December 26, 2004, the Indian Ocean tsunami killed over 230,000 people in fourteen countries.

 SRILANKA-10048Four days after the tsunami hit Sri Lanka’s coastline
A man prays for the victims 

UNSEEN / UNPUBLISHED PORTRAIT OF THE WEEK

USA-10387 Texas, United States 

Please visit Steve’s main site:  http://www.stevemccurry.com

Chasing the Monsoon: A Year in the Rain

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on August 14, 2009 by stevemccurry

Steve in monsoon waters 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 photoessayist. Twenty years later, I proposed a story to National Geographic to photograph the monsoon. The next year I joined Magnum Photos.

People have often asked me what it was like spending almost a year photographing the monsoon. I spent several months following the monsoon which affects half the people on the planet.

Weather is often my best ally as I try to capture the perfect mood for my pictures, but photographing the monsoon was an experience that taught me a lot about patience and humility.

Photographing in heavy rain is difficult because you have to constantly wipe the rain drops from the camera lens. That takes about a third of the time. Monsoon rain is accompanied by winds that try to wrestle away the umbrella that is wedged between my head and shoulders.

I spent four days, in a flooded city in Gujarat, India, wading around the streets in waist-deep water that was filled with bloated animal carcasses and other waste material. The fetid water enveloped me leaving a greasy film over my clothes and body. Every night when I returned to my flooded hotel, empty except for a nightwatchman, I bathed my shriveled feet in disinfectant.

Once I was almost sucked down into one of the holes in the street in Bombay into which water was rushing. It took every bit of my strength to keep from losing my balance. After that close call, I shuffled along, inch by inch, yard by yard, until I had to abandon my cautious instincts.

I had to see the monsoon as a predictable yearly event, and not the disaster it seemed to my western eyes. The farmers experience the monsoon as an almost religious experience as they watch their fields come back to life after being parched for half the year.

When I was in Porbundar, the historic birthplace of Gandhi, I came upon a dog. There he was, locked out of the house, standing on a tiny piece of concrete as the flood waters rose. His expression betrayed his emotions. You can tell by the picture that he realizes his predicament and hope his owner opens the door soon.

Actually, a moment after I took the picture, the door opened and he ran inside.

INDIA-10221

INDIA-10220

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