Archive for September, 2010

Fusion: The Synergy of Images and Words Part III

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 30, 2010 by stevemccurry

Herat, Afghanistan


For hundreds of years artists have tried to portray the relationship of a reader and his/her book.  We are familiar with words describing images, but not so familiar with images describing words and the impact that reading has on our lives.


Chiang Mai, Thailand



Kham, Tibet



Shwedagon Pagoda, Burma


“Reading is a means of thinking with another person’s mind; it forces you to stretch your own.”  – Charles Scribner


Old Delhi, India


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.


Varanasi, India



Kham, Tibet


The world’s largest book fair will be held in Frankfurt starting on October 6. Publishers, booksellers, agents, film producers,  authors, and journalists from all over the world will attend.  It is a privilege that my series of reading pictures will be projected during the opening press conference and featured in the daily publication, Publishing Perspectives.


Saõ Paolo, Brazil


Angkor Thom, Angkor, Cambodia


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


Bamiyan, Afghanistan



Yangon, Burma



Tokyo, Japan



Shanghai, China

“We read to know we’re not alone.”   – C.S. Lewis




Nature’s Great Masterpiece

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 24, 2010 by stevemccurry

The relationship between elephants and people goes back millennia. Elephants have been an integral part of history, religion, art,  and culture in many parts of Asia.


Chiang Mai, Thailand


“Th’ unwieldy elephant, To make them mirth, us’d all his might, and wreathed. His lithe proboscis.”
-John Milton, Paradise Lost


Chiang Mai, Thailand



Kerala, India


Elephants have been important in both Hinduism and Buddhism. Ganesh, the Hindu elephant God, is worshipped as the lord of success, education,  knowledge, wisdom and wealth.


Mumbai, India



Angkor Thom, Cambodia


John Kistler’s book, War Elephants,  pointed out that for over a thousand years, generals used elephants as tanks, bulldozers, and cargo trucks long before such vehicles existed. Elephants built roads, swung swords, and terrified opposing forces.




BURMA-10221NF, Myanmar (Burma), 07/1994



00163_01.Sri Lanka, 1995

Sri Lanka



Sri Lanka



Sri Lanka


Aristotle called the elephant  “the beast which passeth all others in wit and mind.”




“Nature’s great masterpiece, an elephant – the only harmless great thing.”

-John Donne (English poet, 1572-1631)


Calcutta, India



Varanasi, India


Solitude – The Power of One

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 17, 2010 by stevemccurry

Barkhor Quarter, Lhasa, Tibet


Religious figures from Moses to  Jesus, Mohammed and the Buddha all found great value in solitude.


Old Kabul, Afghanistan


In this wired age of non-stop communication with little time for reflection and contemplation, many find it vital to carve out time in order to have time to be creative, innovative, and  imaginative.

Grand Canyon, Arizona, U.S.


Octavio Paz Mexican writer, poet, and winner of the Nobel Prize for literature said  “Solitude is the profoundest fact of the human condition.”


Angkor Wat, Cambodia



Himalayan India



Howrah Station, Calcutta, India


LATIN_AMERICA-10055, February, 2009, final print_Novartis



“I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude. We are for the most part more lonely when we go abroad among men than when we stay in our chambers.”

– Henry David Thoreau, Walden

EUROPE-10111, Novartis,  august, 2008, Final print_Novartis

Moscow, Russia



Dal Lake, Vale of Kashmir

“A man can be himself only so long as he is alone;  if he does not love solitude, he will not love freedom; for it is only when he is alone that he is really free. ”  –  Arthur Schopenhauer

My pictures on people reading around the world will be featured at the Frankfurt Book Fair on October 5.

The Power of Two

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 13, 2010 by stevemccurry

I have always been interested in the ways that people around the world share things in common.  All of those things remind us of what the human condition is really about.  In the blogs that I wrote about reading, we saw that there is a strong connection between people and their books which is the same in Yemen as it is in China as it is in France as it is in Thailand as any other place on the planet.  The relationship between people and their books goes all the way back to the invention of the printing press.

The subject of this blog goes back millennia.  Here are some pictures of couples who have a relationship that is evident in their gestures of caring, their body language, in their eyes.


Thai Nguyen Province, Vietnam



Bamiyan Province, Afghanistan



Tagong, Kham, Tibet



Gostivar, Macedonia



Agra, India


Nouakchott, Mauritania



Lourdes, France



Kampala, Uganda



Sanaa, Yemen



After the ball, Dublin, Ireland



Ljubljana, Slovenia



Belgrade, Serbia


In Memoriam

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on September 9, 2010 by stevemccurry


I had just returned from Tibet the night before. I had not unpacked my luggage or camera bag. Shortly after nine o’clock when I heard of the attack, I went up on the roof of my apartment building and watched both towers billowing smoke.


I photographed the second tower collapsing at 10:28 AM. After shooting from the top of my building, I walked down to Ground Zero at noon, and stayed until late that night when all my film was gone, but I couldn’t bring myself to leave.


Later,  as I walked back home, I was struck at how life slowly seemed to come back to near normal the further you walked away from Ground Zero. It was strange listening to conversations of people who seemed to be unaware of the magnitude of this incredible event. I wanted to go up and shake people and say, “Don’t you realize that this is probably the most important day in your life?’”


This is a photograph on the morning of September 12th, of search-and-rescue teams.


View of the lobby of Two World Financial Centre


I was amazed by the vast amount of office paper and dust all over lower Manhattan.

A Third of Our Lives

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 3, 2010 by stevemccurry

Calcutta, India



Tonle Sap, Cambodia


Recently, I have been reviewing the pictures in my archive for a new book project.    I have been looking for activities that are shared by people in every culture and tradition. My blog on reading generated over 25,000 views, and it has been great to read many comments from people who are passionate about reading and literature, and the impact that they have on our lives. I discovered that I have a very large collection of people who are in some form of sleep.  It may be a nap or a snooze, a siesta or a deep slumber, but it is something we all need, but something many of us don’t get enough of.


Angkor, Cambodia


We sleep as much as a third of our lives, so it is clear that we are actually doing some important “work” during that time.  From consolidating memory and learning,  to repair of our bodies, sleep isn’t so much a luxury as a necessity.


Chiang Mai, Thailand


For Shakespeare, sleep was the balm of hurt minds.  He wrote in Macbeth:

“Sleep that knits up the ravelled sleave of care
The death of each day’s life, sore labour’s bath
Balm of hurt minds, great nature’s second course,
Chief nourisher in life’s feast.”


Bombay, India



Beijing, China



Paris, France



Outside Jalalabad, Afghanistan



Bangkok, Thailand


Bangkok, Thailand


“Now, blessings light on him that first invented sleep!   It covers a man all over, thoughts and all, like a cloak; it is meat for the hungry, drink for the thirsty, heat for the cold, and cold for the hot.  It is the current coin that purchases all the pleasures of the world cheap, and the balance that sets the king and the shepherd, the fool and the wise man, even. ”
-Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote, 1605


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