Solitude – The Power of One


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.

38 Responses to “Solitude – The Power of One”

  1. Edizio Lima Says:

    Adorei essas fotos

  2. Really really awesome Mr. McCurry. Not sure how you do it, but its incredible to see. Keep sharin please. Happy Holidays!


  3. edizio ferreira lima Says:

    Adorei Feliz 2011

  4. I’ve realised that many artises and especially photographers are loners. Perhaps the importance of solitude is most pressing to the creative among us.

  5. Great images!
    Thanks, MAA

  6. Thank you for sharing this serie with us. you have expressed so well this feeling of solitude.
    It is a theme very important to me. It must be coming from my story, my own preference. i like silence and space. Solitude seems very hard to find sometimes in crowded qnd busy Africa where I live. But, the wide open spaces are often a way to find solitude. Like when a maasai arrives from nowhere.

  7. radhika ajith Says:

    really wonderfulllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll

  8. thanks……….

  9. each corner of every pic speaks of the greatness of Steve Mc Curry..

  10. every corner of each frame speaks of STEVE MC CURRY language of photography..great..

  11. The rigors and comforts of solitude illuminate prisoners and kings.

  12. Inspiring capture !
    Thank you.

  13. really love the Brazil picture!

  14. Beautiful and compelling photos!

  15. There are those who are lonely.

    Then there are those who are simply soloists.

    Solitude is a choice.
    Solitude is a form.
    Solitude is being.

  16. HI,steve

    I ‘m from China. I am a fan of NG an Magnum.

    I’d like to invite you to have a look my pics took in Xinjiang ,China. Your advices will be very appreciated and helpful.

    Here is my blog:

    Thank you very much.

    li yao

  17. HI,steve

    I ‘m from China. I am a fan of NG an Magnum.

    I’d like to invite you to have a look my pics took in Xinjiang ,China. Your advices will be very appreciated.

    Here is my blog:

    Thank you very much.

    li yao

  18. “L’uomo ha il dono della ragione; egli è vita consapevole di se stessa… Questa consapevolezza di sé come entità a parte, la consapevolezza della brevità della vita, del fatto che egli nasce e muore al di là della propria volontà, che morirà prima degli altri che ama, oppure dopo di loro, la consapevolezza della sua solitudine e separatezza, della sua vulnerabilità di fronte alle forze della natura e della società, tutto ciò rende la sua esistenza separata una prigione insopportabile. Egli impazzirebbe se non potesse liberarsi da quella prigione e protendersi, unirsi…”
    -Erich Fromm-

    E’ stupenda la seconda immagine (Old Kabul), come lo è l’ultima ( Dal Lake), ricordano molto bene i colori della solitudine.

  19. Just beautiful – you always capture those magical moments … Thank you

  20. I once read that in order to love other you have to love yourself first and time in solitude might be a way to go deeper in your soul.

    Once again touching pictures. Love the emotional touch and the fact that the Blog entries are emotionally coupled.

  21. Hi, I am the owner of the blog of photography

    I have added in the favorite, your blog is really beautiful and useful compliments😉

    I would like an exchange links with you.

    In my photography blog articles on photographic techniques, Photoshop tutorials, digital cameras and photomontage.

    Tell me what do you think.

  22. islandmomma Says:

    Gorgeous photos. I love them all, but like your other reader, the train station one best.

    This theme has been much on my mind of late, so I also find great consolation in the quotations! I certainly am in good company in trying to carve out some time for solitude!

  23. Jeff Silber Says:

    My Photographic Mentor

  24. Solitude..and being alone..and the peace and joy it sometimes brings – is one of the themes I most love to explore. As always – you’ve done it beautifully here. Your work is extraordinary!!!

  25. Solitude is one of my fav themes…. Thank you for sharing your work….

  26. […] Solitude – The Power of One « Steve McCurry’s Blog via […]

  27. Very nise portfolio, congretulation

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

  29. very inspiring, thank you!

  30. Beautiful photos. You are always an inspiration!

  31. Beautiful! Lost in, in conversation with, finding – oneself.

  32. Wonderful photos all of them but my favorite is the one from Howrah Station, Calcutta. Excellent light.

  33. Yes, I like very much the coupling between the verses and pictures. Solitude is synonymous of freedom. In fact people who follow the flock are not free. Personally I follow the middle way, I like to stay with people, but I want to think with my mind not others’. Wrong or right the decisions must be yours and you can take them in solitude.
    The book I have written may help in this direction and I want to draw it to your attention. The title ios “travels of the Mind’ and it is available on my website
    If you have any question I am most willing to discuss about these topics.
    Ettore Grillo

  34. Great pictures. Excellent presentation !

  35. Hi Steve,

    Amazing photographs … such a strong presence of ‘one’ in each …

    Thanks for sharing…


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