Open and Closed


Since the beginning of time, doors have symbolized both great opportunities and thwarted dreams.  The open door is a metaphor for new life, a passage from one stage of life to another, and metamorphosis.  Closed doors represent rejection and exclusion. 


The Door
Too little
has been said
Of the door, its one
Face turned to the night’s
Downpour and its other
To the shift and glisten of firelight.

AFGHN-12927NF4 Bamiyan, Afghanistan 

For doors
Are both frame and monument
To our spent time,
And too little
Has been said
Of our coming through and leaving by them.
– Charles Tomlinson

INDIA-10412 India

CAMBODIA-10002 Cambodia


AFGHN-10235Kabul, Afghanistan

BURMA-10005Mingun Pagoda, near Mandalay, Burma/Myanmar

INDIA-10221Porbandar, India

AFGHN-12648 West Kabul, Afghanistan


USA-10256Los Angeles, United States

 The door swings open:

O god of hinges,
god of long voyages,
you have kept faith.
It’s dark in there.
You confide yourself to the darkness
You step in.
The door swings closed.
– Margaret Atwood

AFGHN-12467NF Kabul, Afghanistan

AFGHN-13116NF Bamiyan, Afghanistan

A door just opened on a street–
I, lost, was passing by–
An instant’s width of warmth disclosed
And wealth, and company.

The door as sudden shut, and I,
I, lost, was passing by,–
Lost doubly, but by contrast most,
Enlightening misery.
– Emily Dickinson

INDIA-11038NFBombay/Mumbai, India

AFGHN-10156Kabul, Afghanistan

BANGLADESH-10020 Dhaka, Bangladesh

The closing of a door can bring blessed privacy and comfort – the opening terror.
Conversely, the closing of a door can be a sad and final thing.
The opening a wonderfully joyous moment.
– A. Rooney
CAMBODIA-10145 Monastery at Rolous, Cambodia


36 Responses to “Open and Closed”

  1. Reblogged this on Julie-Anne Wood and commented:
    Sharing this wonderful blog by Steve McCurry for you to enjoy and delight in.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    respected steve mccurry your photos are really out of this world .

  3. Pam Beardsley Says:

    Your images reach inside and touch the part of me that feels…

  4. Truly amazing work. I am currently working on a doors’ series of photographs and a friend of mine pointed me to your blog for reference. I am more than ever inspired…:)

  5. I do have a job to do, but have fallen in to your blog. Love the thoughtful photographs, feel connected to something larger, just looking at all of these

  6. Imporessives shots…

  7. Love the way you categorize your images!

  8. Indrani Sarkar Says:

    You get it all the time..But you truly are a all your pics…but this section on Doors is ENIGMATIC…

  9. Anonymous Says:

    hard work realy amizing photos

  10. so affecting and beautiful. thank you Steve as always for your depth of vision, your warmth, and your subtle touch within each photographic moment. The text just adds extra beauty….

  11. Sonja Says:

    Dear Steve,
    I am impressed about your photos. They touch me, and they’re really amazing.
    I’m only 14, but I appreciate how you describe life, it’s something indescribable.
    When I look those pictures again, they seem always more and more incredible. I’ve used some of the photos as a model, and drawn people from them. I like drawing and I’m quite good at it especially drawing people.

    Greetings from Finland,

  12. Doors, Gateway’s, entrance ways…those are some of my favorite things to photograph or see in photographs.. Thank you!

  13. marco Says:

    love your works

  14. i very love your pictures.

  15. Thanks for sharing Steve. Your images are such an inspiration.

  16. Anbazhagan Says:

    interesting theme !
    ‘Tap, the door will open !’ is an hope instilling statement.
    ‘When one door seems to close, another opens.’ This is another hope giving statement.

    It is generally good to enter after tapping a closed door than to through an opened door !

    More than the door, in our society the door step is also revered and decorated well.. that is daily !


  17. Beautiful and inspiring photos. The poems and quotes add an emotional impact to the series.

  18. Great idea with the doors Steve, doors have great colors and textures and all sorts of stories behind them!

  19. malvinder kaur Says:

    ‘doors meant for you shall always remain open….. doors not meant for you ..tis better they keep shut….why go through the rough and tumble trying to open the shut door! there are plenty of door sapiece

  20. Anonymous Says:


    I’m an aspiring artist and absolutely love your pictures. Do you mind if I post your blog website on my facebook page. Thanks.


  21. janek Says:

    “It’s another day for U and me in Paradise” Ph. C.

  22. Beautiful compositions…and what an inspiration you are for all of us shutter bugs…

  23. Wow Steve, you always manage to make me grab my camera after looking at your pictures! They call that “inspiring” , don’t they?😉
    kind regards,
    Corina (the Netherlands)

  24. I admire the photos from Afghanistan.

  25. I like the most: 1, 7, 10, 14, 16, 17 and 19. Interesting explanations.

  26. Great Inspiration! As always…..

  27. Great Inspiration! As always….

  28. margarida marques Says:

    A closed door can also be a challenge … Thanks for the beautiful photos.

  29. Caro Sr Steve,
    Suas fotos como sempre estao transbordando sentimento.
    Mas tambem gostaria de colocar, uma porta fechada pode nao representar uma rejeiçao mas sim um desafio que a vida colocou diante de nós e que se nao desistirmos,lutarmos para abri-la encontraremos do lado de fora uma nova esperança
    abraço do Brazil

  30. Wonderful set of photographs. Nice collection on doors. Great effort.

  31. Wonderful images, Steve…

  32. thanks for another great series of photographs. I always enjoy your blog and appreciate your work!

  33. Mauro Bravo Says:

    No existe una foto que NO me guste del Sr McCurry. Gracias por tanto.

  34. Dr. PARAJ SHUKLA Says:

    I like the Dhaka, Bangladesh pic very much.

  35. Excellent collection !

  36. Excellent photos !!!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 37,272 other followers

%d bloggers like this: