Power of Hands

ITALY-10299Rome, Italy

Hands are the tools of tools.

CAMBODIA-10082NF2Banteay Srei, Angkor, Cambodia 

 Our hands often reveal what we really think but do not say.
They can show a range of feelings and emotions from confusion and frustration
to joy, understanding, love, and compassion. 

INDIA-10490NFLaughing Club, Mumbai, India


When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most to us,
we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions,or cures, have chosen rather
to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand.
– Henri Nouwen


AFGHN-10089Faisabad, Afghanistan



 Hands calm us, feed us, and scratch our backs.  They intimidate, bless, encourage, and stop us.  They soothe and caress.
They draw our attention to the good and the bad, often suggesting exuberance or fear.

– Charles Flowers introduction to Elliott Erwitt’s Handbook


CHINA-10040Hong Kong, China 

 KUWAIT-10021Al Ahmadi, Kuwait

Men of ill judgment oft ignore the good That lies within their hands, till they have lost it.

TIBET-10105NF Kham, Tibet

THAILAND-10059 Bangkok,Thailand


Your hand opens and closes, opens and closes. Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expanding, the two as
beautifully balanced and coordinated as birds’ wings.
– Rumi ( 1207 – 1273)

IRELAND-10001Dublin, Ireland


BURMA-10085Mandalay, Burma/Myanmar


AFGHN-12728NFKabul, Afghanistan

Let us touch the dying, the poor, the lonely and the unwanted according to the graces we have received and
let us not be ashamed or slow to
do the humble work.
– Mother Teresa

SAM_1436-(1)Helsinki, Finland

BRAZIL-10046Heart Surgery, Brazil 


Hands have saved lives and taken them just as easily.
They create the saviors of life as well as the purveyors of death.
Creating and destroying with a single move a finger can move mountains or search the unknown heavens.

Hands live to caress and love.
Hands live to fight and die.
Forever living hands, forever exploring hands.
– Bruce Alan Humphrey


57 Responses to “Power of Hands”

  1. As always, an excellent post. So touching, so real. Wonderful feelings expressed … thanks for sharing.
    FYI, the top picture can’t be seen ….


  2. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    An incredibly wonderful post about the “power of hands”! Awesome ….

  3. I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great.
    I do not know who you are but certainly you are going to a famous blogger if you aren’t already😉 Cheers!

  4. Anonymous Says:

    i love your pictures, when i see them i understand the feelengs of the people, it is like they speak

  5. Anonymous Says:

    Makes me wonder how much I don’t know!

    Appreciate your pics!

  6. Anonymous Says:

    so much appreciation

    plzzz plzzzzzzzzzzzzz///pleaseee….pleaaseee……

  8. So vital to be touching in this way. Helping us to remember that this is the web holding us all. Thank you.

  9. […] the was a post in Steve McCurry’s blog entitled “The Power of Hands“ which ties in very nicely with this exercise although it adopts a slightly different […]

  10. Les mots sont inutiles, tellement de choses passent à travers vos photos, c’est une grande émotion de les voir et revoir sans fin. Chapeau ! Monsieur Mc Curry, votre travail est magnifique

  11. Vos photos sont de très grande qualité et chargées dune émotion rare. Thanks

  12. Anonymous Says:

    father of perfection

  13. Olga Celle Says:

    Maestro McCurry, no hay foto suya que no me deje profundamente emocionada. Gracias.

  14. That photo from Faizabad, Afghanistan is a strong one.

  15. well captured & curated.

  16. Beautiful. Stunningly so.

  17. Anonymous Says:

    Very Good photography. I really like. Good Concept and amazing closeup….:)

  18. Masterful. In every way. Many thanks.

  19. Anonymous Says:

    Your photos are magnificent

  20. Lindas, olhem!!!

  21. Very powerful images as always and so cross cultural. Amazing portraits. Thanks for sharing

  22. Anonymous Says:

    Beautiful work . Hands is a powerful and thouching theme .

  23. Unas fotos que transmiten sensaciones de alegría, de tristeza, de desesperación ,de resignación ,de llanto,de ilusión.

    Your photos are very authentics.

  24. […] This guy is one of the most acclaimed photographers on earth and there is a reason for that. Steve McCurry’s photographs never miss to elicit strong and powerful emotions. I particularly like he thematically curated posts on his blog. This time, it’s the power of hands: https://stevemccurry.wordpress.com/2011/08/19/power-of-hands/ […]

  25. Bellissime foto e bellissime parole. Grazie Steve

  26. Very nice. Thought provoking.

  27. tatiana Says:

    Thank you for touching visual and intellectual experience, great ability to connect words and images!

  28. Excelente. Como siempre. Gracias Steve, me dejás una gran enseñanza en cada uno de tus posteos. Desde Argentina, te mando un fuerte abrazo

  29. Great photography, great words makes this work outstanding.

  30. Beautiful work as always.

  31. awesome! nice documentary…

  32. yet again a wonderful post..
    the way u club those quotations with those pictures.. they speak volumes and make t he reader speechless !!!

  33. Your gift has such a power to move … to touch.
    This is beautiful! Thank you for connecting us all to the world … to people. Blessings and light to you!

  34. Anil Sud Says:

    Very inspiring images and creative examples of the theme at hand!

  35. Kaushal Kumar Singh Says:

    Hands around the world, beautiful and inspiring photographs!

  36. like the Vietnamese lady very much

  37. Cesar Pinedo Says:

    Great serie Steve….Regards

  38. Anonymous Says:

    aweson work !!!! Thank you !!!!

  39. Velislav Says:

    Great work!!! Thank you!!!:-)

  40. margarida marques Says:

    Wonderful and moving photos. Thank you.

  41. Beautiful selection!

  42. lovllllyyyyy..

  43. really nice .. lovely.

  44. I´ve always loved this portrait in Faisabad, Afghanistan, but i like even better the vertical cropped version in the Portraits book, actually drawing more attention to the hand itself, making it, as much as the eyes, tell a whole, touching, story. One of my big favs among your impressive work…

  45. Beautiful, as always, your work is such a treasure…thank you again, and again.

  46. I love and respect the hands which have captured these beautiful moments and wrote those nice quotes..! The power of hands really lies in everyone’s hands..:)
    Tarun Kr, Bangalore, INDIA

  47. loved it sir!! ,hands are the most tempting elements sometimes .for me atleast.
    i remember Nitin’s words as he told me once not to make similar hand compositions to Raghu sir!!:)

  48. Absolutely wonderful! Love this gallery!

  49. Caro Sr Steve
    Hands were made to bring the future and shorten the sadness
    belissimas fotos
    abraço do Brazil

  50. amazing series Sir

  51. Powerful, beautiful.

  52. Hi Yo, Stevy my friend,
    So, we sit at the computer both but on different sides of the globe just now!
    These photos are beautiful as always! But the picture from Dublin shows four strong Powers without hands … hahaha

    Your friend

  53. Anonymous Says:

    I love your work and especially I love the words that you use to provide commentary . Thank you. I enjoy both visually and mentally

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