Fusion: The Synergy of Images and Words


Aung San Suu Kyi, winner of the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize, Rangoon, Myanmar/Burma

 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.



Ever since Gutenberg invented the printing press which enabled
everyone access to books, artists have tried to portray the relationship of readers and books.



Garrett Stewart’s book, The Look of Reading:
Book, Painting, Text, explores the relationship of
reading and art.He points out that a wide array of artists from Rembrandt to  Picasso and Cassatt
and dozens more,over the past 500 years
have painted people reading and the “look of reading” on the subjects’ faces.


Shanghai, China


Rome, Italy


Spanish Steps, Rome, Italy


Chiang Mai, Thailand

  We are familiar with words describing images, but not so
familiar with images describing words and the
impact reading has on our lives.


Istanbul, Turkey

Reading a good book is a universal activity,
and people read while they do just about everything else.


Afghan soldier takes cover from bombardment at Kandahar Airport


Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus
formerly Victoria Terminus, Mumbai/Bombay, India


Ujjian, India

We read to know we are not alone.
– C.S. Lewis


Havana, Cuba

FRANCE-10068, Lourdes, 10/1989,

Lourdes, France


Washington Square Park, New York


Venice, Italy


Rome, Italy

I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.
– Jorge Luis Borges


Istanbul, Turkey

There is no frigate like a book
To take us lands away,
Nor any coursers like a page
Of prancing poetry.
This traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of toll;
How frugal is the chariot
That bears a human soul!
– Emily Dickinson


3-5 Swallow Street
London W1B 4DE
September 7 –Extended to October 15, 2011

2525 Michigan Ave #A1
Santa Monica, CA 90404
September 10 – December 1, 2011
735 Main Avenue
Durango, CO
September 9 – December 14, 2011
Houston, TX
September 17 – October 15, 2011
Museum of Contemporary Art
Rome, Italy
December 1, 2011 – April 29, 2012

55 Responses to “Fusion: The Synergy of Images and Words”

  1. Beautiful – both the quotes and images!

  2. Reblogged this on THE BARDO GROUP and commented:
    “The Synergy of Images and Words” from Steve McCurry, (b. 1950) American photojounralist. McCurry says, “If you wait people will forget your camera and the soul will drift up into view.”

    McCurry’s work has been published widely with frequent credits in Vanity Fair and National Geographic. His most recent books are “The Iconic Photographs:” and “The Unguarded Moment.” In 1985 Houghton-Mifflin Company published his “The Imperial Way” with text by Paul Theroux.
    Mr. McCurry is a WordPress blogger as well as a world class photographer.

  3. How serendipitous to find your site and view your images! I chanced upon it while researching a topic for a business class. Thank you for capturing the depth and beauty of reading in all cultures and settings. What is this hunger in our souls that is fed by the written word? How do words stir our imaginations, increase our vocabularies, build our wisdom, and understanding? Why do we snatch another paragraph, a page, or a chapter, on the bus, in the park, or just before bedtime? Oh, for the love of words; your pictures reveal the similarities between us all. Thank you for sharing.

  4. This is wonderful Would you let me use it in my library?

  5. Anita Nichols Says:

    People all pretty much interested in the same things. Just leave them alone and they will find a way to relax, share and enjoy their time. Thank you for sharing these photos – beautiful images, as usual.

  6. I was so awed by Mr. McCurry’s work that, with prior permission, I made this video with some of his wonderful photographs and one of my compositions…I hope you enjoy it…thank you.


  7. […] citit o frumoaaasa fraza: Cartile sunt prietenul care nu m-a dezamagit niciodata. Privind pozele: https://stevemccurry.wordpress.com/2011/10/02/fusion-the-synergy-of-images-and-words-2/ , sunt mai mult decat convinsa ca cititul nu a dezamagit niciodata, pe nimeni. Like this:LikeBe the […]

  8. Steve, only just discovered you today. So much admiration and respect for your work. Thank you, will be following! Beautiful & meaningful images.

  9. thank you. and thank you again. my eyes, and soul, have been immersed in that which i might never have become.

  10. WOW – amazing website!!!

  11. Thank you for showing that people all over are more alike than different.

    Perfect love!

  12. Anonymous Says:

    I wish to have your talent…just amazing O.o

  13. So beautiful and so impressive. You really look great with your eye of camera, deeply hits! Thank you, with my love, nia

  14. I know you today from at a photograph magazine with Ara Güler (Turkey) so found your blog and your photograps,ı liked too much loves from Turkey.

  15. You are my mentor… Amazing work !

  16. Discovered your blog with this page, which I love! Have shared it on: https://www.facebook.com/nuhafoundation.

  17. Shanti Savla Says:

    thank you for photographs with wisdom……:)

  18. Hi Steve,

    Can you please post more close-up portrait of Aung San Suu Kyi and other famed people you photographed in one of newer posts?

    I guess its not too much I am asking (rather demanding) for😛

  19. Absolutely wonderful!!! I love the theme; how you put everrything together. It flows so well – the pictures and words.

    The lighting for your shots is beautiful. I learn so much examining each photo and how you used the lighting. Thanks ever so much for sharing this.

  20. Inspired to go shooting (photos) and pick up a good book. Thanks!

  21. Anonymous Says:

    Great post. You always manage to capture such moments in time that truely speak to me.

  22. Marietta Yandoc Says:

    Steve, I always visit your blog to find assurance that humans are more deeply kindred than separated by the conflicts that pass their lives.

  23. Vibhav Marathe Says:

    I just have one question… how do you know or you decide when to capture a shot? See all your shots are not prearranged or set like fashion photography.. Just fraction of seconds?

  24. Great work Steve, you’re the inspiration for photographers around the world. http://jnadalesfoto.wordpress.com/

  25. Chanita Thaweechai Says:

    It’s very surprise for me when i look at your photo. This collection make me happy. I think everyone can reading but I just think only. But your photo show to me that my thinking is real…

    ***If it’s possible, I hope to see your collection at Thailand.

  26. Parabéns, suas fotografias são um encanto, continuarei acompanhando o seu trabalho.
    Depois visite o meu blog http://rosanabarros.blogspot.com/
    Tenha um bom dia

  27. Hello,
    A very common scene throughout the world but It combines together to form a nice story. It delivers a very strong message that gathering knowledge from books,newspapers or magazine never been obsolete and the communication is still very strong even in this jet age.

  28. Uniting the world through your photographs. How cleverly you have shown how same we all are , wherever we are from. India to Istanbul. Great social message.

  29. Caro sr Steve,
    Estou morando no Rio de janeiro a aproximadamente 2 anos, como todos falam é uma cidade maravilhosa, mas uma das coisas que mais impressionaram quando aqui cheguei foi de ver o grande numero de pessoas que leem nas ruas , nas praças , pontos de onibus, em todos os lugares e tambem a quantidade de vendedores de livros usados que instalam suas bancas ao longo das ruas, Seu olhar atento e suas fotos nos revelam este habito tao saudavel ao redor do mundo. abraços do Brazil

  30. wjlonien Says:

    Good one, Steve!

  31. marilee pittman Says:

    Your photos and story line is so beautiful. One will not starve of beauty when she can access such works of art…

  32. just grab a book and read. theres nothing more valuable than writing.

  33. I love books! They take me to places I have never been and will ever be. It is so powerful that it can change lives just by flicking through pages of inspiring words.
    The pictures you took are awesome!

  34. Anonymous Says:

    Thank you, your photographs are inspirational, Judith (Lincolnshire UK)

  35. The power of the word versus the power of the camera!
    Kind regards, Corina van Holstein

  36. Partha Sur Says:

    Are all these photos by Steve McCurry ? I suspect they are. They are all fantastic of course.

  37. It is always a pleasure looking at your work!

  38. Wonderful collection, starting with an image of a person I deeply admire. Thanks Steve.

  39. thank you for sharing the images..all of them is wonderful..

  40. Your photography is amazing, and so arec all your travels! GREAT Post!!

  41. you’re a incredible inspiration for me.
    thank you from Italy

  42. Such beautiful photographs! Especially the ones taken in China and Mumbai.

    Your work inspires, thank you.


  43. Publishing Houses need to hire you! Stunning study of the glory of print. Thank you.

  44. Kaushal Kumar Singh Says:

    Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station feels like it’s living and breathing.
    In near future Govt has a plan to replace these classic black&yellow cabs with modern cars. We will not see it again if it happens. Thanks for sharing.

  45. As always a great collection.. I’ve been inspired from this series and have a few posts in my blog, in the ‘reading’ theme.

  46. When I read to my husband in the evening it is as if we are on a magic carpet ride, enjoying and riding the carpet together, visiting times past, present ,and future and creating an intimate journey together. Words become pictures arousing intense emotions sometimes more so than television or movies.

  47. And thanks again for the voice of basic sanity and so eloquent…….

  48. HI Steve,
    I loved your exhibit at the Peter Fetterman Gallery-
    Loved the colors and energy the prints seem to stir!
    As an artist it’s wonderful to see your work in person.
    Best Regards, and thank you for sharing your vision!

  49. Margaret Chatterley Says:

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful photos with us. Every one of them makes one think and wonder.

  50. joyannecMargaret Chatterley Says:

    thank you for taking the images, and again thank you for sharing:-)

  51. Anonymous Says:

    I was wandering through the new bookstore at the MFA-Boston Friday evening and I left with two books… your “ The Path to Buddha” and Andre Kertesz “On Reading”, neither of which I had seen before. It’s a funny twist to sign up for your blog and get this first post about your upcoming exhibits. Your images are beautiful and thoughtful. I always want to know more.

  52. Very @ the heart of the image…

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