The Life of Things



While with an eye made quiet by the power
Of harmony, and the deep power of joy,
We see into the life of things.
– William Wordsworth,
Lines Written a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey

_SM19701, Myanmar/Burma, BURMA-10484



_SM13955, Rome, Italy, 05/23/2011











Portraits often seem pregnant with speech, or as if their subjects have just finished saying something,

or will soon speak the thoughts that inform their faces, the thoughts we’re invited to read.
Landscapes are full of presences, visible or unseen; soon nymphs or a stag or a
band of hikers will make themselves heard.



But no word will ever be spoken here, among the flowers and snails,
the solid and dependable apples,
this heap of rumpled books,
this pewter plate on which a few opened oysters lie, giving up their silver.

_DSC9141, India, 2007. INDIA-11923NF. A clay monkey diety in India.


These are resolutely still, immutable, poised for a forward movement that will never occur.

The brink upon which still life rests is the brink of time, the edge of something about to happen.
Everything that we know crosses this lip, over and over,
like water over the edge of a fall, as what might happen does,
as any of the endless variations of what might come true does so,
and things fall into being,
tumble through the progression of existing in time.

BURMA-10178, Schwedagon, Yangon, Burma, February, 2010


But the still life resides in absolute silence.
― Mark Doty, Still Life with Oysters and Lemon: On Objects and Intimacy




Laos, 2004, Phaidon, Iconic Images, final book_iconic



Cinecitta, Italy, 07/2011, _SM18778




_SM19448; Myanmar/Burma; BURMA-10483



_SM16798, myanmar, burma, 02/2011, BURMA-10312



_2SM2652; India; 04/2012; INDIA-11987. A dog sleeps.retouched_Sam Schubert





_SM13459, Rome; Italy; 05/2011;




Still Life
Cool your heels on the rail of an observation car.
Let the engineer open her up for ninety miles an hour.
Take in the prairie right and left, rolling land and new hay crops, swaths of new hay laid in the sun.
A gray village flecks by and the horses hitched in front of the post-office never blink an eye.
A barnyard and fifteen Holstein cows, dabs of white on a black wall map, never blink an eye.
A signalman in a tower, the outpost of Kansas City, keeps his place at a window with the
serenity of a bronze statue on a dark night when lovers pass whispering.
– Carl Sandburg


Kansas, United States










Still Life
Sublime, serene
Found arrangements
Formal compositions.
Which is which?

61 Responses to “The Life of Things”

  1. The Life of Things | Steve McCurry’s Blog

  2. Reblogged this on Edoardo Gobattoni photographer and commented:
    Great, congrats!!!

  3. really beautiful! but why can not I ever do make a nice photo?

  4. Wordsworth’s “Lines” is my favorite poem and the line you chose also my favorite! Thank you for affirming our fascination with observation and “things.” Such a small and ordinary word for those objects that can capture our attention and make us stop and enjoy.

  5. beautiful post, thanks !!

  6. Mr. Chandan D. N. Gaonkar Says:

    You are really great. Your images teaches a lot. it inspires me a lot. Thank you very much.
    Happy Clicking.
    Mr.Chandan D. N. Gaonkar (Panaji-Goa-India)

  7. […] Steve McCurry habe ich hier schön öfter geschrieben. Seine aktuelle Bildstrecke “The Life of Things” ist faszinierend und wundervoll korrespondierend mit Zitaten besetzt. Diese Bilder erzählen […]

  8. Beautifully done. Always fascinating to see where your mind and lens go. Doing my taxes and got put on hold. Found this as a lovely way to spend some in-between time. Thank you.

  9. I simply ADORE your work! It always inspires me, it always satisfies me. Thank you!

  10. Reblogged this on Footsteps and Photos and commented:
    Every single one of Steve McCurry’s photos is a treat. This is definitely a blog to follow.

  11. Amazing collection of colorful, evocative and thought provoking photos.

  12. Gotta love all those colors! Your work is beyond beautiful.

  13. Reblogged this on Jorge Cerdan and commented:
    wonderful picture

  14. marta amezquita Says:

    Reminded me of Neruda’s ‘Beauty of Broken Things’ poem. “Let’s put our treasures together and take them out to sea…” marta

  15. World travel and adventure is my passion. Your website is the very next best thing! Magnificent site on so many levels. Thank you.

  16. Great!!

  17. wonder light

  18. Intriguing and sublime! . . . As always, thank you for sharing!

  19. Reblogged this on maha's place.

  20. thank you as always for the inspiration…

  21. Sunita Pathak Says:

    It always is really great experience to see all” photo pictures”.All of these Images are so full of Meanings ,that they deeply touches to your SOUL……………

  22. Siempre imágenes enriquecedoras, transmitiendo, tu ojo es una ventana al mundo diferente a lo habitual.
    Always rich images, transmitting, your eye is a window to the world different than usual.

  23. Reblogged this on mymotionpicture and commented:
    The Life of things as it says has so much to speak and so much to share..
    Steve, as always have touched my heart with his wonderful framing of light and transformed some frames to real portraits. No words can adequately do justice to describe these snaps but the ones chosen by Steve alongside..
    I would request my visitors to see and feel the pictures and know the life of things…

  24. Reidar Aa Says:

    Looking forward to meet you in Krstiansund:-)

  25. Another beutiful compilation, thanks Steve.

  26. I think this is what we have to learn from these photos . We always target for that ‘awesome’ photo and we will miss simple things in life like these ones! look at that flower photo from the master! great inspiring stuff

  27. Anonymous Says:

    Intriguing scenes from around the world — colors earthy — barbara

  28. that’s so amazing

  29. I am always inspired by your posts, Steve. These photos all suggest a secret, the essence of life and love. Stunning, as always.:-)

  30. Splendid it is man…. absolutely stunning. Wowowooww…!!! Looking forward to more.

  31. now i can see your still life works!!!
    delish shot, Mr. Steve!

  32. Going through your blog and through your images are so inspiring. I am not saying this because you are popoular and all but sometimes I look at your photos and think ‘why didn’t I think of this’ lack of experience of course but nevertherless I have realised sometimes that picture starring at your face is more special than the one you spend days thinking about getting perfect.

  33. Always worth the wait. Beautiful!

  34. Amazing pictures. Great inspiration.

  35. AMAZING PHOTOS! Great details.


  36. Sr. Mc curry, como consigue esos colores tan fantásticos? antes se podía pensar que el Kodachrome le ayudaba mucho, pero ahora…? son una delicia de imágenes…

  37. Thank you, Steve, for another beautifully compiled theme.

  38. Miroslav Dakov Says:

    which is the deity/ statue from Cambodia with the mouth full of money? thanks

  39. Love the cat, the hat and the hand…the dog and the elephant…Love the message.

  40. […] La vida de las cosas (fotografía)   […]


  42. Estupendo trabajo, felicidades.

  43. This is really something different thank your normal work !!!

  44. There’s so much to delight in just this one post, Steve. What a place Burma must be! Those two ladies so gently reclining on their elbows! The room in Italy- the detail in the room and the exquisite view outside. The scales against that wall! The colours of Cuba.
    You’ve probably gathered that I go for the prettier shots but there’s nothing here that I don’t admire.

  45. Super images Steve.

  46. I love them all, but especially the photo in Cuba. The person in the dark corridor with the bags add a human element.

    Great photos as usual. These remind me to keep my eye out for different objects when I”m taking photos.

  47. Saying images ……… I should say.

  48. How wonderful life is and how fresh, exciting, and new to see it through your eves and hear it through your choice of words.
    A lifelong fan of Sandburg who comes from the “City of the Big Shoulders, Hog Butcher to the World” you bring joy to these old eyes. I’ll consider that I read this blog in a couple of days and it is a very special birthday present.
    Because it most certainly is!

    Thanks for this gift.

  49. I eagerly wait for each of your post, just to look at these pictures is such a great experience both to lean as well as soak the aura these pics have.

  50. The ever and always inspiring ,wonderful work .

  51. Dear Mr McCurry…
    There is something special about the pics…Seems to be every statue, every animal, sleeps with a smile on its face…
    Like knowing something…May be the hidden stories behind the jacket or the scale, the vespa or the car, the landscape behind the windows…

  52. Gorgeous pictures Mr.McCurry.Thanks.

  53. This is incredible, Steve. Can’t wait for your next post.

  54. Another fantastic set of images Steve. There is a good deal of humour in some of these too.

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