Archive for Afghan Girl

The Art of Editing

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on May 31, 2010 by stevemccurry

The Eye of the Beholder

Whether you have hundreds of thousands of pictures in your archive or a few hundred, the process of editing your pictures down to the ones with the best aesthetic, the best composition, and the ones that illustrate your story or experiences best,  is a process that takes time, patience, and experience.

Here are some examples of near frames and the final selects.


Dust storm, Rajasthan, India, 1983

‘I was in a beat-up taxi travelling through the desert to a town called Jaisalmer. As we drove down the road, we saw a dust storm grow … Where we stopped, women and children worked on the road … In the strange dark orange light and the howling wind, battered by sand and dust, they sang and prayed.


Dust storm, Rajasthan, India, 1983


india-10219nf2khDust Storm vertical






Sahdu, India, 2010

Before the Afghan Girl was published on the cover of the National Geographic magazine, there was discussion about whether or not the image was too strong for the cover.  The person who advocated for putting it on the cover saw something others didn’t, and time and perspective proved that it was the picture that best illustrated the article, and also the picture that has stood the test of time.


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